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Discussion in 'PCOS Community' started by aries, Apr 11, 2011.

  1. aries

    aries Guest

    PCOS Hair Loss Success Stories: Can PCOS Hair Loss Be Reversed?

    One of the most troubling complications of PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) is loss of hair. The hair on the top of the head may thin, or there may be hair loss in a horseshoe pattern, or there can be total loss of hair from the top of the head. PCOS hair loss mimics male pattern baldness, and for good reason. Both conditions are caused by testosterone.

    Women suffering PCOS hair loss are sometimes able to regain their hair, but there is no one treatment that works for every woman. Here are three possibilities, one of which might be the one that works for you:

    1. Strict avoidance of dietary sugars.

    Rosa had been taking metformin and type 2 diabetes for five years, but she began to loosen up her diet. Her blood sugars were OK, but she started losing her hair. Realizing that not all high blood sugars occur at usual testing times, she resumed her strict low-sugar diet. In about six weeks, she noticed her hair was getting thicker again.

    There is an indirect path between eating too much sugar and losing hair, but it’s one that medical science has well documented. When women eat so much sugar that insulin cannot take it out of the bloodstream, most of the tissues of the body-except the ovaries-protect themselves from absorbing too much sugar by becoming insulin resistant. The ovaries, however, absorb more and more sugar and make more of their hormones, including the testosterone. The testosterone in turn causes hair loss. Sometimes in the earliest stages of PCOS-related hair loss careful diet is enough to stop hair loss and even grow hair back.

    2. Flutamide (Eulexin)

    Samantha had always had a thick head of hair. At 24, however, when she was first diagnosed with PCOS, she started noticing more and more hair in her combs. By age 26 Samantha’s hair was visibly thinning. It took a year to find the right medication, but flutamide (Eulexin) not only stopped Samantha’s hair loss, fine vellous hairs and then darker, longer hairs started growing back.

    Flutamide is a common anti-androgen, a drug that stops the effects of testosterone throughout the body, including the scalp. The downside to treatment with flutamide is that it can cause vaginal dryness and dry skin, and it’s absolutely essential to avoid pregnancy while on the drug. It can prevent the action of testosterone during the development of an unborn child.

    3. Acupuncture

    Gudrun was horrified to find her hair falling out in hands full. She didn’t know what to do, but a friend recommended a Chinese-trained acupuncturist. She was skeptical, but she tried the treatment. Her hair came back, one strong lock at a time. Complete restoration of her lost hair took about two years.

    Sometimes, for reasons that Western medical science can’t understand, acupuncture treatments restore lost hair. Natural health expert Robert Rister, who has interviewed many women who have had the procedure, reports that unlike drugs that seem to bring tiny hairs back first and longer hair back later, acupuncture seems to restore entire locks of hair that come back very fast once the treatment works.
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  2. aries

    aries Guest

    What do you all think? Has anyone with PCOS regained their hair?
  3. vaso

    vaso Established Member

    Sep 4, 2008
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    I've been loosing hair for about 6 years now and was told last year that I have Pcos, even though my bloodwork doesn't show it I have many Pcos like conditions with the hair, acne and messed up cycles.

    Well last year I went on a strict diet with reduced carbs and no sugar and suprisingly my hair stopped shedding, my skin improved and my cycles became much more regular and all this occured in 4 - 6 weeks. I also lost 11 kg.... :)

    Since then i've stopped the diet and I'm on 25mg of Spironolactone which is very low but this amount seems to be helping with all 3 conditions mentioned. It's been close to 9 months now and my hair is much stronger than it use to be I don't think I've regrown any extra hair but what I've got left is much healthier and who knows if I continue to stay on Spironolactone for longer I may get some regrowth.
  4. aries

    aries Guest

    Very good news! Doctors don't know a lot about PCOS and I think I was told Androgenetic Alopecia, but really it's PCOS. I have almost all the signs of PCOS and my hair was a slow gradual loss while on the pill. Since coming off, it has been very rapid. I'm going to try the strict diet.
  5. Kristi

    Kristi Guest

    aries - Thanks for posting this. #1 has been helping me alot along with Metformin. Previously, hair that fell out never seemed to grow back in, but now I can see some new growth on top (from hair that recently fell out).

    vaso - I was also diagnosed with PCOS based on symptoms alone, but my bloodwork (meaning sex hormones) does not show it either. I had been wondering if anyone else was diagnosed without high testerone, etc..showing in their bloodwork. I do have the Insulin Resistance that is associated with it though, and that did show on testing. I am now diabetic as well.

