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Low Estrogen Levels Causing Hair Loss?

Discussion in 'Women's General Hair Loss Discussions' started by totaldispHAIR, May 17, 2003.

  1. totaldispHAIR

    totaldispHAIR Member

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    Hi, I'm a 31 y.o. female who has gradually been shedding over the last 9 months, but in the last 2.5 months I've lost about half my hair. I went to the derma. who told me my hormone levels were normal and I had TE. Thankfully, my chiropractor told me it's the *ratio* of the levels to each other, not where they fall w/i the range. I faxed my results to my gyno. who told me I my Estrogen was too low and we are going to change my BCP to fix it (currently on LoEstrin since forever w/ no previous hair loss).

    Has anyone had this same problem? Is this still TE or is it AGA? Will it grow back, and has changing BCPs worked?
     
  2. Rapunzel

    Rapunzel New Member

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    Hey!
    Oh my gosh, i love your user name, its so cute!
    Okay, I dont think i can offer very much advice, I'm still in the early phases of finding a good dermatologist and stuff. The most recent guy i saw said that he would do blood work to see if my hormone levels were okay, but he's almost positive everything will come out normal, and that my hair loss is simply "bad luck". I've heard about the "ratio" thing with the hormones, and i'm actually afraid that this guy is going to tell me everything is normal when its not.
    But anyways, it makes sense that the birthcontrol pill, which is a bunch of hormones, would fix your hormone problem. I dont know if you have TE or AGA, to be honest, I dont even know the difference between the two, I read the discription on both of them and they sound so much the same. I'm guessing AGA because i think the birthcontrol pill is a antiandrogen which would be used to treat androgenetic alopecia. right?
    Just my guess though!
    Anyways, let us know what happens! A lot of woman I'm sure are in the same situation. Good Luck :)
     
  3. totaldispHAIR

    totaldispHAIR Member

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    You know...sometimes I figure I've got to laugh about it (hence, the user name), and other times I just cry and cry. I've been totally obsessed about my hair loss since it started, and other times I get so tired thinking about it.

    **The ratio thing is super important!*** I had 2 doctors look at it and tell me I was "normal". When my gyno saw the numbers, he called me back the same day and said "no way, the Estrogen is way too low". If I had trusted the other 2 doctors, I would surely be on my path to complete baldness (or other worse health issues besides hair loss).

    The only advice I can give is to be the central point that controls everything in your analysis and treatment. Research everything you can, and have every single doctor (primary care internist, derma, gyno)evaluate everything because they will look at things from only their area of training. You may want to get a second or third opinion on your hormone ratios, and *make sure your gyno looks at it too!*.

    Good luck and thanks for your support! I will keep you posted on how things go this week.
     
  4. Rapunzel

    Rapunzel New Member

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    Thanks totaldispHAIR

    Hey, just to update. The dermatologist DID call me back about my blood work and said that "everything fell within the normal range". I made an appointment with a dermatologist in Boston that specializes in female hairloss, so hopefully she will be a good second opinion. To tell you the truth, i never even considered seeing a gyno for this problem. I'm going to definatly look into it though. Thanks for the good advice totaldispHAIR! :)
     
  5. totaldispHAIR

    totaldispHAIR Member

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    Hi Rapunzel, I called my primary care physician who said "talk to your gyno, I'm not trained enough in that area to evaluate your hormone ratio" and my derma said she assumed that my gyno would catch anything like that. So, yes, go call yours and at the least fax over the results and ask for an additional evaulation!

    good luck with everything and keep me updated! I'm interested in hearing what your hair-loss derma specialist has to say.
     
  6. mariejoe

    mariejoe Member

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    Hi, guys,

    Just thought I'd throw in my 2-cents worth. My derm. told me loss of estrogen can cause all sorts of problems. Hair loss, dry skin, itchy skin, rashes are some I've experienced. I'm menopausal and take FEMHRT (real low doses) and Vagifem to control "traditional" menopausal symptoms. But the skin and hair problems are a lot harder to fix, it seems.

    When I had blood work done at the gyn, he said only my DHEA was abnormal, ie. too high. He told me to see an endocrinologist. I never went, too expensive for me. But, a hormone doctor may be an idea you are willing to pursue. If you get results, I may change my mind.
    And then, my derm said that the DHEA was not abnormally high. Who to believe? :roll:
    I haven't heard that "ratio" thing, but sounds reasonable to me. :)
     
  7. Stingray

    Stingray Senior Member

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    DHEA is an androgen right? I believe an abnormally high DHEA hormone is a player in some forms of hair loss in men....it would only make sense that it could do the same in women. Is there any mild anti-androgens for women available?

    Man, you guys have it rough :(

    I give you ladies props...I am in NO way man enough to be a woman.

