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so freaking TIRED OF THIS

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  • so freaking TIRED OF THIS

    You may know me as the girl who has posted a zillion threads in the time since she's joined MDA about hair loss and her bloodwork results, trying to figure what the f**k is going on. Well, in January I started iron supplementation after finding out I had rock-bottom ferritin levels (9), because a dermatologist finally thought it might be a good idea to test that. The doctors I'd seen previously just said "oh it must be because of your PCOS" (even though they had seen the blood results showing that all testosterone measures were actually on the low end of the range) or gave me a prescription for the birth control pill or, best of all, told me to USE A HUMIDIFIER. yeah the problem wasn't that i was severely deficient in a mineral, I just needed to let my follicles breathe a little bit more!

    so I've been supplementing religiously since then. In the middle of March (about 5 and a half weeks into supplementation) my ferritin level had risen to 30. Now, five and a half weeks later... it's 37. I didn't menstruate in the first five weeks, but I did after that (and it was very light too, compared to what my cycles are usually like). The dermatologist told me that it should be around at least 40 but I have read that if you really actually want regrowth it needs to go up to 80. He said that it may take until late summer or even into the fall for me to see regrowth. That is already disappointing on its own... but...

    Seriously... 37?! THAT'S ALL!? If I have regular menstrual cycles (which would be ideal, right?), even if they are light, I feel like I will never get my ferritin levels up. And even getting them is no guarantee that my hair will regrow. I'm just so so f**king tired of this. all of this. I feel so burnt out. I take L-lysine along with the iron/ascorbic acid tablet because there's some evidence that it helps store iron better. I also take fo ti and biotin and even choke down a spoonful of godawful diotomaceous earth every morning. I eat primal (with liver marrow broth and gelatin and greens and some starch). I stopped using chemical shampoos and instead use shikakai to shampoo and ACV to condition. I started using a wooden comb and a satin pillowcase. I don't apply heat to my hair- no blow-drying or flat-ironing. I'm SO gentle with it. I actually count every hair that falls out when I wash or comb my hair. And for what?! Yeah I guess shedding is not so crazy anymore in that it never goes above 100 hairs a day but my hair is NOT re-growing and what hair I do have grows soooo slowly, not to mention is so frizzy and oily and gross. Meanwhile other girls my age (22) use those horrible plastic brushes with the little nubs on the end, use shampoos with all sorts of sulfates in them, tie them in ponytails using the rubber bands with the little metal things, pull at their hair while straightening it every day, and have the most beautiful long, thick, full hair. It just makes me wonder, what is the point!? I will probably never get my hair back to what it used to be like. And here this is what it used to look like:



    My hair is just shoulder length now. And much thinner, obviously. In pictures you can SEE that the part is like an inch wide, ugh. And it just won't seem to growwww longer than shoulder length even with all this supplementation, even though other people I know can cut their hair into a bob and have it back at armpit length by three months later! wtf! I cut it all off into a pixie cut a few years ago BECAUSE of the PCOS and just can't seem to get it longer or thicker. I can't even do things with my hair anymore, and my ponytail is so freaking thin that the rubber band always falls off.

    don't get me wrong, I think primal is the way to go, I'm happy doing this. But I do feel kind of silly. and frustrated. i get depressed looking at my hair in the mirror sometimes. i don't know what the point of this post is other than to rant. It is just so. f**king. frustrating that I am doing all these things for my hair health and not seeing any results when other women at this age can treat their hair (and their bodies) like shit but look like the picture of perfect health.
    Last edited by spakesneaker; 04-19-2011, 02:48 PM.

  • #2
    I'm sorry you are going thru this! Have you had your thryoid checked? Thinning hair is one of many symptoms of a hypothyroidism.

    Comment


    • #3
      Steak.
      In all of the universe there is only one person with your exact charateristics. Just like there is only one person with everybody else's characteristics. Effectively, your uniqueness makes you pretty average.

      Comment


      • #4
        I am also sorry you are going through this.

        I do have a few natural ideas.....

        I tell all my clients to massage their scalp. If you are getting enough protein (you sould be) then you need to make sure your hair follicles are getting enough blood. Make sure the skin on your head is not tight. It should move quite a bit when you massage it. If it doesn't it is a good sign that your hair is not getting what it needs to grow.

        Aloe vera gel applied to the scalp works for some people.

        Suppliment with nettles. You can get them in capsuls. (Nettles are good for skin problems as well as hair)

        If you are having adrenal fatigue you may loose hair too. Ask your doctor first, but lots of people are helped by using DHEA. It is a natural steroid that does grow your hair back.
        ~Blog~

        Comment


        • #5
          I'm so sorry! Hair IS important, even if it does seem silly when you think about it, that doesn't make it any less emotional of an issue.

          The iron issue made me think of something: I read here recently about women being told that they have low iron levels due to menstruation. The writer seriously doubted that nature would have given us a body that essentially breaks every month from something that naturally happens to us, so created a study to disprove this theory. When men come to doctors with low iron, they get an endoscopy to rule out bleeding in the GI that could be resulting in blood/iron loss. When women have the same complaint, they get told to take an iron supplement because menstruation causes iron loss. However, this study did the endoscopies on women too, and found that 86% to be suffering from the same GI bleeds as men, and thus should be treated for those instead.

