Does anyone have Alopecia Areata??

Discussion in 'General Health' started by gutterflower, Sep 6, 2006.

  1. girlfrommars

    girlfrommars New Member

    Gutterflower, scooping out handfuls of hair from the shower is very disconcerting isn't it. Also finding hair everywhere around the house was annoying for both me and the other half.
  2. booga15

    booga15 New Member

    Hi gals,
    i feel heaps better knowing that there are others who know exactly how i feel. i shaved my head cos i didnt want to see any more of my hair falling out in the shower or when i woke up. my boyfriend shaved it for me hehe.. well i had to force him, but he has been supportive so that does help.. but i still have some negative feelings inside. Ever since i knew about the bald spot i have been abit more low/sad... but i am trying to keep positive especially now that there are girls out there who are so much more stronger than me and that really helps [​IMG]
  3. girlfrommars

    girlfrommars New Member

    Booga.... negative feelings are inevitable, I still get them when people stare, but I've learned (rightly or wrongly) to try and turn those thoughts around and have negative feelings about stupid shallow staring people instead of thinking that it's my problem.

    I think this condition is easier to deal with for blokes (any guys reading this, feel free to contradict) as it's more acceptable for men to have shaved heads.

    I thought very very briefly about going down the wig route, but my mum had some when she had cancer treatment and they're really horrible. Short hair all the way now. I save a fortune on shampoo and conditioner as well [​IMG]
  4. gutterflower

    gutterflower Active Member

    My fiance's cousin has it, but you can only tell when he's growing a beard. It's just so easy to solve, shave it all, hehehe!! I wish I could be strong enough to shave my head, probably eventually will. I'll just wear hats and hankie's on my head if I do.
  5. D 4 A

    D 4 A New Member

    Now I have quit the BC pill my hair has become so thin you can see through to my scalp. It is horrible and upsetting, and makes me feel really unfeminine and ugly. It is really difficult because my BF is of indian origin and all of his family have really thick shiny black hair, especially the ladies and teenagers, and Im always around them. They are like "awe your hair is a lovely colour" (because it is a light mahogany brown naturally) but I know they are all thinking awe but its so thin!!!! [​IMG]

    Just praying I dont go bald !
  6. gutterflower

    gutterflower Active Member

    Hey ladies-
    I asked my fiance to take a look at my hair really closely, he hasn't in about a month, because he was putting corticosteroid lotion on my bald spots and I have to put it on for a month, then 1 month off and repeat, so next week I'll be putting it on again. Well he hesitated and told me that it's getting worse and not better. My left side is almost as bald as my right side, I'm pratically crying typing this. I really don't know what else to do, it's just killing me!!! My hair seems like it'll never grow back. It's been going on for a year and a half and my hair still isnt' growing and it just keeps falling out. This is just so frustrating!!

  7. D 4 A

    D 4 A New Member

    GF im so sorry your going through that

    Hope everything works out. And keep us updated plus baby dust to u *****~~~~~~******~~~~~*****
  8. girlfrommars

    girlfrommars New Member

    Gutterflower, that really sucks [​IMG] You are still just as beautiful whatever your hair looks like, and I hope your bloke tells you that often.

    Do any of you bunch get asked by people why your hair looks like it does? I've had a few total strangers ask, which I think is quite rude and shook me a little, but very few people I work with or friends have mentioned it.

    FLOWERPOWER New Member

    Hi Gutterflower,

    I know I can see a bit "cold" when I post because I'm trying to get a lot of medical and biochemical information out there but as I've said, I truly understand. It's just for me personally dwelling on the emotional cost of all this isn't worth it. I have to know what can help. IMO putting corticosteroid ointment doesn't help. It's short termism and can cause more problems in the long term. It's not addressing the root causes which can basically be:

    1) yeast overgrowth
    2) hair thinning over many years of taking steroid drugs in the form of the Pill, implant, jab etc
    3) An allergic type reaction (autoimmune)
    4) Nutrient deficiencies

    I have found taking it one day at a time is the best way of approaching things and getting remaining hair in as good a condition as possible with nutrients and avoiding any form of steroid. For some women, their hair grows back, some women have deeper problems but at least they've stopped the remaining hair coming out and it is in as good a conditon as possible.

