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Hair loss and hormones

Posted by
Lynne
(noemail@no.com) on
Wed, Aug 22, 01 at 14:55

Hi,

I'm not going through menopause yet, most women in my family don't start until their late 40's and I'm not there yet, but in the past year my hair has been rapidly falling out and my monthly cycle has been erratic. The dermatologist says it isn't topical. The family doctor says it isn't thyroid and also tested my male hormones. Testosterone is normal, DHEA is high. The endo says I'm fine, but my hair keeps falling out and my cycle isn't back to normal. I'm convinced this is hormonal and dietary, but all the doctors keep saying it is just stress and will "hopefully" correct itself with time. In the meantime my stress level increases with every handful of hair falling out and every cycle that is too long or too short with cramps and spotting I haven't experienced since being a teenager. I'd like to have my estrogen and progesterone tested, but at this point my doctor isn't very willing to do what I want since he believes it is stress.

I've been reading the existing thread on hair loss and Rogaine, which is wonderfully informative; however, I'm still confused on one point. Is it the change in Estrogen or Progesterone that causes the hair loss? Meaning, if I have too much Estrogen and not enough Progesterone, it could be adding to the cause of my hair loss? Or the other way around?

Also, is it possible to have hair loss problems by using too much soy in your diet? If I remember correctly, soy can boost Estrogen? I use a LOT of soy in my diet, and maybe that is adding to the problem?

Thanks for listening and for any help.

Lynne


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Hair loss and hormones

This is a really hard thing to pin down, Lynne. There can be several things going on that affect hair.

If your hair loss is male-pattern baldness, then androgens (testosterone & DHEA) are implicated. Estrogens do interact with testosterone via boosting a binding protein (SHBG) in the blood that inactivates testosterone (hence, when estrogen levels dip, you have more active testosterone even though your overall level of it doesn't change). In some women, lack of some of the right nutrients to make fatty acid conversions can allow conversion of one form of testosterone into another that causes baldness. This can sometimes be alleviated by taking evening primrose oil and eating oily fish regularly...but only works if this is your problem.

Another typical menopausal baldness problem stems from thryoid hormone level changes. These also interact with estrogen, so that you can be effectively hypothyroid without major thyorid production change. Mary Shamon, on thyroid.about.com, discusses the tests necessary to work up menopausal thyroid problems (more than the standard TSH). Since soy also has a negative impact on thyroid function, I think this would be a worthwhile area for you to explore. I do know women who, attempting to control severe menopausal symptoms through the use of soy, damaged their thyroids to the point that they now require supplementation to compensate (not something that happens to everyone, but something to bear in mind).

Those are a couple things to think about, if you're not comfortable with the stress explanation. We're all different, but one of those may fit your situation. Good luck!


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RE: Hair loss and hormones

Lynne, I know what you are going through. It's hard not to be stressed when you are aware of you hair thinning. Framboise just gave you some incredible information. Hope that helps you consider possible effects of your diet. I have just two comments/questions to offer. Did the dermatologist check your iron level? My own hair thinning has finally slowed down after a two year period of hair loss. The dermatologist I saw (who specializes in women's hair loss)thought the natural progesterone (Prometrium) may have been causing my particular problems. She also discussed the need for adequate daily protein. There's a formula to calculate the grams of protein by body weight - for example: a 150 pound woman needs about 50 grams of protein each day. I checked my own eating habits, and although I think my eating habits are fairly healthy, I think I was skimping on the protein. Again, I'd really consider Framboise's information. Hope you can find ways to handle the stress. It definitely complicates the problem. Take care.


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RE: Hair loss and hormones

Lynne
I also know how upsetting it is as each handful of hair comes out. I am finding it difficult to track down the cause and solution for myself. I hope you feel some hope after reading the information from Framboise and Annelind.

Framboise
Thank you so much for your very helpful information. I went out and bought evening of primrose oil, and am hoping for positive results.

Annelind
I am so glad you are doing better. Two years is a long time. I'm at a year and four months now, so I guess there is hope. Did you stop taking prometrium? I can't imagine having to do that, as without it I do not get a wink of sleep. Is there another progesterone that is easier on the hair?
Thank you all.


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RE: Hair loss and hormones

Lynne, I think that you should get a different Dr. A Dr should be sensitive to your needs and not just say its stress. Statistically that same Dr would not tell a man its stress. There are millions of people who have significant stress without losing any hair.