          "Ladies, unless you are menorrhagic (bleeding more than 120 milliliters each cycle) your period is not doing you wrong. If you have iron-deficiency anemia and your doctor is insisting it's because you slough off your endometrium from time to time without doing a single test to confirm it, you may want to insist on an endoscopy. It could save your life."

          Hope this helps!
          Type 1 Diabetic. Controlling blood sugar through primal life.

          2012 Goals:
          Maintain A1c of 6.0 or lower
          More dietary fat, less carbs, moderate protein
          LHT and sprint as per PB fitness
          Play more!

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          • #6
            I am dealing with the exact same thing( hair falling out/ very thin hair/balding) and am just as frustrated, spent all day researching doctors and am calling tomorrow for a thyroid appointment. Maybe you should try to check your thyroid too, if not already? I have PCOS as well and my last appointment the doctor DID say my thyroid was low but i was "young and would get over it" so I can understand your frustration. But I think PCOS and thyroid issues most likely go hand in hand.
            I'm too stubborn to give up so I keep on trying.

            You're never going to get to the top of the stairs if you don't walk up them.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Calibunny View Post
              I'm sorry you are going thru this! Have you had your thryoid checked? Thinning hair is one of many symptoms of a hypothyroidism.
              Thank you. I've had different parts of a thyroid panel done at different times but not all at the same time. It's tough to find a doctor who doesn't think that TSH is the only thing worth testing, but what results I have gotten back indicate that the thyroid is normal (and even functional). Never had T3 or rT3 checked, though, and that seems pretty crucial... I have an appointment with a new endocrinologist in a few weeks.

              Originally posted by Alex Good View Post
              Steak.
              um, what? I already do eat red meat regularly. And I track things for the nutrition and even red meat doesn't provide the RDA for iron on its own (although it does for zinc and B12).

              Originally posted by Zophie View Post
              I am also sorry you are going through this.

              I do have a few natural ideas.....

              I tell all my clients to massage their scalp. If you are getting enough protein (you sould be) then you need to make sure your hair follicles are getting enough blood. Make sure the skin on your head is not tight. It should move quite a bit when you massage it. If it doesn't it is a good sign that your hair is not getting what it needs to grow.

              Aloe vera gel applied to the scalp works for some people.

              Suppliment with nettles. You can get them in capsuls. (Nettles are good for skin problems as well as hair)

              If you are having adrenal fatigue you may loose hair too. Ask your doctor first, but lots of people are helped by using DHEA. It is a natural steroid that does grow your hair back.
              Thanks, I'll try the hair massage. I do yoga so I thought that did help with improving circulation in the head.

              I put aloe vera gel on the ends of my hair sometimes to help with the frizz but I'm wary of putting any type of oil/lotion/gel on the roots because that makes it shed like CRAZY.

              I don't know if I am prepared (emotionally/financially) for adding yet another supplement to my hair loss/regrowth regimen. I may consider nettles in the future though.

              I am hoping to get adrenal fatigue-related hormones (cortisol) checked out next month too.

              Originally posted by apple View Post
              I'm so sorry! Hair IS important, even if it does seem silly when you think about it, that doesn't make it any less emotional of an issue.

              The iron issue made me think of something: I read here recently about women being told that they have low iron levels due to menstruation. The writer seriously doubted that nature would have given us a body that essentially breaks every month from something that naturally happens to us, so created a study to disprove this theory. When men come to doctors with low iron, they get an endoscopy to rule out bleeding in the GI that could be resulting in blood/iron loss. When women have the same complaint, they get told to take an iron supplement because menstruation causes iron loss. However, this study did the endoscopies on women too, and found that 86% to be suffering from the same GI bleeds as men, and thus should be treated for those instead.

              "Ladies, unless you are menorrhagic (bleeding more than 120 milliliters each cycle) your period is not doing you wrong. If you have iron-deficiency anemia and your doctor is insisting it's because you slough off your endometrium from time to time without doing a single test to confirm it, you may want to insist on an endoscopy. It could save your life."

              Hope this helps!
              Thanks! I do tend to have very heavy periods, though (I had no idea how unusual it was until recently), and I've never taken NSAIDs regularly (which is one of the main ways women get GI bleeds I think).

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by primalprincess7 View Post
                I am dealing with the exact same thing( hair falling out/ very thin hair/balding) and am just as frustrated, spent all day researching doctors and am calling tomorrow for a thyroid appointment. Maybe you should try to check your thyroid too, if not already? I have PCOS as well and my last appointment the doctor DID say my thyroid was low but i was "young and would get over it" so I can understand your frustration. But I think PCOS and thyroid issues most likely go hand in hand.
                Yeah I feel you primalprincess. Also.. "young and you would get over it"!? You need to fire that doctor, stat! It is tough to tell PCOS and thyroid issues apart and a lot of women probably have both or are diagnosed with PCOS when the root of their problems is in the thyroid.

