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Patchy hair loss all over?

Discussion in 'Women's General Hair Loss Discussions' started by Silvia17, Jul 30, 2016.

  1. Silvia17

    Silvia17 New Member

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    So I'm not new to hair loss.. it first happened to me 5 years ago after an extremely stressful few months when I was 19. I was sure it was TE at the time, just because it followed such a stressful period, with no other reasonable explanation for the sudden loss. It then seemed to level out, and I didn't feel I was continuing to shed excess amounts of hair. Because I thought it was stress related I just tried to put it out of my mind as much as possible. I visited several derms who were not helpful or sympathetic (one telling me that our hair thins as we age.. psh, not like this at 19).
    I went a few years without stressing too much about my hair.. until I took two rounds of accutane. My hair seemed OK after I finished the first course, I was definitely noticing that it was thinner, but I was still able to wear it down and felt I looked fine. Then I took another course of tane last fall until this past spring, (60mg a day- up from the 40mg per day I was on the first time).. this time I was realllyyyy concerned by how thin my hair was in places. I again managed to be dealing with an incredibly insensitive dermatologist.. who didn't listen to my hair loss concerns.. told me at least I can cover it, and assured me that I don't have Androgenetic Alopecia. I did get her to test my ferritin level (which has been low since the first hair loss episode), thyroid hormones, and B12. My ferritin was 10.. everything else normal.

    I had a really bad moment this week where I put my wet hair up in a bun.. and I had a large patch of hair just blatantly missing above the nape of my neck. I was rather shocked to see it so clearly.. as I always thought the hair loss was mostly on the top of my head. Now it really seems to be all over, not fully bald spots.. but just thin and patchy throughout my scalp. I've decided to really focus on increasing my ferritin.. and taking fish oil supplements (despite wanting to stick to my vegetarian diet). I've also had an eating disorder (anorexia, binge eating, and bingeing and purging for 11 years now). Because there are a number of factors that could have contributed and maintained my hair loss, I feel kind of lost as to what I should do.. other than to just try to be healthy.

    I have a derm appt in a few weeks, and I want a scalp biopsy done to just diagnose this once and for all.. but I'm also terrified. I feel like I'll be so hopeless if I do get an Androgenetic Alopecia diagnosis, that I honestly don't know if I would have the strength to keep living. I'm shedding A LOT of hair everyday, I dread washing it and having to find some way to disguise the hair loss everyday. It's emotionally draining.
    Anyway.. here are some pics. Let me know what you think:( hair3.jpg hair6.jpg hair4.jpg hair1.jpg hair2.jpg
     
  2. nitu1

    nitu1 Member

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    bumping for you but it seems like most likely TE again.
     
  3. fleur1979

    fleur1979 Experienced Member

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    My hair exactly. Accept you are beautiful curly blond, I am boring straigth brunette....But the hair loss pattern is equal! I am diagnosed with TE (now chronic form) with biobsies...twice in the past 5 years.
     
  4. Silvia17

    Silvia17 New Member

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    Thanks for the replies- I appreciate it :).
    Nes- I wholeheartedly agree with you... the possibility that my ED is making my hair loss any worse has been a big motivator for me, and I'm almost a month binge/purge free! (something I haven't been able to achieve since the ED started). That's obviously made me feel a lot better, but deep down I don't think the ED was the main cause of my hair loss, or even the low ferritin.... I think those things maybe lowered the threshold for hair loss to occur, but I'm skeptical that those factors, once taken care of, will allow my hair to regrow. I'm pretty convinced that accutane has screwed me over... particularly frustrating because I emphasized how worried I was about hair loss to my derms prior to starting both times. I tried not to read too many online reviews, because I knew I'd get scared away from taking it, and I figured nothing bad would really happen. Wish I had taken the advice of most tane users who regret their decision to take it. My scalp is extremely dry now, and the texture of the new growth is oddly wirey.

    I'm really convinced I have Androgenetic Alopecia, maybe a bout of TE now from accutane... but I really feel quite sure that my hair isn't ever coming back, and that's a hard thing to accept. I've been thinking more and more about just shaving my head and wearing wigs. In some ways that would be a huge relief, to not have to deal with huge clumps of fallen hair and desperately trying to keep your scalp hidden. But then again, I don't want to *have* to wear a wig.. who really does?
     
  5. Silvia17

    Silvia17 New Member

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    I'm with you.. I can't imagine ever being able to get past this if I'm constantly trying new treatments and hoping things will reverse. Of course, I'd love for there to be some simple fix.. but I've mentally prepared myself for the worst case scenario too. I totally agree that just buying a wig and moving on the best we can is likely the best way handle this unfortunate situation. I've tried to explain this to family members, but they all seem to think that cutting off my hair and buying a wig is extreme... I personally think that sounds 1000x's better than watching my hair fall out for the rest of my life and hoping it will come back.
    I think I must have TE now because I'm shedding so much.. but the concentrated loss on my crown that has never grown back since the first time it fell out 5 years ago makes me think it's Androgenetic Alopecia. I'm hoping to get a biopsy done soon to find out..
    Good luck with your appointment!!
     
  6. Frustratedandsad

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    Hello! My hair isn't patchy like this, but I'm in a similar boat. Eating disorder, losing hair, stress, low protein (and I'm assuming ferritin as well, still need to get it tested which I have papers to do!) I'd like to talk to you a little more privately about everything because I know it's difficult to talk about in an open place!
     
  7. Silvia17

    Silvia17 New Member

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    hey frustratedandsad- sorry I'm on my phone and not seeing how to direct message, but feel free to message me if you know how, i'd like to talk too!
     
  8. Frustratedandsad

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    Same! I will hop on my laptop a little later and see if I can message from there
     

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