Lab test results
I recently saw an endo who checked my DHEA-S and testosterone levels. She informed me that my testosterone was less than 0.1(she said undetectable) and my DHEA was 23 on a 26 - 200 ug/dL scale. She referred me to a gyn dr who does natural/bio homones. She said that she thought I needed to raise my hormone levels. She also told me that she thought my low levels could also be a contributing factor in my hair loss(no underarm hair, sparse on legs and pubic area, and hair loss on scalp). My question is if my testosterone and DHEA are so low, then could they possibly be a reason for the massive loss of hair on my scalp? Or do I need a wee bit of testosterone? This is all so confusing, but I have had every test in the world and everything has been normal except for iron and ferritin(she checked my ferritin levels at my request - it is now at 48). At this point, I am willing to do whatever to get my hair to start regrowing . . . I am 58 years old and until 8 months ago, I had a massive head of hair . . . everyone always commented on how much hair I had. Today, I did not want to even leave the house, although I know that no one but me would notice. Sometimes I just wish I could go to sleep and not wake up . . . Please help with advice!! My son is getting married in June and I just hope I still have enough hair not to be embarrassed . . . I never knew how crippling and cruel this could be. Sometimes I wonder if I should have started monoxil(sp??), but no female in my family has hair loss!! I do not think it is genetic. I just want some answers . . . Thank you!!!!!
I lost a ton of hair in my 30's, from what I now believe to be from a drop in Estrogen due to perimenopause. 2yrs ago, I began taking Spironolactone for my complexion and the doc said it would help my thinning hair also. It worked very well and although I've never had thick hair, I pretty much regained what I lost. (Last year I was wearing a wig!) I'm on HRT, and post menopausal now, but after using T cream for a week, I swear I saw more hair on my sink than usual!! I called the doc and she said to stop the T cream and boost the Estradiol. That was today,,so no more T cream for now. I recommend the Spironolactone. I only take 50mg a day, but you can go much higher. It's not a QUICK fix by any means. BTW, they have some great wigs online these days.....for a temporary fix.
Originally Posted by Wanda
lab test results
Hi Tallwoman - thanks for your reply. May I ask how much estradiol you are taking and who prescribed the spiro for you? I am currently on 1 mg of estradiol and 100 mg of prometrium a day. I have no detectable testosterone either, and I don't plan to take any. I read somewhere in all of my research that testosterone can be made in your skin also. I plan to ask about the spiro, but I don't know who I should pursue my request with. No one has suggested it and I feel I may encounter some opposition since I have no detectable testosterone(one doctor felt I needed a little bit, but I opted out!!). I also have ferritin/iron levels on the low end of normal. I plan to ask my GP for prescription iron supplements. I have read many articles about hair loss and low ferritin/iron and your hemoglobin still within normal range. Did you ever experience scalp sensations with your hair loss? They are so creepy and makes me almost want to pull my hair out . . . I had none of the sensations last week, but they came back this morning with a vengence!! I was having awful hot flashes(post menopause . . . no one can figure that one out), but I must say since I have been on the HRT, they have improved significantly!! I feel eventually the HRT will help the hair loss as well. From everything I read, it seems to take several months to "kick in". What was your experience?
So far I've only been on .05mg of Estradiol for about 6 weeks but the doc just gave me a new Rx for the next higher dosage that I haven't even started yet (mail order pharmacy) but will send it the script today. I'm glad she's increasing my dosage. I also take 100mg of Prometrium a day. That stuff knocks me OUT at night, which is great, but seems strange to me. I get the Sprio from my dermatologist. He more or less prescribed it originally for my complexion and said it may also help my thinning hair. He didn't seem concerned about my testosterone levels, but then again, he's a man. I've never experience the scalp sensations, have you googled that? I'm glad you are getting relief from your hot flashes...they were my biggest problem, but are much better now!! I'm hoping to see improvement in my hair after I've been on the HRT for awhile..its only been about 6 weeks and I've been on very lose doses thus far. I'm sure a dermatologist might be able to answer the questions about the scalp sensations and then discuss the spiro too. take care..
Wow, Wanda. . .I am having the EXACT same problem as you. Tomorrow I'm going to go get some lab work done, then I'm going to go see a dermatologist at the recommendation of my health care facility. I, too, am very self concious of all the hair I've lost in the last 8 months. . .my loss is on the crown of my head. I am 55, but I went through menopause in my early 40's. I'd be interested to hear what your treatment plan is now. If this goes on many more months, I'm going to have to resort to a wig, which I DON'T want to do. I still work in a public-facing position, so I can't walk around bald.
