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Rapid Androgenetic Alopecia?

Discussion in 'The Undiagnosed' started by Eddadde, Oct 11, 2015.

  1. Eddadde

    Eddadde Member

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    Hi, everyone. It was just about a month ago that I started to think, "my ponytail feels smaller." This was also while I was trying to grow my bangs out so my part was becoming more apparent to me. Since then I've become completely obsessed with my hair, which I'm sure you all understand. I have no idea what is going on. My mom has some thinning hair but mine looks worse than hers, 30 years earlier. I've gotten so frustrated reading the same articles over and over again and getting nowhere with doctors. I was hoping you all might be able to weigh in and/or recommend some test I should do.

    1. I'm 29 years old, normal periods, but heavy bleeding because of my copper IUD. Haven't been on hormonal birth control since 2010. Not a lot of acne either after doing Accutane 3 years ago.

    2. Blood work reports no thyroid issues, no iron deficiency, but I have been vitamin d deficient for at least a year (got blood work last fall and then stopped taking the supplements, new blood work reveals still deficient).

    3. Mostly vegetarian, gluten free, dairy free diet which is newer for me so I haven't ruled that out as a factor, but this is the healthiest I've been eating in years truthfully. Still lots of sugar though. And cigarettes.

    4. Over the summer I noticed my hair seemed dry and brittle, so I made extra effort to use conditioner. Then I forgot about it. Also over the summer I noticed what felt like more hair than usual coming out in the shower, but sill within the normal range of 100 hairs per day. Definitely coming out three or four strands at a time rather than the usual six or seven strands total. Overall, though, the increase in shedding has not been marked.

    5. Once I realized what was going on I went back and looked at pictures from the past year. There was definitely a "hole" on the top of my head and on the left temple last fall, however, this new change where I can see my scalp when I pull my hair back is totally new. I think it's been gradual, for sure, but it also seems sudden?

    4. It's been a very stressful year (two years for that matter) I left a job and partner I didn't love anymore (after eight years) last fall and moved to a new state to start graduate school. I got into a new relationship with a person who is in recovery and basically received PTSD (just self diagnosing here) from dealing with his relapses. Also, last fall I was very sick from all the stress: panic attacks, anxiety off the charts, problems with my gut, completely consumed with worry and not eating to the point where my pants didn't fit anymore. I gained the weight back and got my anxiety under control, or so I thought, and then I noticed my hair.

    Thank you all so much for reading all of that. I know it was a lot! I appreciate any and all advice. I'd like to upload some pictures but can't figure out how and I'm on my phone. Thank you again!
     
  2. LRHG

    LRHG Member

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    Hi Eddadde, Welcome to the forum. Reading your story makes me wonder if your loss isn't caused by nutritional deficiencies. There is a program you can use called cron-o-meter. You enter the foods you eat and it will tell you which deficiencies, if any, you have. Your case is similar to mine in that I was also eating very little and our hair loss patterns are the same.
    One other thing - you say your iron is normal. Did you get the ferritin number ? Doctors will often say it's normal but many have reported hair loss with "normal" ferritin numbers. I don't have a copper IUD but was reading about them a few months back and many were reporting hair loss as well as other symptoms. http://community.babycenter.com/post/a37898575/paragardhair_loss
     
  3. Eddadde

    Eddadde Member

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    Thank you for your response, LRHG. Nutritional deficiencies is definitely something I'm considering, though it would really surprise me because I'm eating healthier than I've ever eaten before! Also, I'm actually eating with regularity for the first time since I was a teenager. But it seems like my hair loss has sped up so quickly. I know I'm predisposed to hair loss on my mother's side but what's happening to me is so much faster than what happened to her. It seems crazy. Do you know how they test for that?

    I got my ferritin checked but they didn't give me the number. Just said, "normal." A year ago my doctor gave me my number and it was 15. That's the very lowest end of normal, if I'm not mistaken.

    I looked up copper toxicity and the foods that you should avoid if you have it are basically my entire diet of soy, leafy greens, and coffee (noooooo). It's definitely worth considering. I've had the IUD in for 5 years.

