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Confused About Bcp Used To Treat Androgenetic Alopecia

Discussion in 'AGA Related Blood Work and Doctors' started by Jtilly, Aug 26, 2018.

  1. Jtilly

    Jtilly Member

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    I have spent months and months researching high and low for answers to this one question.
    Why does birth control and bio identical hormone replacement therapy cause hair loss?
    Even bigger question is why do they prescribe birth control such as Yaz and Yasmin for androgenetic alopecia? If one of the side effects listed is “scalp hair loss”??
    I am peri menopause or early menopause, have tried bio identical HRT, I had bad reactions, has now caused telogen effluvium and have now also been diagnosed with androgenetic alopecia.
    Mind you I had thick hair months ago!
    They tell me to take Yaz and spironolactone now. But both of those can cause further hair loss?
    I’ve asked every doctor, every pharmacist, they don’t know.
    They just say that hormonal fluctuations can cause hair loss.
    Um... Well our hormones fluctuate naturally all month long before peri menopause or menopause and people don’t lose their hair... so??
    How can adding something you need cause hair loss?
    Why so many young girls lose their hair at such a young age brought on by birth control?
    Genetics? I don’t buy it.
    An imbalance in hormones such as high testosterone, or low levels of female sex hormones makes more sense to me from all I’ve researched. But then why does taking hormones cause hair loss?
    I feel I’m in a lose, lose situation. I need estrogen and progesterone. If I don’t take it I have so many symptoms including hair loss. If I take it, I’ll have hair loss too!
    I have spent more hours than you can imagine extensively researching different types of BCP.
    Meticulously comparing ingredients and dosages trying to figure out which one to try. Which one makes most sense and has least side effects. I actually have a spreadsheet! I obtained extensive information and print outs from a pharmacist who on her own personal time dug up information for me.
    I have no more room for mistakes to be made as I am losing so much hair as it is already. I have a strong intuition that I NEED estrogen/progesterone to oppose my “normal” testosterone levels that I seem to be sensitive to.
    But I am terrified when I read about so many women who lost hair because of BCP.
    And I cannot for the life of me understand why my dermatologist strongly recommends Yaz, but in the same breath says she doesn’t prescribe it, that it’s up to my OB.
    Well guess what? My OB doesn’t know or care. They say it’s up to me.
    Am I to interpret all of this as they just don’t have the nerve to tell us there is not a damn thing we can do about our hair loss?
    So us poor vulnerable women losing our hair by the buckets are running around willing and ready to try anything, costing us further hair loss?
    All the vitamins, foods, lotions and potions, hormones, countless trips to every different type of doctor that exists and at the end we are just doomed?
    For some of us this happened slowly, for some almost overnight. And everything they tell us is a load of crap?
    So we are left to make a career out of analyzing and studying all these hormones, lotions and potions ourselves? I am POSITIVE in 4 months time I have earned some sort of MD. I am not kidding. I have hyper analyzed hormones, hair loss, nutrition until my eyes are bleeding. I usually know more than the doctors and pharmacists I chat with.
    I just wish with all my heart that I knew if anyone truly has had any luck or success with birth control.
    Though as a logical person I know I am grasping at straws here because those women who have had success surely are not going to even see this post.
    They are off living a hairloss carefree life. So I’m just torturing myself.
    But in the off chance any of you gals have had success, or know someone who has, please share details.
    I have one last hope to turn my hormones around.
    Or maybe I don’t and I’m kidding myself.
    Also, if anyone has anything to share in regard to spironolactone, that would be amazing. I have been prescribed 50mg once a day. I am having acne that I did not have prior to dabbling with HRT. But I keep seeing people say it causes more hair shedding! Then I see people say it stopped their shed??
    And how will spironolactone effect me if I have low estrogen and progesterone, “normal” testosterone levels?
    Thanks to all who read this desperate post!!
     