    I have also been wondering about doing a low dose Spironolactone as well to reduce the side effects associated with the higher dosages that most take. Glad to hear you're doing well on it.
  6. Bec

    Bec Guest

    I had come across this article on the net too actually. I wonder how much truth is in it... but am really hoping there is some.
    For me... lately the question of whether a low-carb/low sugar diet can take care of the hair loss problem, has been the million dollar question. It's been a long road, but I have finally truly kicked the carb habit (and it was a pretty bad habit in my case too). I take about half the credit... the other half goes to d-chiro inositol. Kicking the carbs out of my diet was way easier on DCI. It's no effort now, and it's not taking any "willpower" or "deprivation".
    My hip to waist ratio is improving, I have more energy (I'm not 100% in the energy department, but am continuing to improve)... and there are other signs of over all improvement in PCOS symptoms eg. my mood is a lot better, and as a result I have been able to make more sensible decisions about other things in my life. It would be great if all this was followed with actual regrowth. Although, if that really isn't a possibility, I'd be better off knowing now.
    I have an appointment with a dermatologist soon. I don't mean any insult by saying this (as I do have respect for their field)... but I have been blown away by the quote I've been given for the initial appointment... and wonder if I should skip it and try an acupuncturist first instead.
  7. WorriedMom

    WorriedMom Guest

    I am far, far, far from being an expert on anything, but based on some of the things I have read, this article makes sense. Unrefined carbs raise insulin levels which in turn can cause the body to start churning out extra androgens. Adipose tissue houses testosterone. I have lost around 100 pounds with strict low carb dieting prior to having my hormone levels checked. I fell into the so called "normal" range with 41. I asked my doctor if it were possible that my testosterone had been over the normal range all these years and that my weight loss caused it to lower. She said that was entirely possible and that the test didn't measure the testosterone in my adipose tissue (I still have to lose about 30-35 more pounds). If I am wrong, please chime in. I feel really alone with PCOS/PCOD(which is what my doctor wrote on my diagnosis. What is the difference?)
  8. Anibas

    Anibas Guest

    My endocrinologist has diagnosed me with borderline PCOS - some of my testosterone was is the top end of normal and the other androgens were all similarly situated. I don't have any of the regular symptoms, though. Definitely no cysts, cycles are regular and not terribly heavy, acne was an issue when I was younger but easily managed now with a good skincare regimen.

    I don't know. I thought for sure that I had hypothyroidism (I have a disturbingly large number of those symptoms) but she insists that this cannot be the case based on pathology results.

    She wants me to go on Diane.

  9. aries

    aries Guest

    Vaso, You don't take birth control, right? Just diet and Spironolactone?
  10. Jenn32

    Jenn32 Guest

    For those of you with PCOS, do you really have male pattern baldness instead of female pattern, like this article states?
  11. aries

    aries Guest

    My hair started off with a wide central part. That is when I took birth control pills. Now off of the pill, my hair is diffuse all over my entire head. The back top and temples are actually worse now then the center part.
  12. VMmom

    VMmom Guest

    Bec, do you jut take DCI or do you also take Metformin? I have a moderately bad "carb problem". I don't think no carbs is the way to go, really. I mean, I think the Atkins diet for example is too extreme. In theory, I like the ideas behind the low-GI diet because it seems more reasonable. However, I'm not even following that right now. Part of the problem is trying to make the grocery budget work with 5 family members. And part of it is just my own lack of desire to eat more veggies!
  13. vaso

    vaso Established Member

    Sep 4, 2008
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    Yes that is correct. I've been slack with the diet lately and it really has an effect on me, ie more acne, periods not as good....I think for me been on a low carb/low sugar diet is a necessity to keep things in check along with medication.

    I do remeber last year when i was on my diet and I had stuck to it, I felt the best I had in years with mood, energy and alot of my symptoms had improved imensly, it's just a matter of sticking to the diet which I find is a challenge.

    Btw, what is DCI ?, i've heard of it before but not sure what it is or how it can help PCOs symptoms.
  14. Bec

    Bec Guest

    I do also take Metformin, although have been on that for a long time. DCI was a change to my regimen that I made in isolation... so that I could tell whether I was getting any results from it. And I did, very quickly. I got fast results with regards to carbs cravings, energy, and chronic pelvic pain. btw, the latter was quite debilitating for years and is now a non-issue. So far though, hair loss is as much of an issue as it ever was (and it's accompanied by incessant itching, and distressing scalp sensations etc). I'm just shy of two months on DCI. Hair loss aside though, after what DCI has done for me, I will never stop taking it. And hey, a couple of months isn't very long, we'll see what happens.

