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Do I have Alopecia Areata? What do you all think?

Discussion in 'Women's Alopecia Areata' started by Sad In Oregon, Apr 6, 2006.

  1. Since my pic that is shown here I have lost more hair. No bangs anymore and no hair that was on the very front left side, temples and on top. The balding is localized and happened 2 weeks ago very suddently after a VERY stressful incident, not overall shedding. So I thought it was Alopecia Areata becasue of how it happened and how it looks. So I saw 2 derms neither of which was a hair speicalist. The specialist I see next month. The 1st derm said said I did not have Alopecia Areata becasue my test would have showed it but then she never said which test that was and she was also the one who said that a feritin of 16 was fine! Had 2 other tests that were way low or way high but she claims they do not affect hair. What does an ANA test look like on my results so that I can recognzie it? I asked her but never found out. She didn't even do the other iron tests, no hormone tests etc... She did say that TE can lead to Alopecia Areata though... Saw another derm who told me no Alopecia Areata because when she pulled at the short little hairs in the bald spot they did not come out. But SOMEHOW at SOME POINT that hair IS coming out based on how I look. So what does that mean? I do not know. Also she said something about a bulb on the hair strand that Alopecia Areata people have and I do not. It seems like I have a little less on the right side too, not like the left but a little bit of thinning there but that could be the normal thinning you get at the temples and me going nuts. So I wont worry abou that and focus on the left side that just wont stop shedding. ugh. if I continue at this rate I am in trouble, a lot of shed in 2 weeks in that area, noticed it was nickel size, then quarter then half dollar. Any ideas? I am off to get a different iron supplement, one that is time release. I forgot to mention that the naturopath did a total iron test (not a TIBC though or the other one mentioned here) and it was super low too. ugh.

    Any ideas appreicated thanks!
  2. Hi Sad in Oregon,

    ANA test will be simply stated ANA. It will give you your level and then a reference range. If the level is high it will also tell you the pattern that they are making such as nuclear. Having a high level usually indicates some sort of autoimmune disorder such as Alopecia Areata. The pattern the they make helps the Doctor determine which type of disorder a person has.

    As for your picture it's hard to tell but what I do see it doesn't seem to be Alopecia Areata. Alopecia Areata usually is one or more round bald patches on the scalp. You seem to have more of difuse thinning. Hopefully the Specialist you are going to see will give you some better answers. Keep us posted.
  3. Thank U Kimby.

    Hi Kimby, thanks so much for your response. I look at your pic and you look like such a nice sweet person. Love the smile. I know you have probably heard this many times. But you have an adorable face. I do not say that for any other reason other than the fact that it is true. I seriously saw your face and your smile before anything else. I know you are unlucky to have Alopecia Areata, but you are lucky in that you have such a very pretty face. :wink:
  4. Thank you so much!!!! It is only with the support and encouragement of people like you that I have become much more confident in who I really am. You are a wonderful perosn....never let anyone tell you otherwise. If you have other questions feel free to ask and I will do my best to help you any way I can. Smiles!!!
  5. Karen

    Karen Guest

    Hi Sad

    Welcome. I agree with Kim as your hair looks more diffuse than actual patchiness. I hope you find your answers soon.

  6. Joann

    Joann Moderator

    Mar 25, 2005
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    Hi Sad,

    I agree with Kimby and Karen. You do not have the characteristic bald patches that are typical of Alopecia Areata.

    There is also a condition know as diffuse Alopecia Areata. It can be hard to get a diagnosis of diffuse Alopecia Areata and usually a scalp biopsy is done when diffuse Alopecia Areata is suspected to be the cause of hairloss.

    I have copied and pasted a description of the various forms that Alopecia Areata can take. It was written by Dr. Jerry Shapiro a top leading Alopecia Areata specialist in Canada. The last few lines describe diffuse alopecia areata.

