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dry skin, dry mouth, scalp irritation, night sweats
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dry skin, dry mouth, scalp irritation, night sweats

I'm 28 now and a few years ago I started a period of months where I started having bad night sweats, and I would wake every 4 hours or so feeling extremely dry and I would have to drink a large amount of water and go back to sleep, to awake in another 4 hours.  No matter how much water I drank it was not enough.  I started having dry scalp, bad dandruff, hair loss, and some scalp irritations that would come and go in the same spots.  Sometimes while I ate I would have no saliva, and I began having an increase in cavities due to having no saliva in my mouth overnight causing plaque buildup.  I started getting more hungry than usual, and when I didn't eat for a number of hours I would start to feel weak and light headed.  I had thought of diabetes of course, but multiple blood tests with fasting overnight have not indicated that.  I actually felt better the morning after my fasting than the morning before.  I normally had a very high metabolism: very athletic, eating less than average and feeling no hunger, weighing a muscular 150lbs at 6', regardless of activity or diet.  Even extensive weight lifting with an increase in calories would not change my weight at 25yrs old.  At this time I started gaining general body weight, up to 170 lbs with weight exercises building muscle mass.  However, in the worst period with night sweats, a jog down the street would almost knock me out with high blood pressure, and dryness.

I also experienced some memory loss, trouble concentrating, and other symptoms I would associate with a loss of oxygen in the body.  I couldn't tell if symptoms I had were primary, or secondary due to lack of healthy sleep.  I always developed later than average, not having to shave daily until I was around 21 or 22, so this possibly is something puberty related?  I had originally believed it was an end of puberty hormone change which has not balanced.

At the time I saw a few doctors and mainly was told to drink a lot of water.  After the night sweats stopped (I'm not sure how many weeks it was, possibly a couple of months), I had thought perhaps things would return to normal eventually.  A year ago I was able to sleep through the night without waking, although I still now have dry mouth, hands, face, and scalp constantly.  Raising my eyebrows has a feeling of having a perpetually sunburned face, although I've avoided prolonged sun without sunscreen for years now.  My scalp constantly feels a bit too small for my head, which I assume is contributing to the overall hair dryness and loss, and there are patches of thicker dandruff/scaling.  I had thought my change to 60+ hrs/wk of computer monitor use contributed to this.

I have had my thyroid tested recently, and will go back for further tests soon.  My doctor suggested perhaps a brain chemical, and thought something like tributerol may be helpful, and wanted to try that for a test period.  I had read that some chemicals are compensated for by adrenaline.  Suggestions or insights?
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I'm afraid I have little insight to add to your constellation of symptoms.  Your symptoms of dry scalp and hair loss, like those of dry skin are most often limited to the skin, without systemic correlates, so I can't put them together with your other symptoms.

The strategy I suggest is to try to tease these symptoms apart instead of lumping them together.  If you haven't seen a dermatologist, I think you should.  You may well find that you have a straighforward seborrhea problem, which feels "dry" but actaully isn't, and is therefore not related to the general sense of dryness you say you feel overall.

Take care.

Dr. Rockoff
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