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What do you guys think of this hair loss?

Discussion in 'The Undiagnosed' started by baldy123, Aug 4, 2015.

  1. baldy123

    baldy123 New Member

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    Hi, everyone. I've been reading these hair loss stories for about 2 months now, trying to find an answer to my own hair loss.

    I'm 26 years old, and started noticing that my hair was thinner probably about 4 months ago. I really can't tell when this actually started, but I would say within the past 6-8 months, as I clearly remember clumps of hair in the shower and thinking - "whatever, just stress. it'll calm down soon." I'm not the type to worry about my appearance at all, so I didn't notice this until it started becoming obvious :)

    I (had) extremely thick hair (enough for like 3 people), so even a lot of hair loss really wasn't a big deal or noticeable to me until recently. I have been in an extremely stressful grad school program (had one of the worst years of my life), gone through a pretty extreme depression this winter, and also started birth control (never previously been on anything) last year...and it was Lo Loestrin. I also stopped taking Loestrin for a month in October due to insurance issues, before going right back on it again (oops...). I also started taking Wellbutrin about 2.5 months ago, knowing very well that it also might contribute to more hair loss (my mental health is more important to me) and also quit the Loestrin within the same couple days after reading all of the connections to hair loss online. AND this winter, my skin went haywire. I had uncontrollable extreme scalp dandruff that looked like it was borderline psoriasis. I'm pretty sure it was stress, because my skin has never been that bad. The men in my family do lose their hair (in their 50s-60s), but no woman in my family is balding (though there is some very minor thinning).

    So...yeah. There's no way to know for sure what caused this, since I have basically every trigger possible in the past year. But I wanted to see if you guys could look at some pictures and give me your opinions on whether this is Androgenetic Alopecia or not. I did go to a doctor and dermatologist. No issues with iron or thyroid. They told me it was TE, but I'm not so sure.
     
    #1 baldy123, Aug 4, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2015
  2. Sakura

    Sakura Established Member

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    Looks like TE to me!
     
  3. NoodleHead

    NoodleHead Established Member

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    The stress and the birth control (Loestrin) definitely seemed to be the trigger for your hair loss. I think it's TE too so it should be temporary. I really hope it isn't Androgenetic Alopecia! Good luck and make sure you get a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals. Especially vitamin D as some women with hair loss have vitamin d deficiency. Please keep us updated :)
     
  4. fleur1979

    fleur1979 Experienced Member

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    I have chronic TE and my temples and sides look the same...

    TE usually does not last for years, so hopefully you will grow it all back
     
  5. maebee

    maebee New Member

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    Hi there!! My temples are like yours too. The only thing that STOPPED my loss is getting all my hormone levels checked. I wasn't on any birth control pills for many years but after finding out I had PCOS I was put on Yaz. This terrified me, because I heard so many bad things about it and BC pills in general. (I am 39 to boot) It worked for me. I am on Yaz and Synthroid because of two active goiters they found on me and my hair loss has stopped at least. No regrowth but at least the fall stopped. Can you go see an Endocrinologist? I was only guessing on what to do with myself for over two years until I saw her. She identified my problem and actually gave me something that worked for me.
     
  6. baldy123

    baldy123 New Member

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    This is somewhat reassuring. It's too bad hair doesn't just grow back overnight!!

    I never thought this would affect me as much as it has and how much value I placed on my hair without even realizing it. I've done a lot of crying, but I think I've passed the denial/anger/bargaining/depression stages and am moving into more acceptance (thank you, Wellbutrin!). I've been telling people that recently I've been losing a whole lot of hair and the first thing they say is, "Oh, no!! But your hair is like the best part about you!" Hah. I'm sure you guys can see the good and bad in telling someone that something they're losing is actually just as important as they thought it was. You can't tell from my pictures, but my hair was exactly like Lorde's...huge. It's a substantial change.

    Just wanted to also say thank you so much to everyone on these forums. I have absolutely no one else who understands what I'm going through. I will keep you guys updated and post more pictures in a few months. Regardless of what this is, progression or improvement, I do not plan on actually doing anything in terms of medical treatments/hormones/rogaine. Would rather shave/cut/style/eventual hairpieces and live it up trying to be happy and stress-free without chaining myself to the problem. I do use Nizoral for dandruff, but that's actually coincidental. Yay for hidden DHT blockers!
     
  7. maebee

    maebee New Member

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    Baldy,
    My heart goes out to you. I understand about what other people say. Many say, oh you look like you have plenty of hair... they don't realize how much you've lost. They don't know how it feels to just run your hand lightly through your hair and get GOBS coming out. Or, when you sweep your floor and get tumbleweed sized hair balls collecting. I have cried so much too. It really helped me feel empowered to know WHAT I am fighting. I would suggest seeing a well regarded Endo. That is what helped me. Be prepared to shell out for some tests, but its worth it when they can find the problem. Hang in there!!! :D hugs
     
  8. baldy123

    baldy123 New Member

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    In response to Labellavita from that other rogue thread:

    Did the dermatologist do a pull test? Or recommend a scalp biopsy?

    No, the derm doctor didn't really take me seriously. He immediately just said, "it's TE" and didn't even explain what the other possibilities could be. The PCP who I saw also told me it was stress.

    I don't know why but it seems dermatologists don't ask for biopsies, so I had to insist on getting one. You may have to do this. It DOES sound like TE. In your last picture it also looks like you have some new growth along your hairline, so that's always good.

    That last picture was strange. It's definitely not new growth there. Just my hair loss seems to be in chunks, so it looks like it's growing in, but really it just fell out around the hair that's there.

    I would have some blood work done if I were you. I've lost 50% of my hair in the last six months, and believe it's from iron deficiency, vitamin D deficiency, and possibly a slight hormonal imbalance. I'm treating all of those now.

    The on again, off again birth control also could have contributed.

    I did get my iron and thyroid checked and both were normal. I've had a vitamin D deficiency in the past, but I actually made a point of taking vitamin D tablets throughout this year, so not much more I can do there. Last thing to really check is hormone levels. I suspect they are normal to perhaps slightly high testosterone. But I've really never had any significant hormonal-related issues. Prior to being on birth control, I had regular periods. Loestrin made me completely stop getting a period. Since I've stopped the pill, my periods have come right back like clockwork. Hopefully I can say the same about my hair in a few months!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Hey! Thanks for your replies! And I'm sorry you're going through this yourself. I think I'm going to ride things out for the next 3 months and see what happens. I'll post again with before and after. If it worsens significantly, I'll go to Endocrinology and see if my hormones are messed up. Either way, I don't plan on going back on birth control/hormones, so knowing the true reason behind my hair loss is purely for peace of mind.
     

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