Hair Loss/TE going on 5th month, regrowth coming in thin and light
I'm a 31 year old female. I suffer from hypothyroidism (hashimoto's disease) and vitiligo on my hands.
My issue is that I have been having hair loss/shedding since April/13 and it is still on going but not as bad as it was in the beginning. I don't know how much hair I was losing when it started but I do know it was probably 200-300 hairs on wash days and close to 100 on non wash days. Now I'm losing 60-80 on wash days and 30-50 on non wash days.
A little history of what's being happening in my life...in Jan/13 I had a health scare that I had to get a ct scan done to check for a blood clot...everything was fine but I was referred to a internal medicine clinic as my blood pressure was elevated (it was contributed to anxiety). After my health scare, I went on a strict diet...I weighed approx. 190lbs 5'3"...I went down to 159lbs by April/13. My calorie intake on average was 1000 calories a day. From jan to April, I was also put on zoloft, which I then decided to stop on my own. I was also skipping doses here and there of my eltroxin medication for hypothyroidism. My tsh in jan was 5.6.
In may, I went to my family doctor about the hair loss, he checked my thyroid, ferritin and did an ANA test as I was concerned about lupus as my mother passed away from scleroderma(autoimmune)
Well my tsh was 7.8, ferritin 18 and ana negative. My doctor contributed my hair loss to anxiety(which I don't agree) and the diet I went on. By the way I gained all the weight back from lack of motivation because of my hair loss.
Now my issue is that I do see regrowth, but it's lighter in colour, just a touch and it's thin and fine. They range from maybe .5-3cm. Some look normal thickness but others are fine. I've been compulsively checking and brushing my hair to see regrowth that some of the new fine regrowth has shed also. I seen a dermatologist a few days ago and he said its TE. I asked him if it could be female pattern baldness and he said it could be a component of it...I'm not sure what that means.
Do you have any thoughts on the new thin regrowth?
Thank you so much
There may be more than one contributing factor causing your hair loss. I will go over the items you mentioned in their relation to hair loss.
The main type of hair loss that causes excessive shedding from the roots is telogen effluvium. Telogen effluvium can be acute or chronic. Acute telogen effluvium is caused by a sudden temporary change, disturbance, shock or imbalance. The shedding will begin approximately three months after the trigger. The items you mentioned that could cause acute telogen effluvium include extreme anxiety, medical procedure, medication (zoloft), extreme diet with rapid weight loss. Because these events occurred approximately three months prior to shedding, they may have contributed or caused your hair loss.
Chronic telogen effluvium occurs when there is a prolonged internal imbalance. When the body can no longer cope with the imbalance(s), the hair growth cycle can become disrupted. The items you mentioned that could be involved with chronic telogen effluvium include low ferritin levels, thyroid imbalance, thyroid medication, autoimmune issues (Hashimoto's and vitiligo.) Certain experts recommend women with hair loss issues to get their ferritin levels up to 70. Even if low ferritin is not the cause of your hair loss, getting levels up should help. Iron deficiency can also cause hair color to lighten.
Hashimoto's and vitiligo are autoimmune disorders. Persons with autoimmune disorders must take extreme care of themselves--much more so than persons without autoimmune disorders. Keeping the immune system calm and balanced is the most important part of the treatment. Determining and avoiding environmental and food allergens and sensitivities is necessary, as is reducing internal inflammation.
Both of these autoimmune conditions are associated with alopecia areata. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder that causes hair loss. Although the most common form causes hair to fall out in patches, other variations can mimic telogen effluvium.
Persons with vitiligo and/or Hashimoto's are vulnerable to alopecia areata. Emerging evidence is revealing a high correlation between gluten intolerance/sensitivity and Hashimoto's, vitiligo and alopecia areata. Some experts suggest everyone with Hashimoto's to become 100 percent gluten free.
After hair loss, sometimes regrowth starts out thin and wispy like baby hair, eventually to thicken. This is especially true with alopecia areata.
Sincerely, Melanie Vonzabuesnig
Understanding Female Hair Loss