    [edit]
    DHEA = Dehydroepiandrosterone
    So yea, it's an androgen.
    [/edit]
     
  8. mariejoe

    mariejoe Member

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    Stingray,

    DHEA is an androgen and my level was high, but not off the charts. My derm didn't think it was too high for safety, or to cause my hair loss. Without lose-dose hormone replacement, my estrogen level is almost non-existent. And, since the estrogen is low, my hair and skin problems manifest. :roll:

    To be honest, I fell prey to the B.S. about DHEA supplements being wonderful for you. After the blood test results, I stopped taking the DHEA!! It wasn't a high dose, and my derm. thinks it caused the elevated blood level of DHEA. You just can't be too careful with OTC supplements, esp. the hormone-related kind, chemical or herbal :freaked: BEWARE

    Maybe there is such a thing as shampoo with estrogen?

    Maybe we have it tough, but we can take it?!?!!
     
  9. Stingray

    Stingray Senior Member

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    I don't think that it's the hormone LEVELS that make a difference, it's the ratio between masculine and feminine hormones that matters in the long run. You can have a borderline low androgen level, but if your estrogens are also low, then they still have to compete for the receptor sites, and more androgens will bind than they should.

    Where do I learn this stuff? Ugh, why didn't I become a doctor instead of a grease monkey.
     
  10. mariejoe

    mariejoe Member

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    I keep hearing this ratio thing...it must be true, though: doesn't seem too many MD's are telling us about it :lol: Thanks for explaining the ratio thing a little. Maybe I should give and endocrinologist a try?

    It is amazing what we learn when we want to. I, for one, didn't think I'd ever care about androgens, receptors, etc., etc....let alone hair loss...
    :freaked2:
    I bet a lot of us didn't become what we should have become. OTOH, we probably need more good grease monkeys, there are way too many doctors and lawyers out there already.
     
  11. Stingray

    Stingray Senior Member

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    Yea... I wanted to work on cars, and construction and everything though. I've just always had a fascination with the human body...(preferably the female body ;) but that's another story :) ) Genetics and such. It's all just so much to learn. Plus I like being smarter than everyone I know.
     
  12. totaldispHAIR

    totaldispHAIR Member

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    I wrote about my endo experience on the thread "Anyone have good luck stopping BCP". In a nutshell, my endo sucked and it was a waste of time. Not to say that all endos are like that...just my experience happened to be that way.

    Ratios are the name of the game; forget "normal range" stuff, they don't mean anything. If your estro is super low, it doesn't matter if your testosterone is "normal" because chances are it's too high in relation to the estro/progesterone which offsets it.

    MarieJoe, you must read the following book, I've been spouting about it wherever I can: What your doctor may not tell you about premenopause--balance your life and hormones from 30-50. Dr John Lee. He also has written one same title about Menopause. It's *brilliant* and it's the first thing I've gotten my hands on that has not only explained potentially the causes for my hair loss (low progesterone can't offset androgens resulting in male patterned hairloss; and low estrogen leads to zinc deficiencies resulting in hair loss), but it's explained my overall female hormonal system.

    I just started taking 50 mg of zinc as of my new results yesterday (of course, it was a non-allopathic doctor who found that one out, along with high levels of mercury in my system potentially causing hairloss...but I digress, that's another posting shortly), and I am using a natural progesterone cream to help offset the imbalance. You should really read the book, I never would have thought about that, and it also explains in detail how natural vs synthetic hormones affect your system (natural progesterone is different from those that claim to be made from yam or soy derivatives--your body doesn't sythesize it the same way when it's made from a derivative).
     
  13. mariejoe

    mariejoe Member

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    totaldispHAIR,

    Thanks for the info on the book, What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause. I went to Amazon.com and found there's a rev. ed. I'm gonna order it today! It sounds very interesting. But, I guess I'll withhold taking anything new until I get the book.
    It does seem that most doctors give no insight into what happens when hormone levels diminsh as we age. You gotta rely on reading stuff yourself. But then, finding a sympathetic doctor is like finding a needle in a haystack. My derm has been helpful, but as a derm, she is limited in the kind of bloodwork my insurance will pay for.
    What is a non-allopathic doctor?
    Keep me posted on results with the zinc, etc. I'll let you know what I think of the book you mentioned.

    Mariejoe
     
  14. totaldispHAIR

    totaldispHAIR Member

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    Hi Mariejoe,

    Allopathic doctors are the ones who typically rely on symptoms only to do their diagnosis. If they do their "standard" tests and nothing shows up, then nothing must be wrong.

    My non-allopathic doctor was trained in the traditional med field but has been practicing alternative medicine as well. Through him we discovered my zinc deficiency and my high mercury levels. I'm also using him to treat my allergies with supplements and nutrition and homeopathic drops instead of the traditional meds like Allegra and Zyrtec. Incidentally, I found a list of meds on a web site that can cause hairloss and my Zyrtec allergy medicine was on the list! Interesting considering I started it in November and my hair started falling out a month or two after.
     

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