  2. Lisa Grayford

    Lisa Grayford New Member

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    I am experiencing hair loss from BHRT as well. I have been off the pellets for 5 months now and it still keeps falling out! I am beyond devastated and I have extreme anxiety which Im sure is not helping the situation. I am going to start estrogen patch and maybe eventually testosterone cream. I have tried Spironolactone but it dries up the oil glands in my eyes and aggravated my MGD. So now I am basically screwed and my anxiety i almost debilitating.
     
  3. Jtilly

    Jtilly Member

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    I feel your pain... I was only mildly concerned about my hair in April and having very mild menopause symptoms. In early May the first doctor I saw said I was far too young for menopause. I agreed, but wanted testing done anyways just to be on the safe side. I knew NOTHING about hormones or menopause at the time, other than people get hot flashes. He tested my FSH only. Imagine my shock when he told me days later I was in post menopause! He never tested estradiol or progesterone, in fact he refused to when I asked. He told me I could go somewhere else if I wanted that. He wrote me a script for a “one size fits all” estradiol pill and sent me on my way. He told me that the pill would make my hair thicker so naturally I ran immediately to the pharmacy and popped one of those pills right in the parking lot! That was May 8th. A day I will never forget, because my life and body has never been the same since. I saw one of the side effects listed was “scalp hair loss”, so I was concerned but figured it was probably rare... I contacted countless pharmacists to ask and they confirmed it was rare. For the next 5 days I started experiencing massive fearful type anxiety. I didn’t associate it with the pill at first, I had thought I must be really upset about the early menopause diagnosis, but I really wasn’t because I thought this little pill was the cure so I thought it to be odd to feel crawling out of my skin anxiety
    like that. That isn’t like me. After 5 days I realized it was the pill.
    I found a new OB since the first one refused to do further testing. She tested my estradiol which came back at 89. She gave me Vivelle Dot estradiol patch and Prometrium to take the edge off estradiol. I tried the Prometrium for a few days but made me super exhausted. So I proceeded with patch only for 5 weeks. My symptoms grew and grew. I developed acne the second I started taking estradiol, acne that I did not have before, my night sweats increased, excessive fearful type anxiety increased, heart racing, breast pain, crying everyday which is super unlike me, started having facial swelling very bad, the list goes on and on. After 5 weeks of this, I added Prometrium and gave it a fair shot. This time it helped. But only for a week and half. Then all the symptoms returned with a vengeance first week of July. And then my hair started shedding. Not a lot, just a little at that time. Doctor decided I needed to stop the hormones because of all my symptoms. So I took the patch off July 10th. I thought
    I’d start feeling better immediately. I did not. I went and saw 2 different “hormone specialists” who looked at all my tests and said I was not in menopause, rather I was peri menopause and needed only progesterone. So reluctantly, after extensive research I felt it was safe enough to try. The first 3 nights I had the worst night sweats of my life! But I pushed through because by now my hair was shedding more and more. I was determined to straighten out my hormone imbalance. Ultimately I lasted 7 days on progesterone only.
    I had night sweats the first 3 nights, I was shaky and jittery almost as if it was an high estradiol feeling, I would fall asleep easily but then wide awake 3 hours later only being able to fall back asleep for an hour at a time after 3 hours of sleep, woke up with the worst breath of my life, extreme bad body odor that I have never had all my life! Exhausted every day.
    So... Here I am now, hormones are a mess, hair is shedding more and more each day. I don’t know why.
    I feel my female hormones have bottomed out and that is making matters worse. Because even though my testosterone and dht are normal or low, they are higher in relation to my female hormones. Leaving them unopposed causing a sensitivity to the little bit of testosterone I have. That’s just my theory anyways.
    I’m having menopause symptoms on and off, acne won’t subside.
    I’ve seen 5 OB’s, 2 hormone specialists, 4 dermatologists, an internist.
    All OB’s and hormone specialists are now telling me to go on birth control pill... Since bio identical didn’t work for me.
    One OB at the Mayo Clinic tried to put me on a high androgen birth control! This was after I told her of my hair concerns and acne problems!
    The hormone specialists don’t care which one I go on. In fact they tell me they never even prescribe BCP, but in my case maybe I should just try it.
    The 4th dermatologist I saw wants me on 50mg spironolactone, even though my testosterone levels are actually low, she wants me on rogaine and suggested Yaz for BCP. But also said the BCP choice is up to my OB doctor because she doesn’t specialize in hormones, but that if I do choose BCP, it should be Yaz.
    So... Here I am, left with all these symptoms that have ruined my life within 4 months time, left to research, analyze and agonize over what to do.
    Basically it’s a crap shoot.
    If I do nothing my hormones aren’t going to correct themselves. But if I take BCP I could end up with yet more side effects and even more hair loss.
    I take spironolactone, who knows what will happen!
    I’ve spent a fortune on doctors, supplements, eating gluten free because in the midst of all this madness, I was diagnosed with celiac. I had hoped that was the cause of my hair problems, but it’s not. It didn’t help matters, but it’s not the problem either.
    Other than undiagnosed celiac can cause early menopause.
    So the million dollar question that plays over and over in my head all day everyday, birth control or not? And which one? Spironolactone or not?
    I see so many girls reporting that BCP caused their hair loss. That does not encourage me to go down that path. Sigh...
    I just can’t understand how I had so much hair months ago and now this.
    I’ve never had sensitivity to stress, even high levels of stress. I’ve never had sensitivity to hormones. Never lost an ounce of hair after my babies were born.
    I actually used to shed a lot on a regular basis my whole life because I had so much hair.
    I just really wish I knew if going on hormones has caused this, or going off them has caused this.
    I wish you luck with the patch! I have heard many horror stories about the pellet therapy so I never pursued that avenue.
    Hormones are so tricky!
    Let me know if you find any success.
    I have been tempted to go back on the patch and try again because I wasn’t shedding hair during that time until I added progesterone, but 2 of my dermatologists have insisted Yaz only. I just don’t feel comfortable with synthetic hormones. Some say tho that they have better luck with synthetic than bio identical hormones... Who knows.. The doctors definitely don’t!
    I think we should get refunded our money back when they can’t help us or even worse, make us worse off with all the meds they throw at us!
     
