The Number 38 – Why Does It Make Me So Happy?

by Y on October 31, 2007

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 🙂

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

jeni October 31, 2007 at 7:23 pm

Happy Halloween! I forget if I asked you if you’ve thought of taking Armour instead of Synthroid, or how you decided between the two drugs. My hair has been shedding like crazy this month, but I keep telling myself it’s because hair sheds the most in the fall – specifically October! I started back up on my vitamin routine a week or two ago, so I’m going to see if it makes a difference! I also have major ridges in my fingernails, so I’m trying to figure out the exact connection between them and hair loss.


Marianne November 1, 2007 at 6:05 am

That is awesome!! I keep waiting for the day for mine to slow down. I had quit counting hairs but for some reason I did this morning and it was very depressing.

I was dx with hypothyroidism 7 weeks ago. My only major symptom had been hair loss. I knew I had been losing my hair steadily for about a month or more prior to my diagnosis. Once the doctors put me on synthroid (100 mcg) my hair loss sped up significantly (I know this because I make daily hair piles!!) My thyroid levels have been normal since Oct 5. I don’t know if the increase in hair loss is because my thyroid levels are improving and my hair follicles are going back into the growth phase or if it is the synthroid. It is all very confusing and the endocrinologist won’t even consider synthroid being the culprit and told me to go back to the dermatologist.

What are you thryoid levels like and what is you dosage of synthroid? If my hair loss doesn’t improve I am going to consider a new doctor and new meds.

Again, that is great that it is slowing down!! I keep saying to myself if it just stops I can handle having thin hair but it doesn’t seem to slow down…but now I have a little hope!!


Gretchen November 1, 2007 at 10:21 am

Y, I am so very happy for you and sincerely hope nothing but the best for you!! I love that one of the changes you included was starting a women’s hair loss blog. I believe that is such a strong therapy in itself and definitely can contribute to eveyone’s success on this blog. Whether it’s finding a new solution, finding hope, or just knowing you’re not alone – success can mean a number of things. I started reading this blog from the VERY beginning (even though I didn’t post until later), and every day I’m amazed at how many more people there are commenting, sharing stories, giving advice, and offering MUCH needed support. Again, major kudos to you for creating this place – this secret club (as someone wrote) for all of us. I KNOW that this blog has been huge for helping me cope with my hair loss. I’m rooting for you!!!


admin November 2, 2007 at 3:11 pm

Jeni, Marianne, Gretchen – Jeni – I did consider taking armour, but at the advice of the physician I consulted with on the phone he suggested that I first try lowering the dosage to see if there is an improvement rather than switching medications first.

Marianne – I read that for some people there is “temporary” shedding that is caused when you first begin synthroid. I think it is too early to tell what is causing the shedding since you’ve just been diagnosed and started taking the medication. I think it is important to give the medications a fair chance before changing anything. I can also confirm again that it is definitely slowing down because today I lost 42 hairs in the comb, I also didn’t wash my hair yesterday and kept it tied in a ponytail, so 42 hairs is awesome! Regarding my bloodwork levels and synthroid dosage. It reads like chinese to me but here it is anyways. It is also important to note for people reading this that I realize that according to the “chart” my thyroid level was within the normal range at my last blood test so that would indicate my prescribed dosage of synthroid was appropriate, but regardless of what the numbers said I felt it was too high for me. I’ll have to do a post about my thyroid phone consultation I had and what the physician said about everything. Okay here is my bloodwork results all the way back from 2003.

Date: 7/10/03 FT4 – 1.0; FT3 – 2.6; TSH 3.3 Synthroid first prescribed at the dosage of 88mcg.

Date: 8/27/03 (one month recheck) FT4 -1.2; FT3 – 2.2; TSH 1.0 (Come Back In 6 Months)

Date: 2/12/04 FT4 -1.3; FT3 – 2.1; TSH 1.6 (Told Everything Is Good, Keep Same Dosage of 88mcg, come back 6 months)

Date: 10/13/04 FT4 – 1.4; FT3 – 2.5; TSH 0.47 (Told Everything Is Good, Keep Same Dosage, come back 6 months)

Date: 5/14/05 FT4 – 1.3; FT3 – 2.3; TSH 1.6 ( Told Everything is Good, Keep same dosage of 88mcg, come back 1 year)

Date: 2/2/06 FT4 – 1.1 FT3 – 2.1; TSH 2.2 (Told my dosage need to be raised to 100mcg, come 1 month)

Date: 3/1/06 FT4 – 1.2; FT3 – 2.0; TSH – 1.5 (Told Everything is good at 100mcg, come back one year)

Date: 5/15/07 FT4 – 1.6; FT3 – 2.2; TSH 2.0 (Told my dosage need to be Raised AGAIN to 112mcg, come back in about a month)

Date: 7/16/07 FT4 – 2.0; FT3 – 2.2; TSH 0.96 (Told everything is good at 112mcg)

So that is my thyroid bloodwork history, I had given my test results to the doctor I did a phone consult with and he said according to the results I could either take more or less there is a lot of room there for what would be considered normal, so my doctor didn’t do anything wrong. But he agreed that lowering the dosage back down to where it was prior to experiencing the unusual extremely increased shedding was a good idea. So now I am back on 88mcg.