If this Dr was really concerned about you he would have ordered the tests just to give you peace of mind. The changes you mention in periods could be a signs of perimenopause. Personally I had some thinning of hair at this time but not a significant loss. Find yourself a gynecologist who will satisfy your concerns. What good is your family Dr when he isn't meeting your needs?


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RE: Hair loss and hormones

What tests would you suggest for perceived hair loss? Medical testing is a double-edged sword. The more tests you have the more likely it is that some results will be wrong and you will be treated for something you don't have. It is also more likely that something that is normal for the particular individual but appears abnormal on a lab test will be treated when no treatment is necessary. Recent studies on echocardiograms and back MRI's for example show that many more people have "abnormalities" in these areas, but have neither symptoms nor any loss of function. Mammograms and pap smears are the poster children for this problem of false positives and overtreatment. Many such people are "treated" for these "abnormalities" and some of them *do* then suffer serious side effects from the "treatment."

Medical tests are intended to diagnose disease conditions; they are not intended to provide "peace of mind" for the worried well.


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RE: Hair loss and hormones

Leigh,
It is not up to you to determine if someone's hairloss is perceived or not. Good Lord, if it were up to you someone would have to bald before seeking medical help. Your bias against the medical profession is astounding to me. Has it ever occurred to you that her medical test might just uncover a problem that needs attention?


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RE: Hair loss and hormones

In view of the above comments regarding medical tests, I'd like to relate a little story. A friend of mine made an appointment with her doctor because of a problem with her knee. It took her 2 weeks to get in to see him and by the time she did her knee problem was resolving. However she decided to mention to the doctor that a few days earlier when she was eating dinner she had a strange sensation like the food was stuck in her esophagus. This had never happened before and had not happened since, only this once. I firmly believe that many doctors would have brushed it off, and told her to come back if it happened again. My friend's doctor told her it was probably nothing, but just to be safe he ordered an upper G.I. I am sure many doctors would have deemed this action premature and unnecessary. After all, she had no other symptoms and it only happened once. Fortunately for my friend, her doctor was not one of them. Her X-ray revealed a tumor at the junction of her esophagus and stomach. They had to remove the majority of her stomach but because of her doctor's precautionary measure they caught the cancer early. She has been cancer-free for 10 years. I think the vast majority of us would rather our doctor order too many tests than not enough.


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RE: Hair loss and hormones

Some more thoughts on the hair loss and tests. My experience with hair loss was before I began to use any type of supplementation and my hair became very thin with no body. I'm not sure if that was low estrogen or progesterone but I would guess that it was some of both. I was also experiencing very erratic and long heavy periods. I was so tired I couldn't get out of the chair to do anything. There were also other symptoms of a changing body. After a d&c to rule out problem areas I began to supplement as little as I can get by with and my hair has returned to the state it was before, periods have evened out and gotten very light and I am no longer tired. I keep up with 7th and 8th graders all day and come home to the care of my mother at night. My mother's hair became very thin a few years back also. She had gotten it into her mind that she could eat no protein. After a hospitalization, she came to live with me. I feed her a balanced diet, low in protein but not nonexistent because of her medication, and her hair has regained both its color and thickness. I avoid soy except for the measured supplementation. It is added to so many foods today that it takes real diligence. Most of the research tends to say that too much is not good. As to the tests, I have a very good friend who told her gyn that she was having very heavy and long periods during a regular physical. She had expressed these concerns before. The gyn suggested a uterine biopsy for safety sake. It was cancerous which led to more tests and surgery. She was in her early 40's but appears in the early stages to be cancer free after the surgery. So lets let everyone decide for themselves what tests are necessary and needed and what choices to make after studying the options.


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RE: Hair loss and hormones

I think that you have confused "perceived" with "imaginary" in my post above.

If indeed 'the vast majority of [you] would rather [your] doctor order too many tests than not enough," your attitude merely shows the general public ignorance of the dangers of medical testing. I suspect that this is also only true for people who have comprehensive health insurance which will cover all medical testing whether it is necessary or not. The tide is slowly turning.