  4. Lisa Grayford

    Lisa Grayford New Member

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    I am considering taking an antidepressant but I’m worried it will make the hair loss worse. I have to do something. My anxiety is overwhelming my life!
     
  5. Jtilly

    Jtilly Member

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    I am in the same boat. I am currently living off of Xanax right now and I hate it, but my anxiety has been completely debilitating. At first it was systemic anxiety caused by the hormones, now it has morphed into both systemic anxiety from my hormones all screwed up to mental anxiety over the hair loss and constantly trying to figure it all out on my own because the doctors don’t know and don’t care. In all the research I’ve done I haven’t found Xanax to cause hair loss so I feel safest taking it, plus I had to take Xanax years ago and it didn’t cause hair loss but I hate that it has come to this.
    I have been seeing a counselor which doesn’t really help but doesn’t hurt either so I go. I got so sick of EVERYONE telling me to get counseling, ESPECIALLY the ding dong doctors. So to humor everyone, I’m going. I am sure at some point they wlll try to push depression meds on me, which I definitely think I probably need at this point. But I am scared to death of those. 16 years ago I had post partum depression and for a year they had me try dozens of depression meds. They all had nasty side effects and I gave up. I eventually started running for therapeutic purposes and I loved it. I can no longer do that anymore since this all started. In April I was running 3 miles every other day, now I can’t even muster up a walk around the block. This has stolen everything I love away from me. Physically and mentally I am broken into pieces. I could have never imagined 4 months ago this is what my life would look like.
    I read another post somewhere on here that someone swore by Zoloft. She said her hair was thicker than ever when using it. And she said that she came across a study that said Zoloft increases your SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin)?
    I have not seen such a study and can’t remember who posted that but if I find her post again I’ll let you know.
    I finally broke down tonight and took 25mg of the spironolactone. I was prescribed 50mg but figure I’ll slowly work up. I know they say it takes 100 to 200mg for hair, but I think it’s best to work up to dosages that high?
    My concern is that my testosterone levels are low to begin with but I think I am sensitive to them so hopefully I don’t have bad reactions to the spironolactone.
    I know I need to get my estradiol and progesterone levels up and use a birth control but I can’t decide which one and I am deathly afraid of BCP.
    I hope you can find something that can help with your anxiety. I know for me mine has been off the charts as well. I can’t relax ever. It’s an awful feeling.
     
