Any ideas on hair loss

After not feeling well for quite sometime now with one thing or another my latest is my extreme hair loss.

Everymorning seeing the hair on my pillow and in the bottom of the shower tray .. and it sheds all the time leaving hair everywhere I feel distraught and disolve into tears.

Does anyone else have this problem ? its never happened to me before.

I went to the doctor concerning this hair loss and itchy skin that I want to scratch to pieces including my scalp ..... so another lot of tests were done ( previously done six months ago )

I maybe should mention I changed my doctor six ago to another in the practice and he is a little better at doing the tests etc; ( unfortunately I am still doubting ) the doctor told me the hospital won't do all the tests he requests as they say they are too expensive so although they did TSH and T3&4 six months ago they would only do TSH this time.

The following is the only info I could get from him.

Normal T3&4 TSH very slightly surpressed

he is now going to lower my dose to 75mcg ... to see what happens !

I take 100mcg of Eltroxin ... was taking anything between 100 and 150 mcg depending on lab work for 30yrs.

My levels were worked out on a reading of 0.5 to 5

I am very very worried as I dont understand enough of the fine tuning .... if my TSH is being worked out now on the British value of 0.3 to 3 and is slightly supressed when my body has been used to being worked out and treated accordingly on 0.5 to 5 am I already taking too little to what my body was used to. ?

Could this also be why my short memory and word recall has become really bad, the foginess that gives me panick attacks at times because I get so confused, the pains in my bones and muscles in my legs so bad it hurts to put one foot in front of the other, I'm going up stairs on my hands and knees. ( going to physio tomorrow at the hospital ?)

Up until 12 yrs ago I lived in S Africa ( where I was diagnosed at the age of 31 after 18yrs ) following the diagnosis I had been very well on myself they did the tests every six months felt my kneck and throat etc; at each check up, I also had vit B12 injections , magnesium, sometimes iron and vit C administered by my GP.

In the last 12 years no doctor has felt my throat or neck, blood tests are done every 12 months then I'm given the clear for another twelve months ..

I was told when I joined the practice and after I gave them the info from my SA GP they don't believe in vitimins they wont be perscibing them and they are a waste of money.

So I myself buy and take vit B , Magnesium .... and vit D as I was diagnosed with S.A.D 11 yrs ago ?

Any ideas would be very appreciated.

21 Replies

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  • From now on, when you get thyroid gland blood tests always ask for a copy of your results, which should include the ranges (figures in brackets) as it enables people to comment better.

    Doctors have no reason whatsoever to adjust doses of thyroid hormones due to the TSH results and if you go to the second letter on this link you will see the reason. You have to read and learn as much as possible otherwise you will continue in ill-health. There are other topics at the top of the page but you may find that some links within the topics may not work.

    web.archive.org/web/2010122...

    This is the extreme when doctors ignore patients clinical symptoms. (I hope it is the extreme but who can tell as not everyone gets an autopsy).

    thyroiduk.healthunlocked.co...

  • Shaws thank you for replying, the next time I go to the surgery I will ask them to print my test results.

    Your right I do need to be more informed and read more and I now will, I must admit I don't know a great deal about Hypothyroidism even though I was diagnosed in 1978 when I was 30 yrs old by a ''gynocologist '' just after arriving in S Africa from Zambia.

    It was a bit of a shock going to the gyne and he starts by asking me about my neck before anything else.

    I had to have a hysterectomy because of the related problems , enlarged womb, ovarian cysts and endometriosis apparently all caused by the undiagnosed underactive thyroid I had had most my life.

    I was told to take the Eltroxin every morning and I would be fine and I actually was ... although I still couldn't handle the cold.

    I never felt so well in my life :-) so had no reason to question anything or look anything up .. that is until now because my dwindling health started going pear shaped from 12 yrs ago when I came back to live in the UK. ( all put down to my age since arriving.)

    Up until a week ago when over the phone a relief doctor requested I go for thyroid tests because of my hair and skin ...... All this time I have believed the doctor to know what he/ she was doing !

    I have only just found this site and after reading many of the bloggs I realise there is so much I need to be aware of ... when and when not to take my meds what not to take at the same time.

    I must admit alot of the bloggs have made me feel quite depressed because everyone seems to be fighting the doctors all the time to get anything achieved.

    I just dont have the energy and because of how tired and exuasted I have felt not to mention the pain I decided to just give up to be honest because they make me feel like an hypochondriac.

    Once again thanks for your reply .

  • At least on the forum you get support which doesn't come easy from people who have no idea how you feel undiagnosed/undertreated.

    Have you had your iron, feritin and folate checked? Also Vit B12 and Vit D as deficiences in all of these are common and affects many things and this is an extract:-

    Low Iron (Ferritin) and Female Hair Loss

    One of the most common causes of hair loss in women, without doubt is low Iron stores. A large majority of the women who consult a Trichologist have below optimum Iron stores for good hair growth. A study conducted on 1000 women revealed 33% suffered female hair loss, 90% caused by low Iron stores and 10% caused by Genetic (female pattern baldness) or other factors.