    This may seem small consolation, but there are a lot of us out there who have suffered with hair loss after being prescribed steroid contraception. I had very, very thick hair once but the thinning was so insiduous over several years and I was so busy with other thngs, I didn't realize what was happening. I do carry a photo around of how I was for my own mental health (!!!) but obviously I can't show this and say "I was once like this!". I have to come to terms with what I'm like now. And I try to keep my hair in the best possible shape with the right nutrients, keeping any yeast overgrowth under control and have found a sympathetic and talented hairdresser.

    Vitamin Bs (either as a vitamin B complex or vitamin B stress complex - vitamin B plus added C), a separate zinc tablet, a separate magnesium tablet and a mix of at least the Omega 3s and Omega 6s can all be helpful.

    If you want to be tested for iron deficiency, make sure that the doc tests the serum ferritin levels which are the iron stores. Not just the ferritin or the haemoglobin levels but the serum ferritin levels. The haemoglobin levels contain just the iron circulating in the blood. When it falls low, it draws on the iron stores, the serum ferritin.

    So just measuring the haemoglobin levels can be very misleading because it draws on the iron stores so it seems "topped off" when the iron stores can be getting low. It can be a good idea to ask for a photocopy of the test results. These are very easy to read because the patient's results are put beside the normal range of results. It's also good to know that even if the results are on the low side of "normal" a person can benefit from supplementation.

    There are non constipating irons available. If iron is found to be lacking and the person starts taking iron (also outside the problem times because again the iron needs to build up), it's also necessary to take a zinc tablet because taking iron lowers zinc levels. Iron should also not be taken within an hour of having milk or grains and it does help to take iron with something containing vitamin C to help absorption.

    As I say, I do understand but I've found it just doesn't make any difference if you cry and you tire yourself out. Of course, I'm always going to shed a few tears and want to turn the clock back - we're all human. But I can only do the best for myself, as far as I am able, and encourage others as well. There are a lot of us out there and thank goodness for the internet, so you can know that we're all out there and we'll always support you and I hope you'll support us because we also need you! You're still important (and with a wonderful bf by the sound of it) and you've taken the step of seeking the experience of others and talking it over. You're still you, in spite of everything. We all have our ups and downs but there are things you can do which may help.
  10. gutterflower

    gutterflower Active Member

    Thanks for the hug, I'll take it!!

    My friend told me she loves my hair, because it's really long and looks good when it's down. I hate keeping it down, because I get covered in hair and it goes on everything and everywhere, so I need to keep it up for all to see or wear a hat. I haven't had anyone ask, I usually say something before anyone asks, like when I used to go to the hairdresser, I would say something before she said something. One of my friends laughed, because she thought it's just weird and unusual, but I didn't think it was funny at all. The people at work, think it's strange and one of the guys is supportive for shaving my head. I still don't know, I'll keep you updated.

    Thank you so much for your awesome post and I didn't think it was 'cold'. I honestly think that you are here for a reason and you truly care about everyone who have taken/are taking oral contraceptives. Obviously according to you, it's not the smartest drug to take and I wish that I would of known you a long time ago and have never went on it, but unfortunately that's not the case.
    You really help make me understand that I'm not alone and nothings going to help by being depressed over it. I've pretty much accepted myself (very difficult when my hair keeps falling out a lot) and I know that I'm still me, but it is very embarassing. I really wonder what's causing all of this and I'm definately not stressing over, but it is quite frustrating.
    Do you think I should continue with the corticosteroid lotion?? I have an appointment in February to see my dermatologist again and I can't just stop by because it's 2 hours away. I thought that towards the last few weeks of putting that lotion on my scalp, I just felt nervous putting it on, because of the side effects.

    Anyways I should continue working, I've been working on this post for a few hours now, hehehe, bye!!

    FLOWERPOWER New Member

    Well, I don't pretend to be a doc but personally, no, I wouldn't take the corticosteroid lotion because it's just another lot of steroids and for many women it's one lot of steroids which have caused the problems in the first place. If there is an improvement, it'll only be a very short term one and I would have thought eventually to avoid thinning skin and if there is a yeast/fungus involvement it will make it worse.

