View Full Version : Why is my hair falling out?
01-15-2005, 02:30 PM
For the last 2-3 months I have been losing a lotmore hair than normal. It seems to be coming from all over, not just in patches. I don't even remember losing quite this much hair after having babies/nursing. I have not had any health problems, and the only medications I take I have been on for over a year, so I don't see how it can be related to that? The only other thing I can think of is I had a miscarriage in August, but it was very early (didn't even know I was pregnant) so I am not sure there was really time for my hair to be affected?
Any thoughts or advice? Fortunately I have a lot of hair so can afford to lose some, but I am starting to have visions of becoming bald in the next couple of years if this doesn't stop:eek: !
01-15-2005, 02:44 PM
I'm so sorry...this is so stressful, especially for ladies.
Have you had your thyroid checked?
The most common reason for hair loss (especially eyebrows at the ends) is thyroid problems.
Also, hormones. Sounds like a broken record for women :rolleyes:
If you've had a miscarriage, have you been followed up to see if your hormones are back to normal??
I'm losing my eyelashes like crazy and began worrying....when I went to see my eye-doc he said it was probably cat allergies as they continue to grow back but are falling out quickly.
I'm not sure if a systemic allergy could create the same thing.
Stress of course is always a cause.
GOod luck. :(
01-16-2005, 09:37 AM
Hi - I personally don't have experience with this, but a good friend of mine did. About 6 months ago, she started losing patches of hair (and she doesn't have "a lot" like you, so it was more noticeable with her). She went to the dr. who ran a bunch of tests on her, found nothing wrong with her and concluded it was stress. Do you have a lot of stress in your life right now? Once my friend lightened her stress load, she stopped losing her hair.
01-16-2005, 01:26 PM
Thanks for the ideas. My gut feeling is it is stress. I am going to call the doctor, though, and see if they think it is worth having any tests run. I didn't know about thyroid causing hair loss. That is interesting. My mom and aunt both went on thyroid medication when they were around my age. Wallycat, I don't actually know what my hormone levels were last time I saw the gyn -- he took a bunch of blood last time I was in (early Nov) and didn't call to say there was a problem so I have just assumed there wasn't.
I feel better with some things to follow up on, and the knowledge that this isn't totally out-of-the-ordinary if there is no medical explanation.
01-17-2005, 12:25 PM
I too was going to post that you should get your thyroid checked. Mine was overactive, and when it was partially destroyed by taking radioactive iodine, it took a long time to get my levels back up to within normal range. I had very long hair then, and it fell out so badly it practically covered my bathroom floor every morning.
My grandmother had untreated thyroid disease, and lost all body hair as a result. It is my understanding that thryoid disease runs in families.
01-17-2005, 04:26 PM
It took my doctor several years to diagnose my hypothyroid (underactive) condition. Other symptoms might be high cholesterol, slower than normal pulse, 'mental confusion', emotionalism, and being cold. Sometimes the onset is so gradual that these symptoms seem normal, so people don't seek treatment until it's advanced. I had cholesterol of 292 and was sleeping under 6 blankets by the time I was diagnosed. A simple blood test called "TSH" is done. My recommendation is to see an endocrinologist, because I have had some inadequate treatment by general internists. There are new TSH range guidelines that Endo docs are more familiar with. Go to www.thyroid.org for more info.
01-17-2005, 06:57 PM
I was just looking at some lab results from about a year ago. I had "T-4" tested -- is that the same thing as TSH? I definitely have a lot of the symptoms of hypothyroid, so I am going to follow up on that.
01-18-2005, 03:35 AM
T-4 is less sensitive than TSH. One general practitioner I went to actually mixed the two up. She told me that since my T4 was fine, it didn't matter if the TSH was out of range (it was 19, but 7 is considered high-high end ... actually the range scale is considered more like 5 max, I think). She also told me my cholesterol of 240 was 'in range.' Well, that's not normal for most people and it wasn't normal for me. I actually worked for the Chairman of Internal Medicine at the time (her boss' boss) and he was horrified. I went to the chief of Endocrinology and he got my meds straightened out.