    I'm not on a specific low-carb diet, like Atkins or South Beach. My diet evolved into a low-carb one, partly because of the loss of cravings on DCI, and partly because of me consciously taking advantage of this change in appetite.... to also cut the carbs that were more habitual than anything, and to introduce other foods etc. My main meals generally consist of lean meat (usually beef, turkey or tuna etc), and non-starchy vegetables. I do check things like carb content, and GI, and make sure they're low. But I'm glad this is working out well, without a specific diet plan. I think the popular low-carb diets are good... but the recipes are a bit much for someone who has very simple tastes, and is only cooking for one. If my portion of protein, and whatever vegetables I'm having, are on my plate... then I'm happy. Most of the time I know if a food is high or low in carbs, and if not I check. I do use the books on low GI and low carb diets, but as a reference guide.

    I don't even have an inkling towards sugary foods now. I haven't had white rice, baked goods, potato etc... in all this time, and it's not an effort. I simply lost interest. I walk past these things in the supermarket, and they just look like things I don't want to eat.

    I feel like I've turned a corner on everything except hair loss... and wish I knew what to expect in that area. I'm probably not really going to try acupuncture at this point (it was just a thought as I did my last post). I really do think I'll have to cancel my derm' appointment though. I think I literally couldn't come up with the payment even if I tried.

    Vaso... DCI = d-chiro inositol
    I get mine from Chiral Balance, and I have been happy with the service as well as the product.
  15. Anibas

    Anibas Guest

    Did it get better on the pill?
  16. VMmom

    VMmom Guest

    Bec, thanks for the info on DCI. I've looked into it before but I wasn't sure how it would interact with Metformin. I take 1000 mg...how much do you take? Are you considering going off Met now that DCI is working so well for you?

    Also where do you get your DCI? Is it only available through "Chiral Balance"? That's the only thing I've seen online, and it's a bit expensive.

    Sorry for all the questions...it would be great not to crave carbs! I don't follow a specific diet, but I eat pretty well. Old fashioned oats with walnuts & dried cranberries for breakfast. I eat whole wheat bread and always a green veggie at lunch and/or dinner. I eat quite a bit of fruit. Potatoes maybe once or twice a week. I don't keep sweets in the house as they would be my downfall.
  17. aries

    aries Guest

    Did it get better on the pill? I never regrew any hair while on the pill. It did keep it to a slow gradual lose though.
  18. Bec

    Bec Guest

    Just making a quick reply here... as I'm going to be without internet access for a couple of weeks, and I'm quickly getting everything done first. (So if anyone asks me anything, I haven't totally disappeared... I'll get back to you as soon as I can).

    I was on 1500mg Metformin before DCI. I actually did stop taking Met for a short while, but in spite of everything good that DCI has done, my somewhat regular cycle stopped when I stopped the Met. Now I'm taking it again, but for now just 1000mg. I started resuming slowly to avoid GI side effects (successfully). Thing is, I take N-Acetyl Cysteine as well, which I started soon after DCI... and I think I might be a little hypoglycemic on the NAC-Met combo. That coupled with all the exercise, new low carb lifestyle, and the fact that I'm taking up a fast paced contact sport... 1000mg might be my limit. I can't afford to be light headed at all. I was on 2000mg of Met for a while a few years ago, and it was fine... but when I resumed a fitness regime I absolutely had to be knocked back to 1500mg (this was all under the direction of my Dr). With a higher level of physical fitness, 2000mg was way too much. I'd become hypoglycemic in the gym, and was afraid of falling while in a moving treadmill, or dropping weights on myself.

    Anyway, it remains to be seen this time around. Some of my lightheadedness might be due to the low-carb diet. Although I did drop back slowly (since this diet more or less evolved, rather than me picking a day and deciding to switch to it).

    There are a few places to get DCI (you could count them on the fingers of one hand though). I do get mine from Chiral Balance. It's true that it's expensive... this isn't unique to Chiral Balance though, it's an expensive item. I'm sticking with Chiral Balance though, as they have discounts for returning customers and coupon codes at times etc, they're very reliable (as them a question and you get a thorough response in no time), the dose standardised... basically everything that you want. Another thing that I get to factor into the cost, is that I found that I don't have to take St John's Wort for depression anymore now that I'm on DCI. So that's one less expense.

    A lot of my changes are quite recent... too recent to know how or if it's all going to relate to hair. I wish I knew.

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