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Looking For Advice (photo Attached)

Discussion in 'The Undiagnosed' started by AnxiousAnnie, Oct 6, 2018.

  1. AnxiousAnnie

    AnxiousAnnie New Member

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    C19D740D-7AA9-4AEF-8B1F-5C07319F071E.jpeg
    I have always had very fine, thin hair, and I’ve noticed it thinning a bit over the past year or so (I’m 38). My hair is naturally curly so the curls have helped me disguise it a bit. But over the past couple of months I’ve been losing hair by the truckload and my scalp is visible in lots of places. The curls accentuate the problem now as they clump what hair I do have together.

    The worst spot is at the front of my scalp, just behind the hairline. I’ve attached a photo with my hair wet to show how thin it is.

    I’m awaiting the results of blood tests to check my iron level, but in the meantime I’ve been frantically googling (I know that’s unhelpful) and am wondering if it fits the pattern of Androgenic Alopecia rather than telogen effluvium, which is what my GP seems to think it is. I would be so grateful for anyone’s advice!
     
    #1 AnxiousAnnie, Oct 6, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2018
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  2. Sunshine85

    Sunshine85 Member

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    First I just want to say sorry you are going through this! This hair loss stuff is no joke and really plays with our emotions.

    To me, it does like like Androgenetic Alopecia, because of the front. If you part to he side are you able to cover it a bit?

    Sorry this isn’t probably wjaylu want to hear.
     
  3. AnxiousAnnie

    AnxiousAnnie New Member

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    Thanks Sunshine85. It’s not what I wanted to hear, but equally that’s what I’ve been increasingly wondering. My hair is notmally parted at the side (I switched it for the photo) so it is less visible, but I have lost so much hair now that it’s getting difficult to conceal. I’m worried about losing more and then being unable to hide it.

    I should get my blood test results back next week. If that all comes back fine then I guess I will have to find a dermatologist. You’re so right about the psychological impact - it’s just hammered my self confidence. And it’s all so sudden; in June it was fine(well, thin but the front part was fine) and now it’s like this.
     
  4. AnxiousAnnie

    AnxiousAnnie New Member

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    142982D4-3BE1-45B7-B0CF-4EE2D3D8C430.jpeg
    I should add that I’ve lost quite a bit at the sides (I’ve always had widows peaks but they’ve got much worse) so there’s not much hair left to sweep across.
     
    #4 AnxiousAnnie, Oct 6, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2018
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  5. tula

    tula Member

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    Annie.
    My sides look similar to yours. My top is more loss right at my hairline and diffuse. I think mine was CTE and is now partially Androgenetic Alopecia also. I can't seem to find a dermatologist who is very helpful though. I have another appointment in a couple weeks with my primary doctor to recheck vitamin levels and ferritin as a last ditch effort. My ferritin started at 17, so pretty low. It is taking forever to go up. It took 9 months to raise it by 20 points. I think I will add extra vitamin D in also since I live in the midwest, I just read that it can be helpful to regrow hair when it is a little higher.
    Sorry you are going through this. It is such a struggle. Especially at our younger ages :(
     
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  6. Gina

    Gina Member

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  7. Gina

    Gina Member

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    Hi Annie, are you getting exposed to cleaners,spray like Windex ECT.? Or are you stressed.I don't need a doctor to tell me it's stress,at least for me.Medical marijuana has helped my nerves and hair is growing back... something to look into ...you are not alone in this.We are all here to help and we all understand what you are going through.I try to be happy...this situation has taught me to just be happy ,being miserable just makes it worse.Take care show the world your beautiful smile and forgive the shallow society we love in.
     
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  8. AnxiousAnnie

    AnxiousAnnie New Member

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    Thanks Tula and Gina. The support and empathy means a lot - it feels a very isolating condition doesn’t it, but it’s only when you read into it that you realise how many women (and younger women) it affects. I’m sorry that you are having to cope with it too and finding healthcare professionals not as supportive as they could be.

    I know I need to wait for my blood work to come back, but I am wondering if stress could have played a part (I’m quite an anxious person and have had a stressful year by my standards). I also lost some weight quite quickly in May/June - only 10lbs but perhaps that was enough to trigger it. I suppose I’m just speculating and hoping it’s TE and not Androgenetic Alopecia.
     
  9. Gina

    Gina Member

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    Hi Annie,there is a very interesting story you can read about ,Mojo the hero police dog that worked the Manchester bombing last September,right after the incident he lost his hair,only with rest ,time off and extra protein did it grow back.... interesting story...if I had the extra money ide go to the pound right now and get the bald ,ugly dog no one wants !!! lol
     
  10. AnxiousAnnie

    AnxiousAnnie New Member

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    View attachment 18031 View attachment 18032
    I wanted to come back and post a (hopefully long term) positive update. Since I first posted getting on for 2 months ago, I have been taking ferrous sulfate (2 x 200mg daily) and Vitabiotics Hairfollic .... and I think I’m starting to see regrowth!

    My ferritin levels came back as 25, so low, but still within the NHS’s normal parameter. However my GP said he thought it was worth me trying iron supplements for a few months to see if it made a difference. I’ve been taking them religiously (on an empty stomach, with vitamin c, trying to avoid caffeine 2 hrs either side et ). I don’t know if it’s the iron or the hair supplements, but something is working. It may not be visible in the photo, but there are lots of similar-length hairs growing where the balding patch behind my hairline was. My scalp is also less visible when my hair is dry (it’s wet in the photos), though there’s still a long way to go.

