Thyroid & Bioidentical Hormones! Dont waste your $ on Dr Redmond

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by lisaangeline, May 3, 2010.

  1. lisaangeline

    lisaangeline New Member

    I cured my extreme hairloss and I wanted to share my story in the hopes that I will be able to help you ladies stop your hair loss. The summary is that it turned out to be low thyroid and low progesterone, despite test results (and Dr Redmond) that said these hormones were in the "normal" range. I fixed a 9 month extreme daily hair loss problem in ONE WEEK! My hairloss was cut in half after 7 days, and was completely stopped within about 2 1/2 weeks!

    I also wanted to tell you about Dr Redmond's treatment plan and my visit with him, which was a complete waste of time and money. These are just my opinions about Dr Redmond, and a description of my visit and his treatment plan, which did not help one iota. I am not trying to harm or defame Dr Redmond, just stating my opinion, which should not be taken as fact.

    My hair loss started about 2 months after having the Merena IUD removed. This IUD contains progestin, a FAKE version of our real hormone, progesterone. I had bloating, weight gain and other symptoms and started thinking maybe they were connected to the artificial hormones that were emitted by the IUD. The hair loss was really bad for a few weeks, but stopped before it became noticeable. However, 1 year later the hair loss started again and this time it did not stop. Every time I washed my hair, a ton of hair would come out right in my hand. I would gently pull on the bottom so it wouldn't clog my drain and would get a huge handful. Then more and more would come out while styling (the floor would be covered). Every single time I grabbed a handful of hair and gently pulled to see what would happen, 20 strands would be in my hand. The brush needed cleaning constantly. Luckily I have been blessed with unusually thick hair so it was not noticeable. But the front was really going and you could see my scalp if you looked. I was so stressed and resigned myself to female pattern baldness.

    I decided to see Dr Redmond after reading about him on this forum. I brought him my thyroid and hormone tests, which he barely glanced at. He had his little prescription pad all filled out and at the ready to give me his STANDARD treatment of spirolodactone (sp?) and YAZ birth control. He claimed that my hair follicles had become sensitive to testosterone (female pattern baldness) and that the spiro would cut the testosterone production. He also said he was prescribing YAZ for more estrogen (I read this also cuts testosterone production too so maybe he does this as a double whammy). IMO, he has his prescription pad all filled out and ready because he uses the same treatment for everyone. I could be wrong but that was my impression.

    I asked him if I could use bioidentical hormones rather than fake chemicalized YAZ and he claimed how much more reliable and better FAKE hormones are as compared to my own natural bioidentical estrogens. You try looking a woman in the face and telling her that a fake estrogen made from pregnant horse urine is better than using a preparation that is made chemically to be exactly like our own natural hormone. Which sounds better to you??! Horses have 13 or more estrogens, while human females have 3. Dont you think having the other hormones that horses need in my system may cause problems while using exactly the hormone my own body creates might be better? Common sense will help you answer that question.

    In addition to my extreme hair loss, I also had extreme insomnia and an inability to lose weight and eventually a shortening cycle (getting my period on day 20 of my cycle). I was literally waking up every night at 2am and would sometimes stay up the whole rest of the night. It got so bad I could not sleep more than 5 hours a night, despite being extremely exhausted. I would go to sleep with no problem but wake up in the middle of the night, EVERY NIGHT.

    Sooo, I continued following Dr Redmond's treatment with the spiro and birth control for 9 long months. The hair loss NEVER eased up at all. After doing my own research, I asked my doctor to prescribe me bioidentical (meaning to the body this is exactly like my own hormones' chemical make-up) estrogen and progesterone as well as thyroid hormone. I knew that my problems were hormonal, despite the tests (and doctors) that said I was in the "normal" range. Luckily this doctor looks at symptoms and not just test results as there is a WIDE RANGE of "normal". What is a normal hormone level for one person could be too little or too much for someone else.

