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Thyroid Diseases

Hair Loss and Thyroid Testing Results

08/23/2006

Question:

As part of a work up for hair loss, my dermatologist ordered thyroid test. I am 52, in good health, no medications. These are the rsults: TSH - 2.03; free T4 - 1.2; T3 - 92; Thyroglobulin antibody - <20; Thyroid Peroxidase antibody - 411.

What do you make of the significantly elevated peroxidase antibody when everything else is normal? Thank you

Answer:

The normal thyroid tests tell us that your hair loss is not due to thyroid disease. About 10% of normal adults have high amounts of antithyroid peroxidase antibodies in their blood. Their presence in your blood means that you are a little more likely to develop thyroid disease some day (most likely an underactive thyroid, though possibly an overactive thyroid instead) than a person with negative antibodies.

However, I can't say HOW likely you are to develop thyroid disease, or how LONG it might be before such a disease might develop. The best thing would be for your doctor to check thyroid blood tests any time there is a significant change in how you are feeling.

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Response by:

Thomas A Murphy, MD, FACP, FACE Thomas A Murphy, MD, FACP, FACE
Associate Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University