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CTE? (Pictures Included) Help!

Discussion in 'The Undiagnosed' started by ha2015, Sep 24, 2015.

  1. ha2015

    ha2015 New Member

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    Hello, all -

    After/during two very stressful years, I started losing my hair. By the handful. I have very thick hair, but did lose at least a quarter of it. Maybe even a third. Because my hair is/was so thick, nobody takes me seriously (I've seen two doctors). So far only my hairdresser will listen and confirm that I'm not crazy (bless her soul).

    I think this stress-related shed was exacerbated by two things:
    1. Taking Glucosamine with Chondroitin for about a year after some joint injuries. Chondroitin, which is also in some arthritis medications, is linked to hair loss in dogs, and perhaps also in people.
    2. Taking Plan B once this winter.

    I had bloodwork done. The findings:
    1. Though I am a lifelong vegetarian, my vitamin and mineral levels were all fine. My ferratin levels were smack in the middle of the healthy ranges. Vitamin D was in the high normal ranges.
    2. My estrogen and androgen levels were normal, though my LH levels were very high. The blood was taken during the time I was probably ovulating, so perhaps that's why? I don't know, but I've not read anything anywhere that links high LH to hair loss, only about high androgen levels or low estrogen levels having that impact.
    3. My thyroid is fine. At least according to the bloodwork and urine tests.

    In the past six months or so I've stopped taking any and all supplements and have been forcing myself to relax as much as possible. I've noticed quite a bit of regrowth at my temples (which were previously almost bald), though almost all the new growth is grey. Does anyone have experience with that, with the regrowth being grey?

    What bothers me still is:
    1. I'm still having quite a bit of fall. Now instead of losing the four-inch long fairly unhealthy hairs I had been losing by the bucketful, I'm losing many long strands. Some a foot or more in length.
    2. That spot right at the front and almost center of my hairline seems to be getting worse, even though there is some obvious new growth coming in around it.
    3. I'm still not convinced it's NOT hormone related. I do have high LH, for instance. I also have quite a bit of facial hair for a lady, and heavy periods.

    I'd love to hear advice, and to hear from folks who've had these experiences. I feel very stressed out by this and very alone.

    IMG_20150924_143234.jpg IMG_20150924_143213.jpg IMG_20150924_143206.jpg
     
    #1 ha2015, Sep 24, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2015
  2. Bald eagle 1996

    Bald eagle 1996 Established Member

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    I have read that TE shows more in the temples, My temples have thinned the most and look worse than yours. I don't know if I have TE but based on reading I think its likely. It seems tho I am losing more hair in front. I think you need to have a scalp biopsy to confirm what you have since you have had all the blood work done. I have just started rogaine which is upposed to help with Androgenetic Alopecia (I may have this too, who knows). I have been to 2 derms and neither took me seriously. I too had a lot of lab work but no hormone checks yet, I guess thatll be next step for me or maybe I will give rogaine more time. I know your frustration and pain. Consider Rogaine for now but it will likely initially increase your shedding, at least that's what I have been told. NOt looking for ward to that. Also take biotin if you aren't already and a daily multivitamin too. The derm said 5000 mcg of biotin a day. Be strong and hang in there. YOu are not alone.
     
  3. labellavita1985

    labellavita1985 Experienced Member

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    Hey ha2015.

    I'm not seeing a lot of evidence of hair loss in your pictures, but of course, only you know what your hair was like before and how much of it you have lost/are losing.

    I think in any hair loss situation, the most important thing to determine initially is how much you are shedding. It is said that losing up to 100 hairs a day is "normal." If you are losing more than that you may be undergoing a TE, which is a hair cycle abnormality causing excessive shedding. It happens when more than 10% of the hairs on your head enter the telogen state at one time. I know it's depressing, and I know it's somewhat controversial, but I really do think that actually counting the hairs you are losing throughout the day can be telling.

    What makes things not so clear cut is the fact that people who suffer from Androgenetic Alopecia also often report excessive shedding, even though Androgenetic Alopecia isn't really thought to present as excessive shedding, rather, Androgenetic Alopecia sufferers gradually experience miniaturization of the hair follicles, leading to thinning characterized by reduced diameter as well as density.

    The hairs on your temples, the ones that curl up - do the hairs appear "miniaturized?"

    Often with TE, regrowth occurs with shedding. So someone who has TE will experience simultaneous growth and loss of hair.

    Plan B is highly androgenic, so it could be a factor. When did you notice the shedding, in relation to taking the Plan B?

    As far as the "pattern" of your loss, I've read that thinning right above the center of the forehead, behind the hairline, is sometimes referred to as "menopausal hair loss." I will try to find the source for this and provide a link.

    Sorry I can't be of more help.
     
  4. JenVoy

    JenVoy Established Member

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    Ha- I don't know if you're better now...or if you are still on this forum.

    You mentioned your Ferritin and Vitamin D is normal. What might be "normal" in your physician's eyes may not be normal. The normal, healthy range (according to most hair loss doctors and experts) is 60-70 and maintaining it for longer than 3 months.

    I was practically Vegan before my hair issues. I rarely ate meat. I thought I was being so health conscious. I took an anxiety medication back in early June, and by July a month later my hair was rapidly shedding. I lost 25% in a month! I found out from a holistic doctor that My ferritin was 24, and my Vitamin D was 29. Severely low! My holistic doctor also informed me that my adrenals were severely low at 48. All of this, she told me...could cause hair loss. I had no clue! Almost 3 months later, after eating red meat 1-2 times weekly, (sometimes chicken liver...yuck!) along with my supplements my ferritin has increased to 42 and I'm hoping so has the other deficiencies.

    Please keep this in mind when thinking about hair loss. I've read many women on here have not had luck with increasing ferritin levels, and Vit D. But I've also read many others who have had success. I'm hoping I'm in the latter group.

    If it were me, I'd not try rogaine yet. I was told by a quack dermatologist to use that after this shedding initially started. He basically looked at me like I was insane. I clearly had a lot of hair like you. Not many derms or primary care physicians understand the complexities of hair loss. For some odd reason, holistic doctors seem to know more. I'm grateful they do!
     
  5. pet mom

    pet mom New Member

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