The once sacred annual physical fell out of favor when it was shown to be basically worthless except for the overtesting and overtreatment which it frequently spawned. The American Cancer Society no longer recommends annual smears for women with three consecutive negative smears. The National Cancer Institute no longer recommends screening mammograms for women between 40 and 49. An influential group in Canada recently recommended against teaching breast self examination to women between 40 and 69 on the basis that such examination produces too many false positives and panicky unnecessary medical intervention.

As an example, your friend's story above is the very rare exception. It has to be balanced against the people who have been injured by doctors' aggressive medical testing.

A neighbor, a 43 year old woman with two young children recently died during an angiogram which autopsy showed was a) unnecessary because there was no coronary artery disease and no other heart disease and b) the secondary cause of death because of a drug allergy to drugs that were used during the procedure. The angiogram was ordered on an emergency rush basis because a cardiologist claimed there were non specific changes in her current ECG from one done 3 years earlier during routine preop preparation for a tubal ligation. The current ECG was ordered because of vague complaints of occasional minor chest pain during a routine office visit.

It's interesting to see how the medical interventions in this case increased in intensity over a less than 24 hour period. At 10:30 on a Wed. morning a healthy 43 year old woman went to her doctor for her "annual examination." By 10:00 on Thurs morning she was lying on a slab in the morgue. A routine visit produced an order for a test which was misinterpreted and produced an order for another far more invasive and dangerous test which killed her. Her family is suing *all* of the doctors involved separately, including the one who ordered the ECG on the basis that it was unnecessary and set the remaining events into motion. The cadiologist who read the ECG and recommended the emergency angiogram, presenting it to the woman and her family in such a way that it appeared to be a matter of immediate life or death, is the only one being sued for wrongful death in addition to malpractice. I shall follow this case with great interest since it may become a seminal case in the question of whether or not overtesting constitutes malpractice.


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RE: Hair loss and hormones

What happened to your friend was very unfortunate. I feel for her family. But if she did tell her doctor she had chest pains and if there was, in fact, a change in her EKG pattern, then ordering an angiogram was not uncalled for. We know that all too frequently doctors ignore the posibility of heart problems in women under 50 (or over 50 for that matter). You don't mention if your friend had relatively high cholesterol levels,perhaps that was another consideration in their decision. She could not have been given the angiogram without signing a consent form, and that form clearly states the dangers of the procedure. If the doctors had ignored her mention of chest pains, and the change in her EKG pattern and she subsesequently had a heart attack, her family would be suing him for malpractice because of that. It could have gone either way. My uncle died from a massive coronary at 42 years of age. He thought he had indigestion. I wish his doctor would have thought to order an angiogram. Despite the risks of the procedure, angiograms save far more lives than they take.

As for the recommendation that women not perform self breast exams, it is one of the most ridiculous and irresponsible suggestions ever made. Undoubtably given by a *influencial group* of males in the insurance industry. Their suggestion has been universally condemned. I am surprised that you even mention it.


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RE: Hair loss and hormones

Leigh
What "influential group" in Canada recommends against teaching self-exam breast techniques? Names Please!


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RE: Hair loss and hormones

The abstract is available on line at medline. I have included part of the full text article below. This article actually made the major network newscasts and the morning shows when it came out. I'm rather surprised that you haven't heard of it.

Susan Love, a breast cancer specialist and one of the recognized American authorities on breast cancer has been on record as opposing BSE for the past 5 years - for exactly the same reasons given by the Canadian Task Force on Preventative Health Care.


