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Discussion in 'Women's Alopecia Areata' started by Carmen, Jan 26, 2017.

  1. Carmen

    Carmen New Member

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    Hi,

    I just posted an introduction to myself in the thread titled 'my story' or something like that, but I wanted to introduce myself to the Alopecia Areata community as well. I have stress induced Alopecia Areata. I was diagnosed about six years ago. I took a year to get it under control and have been symptom free since, until I woke up this morning and found a decent-sized patch of hair missing by my hairline behind my ear. I'm here because last time I went through this, I did it alone. Even my dermatologist seemed to downplay the disorder saying it wasn't serious. And I get it, in the large scheme of things, a couple patches of missing hair isn't a big deal, but it was the overall implications made it a terrible ordeal for me 1) I felt like I was a weak, failure of a person for allowing stress to get me to the point that my hair began falling out 2) in a culture when so much of beauty is attached to hair, it is embarrassing to be a woman who loses hers. Anyway, I need the support of people who have been through this process and understand the emotional side of it.
     
  2. Deirdre

    Deirdre Senior Member

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    I'm so sorry. My sister in law has had that but eventually her hair all came back. Hair loss is bad enough for men but way worse for women. I cried for about a year after figuring out I was losing mine. Hang in there.
     
  3. sunflower01

    sunflower01 New Member

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    Hi, I also have Alopecia Areata. I was diagnosed about a month ago, and the hair shedding continues. I've lost at least 40% of my hair, mainly on the top crown area. It started off as one patch, but it has spread to three bigger patches that are now merging to the back. I also have many smaller dime patches around the back of my hair, but I have one that has appeared near my temple.

    I went to the dermatologist about two weeks ago and received corticosteroid injections. I am also taking vitamins but I am looking to buy a wig as I feel like at this rate, all my hair may be lost. I have some okay days, but a lot of rougher days. It is hard to stay positive when my hair continues to shed. I am almost certain shock/stress triggered my Alopecia Areata, as I almost got into a car accident and I was the driver a couple of months before my first patch appeared. I am trying to be patient and stay positive, but I feel pretty hopeless.
     
  4. Carmen

    Carmen New Member

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    Thank you!

    Thank you for the welcome! I am staying positive that my hair will come back again like it did last time. The biggest thing is the feeling of failure that I'm still not able to manage stress well enough that this stops happening to me. I don't mean to be negative after you gave me such a warm welcome though. It's comforting to be in a space with other women who understand what I'm going through! Thank you for the support.

    Oh Sunflower, I remember how I felt a couple of years back when I was first diagnosed, so I completely understand what you're going through. It's hard when you try to research Alopecia Areata and learn about different methods people use to try to treat it, but in the back of your mind,you're not sure if anything will work because doctors don't really know what causes this. It's good you're here in a supportive community of people who understand. Feel free to talk to me as much as you'd like; it's hard to bother me, so I promise I won't be annoyed :)

     
  5. sunflower01

    sunflower01 New Member

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    Hi Carmen,

    Thanks for your reply and support, I appreciate it and your original msg also really resonates with me. I also have a mixture of feeling like a failure and/or just embarrassed because of how patchy, thin, and quite frankly gross my hair looks. I have only told a couple of close people, but even then I do not really like to talk about it. On a positive note, I am seeing regrowth and my hair shedding has decreased a lot, so I am hoping things will continue on this trend. Hope you are doing well and staying positive too.
     
  6. Carmen

    Carmen New Member

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    Thanks so much. I feel the same - although I am more open about Alopecia Areata this time around, I still have only told two people that I'm closest to. Everybody else just knows I have an autoimmune disorder that's flared up and is causing me some depression. I am trying to stay positive because I've been through this before, so I know what to expect and what to do in terms of diet, etc, but yesterday I think I noticed the patch getting bigger, so that's frustrating. I'm happy your Alopecia Areata seems to be improving!!
     
  7. sunflower01

    sunflower01 New Member

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    While I am seeing regrowth, my Alopecia Areata is pretty extensive... I got a wig which I will be wearing which I am not looking forward to but something I need to accept. I am hoping once I get use to it, I will be happier overall.

    Sorry to hear that your patch may be growing - I also have experienced that and it hasn't been fun. Based on your experience, can you say how long it took for you to recover? And are you doing any treatments to help or just letting things take it course?
     
  8. Carmen

    Carmen New Member

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    Last time, if I'm remembering correctly, it took about seven months for me to start not only regrowing, but to keep the hair I was regrowing (I had a period where I started to regrow hair and then it fell out again). I was so proud of the little tufts of hair that would stick straight up out of whatever style I was trying out on my hair because for me, it meant recovery. I can't wait to experience that again and for you feel that wonderful feeling too.

    I am doing treatments now - the cortisone shots. TBH because mine is stress-related, the thing that works best for me is to stop stressing. Easier said than done though once you enter a cycle of stressing because you're losing hair :-( Anyway, I still do the shots because my doctor says it may help my hair grow back faster by eliminating the inflammation.

    On my own, I'm also doing things to try to eliminate inflammation like changing to a Gluten-free diet and I've mixed a essential oil blend to press into my scalp daily (I can tell you more about that if you want to know).

    I've also boosted the supplements they say help people with autoimmune disorders like the B-complex and D and fish oil (I've read the omega 3s in this help with depression, so I'm taking that more for mental health than the autoimmune, but I think they may help with both) and zinc which I think just boosts the immune system. I've also just ordered a Magnesium blend to help with stress - apparently when you're stressed your body depletes itself of Magnesium, so re-introducing it can ease stress. If you're interested, I can let you know how that works for me when I receive it and have tried it for at least two weeks.

    What else? I've been looking into seeing a holistic doctor, but until then, I've been speaking with a friend who has done some extensive studying into holistic health and has made some detox recommendations (I learned from her and the research I've done on my own, that a lot of disorders of this nature come from a build up of toxins in our bodies), she strongly recommends castor oil presses on both the patch where I'm losing hair and also over the liver (because the liver is our bodies' filter). Also, she recommends activated charcoal capsules which draw toxin from the digestive system to them and then eliminate them from our bodies. '

    I know that's a long answer to a short question, so in short, I'm doing the cortisone treatments to treat the systems of my disorder and digging a little deeper to see if I can reverse the underlying cause of the disorder. I think the important thing to keep in mind, is that this disorder seems to be very unique to each person, so please don't try to measure your own recovery by how long someone else's took, it will just stress you out further. And remember, you don't have to do everything everyone else is doing as far as treatment either, no one really knows how to treat this, so in my opinion, we're all just giving our individual bodies what we think they need to be healthy and therefore heal.

    I hope you quickly get used to your wig and enjoy it! Maybe you can try styles you wouldn't normally do with your own hair just to have some fun!
     

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