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Minoxidil And Lllt Journey. Dread Shed

Discussion in 'Tell Your Story' started by Hairmess, Jul 21, 2017.

  1. Hairmess

    Hairmess Member

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    I would trust your gut. There are people here that used rogaine and continued to shed the whole time on it. I did shed for over two months and it was terrible! I know how you are feeling and I thought about wanting to throw in the towel. Are you experiencing any other symptoms like irritation that might lead you to believe you are have a negative reaction?
     
  2. sdp10112

    sdp10112 Member

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    I am on my 7th week of using Rogaine. I was diagnosed with CTE from a scalp biopsy. I am still in the Dread Shed phase. Hoping it will work to restore at least some of what I have lost. I am at the point of wearing a Topper to hide the loss. My hair is very dry and thin. You can see my scalp. Hoping to see some regrowth soon. I am also on Spironolactone. and Propecia. Hoping to see some improvement but so far nothing has worked. Hoping that adding the Rogaine and Propecia will help. Just hoping to get through this increased shedding. Hoping it ends soon. I also take many supplements and am curious how to check if I am absorbing the nutrients as I should.
     
  3. Maasai

    Maasai Member

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    I'm going into my third month on Rogaine and I still have the dread shed. My hair is pretty thin now but it doesn't look it. I think I've been shedding hair from all over instead of just the crown. I'm committed to staying on Rogaine for 6 months and see how it goes.
     
  4. Hairmess

    Hairmess Member

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    Have you tried to figure out what the trigger to your CTE is? A scalp biopsy of CTE is good news at least you know you can recover! Stay positive about your treatment and recovery. I would look into the possible triggers I.e. Stress, nutirient or vitamin deficiency, health issues ... that might be causing your hair loss



    ve you
     
  5. Hairmess

    Hairmess Member

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    When I was using rogaine I shed until about my 9th or 10th week so don't give up yet. Can you tell me more about your scalp biopsy, do you think it was worth it?
     
  6. sdp10112

    sdp10112 Member

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    I've really tried searching for the trigger but just can't figure it out. I am obviously stressed about the hair loss, but have calmed down considerably over the past year since it all started. I was diagnosed by several dermatologists as having fphl and mphl. None of them felt I needed a biopsy. I have been to a ton of Dr.'s to try and help me figure out the trigger. Was put on Thyroid meds, no help. Was put on Spironolactone. 200 mg. a day, no help. Was put on estrogen, no help. My endocrinologist finally referred me to a dermatologist at the Medical center in Houston who is also a pathologist. I walked into the appt. and he immediately did a biopsy. He called me back and told me it was CTE. He suggested starting Rogaine to jump start any regrowth. He also prescribed me 5mg. of Propecia. I am due for my follow up in a month. I have only seen increased shedding since starting the Rogaine and the propecia. I am entering week 8 now. No signs of slowing down. Just exhausted by this whole process. I do think the biopsy was worth it. I will be interested to hear more from him on my return appt. His nurse called me with the diagnosis and the information to add the Rogaine and Propecia. I have a high ferritin level that continues to rise so it isn't an iron deficiency. All blood work seems to come back normal. Low B12 and Low Vit. D at the beginning but have been taking supplements for that. Rheumatologist ruled out any auto immune. Have had kenolog injections in the scalp to try to stop the shedding but not sure if it did anything or not. It's just so distressing to try so many things and nothing have any effect at all. My gynocologist suggested having micronutrient testing, which is not covered by insurance. May be looking into that next. This is also a very expensive disorder to have trying to find out the reasons. Hair loss does not run in my family on either side.
    Hairmess-
    Have you noticed any regrowth from the Rogaine? I am trying to be really patient but it just seems to be getting worse.
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!!
     
  7. sdp10112

    sdp10112 Member

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    Hairmess-
    Would also be interested in if you think the laser helmet is working at all. They have one on groupon today for much cheaper than normal and I was really thinking about giving it a try. I have heard so much conflicting information on if they work or not. Would be interested in your opinion!
    Thanks!
     