> Canadian Medical Association Journal Home
> >
> Table of Contents
> Free eCMAJ TOC
> > Back issues
> Supplements
> Selected series
> > eLetters
> About this journal
> Info for authors
> > PubMed
> Preventive health care, 2001 update: Should women
> be routinely taught breast self-examination to screen
> for breast cancer?
> Nancy Baxter, with the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care
> > A list of the task force members appears at the end of the article.
> > CMAJ 2001;164(13):1837-46
> [PDF]
> >
> See also:
> Is it time to stop teaching breast self-examination? [Research]
> >
> Abstract
> > Objectives: To evaluate the evidence relating to the effectiveness of
> breast self-examination (BSE) to screen for breast cancer and to
> provide recommendations for routine teaching of BSE to women in
> various age groups as part of a periodic health examination.
> > Options: Routine teaching of BSE to women.
> > Evidence: The electronic databases MEDLINE, PreMEDLINE, CINAHL,
> HealthSTAR, Current Contents and the Cochrane Library were searched
> for abstracts and full reports of studies published from 1966 to October
> 2000 that evaluated the effectiveness of BSE in reducing breast cancer
> mortality. In addition, references of key papers were searched and
> experts consulted to ensure that all relevant articles had been
> identified.
> > Outcomes: Prevention of death from breast cancer was viewed as the
> most important outcome; other outcomes examined included the stage
> of cancer detected, the rate of benign biopsy results, the number of
> patient visits for breast complaints, and psychological benefits and
> harms.
> > Values: The recommendations of this report reflect the commitment of
> the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care to provide a
> structured, evidence-based appraisal of whether a manoeuvre should be
> included in the periodic health examination.
> > Benefits, harms and costs: Breast cancer is the most frequently
> diagnosed cancer among Canadian women, accounting for 30% of all
> new cancer cases each year. In 2000 an estimated 19 200 Canadian
> women would have been diagnosed with breast cancer, and 5500 would
> have died from the disease. To date, 2 large randomized controlled
> trials, a quasi-randomized trial, a large cohort study and several
> casecontrol studies have failed to show a benefit for regular
> performance of BSE or BSE education, compared with no BSE. In
> contrast, there is good evidence of harm from BSE instruction, including
> significant increases in the number of physician visits for the evaluation
> of benign breast lesions and significantly higher rates of benign biopsy
> results.
> > Recommendations:
> > Women aged 4049 years: Because there is fair evidence of no
> benefit, and good evidence of harm, there is fair evidence to
> recommend that routine teaching of BSE be excluded from the
> periodic health examination of women in this age group (grade D
> recommendation).
> Women aged 5069 years: Because there is fair evidence of no
> benefit, and good evidence of harm, there is fair evidence to
> recommend that routine teaching of BSE be excluded from the
> periodic health examination of women in this age group (grade D
> recommendation).
> The lack of sufficient evidence to evaulate the effectiveness of
> the manoeuvre in women younger than 40 years and those 70
> years and older precludes making recommendations for teaching
> BSE to women in these age groups. The following issues may be
> important to consider: Women younger than 40 years: There is
> little evidence for effectiveness specific to this group. Because
> the incidence of breast cancer is low in this age group, the risk of
> net harm from BSE and BSE instruction is even more likely. Women
> 70 years and older: Although the incidence of breast cancer is
> high in this group, there is insufficient evidence to make a
> recommendation concerning BSE for women 70 years and older.
> Important note: Although the evidence indicates no benefit from
> routine instruction, some women will ask to be taught BSE. The
> potential benefits and harms should be discussed with the woman,
> and if BSE is taught, care must be taken to ensure she performs
> BSE in a proficient manner.


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RE: Hair loss and hormones

I believe we're totally off track of the thread title here, it really has nothing too do with hair loss and harmones, I apologize. Susan Love has made many contradictory statements, I, myself, don't agree with this one either, but to each his own. Again, I'm sorry for getting away fron the topic that originated here and will stop with this post.


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Susan Love's 'contradictory staements'

Carolyn, could you please direct me to the sources where you found "contradictory statements" by Susan Love on the subject of BSE or any other subject? Thanks.


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RE: Hair loss and hormones

Framboise, annelind, Colleen, Russlie, CindyC, Joan and Carolyn, thank you for the information and support. I am in the process of switching to a new doctor, however, the earliest she can see me is a month from now. :(

A little more about me and what has been going on - I'm usually a very healthy person, rarely get sick, and one year ago my hair began rapidly falling out. I'd say I've lost almost half of it by now. Eight months ago my like clock-work cycle went from 28 days down to 23 days then spiked up to 35 days. I'm only 33 years old. So far DHEA-S is the only test that has come back high. Testosterone is within "normal range" as is thyroid. I haven't had my estrogen or progesterone tested yet. There is no history in my family of female pattern balding, and the women don't go through menopause until their late 40's or early 50's. I'm at a complete loss as to what is going on and very discouraged by the way my doctor admits there is clearly a problem, but wants to write it all off as being stress because my stress level has not increased until this started. I'd even go so far as to say my stress level has decreased from what it was 4 years ago.