HI Gretchen – Thanks so much for your support, and I’m so happy that the blog has become a positive thing for the women who read it. It is what I had hoped it would be, women with hair loss supporting one another, offering words of comfort, knowledge or just listening. My fingers are crossed that my slowed down shedding continues. I feel pretty good about and am very optimistic that things are definitely getting better. Of course I’ll keep everyone updated, good, bad or indifferent 🙂


Marianne November 2, 2007 at 3:54 pm

Thanks for posting your thyroid labs. Just curious, but do you have Hashimoto’s? I had no symptoms when I was diagnosed but hair loss which of course has gotten extremely worse since starting synthroid. I keep telling myself it is not the meds but just my body getting adjusted to it but then you google hair loss and synthroid, it gets a bit upsetting to say the least. My TSH is down to 0.814 and my thyroid levels (T4 and T3) are normal and have been for a month. I just feel like the doctors started me out a too high of a dose (100 mcg) when I wasn’t exhibiting extreme symptoms. Oh well, too late now!

I have since quit all birth control which is probably part of the problem. I was on a high androgen BC until March 2007 when I switched to a progesterone only pill. (I had melasma on my upper lip which I thought was estrogen related but now I wonder). I have since stopped the progesterone only pills when I was dx as hypothyroid. I had no idea I was on a high androgen BC until I started losing my hair in August and was researching hair loss and BC. They sure don’t tell you that when you are sitting in your university health clinic thinking you are making smart choices.

I am given my hair shedding until Christmas then I will search for a new doctor or a new medication regime. I appreciated this site so much and all the stories that are shared. I am headed to the dermatologist and endocrinologist next week. Maybe they will be helpful but it will make for a fun week (I have never had so much blood taking for me in all my life!!).

Thanks again!


fran March 24, 2008 at 1:10 am

I got diagnosed with hashimotos and was put on synthroid and had bad bad hair loss a full brush, i did research online and had them change me to armour and the hair loss slowed down, i also supplimented with evening primrose about 3 1000 mg gell caps a day and you will notice the difference within a week, less and less hair will be there. also omega 3 vitamins helps alot as long as they are mercury free ones, make sure to check the bottle, after starting the omega 3’s i had one inch long hairs starting to come up all along my hair line! anyways good luck


Satori March 24, 2012 at 2:24 am

Dear friends,

We all know the desperation when it comes to hairloss. I have been dealing with this stressful syndrome on-off for 12 years. This year I´ll turn 50. So, to make a really long story shorter I´ll start with the beginning. Being in my late thirties, always coloring and keeping my hair in good shape, once at the hairdressers while washing off the color, my hairdresser was sarting to scream in panic.
I think 50% of my hair came off. I was panicking, really panicking…
Went home, called my doctor to run a million tests, putting the rest of my hair in a wiggly ponytail. Even with a lot lost, I still had some left. My hair
has always been really fine, but I had a lot.
Anyway after trying anything, just anything with no obvous reason found
to solve my hairloss, it slowly starting growing out. I had gone to a different
hairdresser as it would have been too traumatic to return to the old place.
15 months later, I could let my hair down again. We put some fine highlights
to give a fresher look. My own color is rat, I mean ugly rat color!
In 2002 I moved back to my country, Sweden, and went on with my life.
Somehow in 2005 my coloring session went wrong at the hairdresser, and
here I go again, at this point I can say all in all I had 1/3 left from the very
beginning. This hair has never returned, I have been ill, celiacic disease, depression some neurological symptoms etc. Anyway, I think I must have spent a fortune on vitamin pills, oils, spiro, progesterone, scalp lotion this and that. The time, money and worry are in monstruos proportion.
I have spent so much time worrying about my hair – I still do. But, dear
friends, yesterday I went to a wig store – and bought two wigs, one real hair and the other synthetic. There are some new routines to get used to, but
this is my final solution, I do not think my own hair will ever look decent to show it. The wigs are a real help, and my point with all this is; stop worrying if you can – if possible buy a nice wig and come to terms with that. My husband is really pleased to a smile on my face after a long break. Every time I saw my scalp, the thinning hair coming from a follicle just taking its last breaths. Feeling so worthless, not wanting to go anywhere and have fun as it is impossible when you are suffering from hairloss. If I don´t stop worrying about this I would probably lose my husband, all the good things. I cannot
go any longer or deeper with this. The wig has helped me immediately, dear friends, many people wear extensions etc a wig is nothing different, but it
gives your own hair a chance to be forgotten about and choose a look that
you feel comfortable with. Do not buy a wig online, it is paramount to try the styles, get the right fit and cut and last but not least; the color that really fits you. That can be real finetuning:-) Dear friends, be proactive and try to get back to your life! Love you all, this is a great site!


Ann October 25, 2012 at 8:57 am

Hi, also experiencing massive hair loss. This has been going on for three months and seems to be getting worse. I’ve also had the experience that doctors just don’t care. Has anyone had any luck with a dermatologist in the henderson, Las Vegas, nevada area? Thank you.


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