    " One can classify alopecia areata based on extent of disease or pattern of hair loss. Alopecia areata usually refers to varying amounts of patchy hair loss to larger areas of little or no hair: this kind of hair loss generally takes place on the scalp, but any hair-bearing surface can be affected. In alopecia totalis, all the scalp hair on the scalp is lost, and the surface of the scalp becomes totally smooth. Alopecia universalis means loss of all hair on the head and body, including eyelashes, eyebrows, underarm hair, and pubic hair. Practical problems of alopecia universalis are 1 ) without eyebrows, perspiration trickles into the eyes 2) without eyelashes, there is little protection from dust and glare 3) without nasal hairs, there is no protection in the nostrils or sinuses from foreign particles in the air. Alopecia areata can also be classified by the pattern of hair loss. Circumscript type means localized patch of hair loss. Reticulated type means that is there is a net-like pattern of hair loss in which irregular areas without hair are interspersed with areas of hair on the scalp. Ophiasis comes from the Greek word serpent. It is a pattern of hair loss that covers the periphery of the scalp like a serpent forming a turban over the edges of the scalp. This type of hair loss is more difficult to treat and this area of the scalp is more sluggish to treatment. Diffuse form of alopecia areata means a form of incomplete hair loss affecting the whole scalp without distinct patches. This type can be difficult to diagnose and may require a biopsy. To help in the diagnosis of any type of alopecia areata, the dermatologist always looks for exclamation point hairs- broken off short hair that taper (get narrower) toward the scalp."

    I hope that the specialist you are seeing will have answers for you. Good luck. Keep in touch. Hugs. Joann
  7. Thank you Joanne and Karen. ALL of you are such amazing women. I respect and admire all of you so much. Kind hearted sweet people are so hard to find. I read the article which was very informative. I will let you all know what I find out when I see derm #3. This one suppose to specialize in hair loss so we shall see...appt a month away. Ugh. Already waited a month. Sigh...

    HUGS to all of you beautiful courageous kind women :)
  8. Spudsy35

    Spudsy35 Guest

    Are we talking about an "Antinuclear Antibody Test"?

    I thought this was for the diagnosis of systemic lupus, sjogrens syndrome, raynauds disease, arthrities etc, NOT for diagnosing Alopecia?

    Sad - it definetly looks like diffuse thinning and not a form of Alopecia, I'd go back to the doctor and explain that it's really upsetting u not knowing what they tested u for, and ask them to sit down and talk u throo the various tests and results, and then u could maybe take some notes and have a wee talk with some people on here and/or do some internet research, that's what I did.

    Try n keep ur chin up, it's hard I know, but thankfully u've found everyone here now to help u on ur way.

    Hugs, Spudsyx
  9. Hi Spudsy,

    You are correct....ANAs are used to determine many different things. All of the conditions you mentioned are autoimmune disorders. Alopecia Areata is also an autoimmune condition. When your ANAs are elevated they also make a pattern. The Docs use the pattern to determine what you have. The pattern they make means different things. I found this out also by doing my own internet research. :)
  10. ScaredSally

    ScaredSally Guest

    Sad your lose in your picture really respembles the loss I have on my temmples I have diffuse Androgenetic Alopecia AND male pattern recession

    I had a biobsy
  11. Spudsy35

    Spudsy35 Guest

    Hi Kimby

    I did some research too, and it didn't say that Alopecia came under the category of an ANA test nor it's findings?! I know Alopecia is autoimmune, but it wasn't listed as a factor with ANA on anything I searched for, I'd be interested in reading anything that u may have found to the contrary.

    Thanks, Spudsy
  12. Gingie

    Gingie Guest

    I know how you feel not knowing what you have. I, too, have been to so many doctors and they say that I have Androgenetic Alopecia BUT I have the following problems:

    loss of 75% eyebrow hairs
    " 50% lashes
    patchy hair loss on legs
    75% pubic hair loss
    60% scalp hair loss on very top of head and 50% over all loss of scalp hair
    frontal above bangs is 80 lost

    So this doesn't really fit typical fit Androgenetic Alopecia, so what is it? (I keep asking them, the drs....) Dr.s tell me thatit is not Areata-I wonder about the diffuse type?

    I had autoimmune tests looking for Alopecia Areata and Lupus and Rheumatiod etc. and nothing showed up.

    Yesterday, my eyebrows burned like someone poured acid on them and I found a decent hole in my brows (at the end nearest my nose) 1/3 of the other end of brows are gone!

    Anyone relate? Kimby, sorry, I know that this is about YOU, but I thought since my situation and frustration was like yours that I would tag on. I am sorry for your situation and totally know your agony-I've been at this for a year now and only hormonal treatment to show for it!

    I hope that you get your answers and faster than I did, well I still don't have many answers, I guess...

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