Leigh, if you can't contribute something that answers a person's question, or directs them towards finding answers, why bother butting in? You don't know me, you don't know my health history, and I really don't think it is very nice of you to butt in and accuse people of looking for "peace of mind" when they are really "walking well." The tests I'd like to have performed for my "perceived" problem would be any and all that would help figure out why my hair is falling out so fast and my monthly cycle so suddenly screwed up. Is that ok with you???? Why don't you start your own thread with your opinions about the evils of the medical community and medical tests and let the rest of us be to help and support each other.

Again, thanks to those who provided such great information and support. :)

Lynne


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RE: Hair loss and hormones

Lynne
I'm so glad you're going to see another doctor. At your young age, there has to be a cause. Hair shouldn't fall out in such excessive amounts. I hope you find help soon. As for Leigh's comments, most of us here are used to her negativity. If you will notice some of the other threads, she will make a comment and it will abruptly end. Few are really interested in what she has to say. Please keep us posted and good luck with the new doctor.


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RE: Hair loss and hormones

Lynne, when I asked for specific hormones to be tested, the dr. complied even though he thought they were not needed. The results gave me some numbers to look at and compare against others I had researched. He tested estradiol but would not test progesterone. The soy may not let the estrogen type hormones give a true reading. My suggestion would be to eliminate the soy since I have read some really negative things about it in excess and see what happens while pursuing other options. I have found in my 53 years that drs. can only use the info we provide them and the few minutes we see them hardly gives them much. I really think my hair thinned while I was making lots of fatty estrogen and then got thicker when I balanced it with progesterone. I now use only about 10 mg of isoflavone in the soy daily and that doesn't seem to change it. Good luck with the new dr. It's a shame we can't get appointments in a timely fashion but even then it seems better in the U.S. than in other places.


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RE: Hair loss and hormones

Hi Lynne
I'm glad you are getting some new help. I agree with Joan on cutting way back on your soy. Maybe try some Evening primrose oil. Framboise had some good information about it, and it seems I keep reading about it in other places. I have just started taking capsules of Borage oil and Evening primrose oil with the hopes it might help reduce my hair loss. Perhaps knowing you are giving something new a try will help the month to pass more quickly, and give you more information to give your new physician. Take care. Colleen


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RE: Hair loss and hormones

Lynne, if only we could trade places! Since the start of menopause, my hair has gotten much thicker and grows like weeds. I have noticed significent hair lost on the rest of my body, hardly any eyebrows or lashes left. Please keep us informed when you see the new doctor, I have a co-worker that is going through rapid hair lost and refuses to see a doctor, she says it's just in her genes. Good luck!


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RE: Hair loss and hormones

HI LYNN,I ALSO HAD NO PROBLEM GETTING MY DOC. TO COMPLY,FOR THE TEST.
SIGNIFICANT HAIR LOSS ALSO.HAVE TAKEN PRIMROSE FOR YEARS,BUT NO CHANGE FOR LOSING MY HAIR.TRULY WISH YOU GOOD LUCK IN GETTING TO THE BOTTOM OF YOUR PROBLEM,REMEBER EVERYTHING IN MODERATION(SOY)ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU GO FOR YOUR READING.MAKE SURE YOU ASK FOR WHAT YOU NEED TO KEEP YOUR STRESS LEVELS DOWN,BECAUSE IF YOU ARE LIKE ME THERE WILL BE PLENTY MORE?ALSO I EDUCATE MYSELF WITH SOME GOOD SITES THIS ONE HAS A LOT TO DO WITH OMEGA 3(31 TIPS ON IMPORTANT FACTS FOR HEALTH).www.health-heart.org


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RE: Hair loss and hormones

So, what is the bottom line here? Does taking hormones such as Vagifem which is estradiol, a vaginal tablet cause hair loss? I too am have problems with my hair thinning and it might be the cause of heart meds I'm on, but I can't get a Dr. to say yes or no. They just say take the heart meds and don't worry about my hair. Easy for them to say. My hair is not their concern. I need to know if hormones can cause it also. Any help?


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I wonder if an Osteopathic doctor would be helpful - aren't they the ones who are trained to look at the whole body? I've never been to one but have wondered if they'd be more open to looking at the whole body's interactions rather than just thinking of your problem as a thyroid or an organ, whatever. Also this may sound offbeat but I had a friend who swears by a Chinese herbalist (she had 3 miscarriages and then went to this guy and had a healthy baby girl). Who knows - worth a look. It is scarey and frustrating to just be blown off when this shedding is going on - I had the shedding a few years ago and saw a dermatologist, endocrinologist and gynocologist and not one had any explanation or suggestions. Luckily mine stopped, no thanks to them. Good luck & let us all know what you do & find out and how you are.


