Guest Blog By: Amy Medling
When I was seventeen, I started noticing lots of hair on my pillow, in my brush and on my school desk. I was a senior in high school and my hair was falling out. I know so many of you can relate to the stress this causes a young woman. My mother took me to several doctors and they all chalked it up to stress of senior year and college entry.
What I wish the doctors had looked at was not just this one symptom of hair loss but rather what was going on with my body as a whole. I also had some unwanted facial and body hair, fatigue, hypoglycemia and irregular periods. All of these combined symptoms would eventually point to Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). I was finally diagnosed at age 31.
If you are experiencing hair loss, especially androgenic alopecia, you may also have PCOS. It is one of the most common female endocrine (hormone) disorders and is a leading cause of female infertility. The condition is caused by an imbalance of a woman’s female sex hormones. PCOS affects as many as 10-15% of all women, and half of women with PCOS actually are undiagnosed. If left undiagnosed, PCOS can lead to type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.
PCOS can cause irregular periods, weight gain, depression, mood swings, acne, excess facial and body hair growth, and ironically, hair loss. It can also cause the absence of ovulation, which can prevent a woman from conceiving. [click to continue…]
This Information was posted by Joan on this topic, “Stacy’s Hair Loss Story – Searching For Answers.” There is some pretty interesting and important information here that can be further researched and discussed with your own doctor to perhaps aid in the treatment of hair loss and PCOS. I never overrule anything that may possibly help, but please definitely always consult a physician before taking anything. We are all individual and take different medications for a whole slew of other ailments, so we want to make sure that anything we take will sit in harmony with all the rest of our meds, and that there are no contraindications. Here is the post:
It’s very sad to read all of these stories, but there may be help. It is perhaps very significant that many symptoms of PCOS can be found simply with zinc and manganese deficiency. Zinc deficiency causes hair loss, poor sugar metabolism, dandruff, acne, migraine headaches, menstrual irregularities, ovarian cysts, and infertility. Manganese deficiency causes poor sugar metabolism, migraine headaches, ovarian cysts, infrequent menstrual cycles, endometriosis, and infertility. The hyperglycemia in PCOS depletes the critical antioxidants copper zinc superoxide dismutase and manganese superoxide dismutase, as well as manganese-dependent arginase, all of which are low in PCOS. [click to continue…]
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. [click to continue…]
Stacey had posted this story as comment on this post, but I felt it should be a post of it’s own so I’m reposting her story here:
Hi, I found this web site today. I came in tears when I read this. I have finally found people who are going through the same similar problems as I am in my life right now. I am a beginner on this Hair Loss Adventure. Let me tell you my Story and maybe since you all been through more doctor experience then I have. You might be able to give me some Advise and Tips. At least, I hope you will be willing to help. Ok, Here it goes.
I was diagnosed with PCOS in Nov.of 2005, As well with border line Diabetes. ( Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) I was 23 years old. I am now 25. Doctors don’t know much about PCOS. They are still doing research on it. I did some looking up on it. ( Let me tell you what it is for those who don’t know: It’s where you have tumors that grow in your ovaries and can block and prevent your eggs from going through your tubes to make you become pregnant. As well as your body produces too much androgen and Hormones and your body could produce too little Thyroid Hormone as well. Which can cause you to have many Symptoms such as ad normal periods, No periods, No pregnancy, Diabetes, Heart disease, Heart attacks, High blood pressure, Excess hair, Acne, Skin tags, Early Menopause, Cramps from your ovaries, unexplainable weight gain, trouble losing weight, and so on and so on. There’s so far No Cure, Some Doctors say losing 20 to 30 pounds to get rid of the belly fat that maybe causing PCOS Or taking birth controls to help control the symptoms. (Which means slow down the process.) People can’t catch this by people who have PCOS. Everybody with PCOS are different. So, You may not get all the above symptoms. Doctors told me that the only way is to control the symptoms is through birth control pills and if I wanted to try to become pregnant is to take Metformin, If I have trouble getting pregnant. At that time, My hair was starting to receive in the front and lightly shedding.
Now, I have very little bangs And my hair is thinning from my bangs all the way back on top. [click to continue…]