    With regard to thyroid, most conventional doctors look at the TSH levels of the hormone in your blood. What they fail to understand, that many non-mainstream MDs understand is that you could have more than enough of the thyroid hormone, but that it has trouble getting utilized at the cellular level. Therefore you have hypothyroid symptoms yet your blood tests look "normal". Many of these docs will prescribe a small amount of thyroid hormone (usually the natural Armour rather than the chemicalized Synthroid) to see if your symptoms improve.

    In addition, I discovered that your thyroid cannot work properly without sufficient progesterone. Hair loss and insomnia are symptoms of deficient thyroid.

    Back to my story. Since the spiro had NO EFFECT whatsoever in slowing down my hair loss, I decided to stop it completely and get on the thyroid and progesterone instead. MAGICALLY my hair loss stopped so quickly its almost unbelievable. You hear that hormones can take months to work but my OBJECTIVE symptoms cleared up within a night to a week. Within the first night, I was sleeping like a baby. No more waking up at night with insomnia (after five months with not one full night of sleep)!! The hair loss stopped so quickly after 9 months of consistent shedding that I couldn't believe it.

    I only stayed on the Armour thyroid for 3 months and have now gone off of it without any incident. I believe that my own natural progesterone system was KILLED by the Merena IUD, which overrode my natural system with its own chemicals. I believe the lack of progesterone caused my thyroid to be sluggish or not work at all, despite the Drs telling me I have sufficient thyroid hormone in my blood. I believe that once I started the progesterone replacement, it helped kick in my thyroid so that after just a few months I didn't need anymore thyroid replacement. I am still taking the progesterone and feel great. I lost 12 pounds already, still sleep well, and have no more hair loss. Now when I pull on my hair, not even one strand comes out!!

    I hope this long post wasn't too confusing and will help someone with this problem. Dont believe the doctors that follow the cookie cutter approach. And never believe ANY doctor that tells you a CHEMICAL made by a pharmaceutical is better than your own NATURAL hormones created by your own body. This is a laughable assumption and plays to the pharmaceuticals, who change the chemistry of the hormones so they can patent the product.

    Good luck!
  2. didee

    didee New Member

    Dear Lisaangeline:

    i have been the most frustrating crap with doctors in regards to my thyroid, iron deficiency, and hair loss. I too fell within all normal ranges, mostly on the low on of their normal scale. however, trying to get THEM to understand that my optimal level might not be their range of normal. Once i started thyroid and upped my dose many symptoms went away along with the decreasing in major shedding, but i still lose a lot of hair and not too much is growing back. my ferritin is also depleted and i have been working for over a year to increase it on top of having somewhat low progesterone. I started on bio-identical but then i started getting melasma on my face like i did when i was on the BCP. I was told i that my body might be converting the extra progesterone into estrogen, hence the melasma. once i was off the BCP it went away...now on progesterone it came back, but my hair seemed to stop falling out, but i was not on it enough time to see if i was growing hair back in. Im not sure where to go rfrom here, but i am VERY interested in your post and i would love to talk with you in more detail, because i think you are on to something that might relate to me.

    im not on the forum very much but i am on the regular network as didee. could you please find me and friend me so we can talk.. i would so much appreciate to exchange of research, experience, and info.

    thanks again for your post....so helpful for me and it gives me hope of curing my hairloss...not too much faith in docs though...only a small few and then they dont take my health insurance, so i pay out of pocket, which at current time i am depleted.

    hope this finds you in excellent spirits
    xoxoxo----didee
  3. lisaangeline

    lisaangeline New Member

    Hi didee :). Unfortunately I dont have too much advice for you because you seem to already have tried what was successful for me. I also had to go out of network to get my thyroid hormone and now I drive to another state to go to my mom's doctor to get the bioidentical hormones, but luckily he takes my insurance. The problem is that he doesn't really specialize in bio-identical hormone replacement or test the hormone levels etc. So I guess on my own and take more or less based on how I feel. For example, I suspect I'm getting to much of something because I'm very fidgety with my fingers and that is not normal for me. When this happened first, I cut the dose of thyroid and it went away immediately. Then it came back a few months later so I went off the thyroid as I was already on a low dose. Now I'm thinking I'm getting too much progesterone so I will ease off that and see if my insomnia and hair loss returns or not. Maybe I've kicked my system in and it can now work on its own. Also, I'm probably peri-menopausal at age 42 so my hormones are probably good one day and low or too high on others.

