Update after 3 months of treatment

Discussion in 'Open Topic (General)' started by Catie, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. Catie

    Catie New Member

    Hi Ladies,

    I wanted to give an update after 3 months of my treatment - just in case it could provide useful insight to someone and also because I have a few questions myself :)

    There are other posts about my story but the main thing is I have been experience excessive hair shedding for almost two years (chronic tellogen effluvium, according to my scalp biopsy). After seeing many doctor who brushed me off (you know the drill), I finally went to a very knowledgable trichologist based in Australia. He said that hair shedding is almost always the result of some sort of internal imbalance. He ran some bloodwork and although my levels were in the "normal" range, I was on the low end of iron and vitamin d.

    So the treatment. He prescribed a very potent "powder" with the following ingredients: Amino Acids, Vitamin C, Iron, Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc, Biotin, Selenuim and Folic Acid. Essentially, these are all the major hair loss vitamins plus iron. I take four teaspoons of this per day and was given a 6 month supply. In addition, the treatment also includes Vitamin D drops that I take every morning. He told me that once the internal imbalances are addressed, the hair loss should stop and regrowth should begin. He says I could see changes anywhere between 2 and 6 months.

    I began the treatment on July 6th and so that puts me at about 3 months in 9 days. So have I experienced any results? Well, there is good news and bad news. The good news is that for the first time since this whole hair loss mess, I am seeing tons of new growth! I mean, when I blow dry my hair, I see one inch hairs popping up everywhere! It is so exciting to see and I've never seen it like this before. Even my hair dresser commented! The bad news is that my excessive shedding hasn't stopped. It's hard to say if it's even slowed down, perhaps it has a little, but nothing I am satisfied with. I still shed over 200 hairs per day and when I comb my hair after the shower, I still see tons in my comb.

    So that's where I am now. The trichologist says that I should be patient and continue the treatment and he will run the blood tests again in another three months. My question to you ladies is, have you ever experienced regrowth but still shedding? Isn't it supposed to be the other way around...first a decrease in shedding, then the regrowth? I also wanted to get a second opinion from the hair loss experts I trust the most - you! In your experience, does it sound like things could be turning around or is it a really bad sign that I haven't stopped shedding after the 3 month mark? Finally, has anyone gotten their shedding to stop but it took more than 4 or 5 months of treatment? Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks so much! Hope all is well!

    Hugs,

    Catie

    ps - sorry I wrote a novel!
  2. shasha1

    shasha1 Member

    Hi Catie,
    Funny I ran across your post and I just sent my consultation form to the Australian Trichologist just this morning (J.P, right?). I really think his articles are scientifically driven, very thorough, and he provided much more than the general spiel that you read on every other website. His clients wrote great reviews..etc. I already visited a trichologist in the NY area and she did not seem very knowledgable. I went to her 3.5 months back and have been on an iron supplment that is the product of their office. $40/bottle! I have yet to see if my Ferritin went up. I get tested in 2 weeks. (oh and I also have low Vit D) - and that's it..bloodwork showed no other issues. so looks like we're on the same boat.

    Re your question - I just asked my current trichologist the SAME thing. I see tons of new hairs popping up. They stick up all over the place after blow drying. So if ferritin is such an issue then why is there RE-growth but no stop in shedding! Everywhere it says that ferritin first stops shedding then you see growth. That's why I keep questioning if it's something else besides ferritin. PLUS, what I did and what I suggest you do is get your lab test from years back if you had physicals (Prior to your HL) and see what your ferritin was then. I never ever had any hair issues before my excessive shedding started in April of this year. I had many of the 'triggers' (febrile fever, emotional stress, antibiotics, on/off bcp for 2 weeks) but my ferritin was much lower in 2009 (10) vs now (23). So, why didn't I have hair issues before if it's just ferritin? She wasn't able to answer me.

    I'm exactly where you are. At the 3 month mark since starting my iron treatment and still shedding (I shed ~30-40 showering/combing blow dry) and probably 100/day. Even though that may seem "normal" it's not. My anagen/telogen ration must have been really low before cuz my hair would hardly come out after showering 5-10 max. The other issue is, I started to see all the new hairs Pop up after about 3 months of shedding but now I see many of these small hairs come out also which worries me. Is that happening to you to?

