Hair Loss/TE turned?

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Question
Triggers:

Spring 2012 - strep throat twice- strong antibiotics
August 2012 - very low b12 (-192 )
Sept 2012 - stress attack at work, temporary vision loss ( like a migraine)
Nov 2012 - stomach flu
Nov 2012 - started washing hair in tub (noticed hair changing, but nothing major, stopped blow drying and my hair was beautiful and long)
Dec 2012 - daughter had surgery (was not worried though) stomach flu again
Jan 2013 - bronchitis, ear infection, antibiotics, kids also got sick, ear infections
March 2013 - baking soda/apple cider vinegar hair wash 2 months
May 2013 - stomach flu, low vit D, acne started
Stress stress stress... Marriage, work, kids, changed day cares
August 2013 - dyed hair (left on scalp which I never do), scarring acne scars
August 2013 - one week later -  large shedding began
October 2013 - abortion (7 weeks)
November 2013 - shorter hairs started to fall, like 6 inches, low iron @ 40
December 2013 - still shedding
January 2014 - diffuse now at the back, still shedding but not as much, but am shedding short thinner hairs, intermediate hairs.
February 2014 - started using scalp treatment, natural amino acids, b6, etc.
March 2014 - began using igrow laser helmet - iron @ 77, b12 @ 919.
April 2014 - planning on getting pregnant with our last child, now or never if I have to start treatments.

My story: thinning for about a year, hair became limp and lifeless, mainly my lifestyle was to blame. (Binge drink once a week to erase work and problems) Twin pregnancy four years ago, had PP TE but all came back great and i didn't even notice it (was a happy time in my life) Lots and lots of stress in the past year.  I also felt I couldn't handle any type of stress (adrenal fatigue)

Seven months ago massive shedding started, 120-300 + shed daily. Shed was consistent with TE so derm. Told me to stop stressing. I did, I also was on all vitamins to support the loss, on top of trying to figure out why I always felt like crap for a year. Sept/12 very low b12 (-192)also a large stress attack at work, march/13 did a only baking soda shampoo, loved it, but stopped after a month and a half. May/13 low vit. D. August/13 large shed began. (On and off divorce talk with husband for over a year and three year old twins) - November came along, iron at 40 (began supplements) and began shedding shorter hairs, which seem thinner. Now it seems as though it is only short hairs shedding with tapered ends, which some are finer and some are normal. But only shed about 30-75 day now, beep ends on wash day. The shedding is really slowing down. (Stopped coffee, alcohol, gluten, sugar since jan 1/14) - I have a lot of regrowth, all different lengths, some seem like they are coming in normal now but then some look thinner, could be because of the tapered tips, it's hard to see - truncated growth cycle?

Natural path indicated that my dhea and testosterone seemed on the low side, and my daily body temp is too low. Possibly adrenal fatigue, then maybe making my thyroid sluggish. (Not treating anything with mds, just changing eating, so far working)

I also have be heartburn, burping, acid reflex. I was on losec for it from 2010-2012 - stopped it because of my stomach was not absorbing b12. I'm in the middle of doing a low vs high stomach acid test. I literally burp like over a hundred times a day, no joke, and I have taken acid reducers in the past but now I'm starting to think I've been treating the wrong problem.

Can adrenal fatigue and stress cause this? Anxiety now is due to all of this.  Most of my year long crappy feelings have dissipated though, I'm no longer tired, no longer falling asleep at the wheel.  I have no family history at all of this.

I had Biopsy but have no results yet. Derm did not think it was necessary but to ease my anxiety she did one, this has turned my world upside down. i can only where my hair up, i see more scalp but everywhere and the back of my head. Derm has seen me twice, indicated TE, then said I had too many triggers so it is CTE... But still never listened to my short hair comments. I'm diffuse everywhere. My head feels like it's burning sometimes, no itchy, but weird feelings.

Dht conversion?
Androgen issues?

Waiting on my DHT blood work now. It's been almost a month now.