    I know when I first started losing hair I was desperately googling for reassurance that it might just be temporary. Of course it’s going to take much longer than 2 months to see real progress, but I’m feeling more positive, and I hope it’ll give others optimism. FWIW I think my diet may have also contributed - I lost about half a stone quite quickly in May/June time and the timescales check out in terms of when the worst shed started. I’m really paying attention to that now. But the thinning had been happening for a long time.

    I’ll come back and update again in the new year. Thanks to those who offered me support - I really appreciate it and hope that you are seeing progress too.
     
  11. AnxiousAnnie

    AnxiousAnnie New Member

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    Hello again. I thought I’d come back and post an update as it’s about 4 months since I started taking supplements for my hair loss. I’ve been taking Hairfollic (3x tablets daily) and 2 x 200mg of ferrous sulphate. I’ve also been trying to eat more protein. It’s slow progress, but I think you can see a difference? Bear in mind at my hair has always been very fine and thin, so I’m not expecting miracles, but the noticeable balding patch behind my hairline seems to be slowly filling in. My hair is naturally curly, and side parted, so while I have some stupid small wispy ringlets framing my face, it’s not immediately obvious that I’ve lost hair. I have a lot of very fine, short hairs around my central parting, which I hope will grow and thicken a bit.

    I’m afraid I’ve not been very good at visiting this forum to give support to others in between times, but I hope that my experience will give some comfort that there can be light (however faint) at the end of the tunnel. I don’t feel completely out of the woods yet, but I do feel better about it. I’ll come back and post at the 6 month mark in March/April.
     

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    #11 AnxiousAnnie, Feb 1, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2019
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  12. Thinning

    Thinning New Member

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    Really appreciate you making these updates! It was such a hopeful thing to see this morning. Your hair has DEFINITELY filled in on top, a lot!

    My iron and ferritin came back awesome (ferritin 125! -- actually quite high), which was, ironically, super disappointing as iron and weight loss are not the issue. I'm waiting on my vitamin B and zinc levels, still clinging to a bit of a hope that it's that as well as hormones sorting themselves out after birth control/stress. But I'm still haunted by the specter of androgenic alopecia, which it probably is, as I've never had TE type extreme loss; it's always been a steady drip, drip, and also my hair is increasingly shorter (miniaturization).

    But I'm really and genuinely happy for you that iron and nutrition seem to be working for you. I feel sometimes doctors are so dismissive about that being possible, and while nutrition won't cure genetic hair loss, it's ALWAYS worth investigating that possibility, bc in a steady and consistent minority of cases, it IS that.

    Thanks again for the update!
     
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  13. TinaM1968

    TinaM1968 Established Member

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    So lucky!! Good for you! How are the sides filling in? And how it the fro t doing? Is it getting longer?
     
    #13 TinaM1968, Feb 1, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2019
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  14. AnxiousAnnie

    AnxiousAnnie New Member

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    Thanks both - I realise I’m one of the lucky ones, but equally a few short months ago I felt absolutely desperate.

    Thinning, I’m sorry to hear that some of the more obvious causes seem to be ruled out for you, though it’s definitely worth investigating b vitamin deficiency and hormonal causes. Have you checked your vitamin D levels too (mine was normal, but I know that’s a common cause of hair loss)? Sending positive thoughts your way - I know they can be in short supply.

    Tina, I’m not so sure about the sides tbh - they’ve filled in a bit, I think, but it’s not really noticeable and certainly not like the spot behind my hairline. My actual hairline has definitely thickened though - the sparseness was one of the first things I noticed (aside from the shedding), because my side parting concealed the bald spot. As I say above, I’ve always had quite high widows’ peaks, so I’m not sure how much improvement I can expect there.
     
  15. TinaM1968

    TinaM1968 Established Member

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    So happy for hou! Keep us updated
     
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  16. Farrah711

    Farrah711 Member

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    Hi
    I started Euro fer iron tabs (iron must be taken with Vit C.
    Also upped my protein.
    My hair is almost back..I was on Synthetic HRT........I am trying Biodentical HRT.....no real loss on it yet.
    Has anyone NOT lost hair while on BioHRT?
     
  17. sunlit

    sunlit Established Member

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    What great results! You've had really good regrowth in your parting - your photos show a big difference. Very happy for you!
     
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  18. anxiety43

    anxiety43 Member

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    your regrowth is fabulous!! how long apart were these photos taken? i would absolutely consider this a full recovery!
     
  19. TinaM1968

    TinaM1968 Established Member

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    What BHRT are you doing.?
     
  20. AnxiousAnnie

    AnxiousAnnie New Member

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    Early October 2018 and then the end of January, so pretty much 4 full months. I started the iron supplements and Hairfollic in the middle of October. It’s definitely not fully recovered - that central spot is still quite thin and the hairs are obviously short, but yeah, it’s a big difference in a short space of time. I’ve been very fortunate. I need to go back and get my ferritin level tested, but mine was so low I doubt it’s shot up beyond healthy levels. I’m pretty sure it’s the iron that’s made the difference rather than the Hairfollic, but I’ll keep taking both for now.
     

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