    I don't think it's a bad sign at all you didn't stop shedding. My trichologist said 3 months is MINIMUM to see results for iron related HL and 6 months is about avg. Sucks it's so long but when you think of the hair cycle it makes sense. Also if you read those articles from J. Pierce he says that ferritin has to be at 70 for atleast three months to show an effect on hair shedding. I think if after 6 months we don't see decrease in hair shedding we should get concerned. It's a very long time,,,but 3 more to go and they will go fast! Keep me posted..it's easy to write a novel here..we're all so frustrated :(
  3. shasha1

    shasha1 Member

    Hi Catie,
    I am very curious how your treatment went with the powder that Tony prescribed you. He also recommended me the exact same thing and I need to decide if I want to pursue that route (I'm a little nervous taking something I never heard of). I would really love to know if you saw a decrease in shedding. I have almost the exact same symptoms as you, bloodwork in normal range but according to Tony disturbances in metabolic function is noted. Although right now my hair grows but still sheds profusely for me. If you could please reply, I would love to talk to someone who is on his treatment. I'm glad to see you saw new hairs sprouting..I guess you'll be at 4 months now. I'm hoping that you NOT responding to my reply means you're in good shape or happy :) But a follow-up would be very helpful for me to make my decision if I want to proceed with his recommendation.
    Thanks so much!
  4. Catie

    Catie New Member

    Hi Shasha,

    Good to be able to talk to someone who visited the same trichologist! I'm sorry I didn't reply to you earlier, I haven't checked this site in a while (I still think about my hair loss all the time, but I also try not to stress too much).

    It sounds like we are in very similar situations. It's so frustrating not knowing what is causing all this shedding! And I know exactly what you mean when you say you just know it is not normal for YOU. Hair loss is so individualistic. I was like you in the sense that I was never a big shedder. So losing over 200 hairs a day for me is crazy.

    As for the treatment, there are still no signs of my shedding stopping. However, I feel like the regrowth is attributed to the powder Tony prescribed. I'm not sure what you thought, but out of all the doctors I've seen, I trust him the most. He has a very good bedside manner and was knowledgable. I have done TONS of research on hair loss (as I'm sure you have too, trying to get to the bottom of this) and from everything I've read, the mixture of vitamins, amino acids and iron in the powder is probably the best thing available to regrow hair. Plus, my body seems to be responding well in the sense that I feel energized and it's easy on my stomach. And in a regrowth sense, it's absolutely working. The hairs I loose are mostly long with a the white bulb on the tip. And the hairs that are growing seem thick and black (my natural color) which is encouraging.

    The main thing now is to try to identify the trigger. I can definitely relate to your frustration about iron and ferratin levels. It just doesn't make sense that we've never had issues with this before. I guess our bodies are very complex, it's hard to understand everything? I'm still trying to be patient with Tony's treatment and reevaluate around the 6 month mark. However, I recently emailed him asking about other potential tests to run (since I'm normal in all the traditional hair loss triggers: hormones, thyroid, iron, pcos, etc..) He wrote back and said he understood I still want to find the trigger and said I could look into the following:


    Saliva Hormone Profile – a more sensitive + non-invasive test to assess your hormones - female sex AND Adrenal hormones.
    Complete Digestive Stool Analysis (CDSA) – to fully assess your gut function, production of digestive hormones, and bacterial activity.
    Functional Liver Detoxification Profile (FLDP) – a secondary line test that fully assess your liver detoxification pathways. This test is a combined saliva + urine test following Aspirin; Paracetamol, and Caffeine (tablets) challenge.
    Serum Prolactin levels that may be causing an underlying AGA.

    I think I will get these tests done. I recently moved to a new city, so I still have to find a doctor. But I will keep you posted on any changes. Please do the same. Sorry I wrote so much, I hope this information somehow helps you. I wish you all the best in this hair loss journey. We can't give up just yet! :) At the very least, it's nice to know we are not alone...happy to give you support along the way.

    Catie
  5. shasha1

    shasha1 Member

    Hi Catie,
    Thanks for your response. I appreciate it..I'm just at the brink of deciding if I want to go with Tony's powder and because of some unbalanced hormones he also suggested another natural supplment that can help with this. I already did my hormone tests that showed a bit of an unbalance and some possible excess androgens. I agree with you. I trust Tony out of everyone I've talked to. He seems knowledgable and caring and the only one who was able to explain WHY ferritin is so important and how it affects everything else. I am very nervous to start a new regimen but the iron I've been on from my current Tricholgist only made my ferritin go up 11 points in 4 months.