    Looking back at my mom's health problems, we have figured out that she was estrogen dominant for about a decade due to low progesterone. Without progesterone to balance our estrogen, our estrogen is unopposed and we have symtoms of estrogen dominance. In my mother's case, this caused breast cancer (which thankfully never returned) because estrogen causes cells to overgrow. This also caused very heavy periods and lead to anemia and LOW FERRETIN. I will ask her how she got her ferretin levels up, but this low ferretin seemed to have caused her numerous problems, though not hair loss. I will try to find out more for you.

    Wishing everyone the best of luck in figuring out what is causing your hair loss. I know how stressful it can be.
  4. didee

    didee New Member

    thank you for inquiring further for me. sounds like the progesterone for sure...that happened to me and i cut it back which made it better.
  5. gigishair

    gigishair New Member

    hi lisaangeline

    hi lisaangeline and hi dedee,, i have read both your post and also very interested in all of this...i am now 41 periomenapausal and have a thyroid tumor, benign]] and thyroiditis... i had steroid injections last april and may 09 and in less then 2 weeks i had hair loss and a frigen ton of hormonal problems that hit my like a brick wall...i am also on the womens hairloss project site. and have chated with dedee... i too suffer from insomnia and alot of other effects i believe happend from the steroids and just know theres gotta be a way to level hormones out....i know everyones time is precious and i respect that...ill leave my email address here and maybe you can contact me. i really dont know my way around this forum site. just found out a few days ago . lol.....i am so happy for your success and definatly believe what your doing is the bomb....so excited for you....i have an endro appt. that im going to on the 21st. the office is willing to work with me since i just lost my health insurance...im trrying to gather as much info for this appt that i possibly can...its a follow up and i dont know if i can afford bloodwork for obvious reasons,,,,too expensive.....anyway i am hoping to here from you. and thankyou for your time....gigi123@tampabay.rr.com.........
  6. gigishair

    gigishair New Member

    p.s. i also have low ferritan and i think its due to the massive menstrual cycles i had after those injections.....had to have surgery in nov09 to stop bleeding.....
  7. lisaangeline

    lisaangeline New Member

    Hey gigishair, so sorry to hear about your troubles.
    As for low ferretin, my mom took iron along with something acidic. Dr. Lang (in CT) sells some iron preparation that didn't get my mother sick like the iron from the pharmacy. I believe you can find this online, this fixed my mother's ferretin problem in a matter of a few weeks.

    Everyone with this issue should read the book Natural Hormone Balance by Uzzi Reiss. This is the book I used to fix my hair loss and insomnia issues. Even now I cannot believe how when I tug on my hair usually not even one strand comes out after I was dealing with months with handfuls of hair. Unfortunately I haven't notice much regrowth in the areas that are thinned so getting to the bottom of your hair loss problem the sooner the better is important. Bottom line is that hair loss is almost always a hormone problem (including thyroid) and should be fixable when our hormones are properly balanced.

    One caveat may be if your hair loss is due to female pattern baldness. Dr Redmond (the self-professed hair loss expert) simply prescribed 200 mg of spirolodactone to cut my testosterone production. I read that progesterone can also be helpful with this process, so I would add that to the spiro treatment. But dont necessarily assume its female pattern baldness without trying a small dose of thyroid meds (Armour or Naturethroid) and progesterone (and possibly estrogen) first. I wasted 9 months on a treatment that didn't help at all.

    I only took the hormones for about 3 months and so far after going off all hormones (except a tiny dose of progesterone at bedtime), my symptoms have not returned so I think I was able to kick in my natural system. KNOCK WOOD!!!