                Comment


                • #9
                  *hug*

                  I'm sorry you're having such a rough time. I don't have any advice or suggestions, but I send you good thoughts that you can get this figured out. <3

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I also don't have anything that helpful. I used to have hairloss too, but it was at times of loco dieting and i wasn't getting protein so probably no iron either, and i'm guessing you don't have these things going on. I hope you do figure this out!

                    xo Kaylie

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Imasin, does your hair loss coincide with you going on the PB? Matt Stone of 180 Degree Health thinks that low-carb can wreak havoc on certain people's thyroid and, well, their whole systems. Check out his blog. You will probably find something useful there. You might do well to reintroduce white rice and potatoes and other starches into your diet. As far as carbs go, you (and a lot of others) probably just need to limit processed sugars. I have a few cups of white rice every week and have resumed weight loss nicely after a long plateau.
                      You lousy kids! Get off my savannah!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hi Imasin
                        I have had hair thinning too, for thyroid and low iron at various times. It is terribly frustrating! One thing I have found it that once your hair has dropped, it seems to take 4 months or so to show signs of regrowth, so even if your body is getting into better shape and the underlying problem is fixing itself, it takes a LONG time to see results.

                        Sorry I couldn't give more cheerful advice, but it sounds as if it is starting to turn around, but it will just take a while longer.
                        Karin

                        A joyful heart is good medicine

                        He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. - Jim Elliot

                        Mmmmm. Real food is good.

                        My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread29685.html

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Have you tried taking biotin? (Quite a lot ...)

                          It's supposed to speed growth of hair and nails.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Diana Renata View Post
                            *hug*

                            I'm sorry you're having such a rough time. I don't have any advice or suggestions, but I send you good thoughts that you can get this figured out. <3
                            Thanks

                            Originally posted by Kaylie View Post
                            I also don't have anything that helpful. I used to have hairloss too, but it was at times of loco dieting and i wasn't getting protein so probably no iron either, and i'm guessing you don't have these things going on. I hope you do figure this out!

                            xo Kaylie
                            Thank you Yeah I think I am getting enough protein (between 70-100g daily) and I am trying to de-stress, sleep well, and avoid other pitfalls of 'dieting,' so I don't think that's it.

                            Originally posted by Grumpy Caveman View Post
                            Imasin, does your hair loss coincide with you going on the PB? Matt Stone of 180 Degree Health thinks that low-carb can wreak havoc on certain people's thyroid and, well, their whole systems. Check out his blog. You will probably find something useful there. You might do well to reintroduce white rice and potatoes and other starches into your diet. As far as carbs go, you (and a lot of others) probably just need to limit processed sugars. I have a few cups of white rice every week and have resumed weight loss nicely after a long plateau.
                            I'm already a fan of 180 Degree Health most of my hair shedding was a few years ago when I had high free T roaming around but the more recent shedding actually does coincide with starting PB, I think because I lost some weight rapidly, so the telogen effluvium phenomenon. But I also can't rule out the fact that I was using some very heavy products on my hair in order to 'compensate' for what seemed like so much hair loss (but that would lead to breakage, not necessarily shedding). And I did have incredible amounts of energy when first starting which I wonder about in terms of the adrenaline/noradrenaline production he talks about. I do eat starch (mostly sweet potatoes, some white potatoes, sometimes white rice, and some fruit), and try to stay <100g carbohydrate a day but don't go VLC because of what I've read about how VLC can stress the adrenals or thyroid (especially because it's not like I'm eating brains!), try to eat nutritiously, anti-inflammatory, thyroid support, etc.

                            Originally posted by JKC View Post
                            Hi Imasin
                            I have had hair thinning too, for thyroid and low iron at various times. It is terribly frustrating! One thing I have found it that once your hair has dropped, it seems to take 4 months or so to show signs of regrowth, so even if your body is getting into better shape and the underlying problem is fixing itself, it takes a LONG time to see results.

                            Sorry I couldn't give more cheerful advice, but it sounds as if it is starting to turn around, but it will just take a while longer.
                            Thanks, I know it probably will just take time. *sigh* hearing it in concrete terms like "another half a year" is just kind of alarming...

                            Originally posted by piano-doctor-lady View Post
                            Have you tried taking biotin? (Quite a lot ...)

                            It's supposed to speed growth of hair and nails.
                            Yeah I mention that in my post, I take 5000 mcg every day, and that's in addition to the biotin in my multivita/min supplement.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              My hair seems to have grown faster since I started supplementing with Vit D3 (4,000 IUs), 300-400 mg of chelated/citrate magnesium and 100 mg 5-HTP daily. I suspect it was the D3 as there seems to be a phenomena of hair growth accelerating during the summer months (which would point to vitamin D).

                              Your protein intake could well be insufficient at 70-100 g depending on your weight. Paleobird and I have been experimenting with protein over at Reality Check: Counting Calories and it seems many of us do better on higher levels. Art de Vany suggests up to 1.5 g per lb of body weight, I just watched Rob Wolfe on Wylde on Health (Canadian TV show) and he says 1 g per lb of body weight (not lean body mass as Mark talks about).

                              I weigh 128 ish lbs and have been eating an average of 110 g and some days up to 150 g.
                              Seeking the natural way in a modern world ...

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