  8. Hairmess

    Hairmess Member

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    Hello Sdp,

    I can't say yet if the helmet has helped or not. I honestly wouldn't invest in it if I was you. I will let you know if my opinion changes, I have been using it for almost five months. :)

    It is difficult to tell because I started the helmet the same time I started rogaine, and I shed so much on rogaine that it's hard to discern if I was benefiting from the helmet in and of itself.

    I am sorry you are going through this. A couple things I picked up from what you said. You started thyroid medication, Spironolactone, rogaine and propecia. All of which cause hair shedding when you start and stop! You have put your hormones and hair cycle through a rollercoaster and that may be why you are experiencing prolonged shedding. Right now I wouldn't stop the propecia and rogaine without giving it a fighting chance. Although you may not need either if you can pin point your chronic trigger. Going on and off the Spironolactone and thyroid meds probably caused your shedding to continue.

    Again, CTE is good news!! I know how difficult it can be. Have you considered seeing a holistic doctor? I have heard they go more into depth about your body, hormones, gut healthy and diet. I went and saw one (functional medical doctor). She asked a lot of questions about my diet, sleeping patterns, health, thyroid and order more blood work to be done. I haven't gone for my blood work yet, still deciding if its work more money to spend. I just want to make sure there is nothing going on health wise that will impede my hair from growing back.

    There are myriad of reasons for why women have hair loss/thinning. And lucky for you female pattern hair loss is not one of them! Be patient with your treatment and really look into your diet. I came across a podcast that led me to this youtube video about a women who had hair loss and found her trigger. You said you had a thyroid issue? Thyroid can cause hair thinning. You can actually improve your thyroid through diet, many people have without going on a synthetic hormone. Certain thyroid medication also causes hair loss in a lot of women. It is awful that something you are taking to improve your thyroid and stop hair loss can actually cause it :(

    Check out this video and I would also suggest watching What The Health. A women with thyroid cancer actually reversed it!Sorry if I sound like one of those natural path health people. This is just the journey I am on :)


     
  9. Hairmess

    Hairmess Member

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    update:

    I stopped applying rogaine a month ago after experiencing severe scalp irritation. A few weeks after stopping my shed increased. Not as bad as my dread shed but a noticeable increase from my lowest shed on rogaine. That lasted for a week and since then I have been experiencing the lowest shed I have had since I can remember!! (please don't jinx). I imagine the shed was my hair cycle re-syncing or just trying to figure out life without the minoxidil controlling it.

    I have noticed that some of the baby hairs I grew on rogaine seem more sparse but I am not too concerned with it. All I care about is my shed is low and now if I need to lose those baby hairs to start growing new ones naturally I am all for it!

    Few things I have changed as well:

    Still gluten free now for a couple of months! I honestly think I had some form of leaky gut, my stomach feels great now! No more pains, bloating and constipation. Let all my minerals and vitamins be properly absorbed and go straight to me hair! lol

    I am basically vegan. No dairy, eggs or meat. I only occasionally eat fish when I go out to eat.

    I am Still supplementing with iron. I went a saw a functional medical doctor and she said my ferritin was low in her opinion and she also thought my thyroid TSH levels could be higher. (TSH .87 she would like to see them between 1-2) I think all my healthy eating will get my thyroid to where it needs to be. I am also continuing to supplement with B12, especially since I am no longer eating meat. I don't plan on taking medication for anything unless I absolutely have to. She wants to run more tests, I am still debating whether I want to spend more money at the lab but it might be worth it.

    One issue still.... my scalp is a mess. No flakes, scaling or redness. But EXTREME itching and burning. Rogaine did a NUMBER on my scalp. I can't seem to figure out what to do to remedy the situation. I wash it and within a day the itching and burning is back. I assume I developed some form of allergic reaction/irritant or contact dermatitis and can't seem to get rid of it! Blast you rogaine! lol
    I am using dandruff shampoo, sulfate free shampoo, coconut oil soaks, ACV rinses and even used monistat just in case it is some overgrowth of yeast. Nothing is helping! :(

    Any suggestions would be marvelous!
     
  10. Hairmess

    Hairmess Member

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    SImona, How are you doing? How is the shed?