    Girls who are still shedding, if you dont check your hormones then you are wasting precious time. Remember, the tests may put you in a normal range but you need to get a doctor to just try supplementing your hormones (possibly including your thyroid) just to see if it helps. Bioidentical sex hormones leave the body within hours so IMO its rather harmless to just try them and see if they help. Seeing as people take HORSE estrogens and other fake chemicalized preparations (that cannot even be called hormones because they are not) at the drop of a hat, I would have trouble with any doctor telling me that it is a big deal to at least TRY to fix the hair loss and insomnia (and multiude of other problems that arise when our hormones are not balanced) with bio-identical hormones. The reason I urge you to hurry is because the hair that's already been lost may not come back.
  8. gigishair

    gigishair New Member

    huge thankyou's

    i cant tell you how much i appreciate the information. i have now researched outside the box also. i can see that maybe when i see my endro this next visit i will be more knowledgeable on how to handle my appt. and i definitely think the progesterone is making alot of sense from my past medical problems. also found out that ferritin levels can effect the way your thyroid works if its too low. range should be within 90 to 110. im not real sure about the iron you told me about, the name of it basically. im so happy that you are feeling better and your hl is improving. so wonderful. i believe if your hl is associated to your health it is so important to just get things right.........again huge thankyou oxxo:)
  9. posiegal13

    posiegal13 New Member

    I feel hopeful

    Lisaangeline -

    I can't begin to explain how hopeful your post has made me feel. To say that your story sounds EXACTLY like my story would be a gross understatement. My hair loss started shortly after I got my IUD taken out as well. I have gone to every doctor known to man, stressed my husband out with my crying and frustration, and searched every hair loss article to no avail. It was the combination of symptoms that I couldn't find anyone to identify with. And then I read your post. I have not slept the whole night through since a couple months after my IUD was taken out, which was almost 2 years ago. It used to be a running joke that I had enough hair for 3 women and could sleep through a tornado right outside my window. That is why I really started questioning things when I took my IUD out and my hair started falling out and I wasn't able to sleep. I told my husband recently that I had to figure something out before I go crazy. I'm so tired of being terrified all the time - it's like I'm afraid to wash my hair, afraid to brush it, afraid to put it up in a loose pony tail, afraid, afraid, afraid......Reading your post has prompted me to make an appt with my endo to discuss the armour and progesterone therapy (probably the progestelle). I also came across something called Macafem which is a homeopathic option for regulating hormones so I might do some more research on that as an option. I just wanted to take the time to thank you for sharing your story because without it, I might have resigned myself to this self-esteem killing hair loss/hormonal issue. I do have one question for you though....I have noticed that where my hair loss is more prominent (the crown) my scalp hurts. It is a weird type of pain really - it's not extreme but it's constant uncomfortable and dull burning. I went to the derm a couple months ago and he performed a scalp biopsy and told me that I didn't have anything that would cause hair loss so I know it wasn't fungal or anything like that (not like I thought it was), but I was perplexed because no one with hormonal issues like myself mentioned having any type of pain associated with their hair loss. I'm currently on metformin, but hopefully after tomorrow will not be on that any longer. Thank you so much again!!! :)
  10. Dharma2

    Dharma2 Member

    Posiegal13 the burning/painful scalp might be caused by low estrogen from using the IUD. I too had a burning sensation on my crown and sides but once I started a BCP it went away and hasn't returned. I believe it was estrogen related. I also believe I contributed to the problem by using progestrone cream which, if you are low estrogen, can further reduce your estrogen and enhance the androgen hormones (really not good for hair). If you are estrogen dominant progestrone can be really helpful. My understanding is if you are perimenopause you should only use progestrone with estrogen, after menopause you can use progestrone solo.

    Hope this helps.

    Dharma :>
    Last edited: May 19, 2010
  11. aml

    aml New Member

    "within the normal range"

    Hi LisaAngeline,

    I am so glad to hear that you have found answers to your hair loss issues. I completely agree with your opinions on both horse hormones and doctors only taking seriously blood results that are not within the normal range, even though the normal range is so broad and each of our bodies functions a bit differently.

