View Full Version : In Need of Help/Advice
09-22-2012, 05:58 AM
This is my first post but I have been reading a lot during the past year. I'm a 37 y/o male who started to lose my hair about a year and a half ago. When the process started, I had no hair loss at all and had hair that was thick and healthy. I lost abot 125 lbs over a period of a year. After I lost the first 50 lbs. my hair started to shed rapidly. I was concerned and visited my family doc, who attributed the hair lose to my weight loss. He said give it six months and not to worry. I asked if it was MPB and he said no. Around the same time, I developed acne which I never had. Around thr same time, my scalp became super oily and my hair started to regrow but the new hair was thick and black and quite coarse. This hair was a sharp contrast to my light brown locks. I went to a dermatologist and they suggested both issues were caused by hormonal changes due to weight loss. I asked about the hair loss specifically and if they could tell if it was MPB. The derm said it didn't appear to be. Well, for the next 9 months my hair continue to change to thick, black, and wiry. I'd say 80 % changed over. Shedding continue. Only the wiry black hairs would fall out. People asked if I was dying my hair. I checked in with family doc and two derms with no definte answers. Blood work was normal every time. Had a consult with HT doc who said to give it time and didnt recommend a transplant. I probably have 50 % of the hair I did but it has thinned out in most areas. It happened it patches but is uniform at this point. No bald spots just thin almost everywhere. I've been searching the web for answers. About a month ago, I was reading about Cu deficiency induced by excess zinc intake. During my weightloss and following the initial hairloss my doc and derm had me on two vitamin supplements that gave me about 5 times the daily intake of zinc. Appearently, the lack of Cu can cause the hair changes I've experienced along with other problems I had. My question is, did anybody ever hear of this before? Also, can anyone tell me if their hair loss experience involved the changes I have seen? I am not afraid of losing my hair at this point. It was hard to handle at first but if that's what is happening I will accept it. I would just like to know for sure. One last thing, after I stopped all zinc a month ago, all of the odd hairs shed, in the last 2 weeks some started to regrow as they were before this started. Any help or advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks guys.
Dr. Glenn Charles
09-23-2012, 06:46 PM
I have seen increased hair loss with large amounts of weight loss. Whether or not it was temporary or permanant would most likely depent on if the person was genetically programmed to have hair loss at some point. The rapid weight loss could speed up the genetic process. The vitamin and mineral deficiencies that sometimes happens with weight loss can also have a negative effect on the patients body including the hair. I recommend addressing any vitamin deficiencies and then see where you end up with the hair situation. Is there male pattern baldness in your family anywhere?
09-24-2012, 07:08 AM
Thank you for your input Dr. Charles. No family history of hair loss on either side of the family. My Dad has a very small thin area on top but it is barely noticeable. Mom's side - my grandpa and only uncle have no hair loss at all. My doc did blood work. He did everything he could think of. Also visited an endocrinologist, which I failed to mention in my first post. He checked for thyroid and hormonal issues. Nothing turned up. One issue with vitamins, I was slightly anemic. Doctor told me iron levels were close to normal so it was unlikely the cause of the problem. Having the iron as the only lead and having visited a family doc, derm, HT doc, and endo, I started to look for a connection to the iron. Please understand I had numerous issues in addition to hair loss. Mood swings, acne, fatigue, tightness in muscles and tendons, and the black, coarse, kinky hair and hair shedding. My only guess at this point was based on an online conversation I had with a dietician, who had posted about kinky black hair forming at the hairline of clients who were using too much sunscreen. The sunscreen has loads of zinc and the zinc prevented the copper from being absorbed in the hair follicle, disrupting the growth cycle and causing thick, kinky, black hair. I was told that my high intake of zinc would cause a situation where the zinc competed with Cu and Fe at several sites in the body. The difficulty in diagnosing this is that Cu levels in the blood are normal but zinc blocks it from entering into the reactions at sites where it is needed. It does the same for Fe but somehow does cause Fe levels in blood to drop slightly, which can be the only indicator this is happening. The person I spoke to said the hair symptom is seen in patients with the genetic diseases Wilson's and Menkes. The symptom appears because of the Cu absorption or deficiency issue. I asked 3 docs here and got blank stares. They all said anything is possible, time will tell. Has anyone ever heard of this? Does it make any sense? Did anyone who experienced MPB have hair loss where their hair went from light and fine to three times thicker, black, and kinked before it fell out? The docs I visited all hesitated on MPB as the cause because they described miniaturization happening over time, not getting thicker and shedding. Thanks again for taking time to read my posts and offer your advise or experiences.