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Hi: I was on HRT for one year. I started to lose a lot of hair. I am not sure for how long I was losing it before i finally noticed. I called my doctor to find out if the HRt could be the cause and she told me right away that it could. I quit that day. My hair has finally started to feel thick again and I would rather live with any memopause symtoms than go bald. Fortunately for me the symptoms that I was having which required the HRT in the first place seemed to have disappeared and my periods have been normal since I went off the treatment.


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RE: Hair loss and hormones

Lynne, I must be pretty dense. I followed pretty much the same route as you with hormone & thyroid testing, family history, etc. Everything was within normal limits which left me with the issue of significant hair thinning and continuing loss.

I relunctantly tried Rogaine. After one week the hair loss dramatically slowed down to less than I ever experienced as "normal". Now, eight months later, I have 4 inches of new growth all over my head, more on the top and sides than across the back....exactly following the loss pattern with a growth pattern (the back didn't thin much).

My old thinner hair is long...past my shoulders so it is easy for me to gather a handfull and I can actually FEEL the dramatic difference in thickness 4 inches from my scalp that abruptly ends. My stylist was skeptical at first and thought if I did get some regrowth, that it would just stay an inch or so long and resemble peachfuzz. I am happy that her suspicions were wrong. The new hair is growing at the same rate and texture as my old hair! Now she recommends Rogaine to other women and uses me as her example.

Very simply put, it takes less time to apply Rogaine twice a day than it does to brush your teeth. I want to keep my teeth, so I brush them twice a day---I want to keep my hair so I use Rogaine twice a day.

What is the harm of you trying Rogaine while you continue to investigate other causes? Try it for a month and see if the loss slows down....try it for 4 months and see if you get regrowth. I waited almost 2 years to try Rogaine after my hair loss started and I feel silly that I resisted for so long. I love my hair now more than ever and the worry and stress of losing it is crossed off my list!

Rogaine is non-hormonal and I don't think it will interfere or affect the results of any other testing you decide to take.

Good luck to you!


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Barbara:

So glad to hear (or do I mean "Hair") of your good Rogaine results. Am curious....are you using the extra-strength men's formula, or the regular strength women's? I started withthe women's twice a day, but now use the extra-strength men's oce daily (at night only, since it really makes my long hair feel greasy ).

Thanks.

DLS


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Hi DLS! Yes, my dermatologist told me to use the Extra Strength Men's Forumula (she said the women's formula was too weak). I started out using it twice daily and went back to the dermatologist for followup four months later. She checked the regrowth and told me I could cut back to using it once a day. COOOOLLLLL!

I have been using it once a day for about 4 months and I haven't noticed any difference (no increase in hair loss and no slow up of regrowth).

I get about an inch or so trimmed off the old thinner ends every other month. I think I might actually have a temporary styling problem sometime this year when the double thick hair grows long enough to be an inch or two shorter than the old thin hair (you have long hair too so I hope you understand what I am talking about!). Honestly, there is a really big and sudden difference in thickness that is going to make me look long overdue for a trim! Believe me though, I'm looking forward to having that "problem"!

Grow on DLS, my fellow Rogainette!

Hair's to Ya! ;)
Barbara


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RE: Hair loss and hormones

Did any of you Rogaine users experience increased hair loss when you began using Rogaine? I'm on day 6 and wondering if I should stick it out for the two week trial or quit now. Thanks for any suggestions.
Janice