    There's a big industry surrounding these drugs and just as big an industry has built up with drugs and stuff to be prescribed for the side effects of these drugs. I would strongly urge to read

    Sexual Chemistry. Understanding our hormones, the Pill and HRT by Dr Ellen Grant.


    The Doctors' Case Against the Pill by Barbara Seaman

    The latter has quite a bit about hair loss. Although it was written about the so-called high dose oral contraceptives, the modern contraceptives are if anything more potent because although they are lower doses, they are micronized and just as powerful.

    Personally I have found laying off lotions etc is best and getting the remaining hair in a good condition. This doesn't happen immediately. But taking basic nutrients (vitamin B complex or vitamin B stress complex - vitamin Bs plus added C -, magnesium, zinc and Omega 3s and 6s plus possibly iron) can make a big difference, I have found.

    The nutrients have to percolate through the body and build up and this helps the hair get into good condition but it may take at least several months until you yourself notice the difference both in the general and in the hair.

    If you're lucky it will be a pure nutrient deficiency problem and maybe the hair will grow back. Otherwise I have noticed that my hair stopped falling out. Also I was going prematurely grey round the edges and it seemed to stop this completely.

    My problem has been more thinning hair and then the frail hairs falling out, so it's as if every second hair is missing on the scalp. But it also caused thinning hair down below and thinning eyelashes of all things but luckily I had previously thick dark eyelashes despite being naturally fair and so despite losing every second eyelash it doesn't look too bad. Looking at possible yeast overgrowth and allergies really can help as well.

    Regarding your dermatologist, I would refer you to another posting I've done

    As I've said in my other postings on this thread (and others), there is some real biochemical evidence for what I'm talking about and real docs have done research on it. Their findings have never been refuted just ignored. Go figure why.

    Anyway, whatever you decide to do, I wish you the very best and big hugs. Just take each day as it comes. You're only human and there's going to be times when you feel down but grasp every opportunity to socialize adn keep yourself busy whenever you can. It may pain you to see others with hair but you'll also begin to notice others with hair problems as well.

    I see a lot of younger women now who I realize have covered up bald patches with their otherwise long hair. And frankly I think hair extensions have come in because so many women, including celebrities, have been having hair problems. And guess, what, they've probably been on the Pill or similar drugs.

    I've found the best way to approach all this is to be as practical as possible about it and understanding the biochemical reactions which causes it all also gives me confidence when dealing with others.
  12. booga15

    booga15 New Member

    Hey guys...
    geez, seems like this forum is growing. everyone.. even though i havent seen u or know u.. i think ur all beautiful and brave gurls and thats all that counts!!! i have days where i cant breathe cos i just think about it so much and i have no idea whats going to happen, its so bad but then i think that atleast i'm alive and healthy and have my friends n family.... there are people out there in the world who dont have any of that. beauty isnt everything gals.. its whats on the inside, plus there will always be a time when beauty fades and the only thing left is whats inside and thats the most important thing [​IMG] i shaved my head yes..and i go to work with a bandana or a hat, some customers look at me weird but i dont care, they dont know me and its not their place to ask... by the way can someone inform me about the pill ... do all pills have steroid components? im quite confused, ive never been on the pill but i have taken the morning after pill a few times.. does that count???

    FLOWERPOWER New Member

    Yes, all the contraceptive Pills, implants, jabs, patches, hormonal IUDs and rings and the morning after Pill and HRT are steroid sex hormones.

    Estrogens and progesterone in the body are also steroid sex hormones but the external steroid sex hormones in drugs are not the same. They are much more powerful and don't blend seamlessly with your own steroid hormones.

    These steroid sex hormones are not only found in the ovaries but also in the adrenal glands. You know the song "It ain't necessarily so, the things you are liable to read in the bible, it ain't necessarily so"?

    Well, it's true because women are not "spare ribs" of men. It's the men who are a variation on the women not the other way round.

    The basic steroid sex hormones in the body are all so-called female hormones and the so-called male hormones are converted from the female hormones. The adrenal gland chain (effectively the immune system) is as follows: acetate is converted into cholesterol, cholesterol in turn is converted to progesterone, progesterone is converted in turn into bodily androgens, cortisol, aldosterone.

