I'm new! Not sure where to post!

Discussion in 'Open Topic (General)' started by nappeal, May 14, 2009.

  1. nappeal

    nappeal New Member

    Let me first say that I think I'm being obsessive about my situation. Maybe I'm in denial. I don't know since how I feel changes every day, sometimes every hour. This will be VERY long since I never learned how to keep things simple, so please bear with me!

    In the beginning of Feb or beginning of March this year, I started on Ortho Tricyclen Lo because I began sleeping with a new partner, who I'm no longer with (I'm now abstinent). The first 2-3 weeks were TERRIBLE for me! I was on constant PMS; eating all day, moody, depressed, tired & fatigued. I really wanted off the BCP, but I also don't want anymore kids, so one outweighs the other! Slowly & 10+ lbs later, I seem to have normalized. I'm still tired & fatigued, but not as moody or manic. However, something new, and even more unwanted than PMS, has started - hair thinning. It seems as if 2 weeks ago I literally woke up one morning, looked in the mirror, & realized the the very frontal hairline was thin and balding (sort of). I can plainly, and to my disgust, see my entire scalp when I lift the hair that would be considered a woman's bang. Its depressing. I want to make clear that I have no blading; my hair has become 'patchy' (the best word I can come up with) and very thin, but ONLY in the front. About golf-ball sized area from my forhead back, seemingly affecting my right side more than my left.

    The last 2 weeks have been unbearable for me. I am CONSTANTLY running into the bathroom simply so I can look in the mirror & look at my hair. This consumes my thoughts, my DREAMS, and my behavior. I feel like anyone who looks at me is looking at my hairline. I stare at every woman's hairline just to compare. I'm depressed and sad; I can't imagine living like this for much longer.

    When I noticed the thinning of my very thick hair, I called my PCP who's also a GYN/OB, for blood tests, only thinking about my thyroid. Every year, my TSH comes back slightly low, but literally by a point or 2, and my mom & her brother both have Grave's disease, which affects the thyroid. Knowing this, I asked if she could run a throurough yet basic series of blood tests, and for once in my life they all came back NORMAL. 'Its obviously not my thryroid' I think, so I call her office & leave a message for the nurse asking if my BCP could be related to the hair thinning & how I could go about getting tested for my hormone level. I get told by the DR herself that there's no correlation between the Ortho Tricyclen Lo & hair loss/thinning. What?! Well, what the hell do I do now? The BCP is literally the only med I take, and it is the only new substance my body has had for a while.

    So here's my checklist:

    My BC is brand-spankin new; I've never been on BC before for more than 1 month, and that was only twice many years ago with many years in between.

    Again, my mom & uncle have graves disease, not to mention my mom has a couple other various and uknown-to-me thyroid disorders. My thyroid runs low, but I've always had symptoms of HYPERthyroidism. Recent tests came back normal.

    My thick, coarse, dark hair is still the same - everywhere else but in the very front, almost as if my hairline is receeding. The roots are thin & light, nothing like the roots everywhere else on my head. I have no bald spots, and I am not shedding an abnormal amount of hair. Matter of fact, I'd say less than what's considered average; from what I notice, I comb or find 50-60 hairs a day, maybe less. I can tug on my hair, run my fingers thru it, or play with it, and I don't lose hair. To physically take hair out I have to be rough with a pull.

    I'm not the healthiest person around by no means. I eat what I like, which includes a lot of meat, and I don't exercise at all.

    I'm not shedding, and that's what I don't understand. I'm scared that this has been going on for a while, but I didn't notice it until recently. At some point I had to have shed a lot, but I don't remember that ever happening. However, back in March of '08, my ex-husband & I separated & later divorced b/c of his cheating. He left to be with the other woman, which left me in a terrible mental state. I shed A LOT then; I'd literally comb out handfuls of hair, but I didn't think anything of it since I could afford to lose some hair at that time. Now, life is relatively peaceful for me, and this is happening. I'm scared that if I'm not shedding that all my hair is going to fall out at once, or gradually just thin into nothingness. I, like I know many women here, am more afraid that I am going to keep searching for answers that I never get while I continue to lose more hair.

    I've never had a problem with hairloss, and only men on both sides of my family suffer from AA. I'm surprisingly confident that AA isn't my problem, but I'm not sure, and at this point, its the unknown that is the most frightening.

    I've been exchanging emails with a family friend who's also a semi-retired dermatologist. He's not sure by my description, but thinks it sounds like my BC, so I'll be meeting with him next Monday so he can look at my scalp. I'm unrealistically relying on this being the only thing I need to do to investigate my hairloss, & I will find the fix-all-forever cure by seeing him, but I'm also afraid of being told that I'm going totally bald & that there's nothing I can do about it. Or even worse, hearing 'I don't know'. I trust he'll give me the what's up & give my case more attention than the norm. He may or may not decide to run any tests, so I'll see how that goes.