    I'm going to my holistic doctor in a few weeks. My pattern is very much Androgenetic Alopecia - loss is at the part and temples and diffuse thinning mostly at the top of the head. Do you or anyone else know if you can have Androgenetic Alopecia pattern but not have Androgenetic Alopecia? Or is it possible to speed up Androgenetic Alopecia? I know I'm just grasping at straws.

    Thanks again for your response. This forum is a lifesaver because I feel incredibly alone and I'm ruminating on what my future will be like with no hair in such a compulsive way I'm probably causing myself more hair loss.
     
  4. Eddadde

    Eddadde Member

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    Thank you for your response, LRHG. Nutritional deficiencies is definitely something I'm considering, though it would really surprise me because I'm eating healthier than I've ever eaten before! Also, I'm actually eating with regularity for the first time since I was a teenager. But it seems like my hair loss has sped up so quickly. I know I'm predisposed to hair loss on my mother's side but what's happening to me is so much faster than what happened to her. It seems crazy. Do you know how they test for that?

    I got my ferritin checked but they didn't give me the number. Just said, "normal." A year ago my doctor gave me my number and it was 15. That's the very lowest end of normal, if I'm not mistaken.

    I looked up copper toxicity and the foods that you should avoid if you have it are basically my entire diet of soy, leafy greens, and coffee (noooooo). It's definitely worth considering. I've had the IUD in for 5 years.

    I'm going to my holistic doctor in a few weeks. My pattern is very much Androgenetic Alopecia - loss is at the part and temples and diffuse thinning mostly at the top of the head. Do you or anyone else know if you can have Androgenetic Alopecia pattern but not have Androgenetic Alopecia? Or is it possible to speed up Androgenetic Alopecia? I know I'm just grasping at straws.

    Thanks again for your response. This forum is a lifesaver because I feel incredibly alone and I'm ruminating on what my future will be like with no hair in such a compulsive way I'm probably causing myself more hair loss.
     
  5. LRHG

    LRHG Member

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    Looking at your pictures you hair looks very much like mine. Mine I'm almost certain is due to nutritional deficiencies. You mentioned vitamin D and low ferritin (15 is quite low). I also wonder about the soy - does it contain phytates ? Foods that contain high phytates can be a problem because they inhibit the absorption of some minerals such as zinc which is very important for hair.

    Regarding the Androgenetic Alopecia I read a good article.http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/810613_5. If I'm reading it correctly it appears the temples and sides are not indicative of Androgenetic Alopecia but rather the top of the head.

    I really think you have a excellent chance of a full recovery.
     
  6. Eddadde

    Eddadde Member

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    Thank you both. I'd really like to be able to hear your hopeful words tonight and believe I will make a full recovery, but I'm feeling quite hopeless at the moment. Taking a shower is the worst. It's not even that much hair coming out, I'm well within what is said to be the normal, but somehow the amount of scalp you can see has just been growing and growing with no end in sight. And I was so angry today at all the women I saw who weren't struggling with this. So unfair.
     
  7. LRHG

    LRHG Member

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    I know it's hard to be hopeful when it's still falling out. But a few things really jumped out in your case. Like Sarah said your ferritin and D are low (the 15 is really low). And I've seen many cases with low ferritin and/or vitamin D that recovered. I would look at the soy too and see if it's interfering with mineral absorption - I've also seen cases where zinc was the issue. You can do a zinc tally test for the zinc.
    Are you seeing regrowth ? I really do think you can recover but you have a few things to sort out. Here are a couple of hair loss/recovery stories that might cheer you up a bit: http://www.heralopecia.com/interact...-temples-indicate-Androgenetic Alopecia/page2
    https://forum.womenshairlossproject.com/threads/after-years-of-thinning-hair-is-growing-back.3491/
     
  8. Eddadde

    Eddadde Member

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    Thanks, LRHG. I was not in a good place last night but reading those links was helpful. Also, it reminded me to stop reading horror stories all the time...

    Anyway, if I become obsessed with my hair it's not going to matter if I have hair or not because I'm going to be totally miserable to be around!

    Thank you.
     
  9. LRHG

    LRHG Member

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    I know, I know. I just keep reading those stories whenever I think there's no hope or when my thoughts get away on me. I especially like reading that the thin hairs were growing back in thicker. That is very good to see.
     

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