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New with questions about hair loss

Discussion in 'Tell Your Story' started by Arisemysoul, Aug 11, 2011.

  1. Arisemysoul

    Arisemysoul Established Member

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    Hi everyone. I am 44 years old. I have noticed my hair has changed over the past couple of years. It no longer was as thick or had the body it once did. I have always had irregular periods and that also changed at the same time. I started being more regular with very heavy cycles.

    About 6 months ago I noticed more and more hair shedding when I washed my hair and especially when I blow it dry. It also seemed to slow down in growth. I have lost about 35 lbs. over about 5 months and I had a lot of stress during this time also.

    I am finally seeing new hairs now but they are so wispy and frizzy. I have frizzy hairs sticking up all over my head now. My part seems the same but when I look up through the front of my hairline (I don't have bangs) I see my skin and it wasn't like that before.

    I have just started going to a new holistic, integrative doctor. She has me taking an adrenal supplement (Adrenogen) Armour for thyroid, progesterone capsules and will be starting bio-identical progesterone creme last 2 weeks of my cycle, iron supplement, dhea 5 mg per day, vitamin D drops and Vitamin B12 injections. I also take biotin and Evening Primrose Oil. Hair loss is still bad but I am seeing what I think is new hair growth.

    Next week I have a regular checkup with my dermatologists (I see him every six months because of a Basel Cell I had removed a couple of years ago. I will be asking him about my hair also.

    Here are my test scores that the integrative doctor ran.

    Ferritin Serum - 28 (range 13-150)
    Iron Serum - 67 (range 35-155)
    TIBC - 336 (range 250-450)
    Iron Saturation - 20 (range 15-55)

    TSH - 2.180 (range 0.450-4.500)
    T4 Free - 0.89 (range 0.82-1.77)
    Reverse T3 - 216 (range 90-350)
    Triiodothyronine, Free, Serum 2.9 (range 2.0-4.4)
    Thyroid Peroxidase - 10 (range 0-34)
    Antithyroglobulin AB - <20 (range 0-40)

    DHEA - 36.0 (range 60.9 - 337.0)
    Testosterone, Serum - 22 (range 8 - 48)
    Free Testosterone - 0.6 (range 0.0-2.2)

    Tested on day 24 of my cycle which is the luteal phase so I'm posting ranges for that phase for the rest:

    LH - 30.8 (range 1.0 - 11.4)
    FSH - 11.3 (range 1.7 - 7.7)
    Progesterone - 0.5 (range 1.7-27.0)
    SHBG - 37.4 (range 26.1 - 110.0)
    Estradiol - 214.7 (range 43.8-211.0)
    Estrogens - 321 (range 156 - 350)

    Seems like I have a lot of symptoms besides hair loss. I have been very depressed about the hair loss so I wonder if that contributes to my trouble sleeping at night and fatigue during the day.

    In my research on hair loss I came across something interesting. I had a tubal ligation 6 or 7 years ago. There is something called Post Tubal Ligation Syndrome. I have 4 of the top 5 symptoms one of which is hair loss. The theory is the ligation compromises blood flow to the ovaries causing them to not work properly. But maybe I just have Androgenetic Alopecia. Or maybe I am just going through perimenopause although I feel too young to be going through menopause.

    Anyway, hope this wasn't to lengthy and I would appreciate anyone's comments.
     
  2. Arisemysoul

    Arisemysoul Established Member

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    Thanks! My labs were done by Labcorp. A lot of doctors use them.
     
  3. Marsen

    Marsen Guest

    Welcome. If hair loss is after 40, I always assume it´s peri-menopause and hormone-related. But I am no doctor and it´s good to get a check-up to rule out other stuff. Im not sure what the options are, but I´m assuming HRT and diet. I think Rogaine might help too.
     
  4. Arisemysoul

    Arisemysoul Established Member

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    Thanks for your reply Marsen. So if it is hormonal is that different from it being genetic? No one in my family, past and present, have had this problem. I seem to be having so many other problems along with the hair loss that lead me to believe it is hormonal also.
     
  5. Chickadee

    Chickadee Guest

    Given the ranges your lab has provided, I'd say you are definitely in perimenopause: your FSH is moving towards the menopausal range, and your progesterone is consequently low. You may want to ask AN ENDOCRINOLOGIST (not just a holistic practitioner) about bioidentical progesterone cream (pharmaceutical grade) or the pill form of bioidentical progesterone known as Prometrium. These could help with the hair loss. In addition, your ferritin is perhaps a bit low.

    It's also important to note that these results depend on WHEN in your cycle they were taken. Be aware that perimenopausal hormones can fluctuate SEVERELY. So, your estrogen may be perfectly robust in week three of your cycle, but may be crashing during your period. (This can put stress on your thyroid -- as can low progesterone.) My endocrinologist believes that perimenopausal women are better off being diagnosed principally on the basis of their symptoms and only secondarily on the basis of their lab results.

    Insomnia and depression can be caused by either low progesterone, low estrogen, thyroid difficulties, are all of the aforementioned. Fatigue can also be caused by low DHEA, which you also apparently have. If your cortisol is raised, and your DHEA is low, this signals the beginning of adrenal fatigue. (High cortisol can also cause hair loss.) Bioidentical progesterone can also help strengthen your adrenal glands.

    As for your question re: whether hormonal hair loss is the same as genetic, I'm afraid there's no clear consensus (good question, though). Some docs and laypeople believe that all hormonal hair loss is fundamentally "genetic." Others believe that there are hormonal conditions, independent of genetics, that cause hair loss. The important thing -- from my perspective at least -- is that "genetic" need not mean "inevitable" OR "hereditary." (Genes can mutate on other bases besides heredity.) In either case, correcting hormonal imbalances (e.g., low estrogen, low progesterone, problems with thyroid hormones, and high androgens) can result in hair regrowth for women.

    I hope things look up for you!
     
  6. Arisemysoul

    Arisemysoul Established Member

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    Thanks for your reply Chickadee. I tested on day 24 of my cycle. However, I didn't start my next cycle until day 38. I read in Dr. John Lee's books if you are irregular, you have to guess when are the last two weeks of your cycle for applying progesterone cream. You basically guess when you will have your next period and count backwards two weeks. So if I did that with that cycle I would have tested on day 14???

    I haven't read that anywhere else. Everyone else seems to say you always count forward starting with the first day of your period. For me this is all new because I use to only have about 3 cycles a year. Yet I never had a problem getting pregnant. The last two years my cycles became more frequent and heavier. I think my hair has been changing these past 2 years but it was very gradual. Not until I started shedding like crazy about 6 months ago did it hit me something was wrong.

    I just don't know. You try and do your own research and figure out if ANYTHING will help. And everyone is so different. I don't see to fit in any one category. So what is a girl to do :(
     

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