I got an email from Tracy regarding a post she found on another website about a woman writing about her success with Spironolactone, so I’m posting it here for all of you. Thanks Tracy for this great find!
I read the new story on the front page on the website asking a question on the effectiveness of spiro. I came across this blog entry by someone on soulcysters.com which you might want to post:
I just want to post my SUCCESS STORY here regarding PCOS and hairloss. I know this is something that is so devastating to many of us PCOS women and seems to respond slowest to treatment, so here’s my story….
On December 4, 2003 I went to get highlights and my hairdresser told me I was “thinning” on top. I had no idea. My hair was always long and thick, my pride & joy. Now thinning? Huh??? Sure enough after examining it under bright lights, the crown showed signs of diffuse thinning… I was DEVASTATED. I had the good sense acknowledge that thinning hair on a woman is not NORMAL, and thus there must be an underlying medical condition with was causing the loss. I researched and researched until my fingers were raw, and everything kept coming back to me saying “PCOS unmasked by coming off the BCP” .
I went to many doctors and none could confirm my self-diagnosis. After 4 months, I had gone from “thinning” to downright “Balding”. My self-esteem hit rock bottom, and my weight ballooned by 30 lbs. I was devastated. I was having anxiety and depression which I have NEVER experienced before in my life, and it stemmed from my hairloss. Having great hair had always been my crutch if I was feeling too fat or too zitty, oh well, at least I had this really great hair, right???? Luckily my husband and mother intervened at this point, and to make a long story short, I got into an Endocrinologist who said PCOS right away and started me on aggressive treatment. That was March 29, 2004.
I am quickly approaching my 2-year mark of treatment. I take 200 mg of Spironolactone, 1500 mg of Metformin and I use Nizoral 2% Shampoo every day as a scalp treatment. For anyone reading this who does not know why I add the Nizoral shampoo as a “medication”, I will tell you because I know it has been a part of my success….
OK, so as we know, the excess testosterone that we PCOS’ers make in our body is what causes us to lose hair on our scalps… well, in part it is. That testosterone makes DHT, and when DHT hits the follicles on our heads, it causes our hair to fall out and grow back thinner and thinner until it does not grow back at all (That’s the quick Mickey Mouse version of what happens anyway). On the same token, this DHT is also what causes the fine, vellous hairs on our face and body to start to grow in darker and more “manly”, so what happens on our skin is the exact opposite of what happens on our scalp and DHT is the cause…. are you all with me so far?
OK, so we know that by regulating our IR with Metformin, diet and exercise will lower testosterone in a round about way, and that’s good, but then we can add Spironolactone to help even more, and that’s FABULOUS, but we are STILL going to have SOME DHT on our scalps and on our skin – we can’t avoid that, there is no way to get rid of it completely, so that’s where the Nizoral Shampoo comes in…. OK, so clinical studies have shown that Nizoral will kill surface DHT by 98%, so if you lower it with meds internally and then snuff our any that sneaks past EXTERNALLY, you pretty much remove the causation of the hairloss. So that was my plan. Also, some studies have shown Nizoral to have as much regrowth potential as 2% minox!!! Wow, you can’t argue with those studies!!! Remove the cause and stimulate regrowth. Uh Huh, sigh me up for that!!!!
I have stuck to my plan and my meds for the past 2 years (as at March 29, 2006) and I have been able to regrow 90-95 % of my hair and I am SOOOOOOOO HAPPY!!!!!!
I should have come on here sooner, but I was way caught up on the Spironolactone forum of HairSite, so please excuse this Success Story, as I know most post when they need help at the START of their journey and I’m posting at the END of mine.
On top of growing back my hair, I have lost 25 lbs and have 10 to go, I have completely cleared up all my acne/oily skin, I have regular periods and I feel AMAZING!!!! It took over a year for me to really feel that my hair was back to its normal old self, and now at the 2-year mark, I am CONFIDENT again!!!
(On top of those meds, there was a lot of prayer!!!!)
So if you are feeling really discouraged and think this PCOS is going to get the better of you, PLEASE do not give up on yourself. The meds take a long time to work, and I had some really nasty side effects with the Spiro (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, bed-spins, dry eyes, extreme fatigue, etc) but the side effects eventually wear off and you will start to have energy and feel good abut yourself.
As an aside note, most studies I have seen indicate that 200 mg of Spironolactone is necessary to effect REGROWTH, and let’s face it Sistas, that’s what we’re all hoping for!!!!! Spiro’s absorption rare in increased by 80% when taken WITH food, so take 100 mg at breakfast (7:00 a.m.) and your next 100mg dose evenly spaced 12 hours apart (7:00 p.m.) with your dinner so you have a CONSTANT, STEADY stream of meds in your system.
Have a good weekend. Tracy