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RE: Hair loss and hormones

Janice, like many others I waited so long to try Rogaine. But I did try it on June 27th. Just a small amount in one spot to see if I had any reactions (the burning and itching) that some people had experienced. All I felt was just a SLIGHT burning. I gathered up my courage and used a full dropper for my evening dose and have been using Rogaine (the 5% extra strength MEN'S forumula) ever since that day. It's been about 14 weeks since I started it, and I *do* see a difference in my hair. Like you, I was scared to see more shedding than I had been going through before I began the treatment. Before using Rogaine I was shedding hair allll day long. I'm looking at my journal now.... hmmm.... okay in the middle of July (about 2-3 weeks after starting the Rogaine I reached a peak shedding incident when I counted 76 hairs that fell out onto the bathroom vanity after I had washed and just fluffed my hair very gently with my fingers. THAT was scary, but I decided to keep up the routine with the Rogaine. It took a lot of faith to do that, but then about a week later only 36 fell out after a shampoo. On Aug. 23 there were only SIXTEEN hairs that fell out. Now I have about that many shedding hairs, sometimes much less. I figured an AVERAGE is just that... some days I am going to have more and some days less, but I would say on average it is less than 16 a day, sometimes I see only 5 or 6 fall out! Wheeeeeeeee!!!! I am thrilled with what the Rogaine has done for me. I have little hairs, about an inch or two long over much of the crown of my head now. The other day I even got a compliment on my hair. Not only does it look thicker, it feels thicker, too.

Just a couple more things... I had been under a very big amount of stress the last few years. I first noticed the hair loss after having surgery and having to wait for the biopsy results, negative, thank God, but the hair thinning sent me to the dermatologist, who diagnosed me as having telogen effluvium (TE). I waited and watched some regrowth, but then I had to deal with marital problems. Every time I made some progress, something seemed to set me back. I begain seeing a marriage counselor (by myself...husband refuses to go). Just talking to her reduced my stress levels enormously. i highly recommend this option to others who feel that stress is contributing to your hair loss.

This has been long, but I hope it has given you some guidance in making your decision as to use Rogaine or not. I know that there were times that I was really frightened by the initial shedding, but I just kept using that great stuff twice a day. :-)

take care...
daisy


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I had hair loss last year when I was on too much soy. It affected my thyroid and cause it to become slightly sluggish also was on Ortho Prefest, which is soy based and that really, put things overboard. For some reason certain woman are very sensitive to soy and too much, can cause
many problems especially with the hair. I am happy to say, I now have all my hair back, normal thyroid again and no more
feeling cold or jittery. Hope this helps. Lou Lou


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RE: Hair loss and hormones

I'm really glad I found this forum. I've just finally stopped denying that I'm menopausal. I assumed it only started in your 50s. I'm 45 but have been noticing signs for a year now. Lately I've been experiencing those hot flashes I heard about all my life. I read that soy would help and i went to GNC and bought a soy supplement. I just realized reading this forum that maybe the sudden thinning of my hair and the test which showed my thyroid is suddenly low could be related to the soy. I was taking 1000mg a day twice a day which is what the bottle recommended. I know the isoflavins were very high. I'm going to stop taking it. I recently started taking premavarin (dont remember the exact name) and black cohash to help the flashes which don't last long but are coming more frequently. I'm also taking a B complex which is supposedly good for hair and biotin. One thing my hairdresser has always recommended is massaging your scalp several times a day. She says this stimulates growth so I'm doing that as well. I'll let you know if stopping the high amounts of soy helps the thinning. I'm also taking iron again as I've always had a problem with low iron. I thought I wouldnt be taking so many pills until I was OLD. I'm not taking prescription meds but I sure seem to be taking a lot of supplements lately! What does God have against women anyway LOL! I thought only the Taliban hated them!!


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RE: Hair loss and hormones

Hi all. I'm new to this forum, so if what I'm about to say is a repeat, forgive me.
I just wanted to say that just because your thyroid tests are in the 'normal' range doesn't mean your ok. My tests were always in the 'normal' range when I was tested, but I had a lot of the symptoms of hypo. It wasn't until I went to a naturpath that I found out the range I was in wasn't enough for my system. After going on thyroid meds I was able to hold on to a pregnancy. Now that I'm in the perimenopause stage of life I still need it, but my dose is lower than it was. I think mine was related to low adrenal function. Go to the web site mentioned above to learn more about thyroid tests and symptoms of borderline cases.
I was so ill before I went to my naturopath that I wondered if I'd be around much longer. I'd gone to MDs about my fertility problems and my poor health and they did some tests and said that I was fine. HA! At least my hubby and close friends knew and supported me.
I'd still like to hear why soy is so bad, since women in the orient use it and have no problems with it. I've avoided it since I have thyroid problems, but I've never heard a good explanation of it, other than that the raw product has something in it that binds with the thyroid hormone.