    I've always been self-conscience about my body, which has left my hair being my crowning glory. I don't know what I'll have left if I don't have it to fall back on. I've even gone into researching wigs or thinking about just shaving my hair off, and I know I'm being completely & overly dramatic.

    I feel my problem is the Ortho Tricyclen Lo even tho it is considered a more safer BC since it's a lower dose, but I just can't figure out what else it could be. The timing would be right: I noticed my thinning 2 months after I began the BC, and I have nothing else in my system. I truly feel like stopping the BC ASAP will help, but I also fear shedding after I've stopped. BTW, I've been taking the BCP for near 3 months now, and I probably won't be taking it anymore after this cycle.

    I see baby hairs here and there on my scalp, but they're thin and almost translucent, nothing like my near black colored hair. That leaves me thinking positively, but that they're thin makes me feel negatively.

    I feel like a whiny baby after reading all of your stories. A whiny, self-absorbed baby. Maybe I shouldn't even be posting this God-awfully long post because its so trivial. But this is a life consuming problem for me. It's all I think about, and it doesn't help that I have already underlying psychological problems to begin with like depression, anxiety & obsession. Some days I've felt as if I will wake up completely bald tomorrow, other days I feel like I'm over-reacting, most days I feel distrusting of those around me.

    I'd appreciate any advice or support or 'shut the hell up, you're being dramatic' that I can get. I know it could be worse, but that's what I'm afraid of. I'm 24...I can't imagine having to deal with this so young.


    Thank you strong ladies very much in advance.:)
    Angela likes this.
  2. kawawa

    kawawa New Member

    not much time today sorry

    Welcome to the board. It is great that you have noticed this so soon and you are being proactive about it. This is a real concern. Mine started the same way at about 29 years old, so it is never too soon to look into help. Be steady in your treatment and try not to throw the whole kitchen sink at it at once. Good luck!
  3. finaleofseem

    finaleofseem New Member

    First -- I'm sorry that this is happening to you, but glad you found someplace for support. :) I'm 23 and will be 24 this summer -- my thinning started in my teens, so I know how you feel.

    Second, I'll preface my response with saying I am not a doctor, so anything I say is just my opinion having been on hair loss boards and seeing my own loss. As with anything, everyone is different, and every case of HL is different.

    That said, the BCP could be the culprit. You're right, the timing does make sense. The only thing that's weird is that I thought BCP loss had a lot of shedding, etc. Is it possible that you had been thinning in front for a while, and hadn't noticed until after starting the pill? Or that the pill made it worse? For a lot of women, BCPs can unmask an underlying predisposition for thinning.

    Also -- by AA do you mean androgenic alopecia, the hereditary male and female pattern baldness? Or do you mean Alopecia Areata? I just ask b/c you mentioned that only men have it on both sides. From what I understand, AGA (the androgenic kind of thinning) can be passed down from the males in the family to the females. I think that's what's happening in my case, sadly. There's thinning in the males in my family. Though one of my mother's cousins DID unmask AGA when she had her first boy.

    I'm on the network under the same name, if you're registered over there. Either way, if you'd like someone about your age to talk to, I'm around and more than willing to listen.
  4. nappeal

    nappeal New Member

    Thank you Kawawa & Finale. I've thought about it, and sometime in January of this year I remember seeing a very small amount of thinning, so I bought Rogaine & tried it out. It itched the crap out of my scalp so I quit using it. This was obviously before I started BC. I now think that maybe it was the BC that made it worse or obvious. This all makes me very upset & depressed. I'm just over it consuming my life right now. I know for the time being my hair doesn't look that bad, and I really and honestly don't think people notice (tho I think people are staring at me), but I can't help but compulsively look at my hair. It seems like it looks worse everyday, but I also think that's my imagination. I'm just looking forward to seeing the Dr.

    I'm sorry I wasn't clear; I meant Adrogenetic thinning. The men on both sides have it bad, & my 21 yr old brother has had a problem with thinning for a couple years now, but no women my mom or myself can think of have thinning.

    I appreciate your guys' support. I truly feel alone even tho with this site in particular I know that's not true. I'm just being a worry-wart that it's going to get worse tomorrow!
  5. finaleofseem

    finaleofseem New Member

    Don't worry about the mix-up with AA and AGA -- happens all the time. I just wanted to make sure I was understanding.

    I know the alone feeling. I was talking to the Boy about this today, about wigs and all that jazz, and my plan of attack for when the hair gets bad enough that I need a solution. He's supportive, but he just doesn't get it.

    I think it's normal, especially at the beginning of HL, to freak out and think you notice severe changes. It happened to me all the time, and still does sometimes.

    I hope the Dr. is able to tell you something more definite. Regardless of the answer, it generally helps having one.