    I can't really say the number, but I shed a ton those first two months. Non stop hair fall. I couldn't run my hands through my hair without pulling 5-8 hairs. After shower 150-200 on my worst days. 10-15 hairs on my pillow when I would wake up in the morning. It tapered off 2.5 months and by the third month was to a normal range.
     
  11. Simona1986

    Simona1986 Established Member

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    My shedding decreased at a half, but for me it's still high. I think it's a good sign and will decrease more in next weeks. I have 3 months and 22 days in this moment. The regrowth it's visible, my problem it's the hair loss now.
     
  12. sdp10112

    sdp10112 Member

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    Thank you Hairmess for the reply.
    I am entering my 11th week on Rogaine and the shed is still terrible. No signs of regrowth. I did order the igrow helmet and have been using it for about two weeks now. Not sure if that has increased the shed as well.
    I also had a bad burning sensation, but mine was always followed by hair loss in that area. I was told it was due to low estrogen and have since been on the patch. The burning sensation has subsided. Now I am worried about being estrogen dominant. So many questions. One Dr. and my pharmacist also believe I need to be on progesterone, but I am worried about adding another component. I really have no idea what the answer is.

    I am still taking supplements daily, and wonder if they are being absorbed as well. Dr. suggested I do micronutrient testing but Insurance doesn't cover it.

    I am also gluten free. About a year now. I do feel a ton better physically but the hair loss continues for me. I will search for a naturopath soon. Just so much money and time this is costing.
    Thanks for all of your help!
     
  13. Hairmess

    Hairmess Member

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    Sdp, why did you start taking Spironolactone and propecia? Did the doctor find something with your hormones? High level of testosterone or signs of PCOS?

    I understand what you're going through. Are you noticing new hair growth along with the shedding? The only advice I can give you is from what I experienced. I shed for what felt like forever. I noticed new hair growth but to be honest it was nothing close to how much I "dread" shed. I am now starting from square one, but thats okay. I lost a good amount of density from the shed and didn't get the regrowth to make up for it. I lost some of the little hairs I regrew. I know I only gave it a little over four months, but the results were not impressive and the scalp itch/tenderness was driving me crazy. I wish I never started it in the first place without giving myself and my body time to heal.
    I still shed, but its nothing excessive. I think I will always be concerned with shedding after this whole ordeal. I had put my body through so much for so many years; extreme stress, medications, low caloric diet, poor gut health etc. Last year I even started BC for like a week, realized I hated how I felt and stopped (that didn't help with hair issue/shedding lol!)
    Prolonged stress can lead to adrenal fatigue which can cause hair loss/shedding.So many factors from stress to the foods we eat affect our hormones. My hair thinned drastically in four years, the last year being the most extreme as I lost weight and finally ended my terrible relationship. I am focusing on being as healthy as I can be. No more stress, no more medication(adderall, BCP or any other), iron supplementing and focusing on a very healthy diet to help with gut inflammation. For those with CTE it can take years to resolve, which I know sounds terrifying. The same for recovery, I think we all want to see hair growth immediately, and most that recover take a year or two to feel like their hair has improved. I feel like your prolong shedding is because of the medications you started. All of which have a side effect of temporary hair shedding. Hormones are a HUGE factor involved in hair loss in women. Like you, I read about low estrogen and itchy scalp. I have had and itchy scalp before, when this hair loss started and it went away. The rogaine Brought it all back. I am scared to do anything to manipulate my hormones. It is such a precarious balance! I have read about estrogen and progesterone creams, but again too scared to change that delicate balance. I am considering going back to the naturopath and getting the hormones tested, however, I would only use natural methods to improve them so not sure if it's worth it. I have been taking inositol powder and its awesome. You should look into it. It helps women with PCOS as it helps to restore insulin sensitivity. Also great for liver function. Since I've been eating so clean and taking it, my periods are lighter and my PMS symptoms have lessened. I usually have a very heavy, almost 7 day period. Which is probably why I have low ferritin, that and not eating red meat for almost 8 years.

    I have been using Scalpicin to knock out the scalp inflammation and ACV rinse to keep it at bay. I hope this works, it is hydrocortisone so I will only use it for another week and then discontinue. So far it is helping.
     