    May I ask your age? And did you identify any trigger? Funny things is when my telogen effluvium started 7 months ago, I had every possible trigger! (High fever, severe emotional stress, went on BCP first time but only for 2 weeks, on top of the underlying low ferritin) I thought this would self correct as all that stuff has been over for the last 4-5 months. I guess my underlying ferritin and hormonal unbalance is now making it continue..but All that stuff was there before but maybe my immune system has weakened. I can imagine how hard it must be if there is NOT trigger to identify.

    Please don't apologize for writiing a lot..it really helps especially because you have the same low ferritin and Vit D and taking the same supplment. I think I will tell him to send it to me. Do you find it hard to take the powder? Like is it feasible to include in your day to day? I'm really happy to hear about your regrowth..and also the fact that you're not seeing the new hairs come out is good! I was seeing alot of my regrowth also shed but last few weeks I've seen that slow down and the hairs are mainly dark with black or white tip. I already see regrowth but definitely would not mind more..but my main focus is STOP THE SHEDDING!! :) you would think it would be easier to stop shedding than to regrow..who knew.

    Will give you an update if I decide to go with his treatment and then how it's going along the way.

    Thanks and take care..:)
    Shafaq
  6. Catie

    Catie New Member

    Hi Shasha,

    I can understand how you would be nervous before starting a new treatment (I am like you...I like to go the natural route and am very hesitant to put chemicals in my body). However, I really do feel that the powder is full of vitamins and minerals that are actually good for you. I like to mix the powder with a little bit of orange juice and water, and I have it with my breakfast and dinner. The taste is actually not that bad, and I've gotten used to it. So to answer your question about it being feasible...I think yes!

    I am 24 and I still have no idea what the trigger is. As I mentioned, my iron and vitamin D levels were on the low side of normal. But I wasn't stressed or on birth control or anything. So it's confusing. The only major change was that I moved countries (from the US to Asia) and it could very well have been something in the environment. However, I moved back to the states 3 months ago and my hair is still shedding like crazy. So I still don't know. I am going to look into doing the tests I mentioned in the last post, and check my iron levels again. Tony says that your levels need to be AT LEAST 70 for healthy hair and mine were in the 20-30 range when I last checked. So maybe that has something to do with it. I'm with you...stopping the shedding is the main focus!

    Good luck and be sure to keep me posted with your decision and let me know how it's going. Wishing you the best and hoping for your recovery!

    Catie
  7. shasha1

    shasha1 Member

    Hi Catie,
    How is it going? I went ahead and ordered the powder from Tony. It should be coming in a week or so. I figured from all the research I did, he has the most medical knowledge of this condition and what's happening compared to anyone else I've spoken to. With HL treatment, since you have to try it for 3-6 months, every decision you make has to be thought out so carefully :( I'm ofcourse hopeful for this powder. I'll be taking it with Iron phosphate pills and also some Natural supplments Tony is sending to help balance my hormones since he said based on my labs I may have some taxing on my adrenal glands.

    Any update on your hair shedding? You should be at the 5-6 month mark now right?

    I'm also doing the laser comb since it's more "natural" and also doing essential oil scalp massage. I've done the laser comb for 6 weeks now & feel like the shedding got worse :( They said that happens but come on... I'm so tired of all these nonsense products but what choice do we have? It's better to try something than nothing :( It's all so confusing and complex... I never thought I'd have to ever worry about my hair from all things! Life is so random...

    Anyway, let me know how you are doing.
  8. shasha1

    shasha1 Member

    Hi Catie,
    I wanted to ask you..did you initially shed alot when you started Tony's powder? I have been taking the theraputic dose (2 tsps full/2x day) of the powder for about a week and my hair shedding increased! :( it's like everytime I run my fingers through my hair it comes out and during shower it's increased by about 20%. Did you experience this? I know it sometimes happens with a new treatment and I can't tell if it's just stress/coincidence. You took the same thing so I thought I'd ask you...

    Also you have been taking the powder for about 6 months now. Are you continuing on it and has it helped?