My hair is back but now I'm fat!

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by Runnergirl23, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. Runnergirl23

    Runnergirl23 New Member

    First of all, here is my treatment story, I am 33 years old and was on BC pills for seven years (mainly Yasmin), I came off the pill in March 2010. I only had a very light period a couple weeks after coming off the pill and my period never came back, which quite honestly I wasn't too upset over. My OBGYN told me it was probably because my body fat was so low and you only really needed to have two periods a year. (I now know that is a bunch of crap and that this was an indication of something wrong!). So, I really started caring when my hair loss started in September 2010. So it took a good six months for the hormones to get out of my system, about that same time I was dropping weight for no reason - again, not griping here! I am assuming this was due to all the synthetic estrogen leaving my body. My hair loss became unbearable over the next couple months and as you all know most doctors tell you you're crazy, I had three tell me that so I became my own doctor spending countless hours online researching and researching.

    I finally came across Dr. Redmond, read his book and finally had some hope. So in January 2011, I sucked it up and flew to NYC and forked out the $750 for my first appointment. I was like a sponge, soaking up everything he told me, he offered his suggestions, first and foremost getting back on the pill and then upping my Spiro (I was already on 100mg for acne - had been for 5 years). He upped my Spiro to 200mg daily and we also added Finasteride into the mix- what the heck! At least that is what I thought at the time, give me whatever I need, just stop my hair loss!

    I tell you one thing, this process is teaching me patience....it took at least 4 months, but I saw improvement on these treatments. My hair is now manageable, and I am not isolating myself from the world, well not because of my hair anyway now because of my weight gain (can't wear 3/4 of my clothes :().

    My hair is back (not 100% back to where it was, but definitely working for me), but I have gained let me see I think now it's 16 lbs now and the number on the scale keeps rising! No change in diet or exercise. And bonus, upping the spiro caused muscle weakness / fatigue, running was torture - no energy whatsoever, let's see and also these other side effects: bloating, leg & foot cramps, some blurred vision, night sweats, extreme sensitivity to heat (hot flashes :confused:)

    So, I dropped my spiro dose on June 30, 2011 from 200mg back to 100mg. Within a couple days I had so much energy on the treadmill that I pulled my hip flexor muscle I was running so fast, felt amazing except of course for the pulled muscle. I was hoping I would start dropping some weight but unfortunately it got worse and I was more bloated than I have ever been in my life! And another tidbit, I have put on weight in places I NEVER carried weight before. That is when I knew for sure it was the meds - weight around my waist, back, arms, etc.)

    I had my phone consultation with Dr. Redmond in mid July and he basically didn't want to hear about all my side effects - he discounted that the meds were the cause of my weight gain. I suggested a lower dose estrogen BC pill (since my blood work from July (six months in to treatment) indicated my testosterone levels were below normal and my DHEA and Progresterone were below normal. He said well you can switch to Yaz (at 20mcg) but you'll go through a shed and I don't think you want that. (Yasmin which I am currently on is 30mcg). He said you'll probably see a shed here soon from dropping your spiro. I also wanted to disucss the blood work I insisted on having done before our appointment and he either didn't know the answers or refused to explain why some of my levels were now too low or high. So, the doctor, who in his book talks about how most doctors don't know how to treat hair loss so they tell you you're crazy, has now turned into one of them. And I paid $250 for that 30 minute appointment - awesome!

    So, I met for the first time with a Naturopathic Physician. She spent over three hours with me for $175 as opposed to Dr. Redmond's 30 minute phone call for $250. She analyzed my blood work (which was a lot) asked me to bring all my meds / vitamins I was on, wanted to hear my whole story, etc. She practically begged me to get of spiro and birth control pills. I did tell her there was no way, at this point, I would quit both cold turkey but I am seriously thinking about dropping Yasmin. She said that the hair loss, the fact that I never got my period back (in the 10 months I was off the pill) are just symptoms of something bigger going on. She feels that my adrenal function has been depleted due to spiro and that my ovary function has been depleted due to BC pills. Which makes complete sense to me, I am pumping myself full of synthetic hormones, which means my body doesn't have to produce them on their own. I became more bloated after dropping my sprio dosage because, as most of you know, spiro is a direutic and my body wasn't use to hadling fluid retention on it's own - spiro had been handling that for years.

    With all that being said, I have to make some big decisions here very soon because while my hair looks OK now, the number on the scale keeps going up no matter what I do and I know my body is not functioning as it should naturally since I am pumping it fill of other things. So afraid of the shedding if / when I do come off the meds. If you have any insight / advise, please please respond.