Originally Posted by Wanda
Tselani - thanks for your response. For the past approx. 6 weeks, I have been taking 1 mg of estradiol and 100 mg of prometrium each day. I went through menopause in 2002, and never really had any big problems - just the occasional hot flashes. My hair remained as thick as ever until last fall. I recall in June noticing more hair on my comb when I combed my hair after washing, but my hair was really long and curly, so I didn't think much about it. It had begin feeling sort of dry also. I never had any scalp sensations until around November. Sometimes, I wonder if they started because my scalp had always been smothered with hair and now it was getting more "air"??? I am a teacher and last year was a very stressful year. I changed schools(returned to one I previously had taught at and was offered a nice bonus to return - now I wish I hadn't - maybe my hair would not have gone into this tailspin). School totally stressed me out, one of my Siamese cats got sick in late March(I recall saying he sensed my stress and took it on himself). Thankfully, he is much better now. In June, I had upper and lower eyelid surgery. In August when I returned to school, it was still as stressful as ever. My mom had surgery in late September and suffered life threatening issues. She is fine now, but about a month after that is when my hair really begin to shed. I remember counting almost 300 hairs somedays. Anyway, now when I wash my hair, I may lose anywhere from 20 - 75 hairs . . . which I don't need to lose ANY!! I have cut my hair to about 3 inches below my chin. To most people, it still looks "thick", but I use Toppik to help conceal my scalp. It is most distressing when my hair is wet, because you see lots of scalp. Some days I take valium when my scalp really burns, crawls, and does all those wierd things. I am ready to take an antidepressant if there is one that won't make your hair fall out even more. Many days I feel sick to my stomach with anxiety. I know that is not good for you or your hair, but what do you do? I sure do pray a lot!! I am also taking 65 mg of iron per day(equivalent to 325 mg of ferrous sulfate). My ferritin levels are around 48 on a scale of 10 - 291. Somewhere I read that it needs to be around 100 to see hair regrowth. I do see a little regrowth(and believe me I look for it!!), but the regrowing is not keeping up with the shedding. The nurse practioner who prescribe the hormones seems to think that they will help my hair. She said it takes several months to see any results . . . I also take Lysine and B vitamins, amino acids, calcium, vitamin C, E, and D. I don't discuss my hair issues with anyone except doctors, on this site, and my husband(who assures me I still have "plenty" of hair). I can't even talk about it much with him because I start crying. Some days are good and some are most stressful . . . the worst days are the ones when my scalp is crawling, etc, and I almost want to literally pull my hair out!! So, I did not mean to go on for so long, but it is nice to share with others. Everywhere I go, I always notice womens' hair and I am amazed at how many women have thinning hair. I just never noticed before. I sat across from a woman(40 ish) at a workshop last week. Her hair was super thin and you could see a lot of her scalp. She did not seem bothered by it at all . . . I hope she did not see me staring at her head!! Well, I wish you well and please let me know how your tests turned out. I am suppose to go back in a few weeks for more hormone tests.
Reply to Wanda
My appt. with the dermatologist is on Thursday. I'm sure we'll discuss test results then.
I am trying to approach this analytically. At this point, I'm on no meds other than OTC vitamin and calcium supplements.
The facts for me are this. I finished menopause 12 years ago. So, if menopause is the cause, I should've seen problems a LONG time ago. The fact that I started noticing this 8-12 months ago got me to thinking. . .
I was a heavy smoker for a long time. Thankfully, I was able to quit in August, 2007. As a result of kicking the habit, I gained 25 or 30 lbs. . . .over a 30-day period. I was already carrying around too much weight BEFORE I quit, so the extra pounds just made me feel worse about myself.
I decided to take the bull by the horns last summer, and I joined weight watchers. I am eating healthier than I've ever eaten, I walk 2 miles EVERY morning, and I do a very calming yoga routine EVERY night. Does wonders for my stress level, as well as my mental attitude.
Am I not eating the right foods for the health of my hair? I doubt it. I no longer put things into my mouth that aren't beneficial.
I know I'm doing a good job of getting exercise, as well as managing stress. I think I am a Type A personality, so stress and I have a long relationship. . .But, I'm happier now than I've been in a long time. . .except for the thinning scalp, of course!