8 years ago developed:
BAD Night sweats
Panic attacks ( lasted about a year, did therapy, eye movement light therapy)
Brittle nails
Leg hair stopped growing
Periods always normal but seemed lighter
Reduced breast size
Heartburn

Sincerely need any advice. I'm at a brick wall and need to figure this out.

Thank you for any advice.

Answer
Lindsay,
 Your problems are of long enough duration and complicated by enough multiple causes that I am not sure this forum is going to be a place to be able to give you adequate advice. This is going to take your dermatologist some time to go over it all with you and perhaps with the aid of your internist or OBGYN.
 To summarize - You have had two years of Chronic stress with the attendant CTE that sometimes comes with it. Each time you have an episode of TE you can lose a complete life cycle of your scalp hairs. Each life cycle lasts about 5 years. When this goes on long enough some patients experience premature thinning and can age decades over a short time. I discuss this issue in Chapter 4 of my book "Hair Loss Answers" which I have downloaded to my website and you can read for free online at www.HiarDoc.com

http://www.hairdoc.com/hair-loss-anwers/chapter-4-other-hair-loss-causes/

Chapter 4: Other Hair Loss Causes

STRESS

Stress can cause a type of hair loss called telogen effluvium. This condition is not caused by the general accumulated stress of ordinary interactions with people at home and at work, but rather by sudden severe emotional or physiological incidents. Severe stressful events can cause some or most actively growing hair follicles to prematurely shift into the regression phase, and then the resting phase, during which the hairs fall out easily.

There is usually a delay of a few weeks to a few months before the shedding is noticeable, but after this delay the shedding seems to occur quite suddenly. Because the shedding is delayed, this type of hair loss is often a mystery to the person suffering the condition. The stressful event that triggered it is frequently forgotten, and it is rarely thought to be connected with the “new problem.”

Examples of sudden severe emotionally stressful events include the death or terminal illness of a family member or close friend, marriage, divorce, and unexpected job loss. Severe physiological stressful events shock the body, and some examples are heart attacks, major surgery, and illnesses with prolonged high fever such as malaria, viral pneumonia, and severe cases of the flu.

In most cases of telogen effluvium, the hair follicles recover and soon shift back to the regular growth cycle.

However, repeated instances of telogen effluvium can result in premature hair loss in people predisposed to lose their hair late in life. The average growth cycle of a hair follicle takes about five years, but each follicle is “genetically programmed” for only a limited number of growth cycles. For example, if a particular hair follicle were “genetically programmed” for only ten growth cycles, after about fifty years that follicle would stop producing new hairs. When all the follicles at the hairline or crown of the head are “genetically programmed” this way, a receding hairline or bald spot appears after all the growth cycles for the follicles in those areas have been cycled through.

Each incidence of telogen effluvium uses up one “life” of the affected hair follicles. So instead of having a receding hairline or bald spot at age fifty, the hair loss may occur a few years earlier. This is not a significant issue if telogen effluvium occurs once or twice in a lifetime; however, accelerated hair loss can result from repeated severe stressful events, if each instance triggers a new round of telogen effluvium.

I had a patient who was totally bald when I met him at age seventy, and he had lost all his hair by age twenty-two. He had worked on the Panama Canal fifty years earlier, and for two straight years starting when he was twenty he suffered repeated bouts of severe fever from episodes of malaria. Each time he suffered from malaria induced fever he experienced telogen effluvium, lost what hair he had, and his hair follicles lost another “life.” After ten or fifteen malaria stress cycles, at the age of twenty-two, he had the hair he would have had at age seventy. Which unfortunately for him was no hair at all.

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Peter J. Panagotacos, <B>M.D.</B>

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I have 30 years experience in the field of medical and surgical Hair Restoration and am Board Certified in Dermatology and Hair Restoration Surgery.

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I have 30 years experience in the field of medical and surgical Hair Restoration and am Board Certified in Dermatology and Hair Restoration Surgery. More information can be found at my website www.hairdoc.com

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