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Not Sure If My Diffuse Hair Loss Is Androgenetic Alopecia Or Te?

Discussion in 'The Undiagnosed' started by jldk, Nov 29, 2018.

  1. jldk

    jldk New Member

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    Hello,
    This is my first time posting although I’ve been reading for awhile.
    So just some background: I have always had average hair, not thick or thin really. Around 2 years ago I went to a stylist who bleached it and cut it really choppy. It looked horrible, and I cried for weeks! I thought then that I would just have to wait a year or so and it would all be grown out.
    Well, about 3 months later it began to shed more than usual. I had my thyroid checked, which was good. It eventually stopped and I didn’t think much of it. It thickened back up and I didn’t worry any more about it. In July of this year, it started shedding a crazy amount (more than before). I did have a crazy amount of stress and anxiety over the last year. I also had a miscarriage and d&c in March. I have gone to 2 dermatologists. The first was in September, she was not at all thorough. Told me I had a mix of TE and Androgenetic Alopecia (because my temples were thin, but they’ve always been a little thin and the high shedding). I went to a different dermatologist in October who did a pull test, asked me about body hair (legs don’t have as much hair as before) and checked out my scalp pretty well (but not magnified). He said he was 99.9% sure it was not Androgenetic Alopecia and was TE. He said if not improved in 6 months he would do a biopsy. My ferritin is 39 and I’m on iron pills. Thyroid is still good.
    In the mean time, I am so stressed about my hair loss, mainly because I don’t know how/ if it is going to progress.
    It is still shedding like crazy. It has definitely gotten thinner over the last few months, my ponytail feels half as big as it was. I do not have any pattern to my hair loss. In fact it seems I’ve lost more in the back/underneath. I am definitely shedding from all over. My part is no wider. I have tons of hairs of all different lengths, which I’m not sure if it’s regrowth or what, but I’m going to add some pictures to this post. I never experienced TE before, even after the birth of my kids. I also don’t have any female hair loss issues in my family. I do have some male hair loss in my brother and 2 cousins, but my parents have full heads of hair and so did their parents. I also have many other cousins who do not have hair loss.
    My main questions are: How common is diffuse Androgenetic Alopecia? How progressive is it? I am 29 so I’m not sure if that is considered early onset, and if so, how bad is it going to get? Will the shedding ever stop? What options are there for covering up diffuse thinning? Can you see miniaturization in new hairs growing?
    I know no one can really answer some of these questions but I just wanted some opinions. Of course I’m still hoping it’s TE. But I’m doubtful. Some of the regrowth looks thin, although I’ve heard it can be thin at first and thicken as it grows. Any opinions on these pictures are appreciated. Thanks so much!
     

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  2. Medstudent2018

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    Looks like te, just periodically check your blood iron level and make sure to update us on your progress:)
     
  3. jldk

    jldk New Member

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    Thank you. I will definitely do that. Is it typical for shedding to last longer than the 6 months all the articles online say? I’m in month 5 and it’s not really getting better. I feel like I’m going to go bald!
     
  4. Medstudent2018

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    Ive been shedding for almost 6 years so..totally normal in the case of chronic te.
     
  5. jldk

    jldk New Member

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    Has your density gotten worse the whole 6 years? My ponytail has gotten so much thinner in the last few months that I feel like I’ll be bald if it keeps it up much longer.
     
  6. grace90

    grace90 Member

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    Looks like TE to me. It doesn't look bad though!

    I'm in the beginning of my TE recovery, and month 5 is when it started to fluctuate for me. Fingers crossed you follow the same pattern!
     
  7. Medstudent2018

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    Yup, difference of day and night. Ferritin was always low due to heavy periods but hemoglobin normal and 3 years ago it was finally visible and right now its still bad but i see new hair growth with the loss of thin/thick short hairs and thats a positive sign
     
  8. Medstudent2018

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    Yup, difference of day and night. Ferritin was always low due to heavy periods but hemoglobin normal and 3 years ago it was finally visible and right now its still bad but i see new hair growth with the loss of thin/thick short hairs and thats a positive sign
     
  9. jldk

    jldk New Member

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    Thank you... That’s so encouraging because I had a week of lower shedding (30 when washing, probably 30 more while styling and throughout the day) but this week it has been higher again (still not as high as it was). I’m up to about 50 when washing, 20-30 more throughout the day. I think my normal is probably 10 while washing and 10-20 more throughout the day. Did you notice any short thin hairs falling out when your shed started to go down? I have a few throughout the day, some of them thin. But the majority are long hairs. Also, how long have you been in recovery?
     
  10. jldk

    jldk New Member

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    I have lots of new growth but not enough for what I’ve lost! Some of my regrowth does appear thinner than my long hairs, but I’ve heard that may be normal until the hairs get longer. I hope so! I just hope this isn’t the start of Androgenetic Alopecia. If so it would have to have progressed really fast! And I still don’t have a pattern.
     
  11. grace90

    grace90 Member

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    My shedding seems like it was similar to yours - I would lose around 10 or so washing, and then 50 or so when styling/just throughout the day (my normal is legit like 1 hair per washing and then like 10-20 throughout the day). I DEFINITELY noticed short hairs falling out. Especially at the front of my head. My shedding fluctuated for about a month and a half before it went back to (what seems to be) normal. Monitor what your fluctuations are like - mine would be low for a week or so, then pick up for 3-5 days, and then go down again, and then pick up for 2-4 days, etc. Each time it would pick up again, it would be shorter than the previous time.

    I've been in recovery a little over a month! (not counting the fluctuating period) I have lots of short hairs on top of my head, and starting to see slightly more scalp coverage. No difference yet in ponytail circumference or padding on the sides, but I'm hopeful!
     
  12. jldk

    jldk New Member

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    This gives me hope!! I hope I will be like you. Reading some stories on here where people shed for years and still don’t know why is so scary! How much density do you think you lost? I’m thinking I’ve lost 50%!
     
  13. grace90

    grace90 Member

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    I think i've lost about 35-40% of my hair
     
  14. Echristensen010

    Echristensen010 New Member

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    Hi everyone!

    This is encouraging! @jldk, your post sounds similar to my story, but I have yet to be properly diagnosed (going to a derm tomorrow). I had a ton of stress about 2.5 months ago and shed really, really bad in the shower. It was after a month that I really noticed the thinning, especially at the nape of my neck.

    For those of you in recovery, how has managing stress and/or taking vitamins played a roll in natural hair regrowth?
     
  15. jldk

    jldk New Member

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    Hi!
    How many hairs do you think you lose a day? Did the Derm give you any answers today? I sure hope it gets better for us both soon! I feel like mine is so thin at this point I should get extensions.
     

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