Firstly – I am a 22 year old male, extremely fit & healthy (elite sportsman, fitter than I ever have been in terms of my sport), no obvious deficiencies in terms of general hygiene practice or diet etc…
- For about 2-3 weeks I have been noticing very rapid hair loss & thinning of the hair on my scalp – especially when applying wax and showering, a lot will come out in my hands, also I will get 10+ strands if I run my hands through my hair a few times, I just notice hairs that have fallen quite a lot of the time – my hair is noticeably different to style & thinner.
- In the last 2 weeks I have noticed my eyebrows significantly thinning, firstly outer edges, now the thicker parts in the middle of my brow are becoming thin, patchy, and the hairs right towards the middle of my head are growing in odd directions and becoming sparse (it is almost as if they are wilting as when I just touch them they will fall)
- I have noticed (no idea timeframe) a significant reduction in eyelashes – I now also notice them falling out a lot. More regularly I now get some ‘sleep’ in corners of my eyes & on end of eyelashes
- I have had pretty bad dandruff & itchy scalp on and off for years, never thought anything of it as it comes and goes, usually subsides with haircut – this time it hasn’t, my scalp itches and right now I have so much dandruff it is unreal – all I have to do is rub my head and I will cover my desk! I have checked my scalp where possible, other than the fact that more scalp in noticeable due to thinner hair – no evidence of red irritation – I have had 1 tiny patch before (right near hair line for 3-4 years) which has now gone/cant notice when look.
- For about 1-2 months I have had sore patches, burning sensation in outer corner of eyes, sometimes eyelids and now in area right below eyebrow, skin had begun to look irritated though not flaky. Usually more irritated after excercising & showering. Noticable darker/purple ish coloured skin in these areas. Irritated, dry feeling red eyes, very sensitive to the sun (for years). I had been putting this all down to a complete lack of sleep I have been getting for 1-2 months (very interrupted, restless sleep)
- Forehead has begun to feel irritable, no visible rash or spots, just feels irritated – can sometimes feel dry, can sometimes look particularly oily.
- Random itching all around hair, eyes, eyebrows, forehead.
- Returning of cycstic acne on back, neck, jawline from adolescence (clear for 3 years)
- Loose stool/frequently passing faeces/diarrhea for years – random 1 night of pure hell stomach cramps, sickness and diarrhea once every few months.
- The loss of approx 1stone/6kg in weight over the period of a few weeks, and still going.
- I would say that I am currently quite stressed out, but nothing else in my life other than due to all of this.
Other symptoms which may or may not be of relevance;
- Some dermatitis in between fingers – been there ever since taking roaccutane – sometimes dry and not irritated, other times watery, itchy as hell with some clear spots in amongst the rash
- Some plantar warts on palm side of hand & fingers (I think this is due to the nature of my sport, I have very tough, broken, callused hands).
- A few but not many random itchy red bumps come and go – nothing suspicious I have always put these down to training
Other things to consider;
- I am taking lymecycline for the return of acne (1 week in) and before that was applying Benzoyl Peroxide to my neck & back (10% - for approx 3 months) which I stopped approx 3 weeks ago due to the drying etc. I still apply mild amounts of 2.5% BP to my jawline & chin but ensure it goes nowhere else on my face even when moisturizing
- I can barely focus any attention on anything other than this
I have been to the GP – didn’t go in to fine detail about the hair loss we just generally discussed what was going on – the hair loss, eye irritation etc side of things are what most worries me at the moment. I have had bloods taken for all of the usual (Thyroid, Iron etc) which come back next week.
Do you have any idea as to what (mainly the hair loss) might be – what should be my next steps if the bloods are clear? And in any case I don’t think eyebrow & lash loss in the fashion I am experiencing can be over-active thyroid?
I am concerned about Blepharitis, Ocular or Demodex mites that may be affecting my eye hair, skin around eyes/forehead and scalp? I am unsure as to whether this could be sebbhoreic dermatitis? I know alopecia areata is a possibility with all of this stress but I have not formed any large patches or pulled out ‘clumps’ of hair and have never heard of it coming with this kind of irritation. How do I go about getting something like this diagnosed – I want to know what to ask for so that something doesn’t go unnoticed and essentially get worse. My blood results come back in 1 week when I next see my GP and I am so concerned by eyebrows & lashes will be pretty well damaged/gone by then at this rate!
As before, my scalp has been irritable with dandruff for many years with no real effect on my hair so what could have changed? Why now?
