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Discussion in 'Women's General Hair Loss Discussions' started by Frustratedandsad, Oct 5, 2016.

  1. Frustratedandsad

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    What kind of loss does this look like?

    I don't know what to make of these pictures I took of my hair. People say they can't see a major loss... I can. I feel that I'm literally losing my hair so fast. Especially at the top. Had seen derm, she diagnosed me with TE after positive pull. It started getting better, and then my dad attempted suicide in July, and ever since I feel I've spiraled down. I've posted before, have many factors that can contribute. IBS (which doesn't allow me to hold food in my body as much as I should or would like), severe anxiety (constantly a nervous wreck, have been since I was a teen), highly sensitive to change/life in general (I think has to do with my anxiety a lot), eating disorder relapse for the past year (which is where I really noticed it... dropped 40 pounds in a little over 2 months) still not eating normally, many cases of stress happening and continuing to happen (lost 9 loved ones/friends in a little over a year, very close with most of them... one including my aunt that really messed me up, a year after losing my aunt (she passed in 2013), my dad had 2 heart attacks, almost losing our home that I grew up in and still live in, losing all of my friends, dealing with multiple family addictions, problems, worrying about them ect, going into a severe depression which I'm still in and have been in, girlfriend problems... many more things), also ferritin is 65 I believe, which needs to be higher... I was put on Spironolactone 100mg a day... but I don't feel it's doing anything, and I don't feel that it had anything to do with my hair loss. I'm having regrowth, but not as fast as loss? Almost like it can't keep up? Losing 200+ hairs in shower/style alone... not to mention the buckets that shed off my head through the day. Have gone through heavy shed periods, lower shed periods, virtually none, just to have it spike back up. All of the hairs that come out have white bulbs at the end, and are all thick and colored. Was told it's just a waiting period of it to grow back... but I get scared. I don't know how back family history with hairloss goes, I'm sure it stops at some point, but my aunt (which is actually my dad's aunt, and his grandmother) both had thinning of their hair, and none of my mom's side except my grandmother just recently started thinning, but it's suspected due to medicine as well (she's 77). I'm just so scared that it's not reverseable, I don't even know where to begin with what to do. I know I had posted yesterday, but I think this post would be better to show. I know people say stress makes it worse, but I can't help but stress about it. I'm only 24 years old and I feel like I need to shave my head soon. I had my hair down to my mid back, and recently cut it to about mid shoulder. Was losing hair all over my scalp, and it made my hair uneven in areas. Since getting rid of the dead ends, ect, I feel it's healither (obviously) but It is thicker at my scalp, as if indicating new growth, and the old dead stuff was weighing it down. I've read that Telogen Effluvium presents as thinning hair on top of the scalp, and also all over (would make sense with my part, and my unevenness). And I also was reading that CTE (which would honestly probably be the smartest bet... considering all of my stuff has been going on for multiple years, and back in 2013 when my aunt passed, I went through a bout of TE I believe, because I remember crying to my mum, and then it went back to normal... but I remember shedding a little in years prior, but never ever had hair loss like this, ever. Which I'm wondering if IBS contributed to) can appear as an Androgenetic Alopecia look alike, but it comes in waves of high and low sheds, ect. I have always had thick hair.. so this all came as a shock. I should also state, at any given time, I can run my hand through my hair extremely gently and take out 5-15 hairs. And that's just in any given moment..

    (Also, my hair is very greasy in these pictures, as I'm constantly manuvering it, because I feel so self concious... my crown is usually not as separated, ect. My hair in general is kind of clumped together more)

    IMG_7778 (1).JPG IMG_7777.JPG IMG_7782.JPG IMG_7784.JPG
     
  2. ElPatoEllington

    ElPatoEllington Established Member

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    Your hair doesn't look too bad to me but it's your hair and if you notice a difference then that's all that matters. It sounds like you have A LOT of potential triggers so I would definitely lean toward a TE/CTE diagnosis. Especially after a pull test and after you describe your strands as thick and pigmented, I would really go with that. I know it's easy to say "you should work on being less stressed!" but trust me I KNOW how hard that can be when you're pulling wads of hair off you head. Have you seen anyone about your mental health? Are you taking any medications for your anxiety? I didn't for a long time but when I finally did it was helpful and until you alleviate the triggers it's going to be hard to recover.
     
  3. Frustratedandsad

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    That's what family and friends say.. and my girlfriend. (Well.. we aren't together... but we are? It's complicated) but she assures me that she will always love me, even if I have one strand of hair on my head. But it's not really as much for everyone else as it is for me.. you know what I mean? Like it hurts me to see thinning and stuff. I'm going to just fake a mindset of it not bothering me, to stop my stress, anxiety and OCD. I see a therapist, HAVE for the past year, but honestly she causes more stress than it's worth. I'm not taking any medication as of yet, I have a fear of meds (which is ironic because I have no problem taking Spironolactone), but I'm going to try some vitamins or natural supplements to fight it for right now. I'm constantly stressed and anxious even when there is nothing to be stressed and anxious or about. I definitely have to get it all under control.
     