    I am 31 and have been losing my hair for atleast a year and a half. At around the same time it started, I began to have nightsweats, an oily face for the first time in my life, and other hormonal symptoms causing me to feel ill. It has been established that I definitely do have pattern baldness , but my eyebrows are falling out as well. All of my blood work work has comeback normal so far except for ferritin levels, and I have a feeling that more will come back "within the normal range" and I have had bad experience with birth control in the past. I noticed you mentioned Dr. Redmond who is in the New York area and I am I live in NY. I am wondering who the Doctor was who ultimately looked beyond normal ranges and helped you? I am hoping to find a doctor who will listen to my symptoms and not just my bloodwork.

    Congratulations again for finding answers!

    aml
  12. Dharma2

    Dharma2 Member

    Lisaangeline if you are still on here, or anyone who knows, I was hoping you could let me know if you thought that the spiro made your hair loss worse. I've been on it since Feb. 09 and although I am having some success I don't think it has anything to do with the spiro. I think the Diane 35 (which I want to get off of too) is why my hair has improved. However I have a strange intuition that the spiro is making it impossible to completely recover. I am going to see a naturopath doctor tomorrow. He is apparently very good and he specializes in hormonal issues, etc. I am hoping he can help me get off of this merry-go-round. I'd like to try natural hormones too. I've come to believe that I should have never started the spiro. It increased my hairloss substantially. It wasn't until I started with BCP's that the hair loss decreased. I believe I am estrogen deficient from using too much natural progestrone cream without using any estrogen. I'm just curious if you thought that the spiro was making things worse for you as well. :>

    Thanks,
    Dharma
  13. lisaangeline

    lisaangeline New Member

    Hello sweetie, so sorry I didn't see your post any sooner. I didn't have any sort of pain in my scalp but I have noticed that the hair that I lost during that period is definitely not back. You must get your issues addressed ASAP to stop any more hair loss.

    I have been getting even more confirmation about my low progesterone levels in that my period has started right a few times right after I ovulate, which is only on the 12th day of my cycle. I then took the progesterone and the period stopped and didn't start again until I stopped the progesterone on day 30. Recently my endo again tested my hormones while I wasn't taking any replacement and sure enough the progesterone was abnormally low. So while it seemed I was taking too much after first getting on it, I certainly have objective symptoms of low progesterone without it. So now I just take a small amount during the beginning of my cycle, if any at all, but then need to step up the amount drastically right after I ovulate for the next two weeks. It can be SUCH a simple solution for so many serious problems. I take the sublingual drops and find they work within seconds. You will be sleeping like a baby on this stuff! I still can't believe that I'm not waking up at 2am anymore! Let us know how things are going :).
  14. lisaangeline

    lisaangeline New Member

    Oh goodness no! I get the impression this dr treats ever patient according to a cookie cutter approach. Hmmmn, I do know that one of the symptoms of hypothyroid is losing your eyebrows. That is actually one of the most common symptoms I came across, as is hair loss. I would check that for sure.

    Keep in mind some people have a normal test result because they do produce enough of the thyroid hormone, however they have "functional" hypothyroidism because their cells are unable to convert the thyroid hormone to the active form that is used by the cells. So the cells are starved and operate vvvvveeeerrrrrry sloooooowwwllllyyyy.

    But this stuff about how you definitely have "pattern baldness" is not something to go with yet in my view. Mine had thinned on the crown and if that kept going would have also looked like pattern baldness, yet the female hormones stopped that process so easily.

    Definitely check your thyroid, progesterone, testosterone and estrogen levels. Try to go to a doctor that understands about functional hypothyroidism. But any doctor can test your hormone levels. This should be done in the last week of your cycle.

    BEST OF LUCK :)
  15. lisaangeline

    lisaangeline New Member

    Hello Dharma :). I didn't notice any results from spiro whatsoever, whether less hair loss nor more hair loss. However, I firmly believe you know what's going on with yourself and if you believe it is making things worse you are likely right. If you have given this stuff a try for a long period of time and it has had no effect, I do not understand why you're still taking it. I would just get right off this crap.

