Test Your Hormones When YOU wantI cannot believe I have not written about this before. So many women want to be able to test their hormones for imbalances, but either cannot get their doctor to do it, or cannot get it does as frequently as they would like. There is an online service called The Canary Club which provides at home saliva test kits to test for specific hormones. I was recommended this site by a thyroid doctor I had a phone consultation with, Dr. Richard Shames. Who by the way, was a wonderful, caring and understanding doctor. Sort of a rarity these days. I had consulted with him over my suspicions that my dosage of synthroid could be causing my extremely exacerbated state of hair loss far beyond my androgenetic alopecia. After looking over my previous test results he told me it would be fine to go back down to the dosage I was doing best on, which was 88mcg and that is the dosage I am on today. I am doing MUCH better at this level as opposed to the 112mcg.

I ordered the test from the company and it arrived shortly after. However, I still have not done the test, it has been sitting on my desk for quite some time now. I seem to never remember to take it during the times they specify, which they state in the instructions “Menstruating women should do this saliva sample testing on day nineteen, twenty or twenty-one of their cycle. Day one is the first day you notice bleeding” and I also drink coffee every morning which kills that day as a test day.

The test comes with a whole list of instructions on what to avoid on the day of the test.

Do Not Eat: chocolate, onion, garlic, cabbage, cauliflower/broccoli.

Do Not Drink: coffee, tea, or caffeinated drinks (ex.coke, guarana)

Do Not Use: sublingual hormones or troches as of the night before collection. Avoid antacids, bismuth medications or mouth washes.

According to my order panel form, it tests for: Progesterone, Testosterone, Estradiol, Cortisol 6am-8am, cortisol 11am-noon, cortisol 4pm-5pm, cortisol 10pm- midnight, DHEA+DHEA(s) pool, Free T4, Free T3, TSH, and Thyroid Antiboides [click to continue…]


The Number 38 - Why Does it Make Me So Happy?The number 38 can mean a lot of different things to different people. The number 38 is:

The number of slots on the American Roulette wheel

38 is the largest even number which cannot be written as the sum of two odd composite numbers

A 38 is often the name for a snub nose .38 caliber revolver

And…. 38 is the number of hairs I lost combing my hair after my shower today!!! That is a huge victory and success for me considering just a short while ago I was loosing 500+ hairs a day. I don’t want to jinx myself, but things seem to be getting better and my horrific shed that has lasted consistently for the last 2 years has finally slowed down. I can’t describe how much of a relief that is, and it gives me hope that perhaps I can gain back a little ground. For some people who never have experienced hair loss, 38 hairs lost in a comb may seems like a lot to them, but for me it is a giant step in the right direction. After living with hair loss for 8 years, I am at peace with settling for a lot less than I use to hope for, and I’m fine living with thin hair as long as my hair loss is stable. The panic that sets in is derived from the possibility of the unknown when the shedding continues with no end in sight. I’d be thrilled if I could regain some hair lost from 2007, but even if I couldn’t and things stayed as they are now, my mind would be at rest. I have very very thin hair, but at least I would be more comfortable exploring the option of adding hair to my own if the shedding subsides. So I’m staying hopeful and positive that I’m finally getting a break and looking forward to better days ahead.

What do I attribute the lessening in shedding to? I’ve lowered my synthroid dosage down to the level I had it at back in 2005. I’ve had a feeling that the excessive telogen effluvium was due to my synthroid dosage being increased in 2006 and then again in 2007. I’ve had other side effects that seems to support my hunch that the dosage given to me was too high despite what my blood work “chart” indicated. You cannot just treat the chart and you have to go by how you feel. Numbers on a piece of paper don’t tell the whole story. So with the support of a physician I had spoken to on the phone I went to the local Urgent Care and asked if they would provide me a lower dose for synthroid. I explained the whole story and even took my bloodwork records with me from 2007 back to 2003, and they agreed to lower the dosage as long as I came back in 6 weeks for a bloodwork recheck, which of course I’m more than happy to do. My regular doctor would not have made that change in medication for me because he was the one who prescribed the higher doses both this year and last, and according to the numbers that is the level he felt I should be on. But I just didn’t feel it was right. So I took action. It’s my body and I have to do what is best for me.