    GP's are often unaware of exactly which blood tests to carry out for female hair loss, most opting for the Full Blood Count and Haemoglobin tests for anaemia. However, the most important blood test for a woman suffering female hair loss is the Serum Ferritin, a test for iron stores. Research has not established a link between low Haemoglobin and hair loss as they have with low Serum Ferritin. Once the Serum Ferritin level increases and reaches a certain trigger point - around 70ug/l, hair loss should decrease and hair growth improve. You may have already been prescribed iron tablets and not found an improvement in your hair but are you using them correctly or taking enough of the best form?

    Low B12 and Hair Loss

    Low B12 - another cause of hair loss in women which is frequently missed by GP's. It's not a routine blood test and even when a person is tested for B12, if the result is borderline they will rarely be treated. The minimum level for B12 is around 180 ng/l however most healthy people have a level of around 500ng/l. Symptoms of low B12 include hair loss, breathlessness, lack of energy palpitations, bleeding gum's, mouth ulcers, tingling in the hands and feet.

    There are two types of B12 deficiency:

    Lack of dietary B12 - usually vegetarians and vegans, B12 is mostly found in animal produce rather than plants. Solution - increase dietary B12 or/and take a B12 supplement.

    Autoimmune - Antibodies to intrinsic factor prevent absorption of dietary B12. A blood test for intrinsic factor can be carried out to determine if your problem is dietary or autoimmune. If your problem is auto immune your GP will do further investigation to try to determine why it has developed. Treatment - lifelong B12 injections.

    See also Androgenic Alopecia - Female Pattern Baldness

    I am well now thanks to the info I received from Thyroiduk.org and so thankful.

    I have had problem with my hair (Alopecia diagnosed) but is now growing back.

    cots-tri.co.uk/hairlosswome...

  • Hiya, my hair falls out terribly and I have started to collect it from the bath by putting a special plug in with holes to stop it washing away, firstly as I'm worried about blocking the drain and also to keep a check on how much is going. I've kept a weeks worth in a small clear plastic bag and compare it to the previous week to see if it lessens.

    I am currently very low on Vit B12, Vit D and waiting for prescription but also too low on thyroid medication so don't know what it is from those three things. It may be something else but thought I would put in my circs in case it helps. My hair is also very dry and brittle and I do wonder if I will be buying a wig soon.

  • Hi TraceyLE, thanks for responding, sorry about your hair I know how your feeling I am wondering whether I will be needing a wig. My hairs always been very fine and I never had to wax or pluck my eyebrows as they were never thick enough but thats how its been all my life I just thought that was me .. now I know why.

    I don't know if I am happy about reducing the dose of my eltroxin ... do you get your vitimins from your GP ?

  • P.S. if you want to reply to a comment you have to click the blue Reply to this and a new box will open. You reply is then emailed to the person who will otherwise be unaware that you have replied and you may think you have been ignored.

  • Ok thank you :-)

  • You say 12 years ago you had 6 monthly check ups in S Africa, as well as B12 injections, magnesium, iron and Vitamin C. GP MUST have given you these for a reason - you must ask WHY your treatment has not been continued (B12 and irons are obviously essential for a start! we know the others are too.)

    I'm also guessing you would have some sun - well you don't here & will probably be Vit D deficient too. Definitely get the iron, ferritin sorted for hair loss. Ask to see a specialist, please insist!

    TSH ranges vary from hospital lab to lab (mine here is .3 to 5.5) most folks feel better with a TSH of under 1 - although it's only a rough indicator of Thyroid function, nowadays most GPs just don't know what else to go by. (FT4 and FT3 levels show more).

    Best wishes Jane :D

  • Thanks Jane .. I am going to contact the surgery and ask for copies of my last two tests and any other tests they said they did.

    GP just said my T3&4 was ok and TSH slightly elevated and because it had been like that over the last couple of years he was going to reduce it from 100mcg to 75 and '' lets see ''.

    Six months ago I changed my GP to another within the same practice because my last GP advised a gynocologist to give me an antibiotic she knew I was allergic to ( I am allegic to most antibiotics / penicillan, the list is endless.

    But she also wanted to treat me as '' Manic Depressive'' because I was in tears everytime I went with the pain in my legs ( somedays I can't stand on my legs because on those very bad days besides the muscle pain the bones in the top of my thighs feel like their stabbing into my flesh ) , then she wanted to send me for tests for '' Alzheimers '' ..

    But she did diagnose me with '' Seasons Affective Disorder '' and the sugery helped me to purchase a light box.

    After researching SAD I started to take the vit D off my own back because she didnt recommend it .

    I really appreciate everyones advise and support

    best wishes Lynn

  • Cein - whatever you do dont go for a test for Alzheimers - this was suggested to my husband because of his poor mental health and inablity to remember things and names of everyday objects. I believe he would have been diagnosed with this if he had agreed to the test. He also had very severe pain in his joints and muscles along with many other symptoms. Eventually he was given T3 instead of T4 (levothyroxine) and high does Vit D (pro D3 on presciption) all these symptoms went!! His memory is fine now!

    You do need to learn about this disease as many GPs just dont know very much (this is my own experience, I am hypo as well as my husband and now my daughter) and after my experiences I wouldnt put my families health in the hands of any GP.