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RE: Hair loss and hormones

I guess the question somebody should ask is if there is a HRT that DOESN'T promote shedding? Hormone imbalances with menopause cause hair loss. HRT to re-balance the hormone levels cause hair loss. Pardon my bar musician's vernacular, but it seems like we're screwed either way.

I've been using Rogaine since April. While my hairline isn't as looking as ratty as it did, it still seems like I'm losing a lot of hair and since it (or what's left of it) is fanny-length, I "perceive" the loss as substantial and don't hold out much hope it will ever recover. It's coming in much finer, but at least it isn't grey (it's actually looking a little redder). Those Eva Gabor wigs in the back of the TV guide may be an eventuality.

Next question. Being of the obsessive-compulsive ilk, since my hair started thinning, I've been noticing other women with thinning hair. It seems that most of them are overweight. Is there a correlation here? I'm not obese, but I've always been a big kid, right now 5'8" and 200lb. Some of that is muscle since I do lift weights, but I've developed a fair gut since hitting menopause. If El Gordo is a contributing factor, I'll have my jaw wired!

Sultana


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RE: Hair loss and hormones

I am new to this forum and accidently came to know about it while surfing the net to find out reasons about my severe hair loss. I read about using rogaine but I am skeptical about using it. I am 42 years old. My hair loss is so severe, that now I am even worried to pass a brush or comb thru my hair. It started about 7 years ago and has gradually become worse. Since last September my periods have become erratic. First I thought it was due to stress I was going thru in those days. We had some friends staying with us and that lady was a nightmare to live with. They left 3 months later but my erratic periods continued. The first day is just a light stain and then have sort of normal flow/bleeding for next three days and then its over. I now I am wondering after reading the messages on this forum whether this is due to hormonal imbalance. And whether this is the same reason why I have been losing so much hair.


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RE: Hair loss and hormones

hi i am very new at this forum...i have just signed up...b/c i just came across this thread... i am only 18 yrs old! and i am experiancing severe hairloss...i dont understand why...i have been to a doctor...and a 2 dermatologists...and it seems that there are no answers...i am about to give up hope...PLEASE! somebody help me im still so young...i dont understand why this could be happening to me...if anyone just ANYONE has any solutions or advice please do contact me here...or my email addess is khn325@yahoo.com
thank you so much
Tina


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RE: Hair loss and hormones

You can check out http://wideworldofsportsnews.blogspot.ca/ starting to educate the public on hormones at the moment, would be happy to receive any additional help from guests!

Here is a link that might be useful: World of Sports Wellness Welbeing


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RE: Hair loss and hormones

Tina, one of the things I would worry about if I were your age was diet. Read through this thread and you will see that it is very important for the health of your hair for you to get enough protein and also a good diet with lots of the right vitamins and minerals. If you've had health in school you probably know what a good diet means--not a lot of sugar and junk food, whole foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains and lean protein. Find options you like and take them along to school to snack on to avoid the junk food that they serve in the vending machines or cafeteria. Really avoid soda pop, it is loaded with bad stuff! Make sure to get enough iron and protein. Don't fool around with drugs and weird diets and get enough sleep and exercise. Also, find ways to relax, by doing things you enjoy and hanging out with friends who are positive and build you up. I think this may help with your overall health which could improve the situation with your hair. But also keep bringing it up with your doctor if it doesn't improve.

Now, for all us old ladies, what besides thyroid and soy can I do for my hair? I keep having my thyroid checked, it is somewhat low but I take thyroxin. I also take a multi, calcium, iron, magnesium and some vit. C. I have a pretty good diet, get plenty of rest. I've cut back on soy. I know it is hormones, and my hair is falling out in big clumps every day. I tried progesterone cream once, (followed the instructions used it for two weeks on and two weeks off for several months) it did absolutely nothing for me.

Other than HRT, are there drugs I can take. Dont' I see ads on TV for something or other? Or is that excessive hair growth, lol! I have that too, lots of hairs on my chinny chin chin. Go figure. Hair on my chin where it is completely useless, and falling out on top of my head.

As far as the oils, maybe I could go back to taking them. I eat lots of whole grains and oily fish but I could up that maybe a little. I don't have male pattern baldness, it is just thinning all over. Every time I comb it or brush it big clumps of hair fall out. And it is falling out all over every where, I find it on everything now days!


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