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PCOS Question/menstrual related

Discussion in 'PCOS Community' started by natfan05, May 4, 2011.

  1. natfan05

    natfan05 Established Member

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    Hey all,

    I've been suffering from hair loss quite a bit this past year, but it wasn't till the end of February of this year that I started seeing other concerning problems. I've been having very irregular periods, as in, I haven't stopped my menstruation since the end of February. It's been light spotting pretty much everyday, which gets heavier during my actual menstruation week (but not as heavy as it normally is, still lighter than usual). It hasn't tapered off. In March I went to my gyn and she performed an ultrasound and found a 3.5cm cyst on my left ovary. She said very confidently that it will go away on its own, and she doesn't think its PCOS. She said that if I can, I should put up with the hassle of menstruating until my body's hormones regulate. The funny thing is, my hormone levels were not abnormal according to my derm's blood tests at the end of january. Of course, that's also before I had my current bout of irregular periods. If the "waiting to see what happens" treatment doesn't work, she said she'll put me on progesterone to stop the bleeding. I've also gained some weight, about 6 lbs since middle of last year (seemed unconcerning to my gyn) and have grown a little facial hair on the undersurface of my chin. Definitely have had a lot of hair loss, even before these symptoms so I don't know how that fits into any of this.

    I wanted to:

    a) get your feedback on my problems as it relates to hairloss. Could it be that I'm losing enough blood to require an iron supplement. my ferritin has been normal-low both times I got it checked, but my iron absorption and hemoglobin levels are normal-high. :dunno: and

    b) ask anyone with PCOS if they've had *more* menstruation instead of the lackthereof. I can't really describe it, my cycles are less than normal since I up till recently, have always had a heavy monthly flow...and

    c) Just needed to vent to some ladies that understand what I'm going through. I'm in my first year of a tough grad program and my goodness I can't believe how much my life has changed since starting it. It may even just be this crazy amount of stress that triggered it all, but I most certainly doubt it since no one else is suffering the consequences of stress like I am. WHY MEEEE?!?!
     
  2. SabrinaLouise

    SabrinaLouise Senior Member

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    Sorry you are going through this--I know that some women who are approaching meno go through the intermittent bleeding like you are doing but it sounds like you are too young. My understanding is that most women who have PCOS need more progesterone anyway, so that may be something you want to do, although I wouldn't recommend the synthetic version of it. Natural USP progesterone cream straightened our my cycles when they went wonky for awhile--by wonky I mean late--45 days, 55, days between--when I was 40 and after I got it straightened out, it became a staple of mine and my periods have been regular ever since and I am approaching 44 now. As for the iron, I probably wouldn't hurt to eat more iron rich foods. Brian Simmons of Immortalhair.org recommends dessicated liver tabs over the regular iron supplements. If you think you want to do that, these are the ones he recommends: http://www.iherb.com/Solgar-Desiccated- ... 11320?at=0
     
  3. natfan05

    natfan05 Established Member

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    Thanks SabrinaLouise for your reply. Yup...I'm 24, and man my cycle is irregularly turned on instead of the irregular off. At any rate, I'll look into your advice about the liver supplements, although I'm kind of questioning if I need anything else that increases my appetite. It's unusual as it is that I'm gaining all this weight (it's only six pounds, but I've pretty much remained at 115 all the way from high school on...I could eat a cow and still not gain a pound). What are some ways to get natural progesterone? Thanks again! :)
     
  4. LadyGodiva

    LadyGodiva Guest

    Hi natfan. Sorry to hear about all you're going through. Know that you are not alone in your symptoms, because I started going through the same thing 1.5 years. It all began with the irregular periods - out of nowhere - and weight gain, non-stop bleeding for 8 months, etc. I'm older than you but not old enough to be menopausal, nor does my blood work show perimenopause, so I'm in a similar boat.

    What helped my non-stop bleeding was being put on thyroid meds...very low dose (25mcg). That seemed to regulate my menses, though my TSH was only slightly elevated (3.89) prior to taking the meds and my T3 and T4 were normal, so I wasn't technically hypothyroid. BUT, since I had other hypothyroid symptoms (fatigue, lack of energy, poor sleep pattern, unusual weight gain, etc.)...we decided to give a try. It was miraculous when my cycle became normal again within a couple of months. I thought thyroid meds were the answer to my prayers. BUT...then the massive hair loss began.

    Because the hair loss wouldn't stop, and since it began within 2 months of starting the thyroid meds, I truly believe that's what started my hair loss. I gave it 5 months and then weaned off of it, because I couldn't take the scary hair loss. However, 9 months since I've stopped the medication...I'm still losing a lot of hair. I was also put on birth control pills (Ortho tricyclen) prior to thyroid meds, but that didn't stop the bleeding stop and caused hair loss, too. But once I stopped the BCP, the hair loss stopped immediately. I gave it a month's rest in between meds before I started levothyroxine (thyroid meds).

    My cycles stayed regular for a while after I stopped taking the levothyroxine...but now, 9 months later, it's acting up again. It hasn't gotten as bad as before (continuous spotting/bleeding), BUT...it's now not reliable as far as start/finish cycles, the amount of bleeding, etc.

    I've been to numerous doctors, including 2 PCOS specialists. One said I had PCOS - without testing me at all, which I found strange - and put me on Metformin (hair loss with that, too). Another said it's not PCOS, so I was taken off Metformin. Admittedly, I began to lose weight on Metformin; not a LOT, but like my regular self...a bit at a time (I've never had weight issues prior to this). But the Metformin caused me to lose hair and it changed my hair texture from curly/wavy...to stringy straight and VERY thin in diameter (this is before my current 50% hair loss). Did it keep my cycle regular? I wasn't on it long enough to know for sure, but I think it did. It seemed to keep the one cystic ovary under control, because I get pelvic pain when I'm ovulating...and on Metformin (was on it for 2 months), I didn't seem to have that at all. It was SO GREAT. But, of course, there was the hair loss and I've heard from several doctors that Metformin is really bad for your kidneys, long-term.

    To be honest, no idea whether I have PCOS or not yet...but I imagine I'm having hormonal issues...and it sounds the same for you, though it's difficult to say which hormone is the culprit (could be progestrone, but get tested first before you start self-medicating, because that can cause its own set of problems, BELIEVE ME...I know! :crazy:)

    PCOS is not easy to diagnose in everyone, esp. in those who might be mildly polycystic. You might find more info on soulcysters.net and ask questions from those who have been diagnosed; maybe even ask for referrals to good PCOS specialists in your area.

    I'm sorry you're going through this. It's scary to have one's body be so imbalanced. But keep yourself informed, be your own best advocate and press doctors to find answers (they can be so blah about it most of the time, so BE PERSISTENT!). If you need to...get a 2nd, 3rd, 4th opinion until someone gives you the right diagnosis, go for it!

    I hope you find the answers and treatment you need.

    Good luck! :grouphug:
     

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