  14. sdp10112

    sdp10112 Member

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    I have been on the Spironolactone for a little over a year. My first dermatologist prescribed it. she never tested my hormones, just put me on it. She also added Propecia but only at 1 mg. My new dermatologist in the medical center said anything less than 5 mg. does not work on women, so I decided to try it since nothing else was working at all. My shedding was so terrible even before Rogaine. I kept thinking it would slow down or level out but it never did. The problem I am having is NO regrowth. If any, it's not making a difference, my scalp and overall hair shows completely through. I am due to revisit the derm late December, for my 3 month follow up to see if any of this is working. He is the one that did the scalp biopsy.
    I also use inositol. I just have such terrible insomnia with all of this. Also had a 40 pound weight loss, sure it was stress. Steadily gaining some back now that I am on the estrogen.
    The problem is that all Dr.'s have had different approaches, just so many changes. Trying to stay with this for a while and see if it helps. Derm. had me add Rogaine along with increasing the Propecia. I had not been on it prior. I am still trying the helmet, such mixed reviews on that.
    I really think this was all triggered by a hysterectomy. No hormones were given after, but seems like it would have leveled out by now.
    My gyno and internist checked my hormones and my estrogen was non existent. Now I just hope it's not to much and that I am estrogen dominant. The estrogen has definitely helped with my dry skin and burning scalp.
    My internist said he believes my my adrenals have something to do with it. All Dr.'s just seem to treat it in a different way. I am sooooo confused. Not to mention broke.
    I am due for new blood work this week so we shall see. Also wondering if the thyroid meds are even needed.
    Just at the end of my rope. Nothing seems to even slow this down.
    Thanks so much for responding and I really appreciate your input and ideas. It is truly appreciated.
     
  15. Hairmess

    Hairmess Member

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    Sdp,

    I just read up on hysterectomies and I don't know if I would be concerned with being estrogen dominant. I say give your body the estrogen it needs, especially following your procedure. Also, how long ago did you have your surgery? The anesthesia can cause acute telogen effluvium. It happens to a lot of women. Add on low to no estrogen and weight loss that is a hair loss cocktail and could be why you are experiencing CTE. I think you are going to be able to grow your hair back! I am throwing positivity your way! :)

    Are you still doing HRT with estrogen? Have you though about adding progesterone and estrogen creams? I even thought of using them as I have read people had great results, however, I haven't had my hormones tested and I don't have any other symptoms that would suggest they are out of whack. Maybe giving your body some time to recover and continue to do the HRT might help? You shedding is going to slow, its just going to take some time. I read this article, I will try to find it for you, and it was very informative regarding women, hormones and hair loss. Once you get your hormones right maybe that will fix the problem? It might take a full year.
    That is awesome that you stopped eating gluten, I have read that is a huge culprit for many people who did not know they weren't absorbing nutrients. It has helped me, I just hope I start getting some regrowth. I am so impatient, but I am going to give everything I am doing a full year.

    I totally feel for you, you have done so much and seen so many doctors for your hair loss and I know how frustrating and expensive it all can be. There are a lot of women who experience hair loss after a hysterectomy. From the surgery itself and then from the lack of estrogen. How long were you on estrogen?
     
  16. valentinab00

    valentinab00 Established Member

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    It was probably the hysterectomy. Isn't that the only change from when you had hair to now? The surgery changed your hormonal balance.

    Some may disagree with me, but I don't take much stock into estrogen dominance. With progesterone being available over the counter, I think there is financial interest in pushing it. I do believe in hormonal balance. Too many have made estrogen out to the be the bad hormone. I also think American doctors dose too low, just enough to stave off hot flashes and possibly curb osteoporosis, but not enough to put you back to the levels you had prior to surgery, so those "non-vital" organs, such as hair and skin, suffer in women who are pre-disposed.

    I have just started LLLT religiously over the past month, so will post progress, if any. I also take estradiol, Spironolactone, metformin, and rogaine 5%. I do supplement, but don't think they offer any real advantage. It's more out of habit at this point with the supps.
     