    Bodily androgens are in turn converted into bodily estrogen. Using any external steroid sex hormones can interfere in this chain. So you can see why men get trouble when they use bodybuilding steroids as well.

    The morning after Pill is a megadose of Levonorgestrol which is also found in the Pill.

    Hope this helps.
  14. gutterflower

    gutterflower Active Member

    Hey Ladies-
    I had my a hair cut yesterday. I got it cut shoulder length, with some long layers. My hair just looks so dead, but it added some volume, my hair doesn't look so flat anymore. Oh well, I'll try this and if I don't like it or it gets worse, maybe I'll get a mohawk and dye it lime green, hehehe!!! I guess I have to have a sense of humour, since nothing else seems to help. Anyways talk to you all later, bye!!
  15. curcuma

    curcuma New Member

    hey Flowerpower one of the books you mentioned above, Sexual Chemistry, is out of print. Any other recs?

    FLOWERPOWER New Member

    You can get get it via libraries which I think is the best bet. There is one second hand copy available at a reasonable price from the UK for 12 GBP

    Within the US it's 24 USD plus postage and packing

    The other book The Bitter Pill is also out of print but occasionally comes up at a reasonable price. But again the best bet is the library.

    Then there is Barbara's Seaman's The Doctors' Case Against The Pill. And also Barbara and Gideon Seaman's Women and the Crisis in Sex Hormones.

    A good summary of Dr Grant's work is at

    You can also do searches for articles and letters by Dr Ellen Grant for free in the British Medical Journal and also in The Lancet. You have to register for The Lancet but again it's free.

    If anyone has access to a medical library, she has also written in the journal of the American Medical Association, the New England Medical Journal and the Journal of Environmental and Nutritional Medicine

    The latter's index of contents are online and people may find this issue interesting

  17. curcuma

    curcuma New Member

    fabulous, thank you. I forgot to check the uk branch of amazon, which tends to have a lot of surprising things, so I'll look there as well.
  18. Sazz_p

    Sazz_p New Member

    Have been away for awhile and was quite suprised to see the number of posts on this issue!!!
    Gutterflower I tend to agree with flowerpower about the steroid cream. I have eliminated every sort of steroid I was taking over this year, and it was quite a few!!!!! I was using ventolin, creams for my eczema and I was on the pill! This has also involved a lot of nutrient suport and changing my diet dramatically but my skin hasnt been this good in ages and I've barely had any asthma. And also can take awhile for body to return to normal after being on the pill.

    The only thing still going on is my hair!!! You are really brave to get your hair cut mine also needs cutting but im scared about the hairdresser freaking out cause i've always had such thick hair (which is lucky i spose!) I also hate wearing mine out cause I find hair everywhere and its only looks nice on the days I wash it! And respect to the girls who have shaved their heads you are so brave. I also have v. supportive boyfriend who said he would buy me the most expensive wig he could if need be!!!!

    I get really depressed about this but it is comforting to know there are some of u who understand!!!! how old r u all by the way? im 23... anyways keep ur chins up, u r all beautiful! [​IMG]

    FLOWERPOWER New Member


    I would say that the hair does look a lot better short. It weighs it down too much when it's longer and if it is thinning on top it doesn't show so much when it's short. Of course, there are hairdressers and hairdressers - some are more talented than others and are good at a cover up. It's special when you find one you trust but I think you do have to explain very carefully the texture of the hair so they have a good think before cutting what style may suit thinner hair. It's no good a hairdresser cutting a style that she or he does a lot if it isn't right for the present texture of the hair. Also you'd be surprised how many hairdressers have seen a lot of women and girls with thinning hair because of these drugs so it may not be as big a shock as you think. I know that when this happens to you, you do start to look very carefully at people's hair and I'm seeing now a lot of women and girls with thinning hair and baldish patches which they try to cover up. It's obvious it's these drugs and I think the jab and implant make an impact on hair even sooner than the Pill.
  20. girlfrommars

    girlfrommars New Member

    Sazz_p, I'm 25.

    Flowerpower, I also agree that hair looks better short when there's thinning / loss. Even blokes who are losing hair naturally due to ageing look much better if they cut it off and accept it gracefully rather than attempt to "comb over".

    It's interesting to read all this info about links between hair loss and contraceptives.

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