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What if we're going in the wrong direction?

Discussion in 'Women's General Hair Loss Discussions' started by LosingHope, Jan 27, 2017.

  1. LosingHope

    LosingHope New Member

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    Becoming a dr of sorts from all the research I'm doing to beat this and I came across a study in which Testosterone (T) was administered to around 300 women. Without going into huge detail, none reported hair loss after the trial and that included some who reported hair loss prior to getting T therapy. The kicker here is that a majority of the women reported increased hair GROWTH on T treatment! Article can be read https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3380548/

    Now what am I thinking from this? In my case, I was on low androgen BCP for years and super thick hair. Went off them and went on 50mg Spironolactone for 2 years - again, super thick hair. Added ortho cyclen and boom - triggered this whole mess. My T levels when hair was good was always around 30. With ortho cyclen and Spironolactone 50mg it is around 3 and hair is bad. Hmmmmmm...

    The only catch to this argument is that when I tried to remedy the situation and stopped the Spironolactone and kept on the ortho cyclen, what went from diffuse all over thinning turned into frontal and top front thinning - which is typical of androgen loss. Now did that happen because it was simply another change in hormones or was it cuz I was protected by the 50 mg Spironolactone?

    I have since quit ortho cyclen and have been told to take 150 mg Spironolactone. Tried to add Yaz at Drs orders and was nearly suicidal and lost even more hair and lots of weight (which I'm already quite skinny). I'm realizing on any estrogen supplementation / BCP that I get very anxious and headachy and just feel extremely tired.

    Wondering: could we be applying the "lower T and raise Estrogen" treatment too far and wide to treat what could potentially be the opposite of what some of us need?

    I had also read that some people that lose hair on Yaz faired better on a progesterone only BCP. This would make sense if they needed additional T to feel better and have their normal hair cycle. Now I am not sure how DHT is impacted by BCP or Spironolactone but I am sure it somehow plays a role.

    I should also note I do suffer from hormonal acne that was only cleared by taking 100 Spironolactone. I also have somewhat hairy arms and a few stray body hairs on chest and navel area but am not PCOS and I have been tested twice.

    Any insight is appreciated - would love a conversation on the topic from anyone who could shed some light.
     
  2. Lily

    Lily Senior Member

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    My only thought is that each person's reaction is different. I started losing hair in perimenopause, continued even when I was on Prempro HRT. I think I have a genetic predisposition - my mom had lovely hair and one of her sisters didn't. Guess which one I took after... I also share a genetic dental defect with this aunt.
     
  3. Chasrogers01

    Chasrogers01 Member

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    Thanks, Losinghope! This is a lot to absorb. I think you make a lot of good points. I think doctors try a one size fits all instead of taking the time to determine what each individual needs. (When it comes to hair loss)

    I also have hormonal acne, slightly hairy arms, slightly extra body hair but no PCOS so far. Maybe a very mild case according to the dr.

    I will say that the only BC I've ever used was Yaz, and it completely destroyed my hair in 1 month. I stopped taking it immediately. My T was on the higher end of normal and Dheas slightly elevated. (Tested before the bc pill)

    I've been afraid to try Spironolactone bc it is similar to Yaz.

    Accutane also destroyed my hair. A few friends took it at the same time, and their hair did not change AT ALL!
     
  4. LosingHope

    LosingHope New Member

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    If it helps at all, I was on Yazmin for 8 years - from 2005-2012 and I started getting breakthrough so dr changed me to ortho tri cyclen and it was fine. Quit OTC and had acne so tried 50 Spironolactone with no BCP and again was fine... wasn't until I added back in ortho cyclen (cuz I wanted 100% acne free skin) that hair started coming out.

    I tolerated the Spironolactone fine and face was decent on 50mg and got even better on 100. I was also so much more calm on just Spironolactone. Seems whenever I add estrogen or estrogen w progesterone, my anxiety and depression gets overwhelming.