Look up celiac disease - it is an autoimmune disease and hair loss of different kinds can result from it. Are you losing any body hair? Hair loss is usually part hormonal (as I see you have acne again) and part autoimmune. You mention diarrhea, etc. You could get tested for celiac disease. Even if the test came back negative, you could give the gluten free diet a try (the celiac diet) which is no wheat, barley, rye and possibly oats.
Talk to the doctor and make sure you see a dermatologist also.
The skin irritation around eyes has worsened, GP has prescribed some sebhhoreic dermatitis shampoo which is failing to work.
Eyes very irritated, eyebrow loss continues, I have unusual spots in my eyebrows where this is happening - it’s as if the hair wilts then falls – irritation of skin around eyes & forehead is becoming horrible. Scalp very itchy, dandruff, lots of hair coming out.
Can this be Demodex? If so – how long does it take for it to get out of control and can all my symptoms be reversed if treated?
Could the fact that I just started taking lymecycline have had any effect on these things becoming infested?
Having Celiac disease means a person can’t eat gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley, and in some medicines.
In people with Celiac disease, the body’s immune system reacts to gluten by attacking and damaging the lining of the small intestine. When the lining is damaged, the body cannot get the nutrients it needs. Over time, Celiac disease can cause anemia, infertility, weak and brittle bones, and other health problems.
People with Celiac disease don’t always know they have it because they may not feel sick. Or if they feel sick, they don’t know Celiac disease is the cause. Either way, gluten is damaging the intestines as long as a person with Celiac disease continues to eat it.
Who gets Celiac disease?
Celiac disease runs in families. You are more likely to develop Celiac disease if you have a parent, brother, or sister who has it. Both adults and children can have the disease.
How can I tell if I have Celiac disease?
If you have Celiac disease, you may have some of these symptoms:
* stomach pain
* change in mood
* weight loss
* an itchy skin rash with blisters
Some people don’t have any symptoms at all.
Celiac disease can be hard to diagnose because its symptoms are like those of many other diseases. Your doctor can do tests to find out if you have Celiac disease. If aside the hair loss you have any of the above symptoms then you need a whole battery of lab tests and a good doctor. If you think you still have it though it does not cause hair loss then contact:
National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse
2 Information Way
Bethesda, MD 20892–3570
I am sorry but loosing your eyebrow hair is strange, do you by any chance do bodybuilding or similar and take steroids?
Unfortunately, I live in the UK so will not be able to make use of the address & details that you have given me,
Gas, Diarrhea, Stomach Pain, Weight Loss, Acne & frequent change in moods are all symptoms that I have – I don’t have a skin rash with blisters but just some irritation around eyes/brow & scalp which I feel has something to do with the hair loss, as I already said the GP has said it is Seb Derm but I am not convinced.
I am sorry but I have got quite confused, did you say that loss of scalp/eyebrow hair IS or IS NOT a symptom of celiac disease? As this right now is the most bothersome change that is happening to me. I work out an awful lot as I am a rower but do not take any supplements.
I had standard blood tests for organ functions, thyroid and blood counts which all came back (as I would expect being so fit) smack bang in the middle of the normal range. Therefore the doc is adamant on going down the ‘anxiety’ route.
I am seeing a GP who is also a derm in 1 week and have a referral to a proper derm in process. My trouble is that with these normal blood tests and no outstanding clinical signs of something going wrong when I go and sit in front of the GP other than me sayin ‘yep, my hair is still coming out, I’m still losing weight etc etc…’, they are reluctant to keep looking.
As I said before I am taking Lymecycline (Tetralysal 300) to keep this acne flare up under control and I am unsure as to whether this is exacerbating the skin/hairloss.
Any more advice as to my next steps with what to to and ask the GP for would be much appreciated.
I am not a doctor reason why I called one at the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, I read your post to him and that is how I got the reply I posted.
The doctor said that if you do have the mentioned symptoms then yes it could be Celiac. Hair loss is not a symptom for Celiac, but the doctor said it is not a NO or a YES hair loss, he said "in some individuals it could be". You need a gastrointestinal doctor, take all your lab results and he will know what to do as the problem is related to your small intestine.
I am sorry I can not mention any medicines but doctors never name them over the Internet and knowing that I did not ask him as it is very dangerous. I know you are desperate but your best bet is to see a gastrointestinal doctor and he will perhaps later refer you to a nutritionist.
I did ask you about bodybuilding and steroids, the doctor asked me that same question but I said I did not know. I looked up one of their most prestiged sites and they have a special forum for Celiac and most of them have had Celiac at one time or another that is why I asked. Never the less there is a Celiac Forum for Q&A, the link is: http://forums.glutenfree.com/
The link to the Bodybuilders Celiac forum is:
Sorry I can not help any more I sincerely wish I could.
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