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Almost 31 and rapid diffuse thinning. TE or beginning of Androgenetic Alopecia?!

Discussion in 'Tell Your Story' started by blurrylulu, Oct 24, 2016.

  1. blurrylulu

    blurrylulu New Member

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    IMG_2588.jpg

    Hi Everyone -- I've been a lurker for the past few months, and decided it was time to post. I've been to several doctors, and keep being told that my hair loss is TE due to 'stress'. I'm worried that something more is going on, as doctors seem to not take female hair loss seriously! Here's my timeline:
    May 2016: Lost my job in a rather stressful fashion at the end of May 2016. The hospital where I worked cut my position, and I went though a rather stressful few weeks where the physicians I worked with tried to appeal the decision to no avail. Was unemployed until early September 2016.

    August 2016: Started noticing some diffuse hair thinning... my ponytail felt thinner and smaller. I never really noticed massive shedding, but I've always shed a lot in the shower... my hair has always been thick.

    September 2016: Went to my derm, and she said it's likely TE due to stress of job loss. Ran TSH, Ferritin, Free T4 and CBC.
    Ferritin was 30
    TSH 1.1
    Free T4 0.9
    CBC normal.
    I started taking Iron supplements.

    Went to my primary, and he ran Vitamin D, a Celiac test (my mom has it), ANA, B12 and TIBC. My vitamin D can back low at 24. Celiac was negative, but my ANA came back weak positive with a titer of 80. B12 was normal. He said the ANA means some inflammation/presence of an autoimmune disease. I start taking Vitamin D. Hair thinning/loss continues/ now I'm obsessively aware of the sheds and notice that I'm pretty constantly shedding hairs in the shower. I decide to get a second derm opinion, as I'm noticing a concentrated balding spot on the left side of my hairline.

    Late September 2016: I test positive for a "pull test" at the derm's office. She says TE, but says a job loss isn't enough of a trigger. She thinks it's Hashimoto's, especially due to the positive ANA. I get tested for TPO, Thyroglobulin antibodies, and Anti SSA/SSB (Sjorgen's Syndrome). She also tests T3. All come back normal. She says to wait it out and I see her again at the end of December. Hair loss continues.

    I am currently taking:
    Fish Oil
    Biotin
    B Complex
    Vit D
    Vit C
    L-Lysine
    Iron
    Holy Basil (adrenal support)

    I'm seeing a functional medicine doctor in a few days, but I'm concerned that I should push for a scalp biopsy. I've attached a photo from this morning that shows my worst spot. Could Androgenetic Alopecia or TE affect my hairline like this? My widow's peak has thinned out considerably, and that spot is just so bad.

    Thank you all SO much for any advice -- this board has been such a source of info for me! Hair loss is AWFUL and I'm so scared and stressed over it.
     
  2. tempest3189

    tempest3189 New Member

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    Hey
    I'm on the same boat right now... this thread was posted weeks ago. Did you find out anything since then?
    I don't know when I noticed my hair started thinning this year. I'm afraid I noticed my hair was a little thinner than it used to be as early as late last year. But I didn't notice massive shedding until October of this year.

    I noticed my hair was definitely thinner than it used to be in August, at least. I always had thick, dark hair. I thought....maybe I was just bound to have thinner hair as I turned 30 (I'm 28, almost 29 now).

    But then I noticed strands of hair would always be falling out throughout the day the past two months.... and then the past week, I noticed a handful of hair would be on my brush every day. Amounts that wouldn't normally accumulate on my brush for several weeks beforehand.

    I broke down, crying. I am scared. I have no idea how I can conceal it at work. I'm thinking of getting a hair topper, but I'm afraid my coworkers will notice I'm wearing fake hair now.

    I used to be a cute girl but now I have to be a sick girl, covering something up.

    From what I've read on the Internet, telogen effluvian is considered chronic if it lasts more than 6 months. That's what scares me... I can't tell when it began. I kind of feel like it felt a little thinner even in the first half of 2016...? But now the shed is accelerating? :(:(

    I don't have any bald spots yet and my part is holding up amazingly well, but with the rate of hair loss, I know I only have a few weeks... maybe even days until my part starts noticeably thinning. In fact, just tonight I was looking in the mirror and noticed my part is a little tiny bit wider than before.

    I don't know the cause. I had a stressful first half of the year, being a caregiver for my sick mom. Then I was depressed for most of the year, unemployed, and also had a completely switched sleep cycle where I was sleeping during the day and waking up at 7PM for a few months. I felt exhausted, even though I was unemployed and not doing anything but eating and sleeping.

    I have my job back now but.... I mean was that enough to trigger the hair loss? I don't know? I've had other stressful years and this never happened. WTF.