    Farrah711 likes this.
  6. Jtilly

    Jtilly Member

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    Hi Lisa,
    The other member on here that posted about Zoloft, the members name is MouseGraft. So maybe you could contact her in regard to the information she has about Zoloft? I don’t personally know anything about it, but found her post to be of interest.
     
  7. tula

    tula Member

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    Similar situation over here! I was on a DIM supplement to balance my hormones and it was going fine until I switched brands. Then after a few months I noticed my hair thinning along my front hairline. I thought for sure it was my recent cancer scare and it was just TE. It didn't even cross my mind that the new brand could do this since it was the same basic ingredients. After a YEAR of hair loss I finally stopped the supplement. Stupid me, boy do I regret letting it go that long. My intense shedding stopped about two weeks after but it has never fully stopped and my hair is slowly getting more and more thin. I had a biopsy done that said it was not TE but the miniaturization I did have was so subtle it may not be Androgenetic Alopecia either. But the Dr saw the words subtle miniaturization and prescribed rogaine. Then I read that chronic low ferritin could cause miniaturization. Mine was only at 17 and I have been a vegetarian for almost 20 years. I went on iron over a year ago and still no change. It is taking forever to raise my levels. I need them checked again, in January they were only at 37. Up only 20 points after more than 6 months on iron.
    I am about to get a new set of blood work done too for my hormones from the gyno. I too have menopause type symptoms. But I still get my periods, though they are very irregular.
    I have started at an acupuncturist to help with my PMS symptoms and anxiety and it has been very helpful. No change with my hair though. I have probably lost 1/4=1/3 f my hair at this point. Mostly on the front and temples. I do have to say that my mom has hair that thinned after a hysterectomy in her 50's. I am in my early 30's and now have less hair than her :( She has no bald spots or major part showing, her hair is just overall thin. My dad has the majority of his hair and he is 63 now.
    This is what makes me completely agree with you! It has to be a fixable hormone imbalance. Doctors just don't know or care enough to help. That's why I turned to alternative medicine with the acupuncture. Fingers crossed.
     
  8. Lisa Grayford

    Lisa Grayford New Member

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    Did you try the Rogaine? I am scared to death of the initial "dred shed". I emotionally cant handle that right now.
     
  9. Jtilly

    Jtilly Member

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    No, I have not tried Rogaine yet as I too am very scared of shedding what little I have right now. I also could not handle that. I’m also fairly confident my scalp will be sensitive to it as I already have a sensitive scalp and sensitive skin.
    I’m just taking spironolactone at 25mg 3 nights ago, will try to work my way up. But wonder what I’m getting myself into with this medication. I’ve read many success stories and then read many horror stories. It scares me to think of what I’m subjecting my body to, especially long term. My testosterone, dht levels are low, but I think I’m sensitive to them, thus causing acne and hair problems?
    I don’t know, but I’m worried about messing with all of it.
    And I still need to figure out how to increase my estradiol and progesterone. So far my body has responded badly to hormones so I just haven’t been able to bring myself to start birth control. Not to mention it lists scalp hair loss as a side effect.
    All this stuff, Rogaine, spironolactone, birth control, just feels like a band-aide fix at very best. Just buying some time. And I wonder if it’s worth the “maybe” bought time?
    It has me in a constant state of anxiety. I’m so tired of thinking about it and worrying about it.
    Especially when months ago this was the furthest thing from my mind. That’s the hardest part for me personally, is that this happened overnight practically.
    Don’t know if or when I will try Rogaine.
    Were you able to find an anxiety medication that makes you feel comfortable? I hope so.
     
