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Alopecia Community
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Avatar universal

Severe Hair Loss in young women

Hi everyone, I am a 24 year old female experiencing severe hair loss since 2008.  I have had this happen to me (noticeably) only during summer months (June, July, Aug, Sept).  I've had blood work done indicating that I have low levels of Vitamin D so I've been taking a Vitamin D supplement, an evening primrose supplement (as i have horrible PMS symptoms at that time of the month that I've been to the ER twice for), vitamin b12 supplement, and a general multivitamin.  I notice hair growth coming in after it falls out but it seems to continue to fall out even after re-growth.  I've had a scrape test on the scalp and no fungal type disease on my scalp.  My Dr's seem to have no answers other than stress for me.  My Chiro thinks I may have rheumatoid arthritis (since i'm always in chronic pain with my joints/muscles and now the added hair loss symptom) but I haven't been tested for this (yet) or any other auto-immune diseases.  My thyroid levels also were tested and are within normal ranges.  What can be causing this and should I ask for any other testing? What can I use to treat this severe hair loss?  It's really emotionally nerve wracking and hard to deal with. Other symptoms include severe fatigue, constant muscle aches mainly in neck, back, and feet, migraines, joint pain in fingers and knees, always tired no energy, GERD, and general malaise feeling all the time.  Thank you for your time.
6 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi, have you had your Ferritin (not iron) tested?  Most dermatologists say Ferritin needs to be 40+ for hair.  
Avatar universal
I would give the celiac disease diet a try.  It's a gluten free diet (no wheat, barley, rye or oats).  You can look this diet up on line.  It can cause all of your above symptoms (as other problems can too), but since it's a diet change, it is easy to try and you'll see improvement in your symptoms if it is part of your problem.  The first few days, symptoms might get worse before they get better, or they might not.  Stick with the diet (if you'd like to try it) for 3 months to see if it helps you.  Leave me a message if you have any questions.  

Hairloss is almost always (according to what I've read) a combination of hormonal imbalance and autoimmune disease.   If the diet is not the cure all for you, then I'd visit an endocrinologist (a hormone doctor).  I recommend the diet in this case, because 1) it can cause all the above symptoms  2) celiac disease is autoimmune and causes damage to the intestines and causes malabsorption of nutrients, vitamins and minerals that keep the body running smoothly   3) celiac disease can lead to hormonal imbalances and the diet can correct them or partially correct them if it is in fact part of the problem.  

If your body is too high in estrogen and not quite high enough in progesterone, the above symptoms can result.  You are producing both, but maybe not in a good balance.  Check your body type also.  Fat put on in the upper back usually means too much cortisol.  Love handles usually means too much insulin is being stimulated.  
I'm just showing you that many things can cause your symptoms.  And medications can also cause problems, as can birth control pills.  I hope this helps to some extent.
Good luck finding answers.  I have three kids losing hair, starting when they are 8 years old.  They have other symptoms.  My oldest daughter puts on weight when she looks at a carbohydrate!  She also retains fluid more often than not.  My middle daughter is too lean (like a guy), is 14 and still hasn't gotten her period - but she eats everything in sight.  My son is like my oldest daughter.  So also consider genetics in all of this.  Non-feminine builds usually signal a problem - hormonal imbalance.  Accumulate as much information about yourself and your family if you'd like to see an endocrinologist .

Good luck!
1340994 tn?1374193977
I agree that you are CLASSIC for Celiac disease.  But before starting the gluten-free diet, get your blood drawn for testing for Celiac disease.  Once they draw the blood to test, then go gluten-free.  Otherwise you'll start gluten-free, start improving, but wonder if you REALLY, REALLY have it.  So then you have to eat gluten again, get sick, lose your hair again, get tested, possibly test negative, and wonder if you stayed off gluten long enough to get a good read.  The tests do not catch every case of Celiac, but it helps a person stay on the diet (and their friends and family to not argue with them about it) if they have the actual positive result.  

The diet isn't easy as you have to give up 99% of fast food and eating in a restaurant will always be complicated and risky, but when a celiac eats gluten it causes progression to autoimmune disease and even cancer, so it's vitally important.
1340994 tn?1374193977
I wish somebody insisted I get checked for Celiac when I was only 24!  My health would be so much better now.
Avatar universal
I suggest u get ur testosterone checked. The #1 symptom is hair loss in women and hair growth in other unexpected places. I have really high testosterone I'm trying to lower, it has been making me lose a lot of hair and I'm only 29. I have high testosterone from PCOS. MAKE SURE UR DOCS LOOK INTO THAT. I started intense cardio, eating foods with little carbs and low sugar, and drinking spearmint tea. Also thinking about colon hydrotherapy. Testosterone is really hard to lower so u need plenty of exercise, detox, and right diet.
Hope this helps!
Avatar universal
I suggest u get ur testosterone checked. The #1 symptom is hair loss in women and hair growth in other unexpected places. I have really high testosterone I'm trying to lower, it has been making me lose a lot of hair and I'm only 29. I have high testosterone from PCOS. MAKE SURE UR DOCS LOOK INTO THAT. I started intense cardio, eating foods with little carbs and low sugar, and drinking spearmint tea. Also thinking about colon hydrotherapy. Testosterone is really hard to lower so u need plenty of exercise, detox, and right diet.
Hope this helps!
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