So - you can have T4 results that are ok and still have high TSH. Endocrinologists also tend to ask you how you feel on certain doses of medication (how novel!) because there seems to be difference between people. Some are fine at a TSH of 3, others are not.
There could also be other medical reasons. It's been so long now I don't remember, but I believe it's a pituitary malfunction that can have similar symptoms. They may do a test to rule that out first. Do some research on the American Thyroid Association website I mentioned previously and see if anything else rings a bell. Hypothyroidism is a very common problem but very easily controlled with proper care.
01-18-2005, 06:37 AM
Thanks moregrits. It sounds like I need to have my TSH tested, not just T4. Thanks for posting that website. There is a lot of good information there. Since it looks like you are in Atlanta, I wonder if you have a recommendation for a good endocrinologist (or even an internist/gp). Would my gyn know about this? My current internist is fine for my once-yearly sinus infection, but tends to just put any other complaints in women down to stress -- I really need to find a new dr!
01-18-2005, 10:00 AM
Moregrits I'm interested in a Dr. recommendation as well. I'll be back in ATL in July and will need someone to go to. My internist moved to way north Gwinnett before I moved West, then I was diagnosed as mildly hypothyroidal this past May. I'm not sure my dosage is settled yet.
Clairea definatly get a thyroid test. If your mom and aunt both had thyroid problems then you are a prime candidate to have them as well. It's suggested that if you have a first degree relative (especially mom, sister, daughter) with thyroid issues than you should be tested yearly (after age 35(?)). They are actually now suggesting that everyone after age 35 be tested when they have a physical, and if not then that all women over the age of 65 be tested yearly. I think I read this on the American Thyroid Association web.
CL did an article on thyroidism a couple months ago, August '04 I think.
I found out I was sub-clinicaly hypothyroidal when I went for a physical because I hadn't had one in about 20 yrs and friends were talking about their cholesterol levels. I had no clue what mine were and have heart disease in the family so I thought I would check it out. Anyway I had all these annoying things going on (but that hadn't gotten so bad yet, they concerned me but I thought I was just getting old) that turned out were symptoms of being hypothyroidal: losing more hair than I had previously, being more cold sensative than previously, my dry skin was even dryer - even dry in the summer, pretty regular constipation, mild depression/stress, being tired ALL the time, and being 5 - 10 lbs heavier than I had been and not being able to get it off. A coworker was also recently diagnosed as having hypothyroidism and her symptoms included hair loss and depression.
01-18-2005, 11:53 AM
Hi Julie & Claire
I do have a recommendation for an Emory Endocrinologist (I work here in the School of Medicine). Please write to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
and I'll give you his name. (Not sure if I'm supposed to go public with names of docs on this forum).
I went to him last year on the recommendation of a nephrologist friend of mine, and was happy with him.
The only problem with Emory is that it can take awhile to get an appointment because the docs usually have research duties as well. But Julie, in your case - you might just go ahead and set up an appt now for when you arrive in town. Claire, I didn't realize you're in this area also? Anyone interested in a Supper Club? I'm hoping to join one.
Oh, my name is Margaret by the way, I forgot to post that. "Moregrits" was my 8th grade nickname when I lived in the midwest and where NO SELF RESPECTING 13 year old would touch grits except under threat of non-payment of allowance.:D
01-21-2005, 01:01 PM
Sounds like this one is well in hand, and I gotta say, Claire, the best thing you *can* do for yourself is seeing a Dr. That said, if you've put yourself on an extreme diet with VERY low fat content, that can cause your hair to fall out. As a recover(ing) eating disordered individual, I can tell you that when I wasn't eating, my hair fell out terribly. It wasn't huge clumps at first, but progressed to where my hair got really thin.
So, if you're not eating... see a nutritionist in addition to the MD... he or she would be able to help you get back to a more normal eating schedule to help improve your hair/skin/whatever other side effects you could be noticing.
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