What else? Well, I've actually started investigating the relationship between nicotine and testosterone. I'm pretty sure my body produced/produces lots of testosterone, for I was a hairy young female, much to my embarrassment. And, now? I don't even have to shave my legs much anymore. The hair under my arms is non-existent on the left side, and sparse on the right.
I've read that nicotine inhibits the production of testosterone. And now that I don't smoke, I'm wondering if I've lost the inhibitor that kept my hair intact. . .? If this is the cause, would I ever start smoking again just to have my beautiful, curly mane of hair? Nope. I'd buy myself the best wig a money can buy. . .
Don't get me wrong. I'm very unhappy about this. And, I hope that dr. can find an answer that's "fixable". If she can't, then I'm going to try an endocrinologist and explore that avenue.
Either way, I'll keep you posted. And, I certainly hope the treatment you are on is very successful for you! No one deserves this.
The dermotologist diagnosed me with androgenetic alopecia and told me to use Rogaine.
My blood tests results were normal, except for my TSH level. Depending on which scale one uses, I'm either in the normal range (barely), or I lean towards hyperthyroidism. I have to go back next week for another blood test, because my dr. thinks the TSH level was a fluke.
Haven't quite absorbed everything yet, but it certainly is devastating to feel so great and know that I'm definitely going to look old WAY before my time. . .
But, I am going to fight it as much as I can.
Tse - Have you read Dr. Geoffrey Redmond's book "It's Your Hormones"? It is a great book, and he firmly believes you can treat androgenetic alopecia(without Rogaine). His office is in New York City. My son lives about 4 blocks south of his office, so I am planning a visit to NYC to see my son and Dr. Redmond! Before I go, I have to have a lot of "hormones" checked and take my results with me. They have been extremely nice on the phone. I live in NC and we have some great "research" hospitals here - Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill, and Wake Forest Baptist Hospital. My dermatologist made me an appt at Baptist, but the earliest they could see me was in December!! Ha!! I said forget it . . . My hair shedding has slowed a lot compared to what it was. I am probably only loosing the "normal" amount of hair(50 - 100 per day), but it just doesn't seem to be growing back. I know it is a very slow process . . . I have curly hair, and right now it is very frizzy because I have a lot of "thinner" hairs that just stick up everywhere. I hate to use hairspray but I have to just so I don't look like I just got shocked!! The hairspray makes my hair very stiff because it has thinned so much. I would like to blow it dry and wear it straight, but I don't want to brush it out because more hair may come out . . . anyway, I think there is hope for us girls. Call me cynical, but I think there are many cures out there that drug companies don't want us to know about because it will cut into their profits. I hate to take any type of medicine, but if it helps my hair, I will!! I swore I would never take HRT, but now I am and you know, it really makes me feel so much better. I have not had a hot flash in weeks now, and I sleep like a baby!! Sorry, I do go on and on . . . Did you have your iron/ferritin checked?
Are you going to start using the Rogaine? My hairloss is all over my head, and on the box, it states that if your hair loss does not look like "this", then Rogaine will probably not help you. So, if you have not read Dr. Redmond's book, get a copy. You can order it online from Barnes and Noble, and probably from Amazon also. Keep in touch. If you do decide to use Rogaine, I would like to hear how it is going. I will also let you know how my visit with Dr. Redmond goes. Right now, I am very hopeful!!
Originally Posted by Wanda
No, I have not read the book -- but I will. I, too, believe hormones are the deciding factor. I've told the FNP I go to that I want to go see an endocrinologist, and I want to go to someone who has a genuine interest in FPB. I, too, live in NC, and quite close to Duke and UNC. I also travel to NY every January for a tradeshow, so perhaps if I don't get results locally, I'll consider an appt in NY.
Yes, I am going to try Rogaine, for I am only thinning on the top. It's a pain in the wazoo putting it on twice a day. The dermo told me to use the women's but she said I could use the men's foam. So, I've tried both, and the foam is easier for me. Also gives me more volume, just like mousse, so that's what I'm using. And, for all the years of my youth that I griped about having wavy hair? I am SO GRATEFUL now that I can scrunch it and go!
I haven't had a hot flash in 10 years. And, there's way too much cancer in my family for me to want to go on HRT. I tried it for 2 years, it worked. . .but I was too scared to continue. I had cervical cancer at 27, so I'm not risking that. I'd rather be bald than have cancer.
DO keep me posted about your NY appt! Glad you can see a ray of hope!!
By rodney1778 in forum Hair Loss Treatments
Last Post: 12-21-2014, 09:51 AM
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