    I think for me the combo of both put me over the top. And as I said when I tried both Yaz and Spironolactone last month, I was so sick and it got so bad that people started noticing I looked unwell.. bad anxiety depression hair loss within weeks of starting, sunken eyes and weight loss, boobs shrunk. It was nuts. So now I'm weaning off estrogen (they have me on a patch). Want to get back to my old self and hope the hair follows.

    Let's keep the convo going and thanks for your input so far. If this helps anyone or I'd anyone can advise me, these words are not in vain.

    I've never felt so alone in this world as I do right now. Drs after drs after blood tests and they all shrug off labs and just see I'm losing hair and say "oh you have a lot left". Well it's half of what I had and if it keeps up, I won't have any left. And these are some of the "best" docs in Boston, NY and New England.

    We must do better. We must be our best advocates and demand they look, review and look again. This is killing my life. My job is suffering and so is my relationship. I've never questioned my purpose more than I have these past few years.

    Love to all.
     
  5. hairtothere

    hairtothere Established Member

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    Could the increased hair growth attributed to Testosterone be all over hair growth and not scalp hair? I ask because it is notorious for causing facial hair and hair in places men usually get it. Also I know several men who use Testosterone and they have all lost hair.
     
  6. LosingHope

    LosingHope New Member

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    Well, when they said "hair loss" I believe it also stated scalp. Plus, what women would report hair loss on arms or legs and be upset abou that? Kind of an odd question to survey for I think?

    The more I look into this, the more I uncover that "they" only really know about men's hair loss. Most articles assert that much is still unknown regrarding women's and that leads me to believe while some mechanisms may be the same (as with FPHL/Androgenetic Alopecia), I still think any imbalance (not just too much T and not enough E or P) can cause our delicate ecosystems to shut the hair factory down.

    I've always been an athlete - had decent muscle mass, got menses later in life, smaller chest, quite skinny.. since this all started my chest has gotten bigger (yay!) but I cannot sustain any muscle mass and I'm getting weaker and less stamina as time goes on. Maybe my body just doesn't like squashing all that T down to nothing?!!
     
    TinaM1968 likes this.
  7. idk

    idk Member

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    Hi

    Im still kinda new to this website although I have been lurking for about 4 years now.

    I have been reading up a lot lately about hormones as I grapple with my hair loss and yes I think LosingHope is onto something. From all the stuff I read it seems that lots of hormones other than 'sex hormones' can lead to hair loss. For instance Prolactin can increase our hair follicles sensitivity to DHT via its influence on Cortisol levels. The more I read the more complex it seems. Progesterone therapy helps some and for some it worsens hair loss?! No wonder my Dr said women's hair loss is like looking for a needle in a haystack.

    All I know that all the women in my family have nice hair without issues except ME?!

    My labs from about 4 years ago showed elevated Cortisol, elevated IGF-1, elevated Prolactin, subclinical hypothyroidism and normal range but low Ferritin (29) and low iron saturation 16%. Incidently I read that 33 to 35% iron saturation is best for hair growth, so I will aim to get it up to that level if my body allows it.

    So my aim not is to revisit all these and see what is going on now ( I have a baby 8 months ago) so lord knows what Im left with now! But here's the thing - I can grow a perfectly healthy baby but I cant grow HAIR?!? WTF??

    And I want to fix this naturally because I know I don't have a deficiency of Minoxidil or propolene glycol...

    LosingHope - Nettle extract is said to naturally increase Testosterone levels and Testosterone is apparently not detrimental to hair but its conversion to DHT

    Not having a good day today :(
     
  8. LosingHope

    LosingHope New Member

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    I hear you idk, I've had a lot more bad days lately myself and I'm not giving up either. I did give in to Rogaine but only for a year is the agreement I made with myself. I'll make that call in Sept as that would make 12 months. Still wavering on the 150mg of Spironolactone. I've noticed I can't gain any muscle and I've lost so much strength lately that I'm wondering if I'm doing more harm as my hair looks worse than ever. I have a script for finasteride but the Spironolactone makes my face perfect - no huge cystic acne since being on 100mg. Again not sure why I'm destined to be ugly :(

    Back to another endo tomorrow - fingers crossed. I don't care if they drain me dry of blood.. just give me something.
     

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