    I have no idea what's going on. I'm waiting for my health insurance so I can run tests. I'm reaching out and searching for other women going through the same thing.

    I guess I have to buy a topper now... and never jump around and always be afraid when I'm out in public that it's going to fall off, or that people will notice and question it.

    This is not cancer and it's not a horrible disease and yet somehow it's still terrifying. And I feel guilty for being terrified, on top of it all.
     
  3. Fros

    Fros Member

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    Hello ! I am going through the same. I noticed increased hair loss in march 2016 (had some hair loss in November 2015 to February 2016). It's been 9 months now and my hair is 1/3 of what I had. I used to have very thick hair and I cannot deal with the fact that by the time I am 31-32 ( I am 30 now) I might not have hair.

    I went to to a doctor in August and he said that he hadn't seen any hair loss and that my hair was really good. I tried t explain to him that even though he thinks my hair density and volume was good copamred tomwhat I had 6 months prior is was a LOT less. But as you said; doctors don't take females hair loss seriously.

    I went again in a month (because supposedly he is th best where I live) and he said that he noticed some thinning in the front.

    After some tests (bit not scalp biopsy) he told me he things it might be Androgenetic Alopecia. I am going again tomorrow to discuss with him because I want to start rogaine if it's Androgenetic Alopecia in the hopes to save what is left of my hair (last time I went he told me h is against Rogaine at this stage as it is a commitment for a lifetime ).

    In the past 2 weeks I also started using the crescina shampoo and formula in the hopes that it is not AGAand that it's simply a side effect of a stress I went through at my job while I was waiting for a promotion (my diet in th past 2 years has also been abysmal and I gained about 7 kgs).

    I have noticed some decrease in hair loss during the day and when I comp my hair (used to lose around 100-150 per day but now I lose about 20-30 on non wash days and 50-70 on wash days).

    My part is a mess, if a few hairs are out of place you will notice some minor balding areas. The sides are also a mess (especially my left side you can see the receding hairline and the scalp).

    The first time he told me it might be Androgenetic Alopecia I cried for hours. I have been obseeessing over my hair for so long now I feel constantly stressed and tired and have no energy to do anythng else. I find myself looking at other women's hair and trying to compare to mine. It's exhausting !

    Lately though I am trying to relax and let it be. If it's gonna happen there nothing I can do to stop it. I can either prolong it or I even thought that if that time comes I will just shave my hair off and invest in some good wigs.

    I try try not to let this ruin my life. I am not the first nor will I be the last. And we only have one life. My hair shouldn't define me. I have good days and bad days. Days when I wake up and look at my hair and think "I can totally work with this " and days where I want to cry forever.

    I know it's difficult. But I am going through this as well so believe I know how you feel. Just try not to let it take over you because then we will be miserable for the rest of our lives and I really don't want to be miserable.

    Be strong and keep your chin up.

    Look into it and go to various doctors but if it's not something you can fix it don't let it ruin your life.

    And yes it's not cancer but we can't always minimize our problems just because there's always something worse out there. Everybody has a problem and this is ours don't let others make you feel guilty for what you feel !! Don't hide it either.
     
  4. eggplant

    eggplant Established Member

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    Ugh I hate how they all do this! I've had more sympathetic doctors than a lot of other folks on these boards but I still get the "It's not so bad", "I think it's stabilized" (no it hasn't it keeps getting worse), or telling me that there's no way I've lost as much as I say I have. It's like being gaslighted.
     
  5. TinaM1968

    TinaM1968 Established Member

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    Yep, just went through this with my husband (who I think is in denial) clearly see my front and soo much scalp, “ugh I don’t see it, what am I looking at? you look fine” really? It makes me so I have NO ONE to talk to about it all or help it’s so so hard!,
     
  6. idk

    idk Member

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    Hi Tina

    I've been there too. Its very upsetting when people say "oh its not so bad, give it time and you will see it gets better" but I have to say its even worse once those same people are now concerned because they can finally see that its gotten worse and they are now going "have you tried this herb or maybe you just need to stress less or try this supplement".

    A few months ago my shedding was so low and that made me hopeful for recovery even though I wasnt seeing my regrowth. Now my hair loss is so obvious and I am so so so depressed. 6 years of researching and trying all kinds of supplements and lotions and potions. Now I pray for just the return of my hair line and temples. I can live with a thin top and sides, just want the front band of hair back.
     
  7. TinaM1968

    TinaM1968 Established Member

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    Exactly. It’s like I wrote it myself what you said. My goal was always to at least stop it or slow it. It’s hard to do if no one can tell you why it’s happening . I get so down about it. I try and keep upbeat and busy so I don’t think about it but it’s always right there staring back at me.
     

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