  10. Lisa Grayford

    Lisa Grayford New Member

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    I havent tried anything yet. I am taking GABA which is all natural supplement but im not sure how well it will work. My naturopath wants me to start Estrogel to get my Estrogen up. I put it on last night. I am also concerned about it but if notice more shedding I can just stop it. I am also going to try Finasteride 3X a week and Im hoping it will not dry up my eyes like Spironolactone. I think that the stress I have experienced because of this ordeal is why my hair is still shedding. Both hormone drs say my t and e levels are much lower so they are not sure why I am still having hair loss. Its funny...some days the hair loss is normal and others its CRAZY! I want my life back. I want to stop looking at how much hair comes out when I brush my hair after I shower. I want to stop looking at the floor to count the strands. I almost ready to just stop looking because it looks like I cant do much else to stop it.
     
  11. Farrah711

    Farrah711 New Member

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  12. Farrah711

    Farrah711 New Member

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    I would stick with the Spironolactone jtilly because u can always stop taking it.
    I took Zoloft for ten yrs and never lost a hair.
    This week I went to a private place that I paid for a lab to test my hair.
    Felt good after. Results next week.
    Then the derm (waste of time) said Rogaine is the only thing out there. She did schedule me for a scalp biopsy
    Cant get a scalp biopsy till Oct 31.
    Just because after a yr of shedding I have still got a fair amount of hair...nobody takes me seriously except my hairstylist and my daughters. I have not had a shower without crying for a year.
    I am getting B12 and B Complex shots from a private place now. 179 dollars a week.
    My TE. Started after taking "Mybetric. "
    A bladder drug. Been off it for a year.
    Please give the Spironolactone a chance.....and keep us posted.
    I am thinking of you. I feel like my life has changed since this happened. I have hidden away in the house all summer as the depression is affecting my relationship with my whole family.

    Keep us posted
     
  13. Jtilly

    Jtilly Member

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    Thank you.
    I feel the same way. My life has drastically changed since this happened. I have drastically changed since all of this and it has deeply impacted my whole family, it breaks my heart.
    I’m not the happy, outgoing confident person I was just 4 short months ago.
    My youngest son (16 years old) said it’s like the light in the dark is missing and he’s trying to figure out life going forward without that light in the dark.
    That broke my heart.
    My family misses me and I miss me.
    Between my celiac, screwed up hormones from peri menopause and the torment of losing my hair, it has really stolen every part of me.
    I was also isolated all summer long, in house the entire time frantically researching like crazy.
    Chasing after the magic snake oil I guess.
    I wish all I had was TE and could pinpoint the trigger, eliminate it and hope to recover.
    I wish I didn’t have both TE AND androgenetic alopecia.
    Even if I only had androgenetic alopecia, I would not be happy about that, but it would at least be slowly progressive. I could have more time to try treatments and I could have the time to mentally process it and start to try and accept it. I’d be able to work with my hair to try and disguise it some, like with sprays fibers or whatever. Instead I have to be so careful with my hair because it falls or so easily.
    Having the massive sheds from TE is super accelerating the hair loss at rapid pace.
    I can’t bring myself to start rogaine yet because they say it gets worse before better. That you shed a lot for a while. So that really scares me.
    Plus I have sensitive skin, so I’m fairly sure I will be one of those who will have skin irritation or other side effects from it.
    My body is super sensitive to medications.
    If I wasn’t prone to being sensitive, I’d just say screw it and start the rogaine! I’m not afraid of the life long commitment. I brush my teeth everyday, so I see it as no different than any other daily habit.
    My fear is that I’ll be sensitive to it, shed hair and then have to stop.
    Or even if I’m not sensitive to it, shed hair and then what if for me nothing grows back.
    It’s all so daunting...
    Anyways... I hope you find some answers soon!
    Thank you for the encouragement and I will be thinking of you as well!
    Praying for all of us suffering this horrendous journey.
     
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