What else? I also started taking an Ayurveda herbal supplement 2 months ago that contains 41 different herbs that are suppose to promote health and vitality. It doesn’t claim to grow hair, and that isn’t what it is sold for. It’s rich in antioxidants and is suppose to help with detoxification. I am just trying to give my body the best chance at healing and if possible correcting any imbalances. The herbal supplement tastes so awful I feel like I’m gonna throw up after drinking it and it makes me gag. But who cares right? I’d eat 20 raw eggs a day if I thought it would help! I also am more consistent now with making sure I take my women’s multivitamin daily as well.

That is about all that is different. Oh and I started blogging about women’s hair loss :) I just wanted to let all of you know about my recent improvement to give you hope that no matter how bad your hair loss and shedding is today, it can get better. I’m not kidding you when I say this is the first break and improvement I’ve seen after about 2 year shedding battle. My fingers are crossed that the shedding continues to slow down.

On a different note, Happy Halloween to everyone! I’m armed with 4 bowls filled with candy ready for the trick’O’treaters. There are a lot of kids in my neighborhood. I try to make sure I get rid of all the candy by the end of the night, otherwise I’ll be wearing it on my thighs the next couple of weeks :)


Hair Loss At The Age Of 20 - Veronica's Hair Loss StoryWow, I’m so happy I just found this site…I’m 20 years old, have had been genetic hair loss for four years now. About 2 years ago I had a biopsy done and my derm told me it was probably genetic, he put me on Rogaine, Spiro and Yasmin. I was on those meds for about a year… and they did absolutely nothing. Last year in the fall my hair loss was getting really bad and I was getting so desperate for something, so I spent over $1000 on getting Invisible Hair extensions. I was assured by so many people that they would be safe, and definitely the perfect solution. The extensions were great! I loved having so much hair and planned on having the extensions put back in. Well when I got them removed for the first time I was SO devastated, more than half of my already thin hair was gone.

Its been since January now since I’ve had them out and I feel like I’ve hit the bottom. I’m in college and can’t concentrate on anything. I’m always way too focused on everyone else’s hair and I feel like I’ll never feel normal again…I haven’t been able to wear my hair down since I got the extensions taken out. My poor hair is
still falling out like crazy… it’s so thin I can’t even wear it in a ponytail, I feel like I will be bald soon.

I’m so scared, nobody seems to understand. My best friend and my family just tells me to cope with it like its no big deal. I feel like I have no where to turn. That’s why I was so glad I found this forum…I really sometimes feel like I’m the only one experiencing this and it’s comforting to hear everyone’s story. I’m not sure what to do with myself, I hate going out, even going to school because I just feel so ashamed…I don’t even know where to start looking for a wig around here (I’m from Portland, OR). And I feel like seeing another doctor would also be pointless. Anyways, Thanks a lot for listening to my story.



Dear Veronica,

Thank you for writing and sharing your story, I’m so sorry you are having to go through this. It probably is of mild comfort, but know you definitely are not alone and there are A LOT of women who start to lose their hair at young age. Who knew? I definitely didn’t until I started going through it. Here comes my usual disclaimer I provide on every question I respond to. I am not a doctor and cannot provide medical advice or treatment, this is just my opinion. Ok…

After reading your story I have so many questions. Did your dermatologist put you on Rogaine, Spiro and Yasmin all at the same time? You said you are 20 and have been experiencing hair loss for 4 years, so you started losing your hair at 16 and saw your doctor at 18. Did he provide any explanation as to what might have trigged your hair loss at such a young age? You stated that after a year the medications did nothing, but you didn’t say whether or not you stayed on them or took yourself off. I’m curious because if you took yourself off after a year and the following year noticed a rapid decline in your hair, then perhaps the drugs were doing more than you thought. Sometimes all the drugs can do is slow the hair loss process down and help you maintain the hair you have,. Not all women experience a phenomenal regrowth after treatment. Even after I started treatment, I never regained the hair I had and was pretty convinced the treatments weren’t working so I eventually took myself off of aldactone around 2003… I think. The dates get fuzzy. Anyways, my hair loss increased dramatically. That could have just been from getting off the drug and it may have re-stablized eventually, but that scared me enough to get back on. Not only did I get back on aldactone, but when I got back on, I had my dose increased from 100mg to 200mg a day.