    I would also appreciate hearing from anyone who may have had similar side effects on these meds? If you made it to the end of this post...bless you! Thank you for your time! :)
  2. snnh8

    snnh8 New Member

    it's a really big dilemma between sticking with the medications or going off of them -- i don't follow this advice as well as i should, but we all know it's REALLY important to stick with a treatment plan for as long as you can to see if it works long-term. switching off and on certain medications all at the same time means you won't know what hurts, what helps, etc etc. i bounce between different treatments, diets, vitamins, and i am all over the place in general haha, what we all want is results ASAP!! but this isn't an ASAP sort of thing, you know? it's a really long process of first fixing your body, then letting your hair cycle through those changes in a positive way. it's so hard waiting for results, then getting them, and back and forth. so i empathize with you completely.
    i barely dabbled in rogaine, was prescribed spiro but didn't take it -- i saw a naturopath as well, after not getting answers from doctors, and she insisted that i get off my birth control pill, stay away from spiro, and try to tackle this thing naturally. going off BC made my hair go into an intense shedding period, possible bc of the hot weather and me going through some stressful times too though. it makes me wonder if i should have tried the spiro, but hearing about the side effects from you and so many other women makes it easier for me to say no to it now. i guess i'd rather not have hair than have those synthetic hormones you are talking about.

    that's great you saw results, and that your hair is back at a place you are okay with! such good news. i've been off BC for 3 months now and i haven't gotten my last period, and my naturopath is also saying there is something "bigger" going on in my system. it's been so hard finding answers, esp not knowing if this is like TE or something autoimmune.

    has your naturopath put you on some dietary changes? i have no idea how you normally eat now but my naturopath totally changed my eating habits in terms of hormonal balance/inflammation foods. and i did a lot of research on the paleo/primal diet, adopted a lot of both the naturopathic/paleo food tips into my diet (not entirely), and lost ALOT of weight without even exercising. it took about 6 months but i lost almost ten lbs of excess weight (that i gained while isolating myself :) ) without even trying. and it was cool learning new cooking techniques, being gluten free, etc :) there are a lot of foods that mimic synthetic hormones, helping your body self-regulate and such.

    i don't have specific advice for you bc i don't even know what to do myself - i know how difficult this in between phase is, and it really seems like this entire process is an on going confusion haha. welp :) i do think, even though it's hard, that it's more important to take care of your body and your soul than it is to save your hair. which i think you agree with bc you saw a naturopath! i would say to get as many second opinions as possible before making big decisions. i wish i had seen more doctors to get more opinions before self-diagnosing myself and going on crazy warpaths with different treatments. western medicine really tries to fix the problem head on (haha no pun intended), which unfortunately causes a lot of other problems and hurts your soul in the long run. good luck and let us know how things go ! :)
  3. Runnergirl23

    Runnergirl23 New Member

    Snnh8,
    Thank you so much for your response! Sounds like we are doing some of the exact same things! In regards to diet, I would say I am pretty healthy, no soft drinks, I eat lot of protein, fruit, some veggies - working on eating more of those. I do not eat bread, pasta, rice, etc (around 1200-1600 calories / day). In the last couple weeks I have switched over to almost all Organic after reading Master Your Metabolism by Jillian Michaels. It is just so frustrating because I saw for a a brief period (4 months) how it feels to not have BC pills in my system and it felt great - only concern, and obviously it was a MAJOR one, was my hair. I didn't have any migraines (which have now come back that I am back on BC pills), I had a ton of energy, my focus & concentration was better...sigh.

    I made the switch to organic before my appointment with my Naturopath, which was just yesterday. I keep a food journal and her recommendation was mainly more veggies. She also in a nutshell told me all of the vitamins I am taking are crap because they are not in their pure form and their are a lot of other ingredients that are harmful. She said I should chunk them all and go with a brand like Pure Encapsulations. It wasn't that I was taken the wrong vitamins just that they were they synthetic versions of these vitamins and that most companies did that because it is so much cheaper than natural vitamins / supplements. Just FYI, most of my vitamins were the NatureMade brand and then Citracal (sp?) for calcium.

    She did discuss some foods that mimic synthetic hormones and that is also listed in the Jillian's book - I am going to research those out more now. Guess I need to revamp my supplements like I did my kitchen - does make sense!

    So, how is your hair now after the shed? You are three months of BC pills right? Which BC pill were you on? Also, is your naturopath recommending any progesterone or other natural hormones? Mine suggested doing a Saliva test and that it is the only way to really text hormone levels but the one she wants to give me is almost $400 so I am going to have to wait on that! Did yours recommend anything like that?

    Thanks again for your post, please keep me informed on your progress /treatments and I will do the same!
  4. ForeverBlue

    ForeverBlue New Member

    Runnergirl23,

    Have you ever had your Thyroid levels checked? Your symptoms scream "Thyroid problem". Weight gain, bloating, period issues, joint pain, sweating, blurry vision, etc., are all symptoms i have from Thyroid disease. I've also lost most of my hair. If you haven't had that checked yet, i would highly suggest that you do. Best of luck to you.
  5. Runnergirl23

    Runnergirl23 New Member

    ForeverBlue,

    Thank you for responding! I had blood work done in July and my TSH level is 1.309 which I believe is right in the middle of the scale. Do you know if there are more tests that I should have done for Thyroid? You mentioned you have Thyroid disease, have you found a good treatment for it? Thank you!
  6. A J P

    A J P New Member

    Ijust found out that my thyroid is high! Oh boy.
  7. Runnergirl23

    Runnergirl23 New Member

    Well, at least now you know what it is and can try to find a solution!
  8. A J P

    A J P New Member

    So true! I just had a total T3 taken. I'll know tomorrow.
  9. NYCGirlie

    NYCGirlie New Member

    Any naturopaths in NY??

    What naturopaths did you go to? How much did they charge? What treatments did they recommend? I went to one but after 2 visits, I got no real help other than add protein to my diet and telling me its probably hormonal but had no remedies. I would like to find a naturopath in NY to help me