  • Thank you for that advice ...

    I have been telling them for about 11 yrs about my memory, that was the first thing I noticed, then the S.A.D which is probably a vit D deficiency and the other problems have followed.

    Its taken me along time to connect these issues because I didnt know enough but I am now gaining more knowledge :-)

  • Not got low ferritin have you? There is a study which shows theat ferritin needs to be at the 70. mark to keep hair. The lower the ferritn, the more the hair loss.

  • I am not aware that I have had any tests like that done, GP just mentioned my blood count was satisfactory they must have asked for that when they took blood for my thyroid ? .

    I have never heard of ferritin so when I come back from physio this afternoon I will check it out on google.

    Thank you Rosee 45

  • I also have very bad hair loss which has made me feel so depressed and low over the last few years I have tried vitamins I even persuaded my GP to up my Eltroixn but nothing has worked my hair used to be so thick but now i can see my scalp shining through under lights and i just want to cry..I have had all the bloods done for b12 iron and hormones and nothing showed up..I was even referred to a dermatologist at the hospital...It seems to me that not enough is known about the subject by those who should know just because its a 'cosmetic' problem..but unless you are suffering from it you cant comprehend how it affects you mentally and knocks your confidence..All this on top of impossible to control weight gain and feeling like an old woman with aches and pains..Which have been put down to 'Its your age'!!!

  • Hi Justina 72 ...

    Your age ! ... aghhh makes me angry why do they always say that .. heard that too many times myself in the last 12 years so I can empathise.

    Anyway I had so much pain yesterday and felt so ill that I have decided I am going to dig out my Natural Health eating plan I was given by a Natureopath and go on that for a while to see if I can start to feel a bit better, it wasn't given to me for my thyroid but I don't think it can hurt to only eat all healthy stuff .... 20yrs ago I stayed on a very restrictive diet for 7 yrs because I was too scared to come off it incase I put the weight back on ... I finished up with Candida septicemia and nearly destroyed my immune system.

    Sorry for any spelling mistakes etc; but my memory is really bad.

  • Just a thought for you in addition to the vitamins you were given in SA. My uncle lived his whole adult life in SA, returned to UK on retirement but his health deteriorated and he now has alzheimers. he discovered that after trips back to SA, he felt much better and has now returned for good. I suspect it's to do with vit D in his case. Could you ask your GP to test for this as well as the others? I managed to get this done on the NHS. I don't know if low vit D is related to hair loss, but it's worth a try? Also, can you get your medical records from SA?

    Good luck.

  • Thanks Mary ..

    I tried to get my medical records a while ago but they were archived when I left and they couldn't find them .. when I told my GP I had asked for them she told me she didnt want them.

    They don't even have or want my medical records from the GP I had while staying with my son 7 miles away for a year ?

    I must admit I also felt much better the last time I was there on holiday ( eight years ago now ) I felt like I had so much more energy and I lost weight without even trying, but then you eat differently as well. I went and bought vit D but I dont know if I'm taking the right dose.

    How is your father- in - laws memory now he is back in South Africa ?

    I also lived in Africa all my adult life .... But its difficult subject right now.

    I told my daughter a few weeks back that I was thinking of going back because if I was going to get shot at least I would die relativly healthy and happy .. she asked me to please not do that to her ( I was chased by highjackers for one and a half hours and they found out about it before I got back home ) as she had enough to worry about looking after my son-in-law who had a heart attack 2 yrs ago at 38 caused by the stress of coping with severe PTSD .. and because it was caused by stress he could have another one any time as the heart muscle goes into spasm and cuts the blood off, he never told anyone he was having nightmares and flash backs he said real men didnt say they werent coping.

    He was in the South African Police and the Durban City Police.

    I cant give her anything else to worry about .

    Best Wishes

    Lynn

  • Hi Lynne

    So sorry to hear about your family's troubles. We find it hard in the UK to imagine the stress involved in living in SA, we only think about the sunshine! I think the sun is the important factor here because as you are probably aware this is where we get our vit d from. Certainly I feel so much better in the summer. I've been advised by a Dr that ANYONE living in the UK needs 2,000 IU of vit D per day between Sept. and March. This is significantly higher than the RDA and over the counter products will not have enough in them. There are suppliers of high doses of VITd without the calcium but I don't think I'm allowed to quote my supplier on this forum? I do have drops though which you add to water. Would probably show on a google search but must be vit D2 - maybe worth a try if your current product is lower. Hope this helps you.

    I can't recall whether anyone has already suggested ways of getting your vits and minerals tested privately, but if not someone will come to your rescue.

    P. s. my uncle feels better and happier back in SA, but I don't believe it helps directly with the Alzheimer's.

    Once again good luck and keep asking and reading.

    Mary

  • Hi,

    Vit D2 ? Ooops I'm not taking that, when I researched SAD it said D3 so that's what I've been taking. It says vit D3 25ug not exactly a u its like a p with the top of the p missing.

    Thanks I will have a look for that liquid ! ...

  • I am so so so sorry this is a brain fog moment, you are right D3 - just checked!

    Mary

  • Thank you all for your comments and input :-)

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