If you would have asked me then about my hair, I would have complained about the hair I once had and that it was so thin and continuing to fall out. But looking back it was doing fairly well after the 200mg increase. [click to continue…]


Drugs That Can Cause Hair Loss

by admin on October 3, 2007

Drugs That Can Cause Hair LossI was asked if I could provide a list of a drugs that can possibly trigger hair loss. I would like to start the list off with my current nemesis, Synthroid. Synthroid is a common medication that is prescribed to treat hypothroidism. Apparently it is a pretty common side effect to experience hair loss from it for those individuals who are sensitive to the medication. I’m sure there are plenty of women taking the drug with no adverse effects to their hair, but it should not be overlooked as a possible contributing factor to your hair loss. The listed “side effects” section on it indicates that the hair loss is “usually temporary,” and the “special warnings” section indicates that “it is temporary,” well is it or isn’t it? Of the several doctors I’ve spoken with they have confirmed that it does cause hair loss in some individuals, and not the temporary kind, at least not until the problem with the medication is resolved. Just as a low thyroid (hyopthyroidism) can cause hair loss so can an overdose of the medication Synthroid. The following are signs of over stimulation:

Abdominal cramps, anxiety, changes in appetite, change in menstrual periods, chest pain, diarrhea, emotional instability, fatigue, fever, flushing, hair loss, headache, heart attack or failure, heat intolerance, hyperactivity, increased heart rate, irregular heartbeat, irritability, muscle weakness, nausea, nervousness, palpitations, shortness of breath, sleeplessness, sweating, tremors, vomiting, weight loss.

You do not necessarily need to be experiencing all of these symptoms to have an overstimulated thyroid caused by your thyroid medication. I put it out there so that you can have this knowledge in case you begin to notice hair loss after starting the medication or having your dosage raised. That is another factor to keep in mind, if you have recently had your dose raised after years of being at a certain dosage level, it is possible that the increase in dosage was too much for you body. You should talk to your doctor or seek another opinion from an experienced and knowledgeable physician, an endocrinologist may be a good choice.

So without further ado here is the list of drugs that can possibly cause hair loss, also note this is not the complete comprehensive list, just the more common ones known. [click to continue…]


SynthroidAs many of you already know from reading my story, I am currently taking the medication synthroid for low thyroid. Recently I’ve been seriously looking towards that as being the cause of my excessive hair loss, and what seems like an endless hair shedding that has been going on for years non stop. Let me first clarify that I know for a fact that isn’t what initially started my hair loss. What started my hair loss was from stopping high androgen index birth control pills, however, I think that synthroid may be exacerbating the situation.

When I first started losing my hair approximately 8 years ago I would notice that my hair shredding would sort of go in cycles, there would be 4 months of a crazy shed and the next 4 months it would seem to slow down tremendously. That break in shedding would would allow for some hair to grow back. But, as of the last couple years I’ve been shedding non stop with a recent tremendous increase this year. My thyroid medication dose has been raised this year and last year as well. I don’t know if that is just a coincidence or it that level is too much for my hair.

I came stumbled across a website today where people were sharing their experiences with hair loss and Synthroid. The stories were very mixed, similar to what you will find in any forum, which is precisely what my gripe was yesterday when I was talking about my issue with hair loss forums. But, I still find myself scanning various internet sites in hopes to find something… anything that may help me. I do think that certainly enough people complain that they believe it is the cause of their hair loss, that I should start looking into another medication to treat my hypothyroidism.

It is always scary switching any medication when you are suffering with hair loss, at least it is for me. I want to try and find a local thyroid doctor who believes in treating his/her patients with a natural thyroid.