    Why did you start the progesterone cream in the first place? I agree that estrogen deficiency can also cause hair loss problems. Have you had your hormone levels checked? What age group are you in, that also gives a clue about what's happening with your hormones at a given stage.

    I do hope the naturopath has gotten you on the right track. Keep us posted, we're routing for you! :>
  16. Seabird

    Seabird New Member

    Thanks for sharing your hopeful story.
    I feel your situation is similar to mine, although I am having difficulty in finding a medical professional who will take the problem seriously. I am 38 and over the last 3 years I have been losing large amounts of hair. Although I do have progesterone insufficiency which was diagnosed 12 years ago (am on BCP to regulate hormones), all other bloods are normal. I have self-treated with vitamins and rogaine 5% foam, with temporary sucess of 9 months where I had minimal shedding. However it is back with a vengence, and I am feeling desperate. I'm wondering whether to start using progesterone cream too....
    Does anyone have experience using it?
  17. lisaangeline

    lisaangeline New Member

    Hey Seabird :). First off, if you have been diagnosed with progesterone deficiency, you should ask your doctor why they are treating that with a birth control pill made up of FAKE hormones. Why not treat you with actual progesterone that is identical to the progesterone made by the body?? What you are on is PROGESTIN, a chemical that mimics progesterone in SOME areas but is NOT exactly like progesterone so it will NOT work like progesterone is intended to work as needed by your body. Birth control pills also contain fake estrogins, usually derived from pregnant HORSE URINE, which may cause cancer (as evidenced in the hormone replacement study that was halted after many women experienced problems, this study was on FAKE hormones so NO SURPRISE that serious problems arose for the women taking this garbage).

    I know it is a huge challenge to find a doctor that will prescribe bioidentical hormones, though they have no problem whatsoever prescribing fake BS that has been proven to cause cancer, heart attacks, clotting, etc.

    Personally, I would get off the birth control pills IMMEDIATELY, have your hormones tested in the last week of your cycle (when your progesterone is supposed to be at its highest), and get a doctor to treat you with REAL hormones rather than FAKE birth control pills that will cause you far more harm than good.

    Note that birth control pills can take MONTHS to exit your system, while natural hormones take a few days or hours maximum. Therefore, you may need to re-take your test, or wait on your blood test a few months, to ensure accuracy. I would be sure to stop any natural hormone replacement (if you try the over the counter cream) at least a week prior to the blood test so your doctor can see how low your progesterone really is.

    If you cannot get a doctor to give you progesterone, which I take in sublingual drops, being the strongest form of instant delivery, then YES, go to a health food store and buy the natural progesterone cream that is sold without a prescription. While the strength varies tremendously with these creams, I have been able to stop my period from coming early (which is a symptom of low progesterone) by taking the over the counter cream. So I do believe it can be effective, depending on the brand, in delivering some natural progesterone to your starved body.

    The quicker you get on natural progesterone the better. Your hair loss that has already occurred will likely not be fixed so time is of the essence.

    GOOD LUCK!
  18. kathie47

    kathie47 New Member

    Wow. My daughter has been considering getting an IUD...I'll have to share your stories.

    Has anyone heard of safer long-term BC alternatives to IUD's to help prevent hair loss?
  19. Seabird

    Seabird New Member

    Lisaangeline
    Thanks for your advice, it is good to hear of someone with a similar problem who is finding a solution. I hadn't heard of bioidentical hormones before, but I will definitely look into this. Do you know if they are available in the UK?
  20. sister1

    sister1 New Member

    Lisaangeline,

    I also want to thank you for your post. I am on the Armour and progestrone but have not seen a decrease in shed. May I ask you how much you are on of each or what your levels are? I don't know if perhaps I am just a poor converter of the Armour, we are still working on getting my T3s and T4s up.

    Thank you,

    Sister1