  17. sdp10112

    sdp10112 Member

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    I also believe it was the hysterectomy. Kept having major emotions and Dr. just put me on an antidepressant and never checked my hormones. Many Dr.'s since have said that was a bad move on her part. My only concern now is most Dr.'s say you do not need progesterone once you have had a hysterectomy. The other half of my Dr.'s say I definitely need to add it for balance. So confusing. One Dr. said it down regulates to testosterone that is definitely not needed if you have hair loss. I am entering week 12 of Rogaine with severe shedding still. Not sure if I have much more to shed. Wondering if it will ever stop or even help. I am torn on adding the progesterone to the mix. I'm not sure if the LLLT may be causing some additional shedding. I am also on Spironolactone, it never helped at lower mgs. I am not on 200 mg. My pharmacist and internist suggested doing micro nutrient testing but it is not covered my insurance. The hysterectomy was several years ago, struggled with depression, dry skin, lack of libido. So many signs. She just said it was depression and gave me a prescription. I have had several opinions since then and most seem to think to just stick with estrogen while others are adament that I add progesterone. Just afraid of one more drug, and another possible shed. I think this is becoming a losing cause. The Rogaine has been 3 months and the LLLT has been 3 weeks. I think this is the last thing in my arsenal. PRP is so expensive and I haven't read any really good reviews for it.
    Going Gluten free has helped my tremendously with lots of issues, just not the hair.
    Thanks again for the replies.
     
  18. Hairmess

    Hairmess Member

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    I found this and other medical sites recommending you take progesterone along with estrogen for a healthy hormonal balance as well as reduce the risk of breast cancer.

    Also, what are you feeling about the rogaine? Three months and still shedding? I would trust your gut on it, especially if it hasn't slowed. I think if you are still in CTE from your hormonal imbalance then rogaine is only going to exacerbate the situation. Especially if you are not seeing any regrowth. According to the literature, if you aren't seeing results by month four then you might want to discontinue. Maybe after you get you telogen effluvium under control from the hysterectomy/ hormones you could try it again. I'm Not trying to dissuade you from using it I just would check and see if you are getting any benefits.

    Keep me posted! I hope things start to get better!!!
     

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  19. valentinab00

    valentinab00 Established Member

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    At this point it’s hard to pinpoint what is adding to my shed since I’ve tried everything. In recent months it seems to have accelerated, and I don’t know what to attribute it to. The greatest loss occurred (and is still occurring) after having been on and stopping six months of 2.5 mg of finasteride, being in 25 mg of progesterone for those last three months, and ending rogaine after having been on it one year. To top it off (pun intended) I suffered and am still suffering the worse scalp burning.

    My doctor also tried to prescribe antidepressants and anti-neuropathy medications, which i didn’t take. I am not opposed to antidepressants but I needed hormones first.

    I have tried progesterone at different times over the years. I don’t seem to tolerate it and have never been able to take it more than three months, the last of which culminated with the worse shedding. Was it progesterone? My testosterone number did go up while on it. Was the hair loss due to ending rogaine? finasteride? Is Spironolactone contributing to it? Too little estrogen? My estradiol decreased while on progesterone. Is it now thyroid? Or would it have happened anyway?

    On progesterone I gained a ton of weight, was bloated all the time, experienced night sweats, and was generally depressed. The sleep was initially the only thing I liked about it.

    I have done PRP, waste of money; micro-nutrients, nothing; gluten free, helped with bloating.

    I think hair loss is the hardest to recover from if you’re menopausal, especially if it’s hormonal hair loss. Then there are those docs that say it’s all interrelated — hormones, gut, adrenal. Seems that I see so many “unhealthy” women with hair. I might believe the hormones specially, estrogen, maybe progesterone, and thyroid, but the rest haven’t been proven to me.

    Interesting i also haven’t read about women suffering hair loss from too much estrogen, but again it may just be about some arbitrary, individual balance. Or in the end genetics.

    Have you considered thyroid?
     
  20. valentinab00

    valentinab00 Established Member

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    Forgot to tell you that I take / have been taking inositol, and it has done nothing for me. It’s just out of habit that I continue to take it with my protein shakes. I can tell you that if you have too little estrogen, sudden drops, or fluctuations of hormones, you can experience hair loss especially if predisposed.

    I was very skinny before increasing my estrogen. Now I’m like I used to be (and getting bigger!)
     

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