  4. ElPatoEllington

    ElPatoEllington Established Member

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    Yeah I agree with you for sure that what matters most is how you feel about it. I ask my husband pretty regularly if he thinks my hair looks different and he always says no, but it seems different to ME and that's all that matters (plus I've basically convinced myself that he'd say no even if it looked awful). I'm not sure that convincing yourself it doesn't bother you will work because it really does bother you and just not talking about it won't help, you know? One thing I found that did help me is journaling. I write all my thoughts and concerns and theories out and just the act of getting it out is so cathartic that I feel a lot better afterwards. And I do agree that sometimes therapists can be more stressful than they're worth (I saw two and didn't really click with either one) but I've heard that sometimes it takes a little work to find a really good one. I used to not want to take anything for my anxiety/ depression either because I was afraid that the medication would just increase my hair loss (a lot have alopecia as a possible side effect) and also because some of the people made me feel like taking a pill is somehow a cop out (sounds weird to say it but that's really how it felt?), like I should just be stronger and talk myself out of feeling anxious and sad all the time. Needless to say that didn't work and after a very long time of struggling, I finally saw a psychiatrist and now I've got prescriptions for both Lorazepam and Escitalopram. It's been very helpful and, even if I do lose my hair, this way I won't lose my sanity. I'm not saying to not try natural supplements and things but don't rule out help if those things don't work ❤️ HUGS!!
     
  5. JayPea

    JayPea New Member

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    Hi Frustratedandsad!

    Do you think IBS could maybe be interfering with your ability to absorb nutrients properly? Your ferretin isn't especially low, but I would get everything else checked as well, especially Vitamin D levels. Honestly your loss doesn't seem to be in any particular pattern, so I would agree that it's most likely TE, perhaps mixed with some nutritional aspects, ESPECIALLY considering your IBS and eating disorder. Get your vitamin levels checked and go from there. Another big thing to have checked is your thyroid if you can- it's a very common cause of loss in women.

    My two cents- I think this is caused by your huge stress factors and your nutritional issues. Really focus on eating better, get all of your vitamin levels checked. I know it's hard to consciously stop stressing but tell yourself this- TE is usually temporary. Any loss you go through should come back!

    To be honest, I cannot tell you have any loss whatsoever except for the third picture you posted, and that's because I was looking for it, and plus it's being pulled flat to accentuate the loss as well. Your hair looks very shiny and healthy.
    :)
     
  6. Frustratedandsad

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    Yeah I understand! I'm just trying to think of everything to get my mind off of it to help me stress about it less. Because the stress is causing it to get so much worse. I'm definitely going to see about taking meds again, because I need to get it under control. Do you find that it really does help even if you're shedding, or losing your hair? I also have OCD and BDD which I feel make me stress that much more, and makes everything amplified ☹️️

    - - - Updated - - -

    Oh yes! Without a doubt I think that the IBS plays a major part in this. As well as the eating disorder, and the stress from all of it. Like I mentioned, I also have OCD and BDD so that like amplifies everything. No, my ferritin isn't that low, but I heard that under 70 isn't good for hair growth. So maybe I need to get it higher, because I know some people are more sensitive to things than others! I'm definitely focusing on getting better, I need to, because it's not worth this. It's making me that much worse with having to worry. It just sucks that physically I'm done with the eating disorder because of this, but mentally I keep telling myself that losing my hair isn't enough to stop. Which is messing with me too! It's a lose lose!

    Thank you both so much for telling me your honest opinions! I get so scared because a lot of people can't see it, but I can. And I'm losing 200+ in showers and drying alone. So that tells something isn't completely right!
     
  7. Trinitytx

    Trinitytx New Member

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    I just want to hug all of you for the anxiety you are feeling. This sux. Today is a bad shed day so far- over 225 for the day at 5pm when yesterday was like 65- wtf?!

    I noticed mine in May and I thought I was slowly recovering this month until today made me feel like square one again. Thanks for letting me vent.
     
  8. patient_flower

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    Oh girl! We're around the same age and have some of the same issues.
    I know it is terribly distressing for me but trust me your hair doesn't look bad! Those little flyaways are regrowth. Take comfort in the fact that it is growing back! My bet is that you'll make a full recovery.

    As for the ibs, I've cut out gluten and dairy (3 years no gluten, 1 month no dairy) and I feel MUCH better! You're right, though, if you can get your ibs under control your body has a better chance of absorbing vitamins.
     

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