losing hair again...

This was to be expected.

Especially with all the raging hormones pregnancy brought upon me. I can vividly imagine all these hormones dropping full force. It caused me sudden, strong hair loss. It started from one day to the other, I was losing actual handfuls.

Soon, my scalp started showing a bit on the sides, then I noticed my temples were almost completely  bald. I dread combing my hair or taking a shower. It seems like whole streaks are coming out, and I get tangled in my own shed hair when taking a shower.Of course it reminds me of the hair loss I experienced late 2009. My hair had just thickened up to a point where I felt it was almost normal (Dec. 2011).

visible thinning, while weirdly, still having a thick ponytail

Anyhow, it could just be postpartum hair loss*, which can get really bad for some women. Or it could be spiked by my issues with the hormone prolactin (my pituitary tumor can keep it raised). Prolactin levels are supposed to drop after delivery, even when breastfeeding, down to around 50 ng/ml.
In pregnancy, when my son was full term (37 weeks), I decided to go off cabergoline, to be able to breastfeed (the drug inhibits lactation and is passed to the baby through the milk).

When my son was born, I had a lot of milk immediately. He was growing so well just from my milk, he was even a bit bigger and heavier than average and is to this day. He never gets sick, even when everyone (including me) is coughing and sneezing around him. And he loves nursing and the closeness, which he shows me by looking into my eyes and smiling. This is why I decided to get off the drug on my own account (no doctor could tell me about pituitary tumors and breastfeeding, because these women mostly don't breastfeed, or only for a short amount of time).

My current hair loss could also be triggered/ spiked/ worsened by my thyroid issues. It never used to cause me hair loss, but who knows. I also quit taking synthroid for my thyroid, a) because of breastfeeding, it is labeled as a safe drug, but I still don't feel great about it, b) I was wondering why the heck I have to take it, when I had never shown any symptoms of a thyroid underfunction (overweight, dry skin, acne, hair loss, brittle hair, fatique). If anything the drug brought some of these symptoms upon me, when I started taking it I was constantly tired, my ends started splitting, I had a mild case of acne and my skin was dry. I was really done with it.

Also, with my pregnancy going so well, I was asking myself if I was really as sick as everyone was telling me. To me it seemed my body was still functioning pretty well, and I was wondering if doctors had overinterpreted my levels, which could have been fluctuating at the time.

Just recently, I had everything tested again.
I explained my medical history, and the doctor suggested my prolactin might still be raised, causing "postpartum alopecia". She said the prolactin may not go down on its own, and could cause me to lose a lot of hair, or even go bald eventually.
She suggested weaning, so I can go back on medication, saying that cabergoline will stop my hair loss just like it did 2010 (it stopped within a week on cabergoline).

I declined.

I won't stop breastfeeding just because I am losing my hair and may continue to lose it. It is sad that I am losing hair again, but it would make me much more sad to stop giving my son whats best for him. Many have said "you already breastfed for a half year, its okay", but I don't want to stop because of my own personal belief that children get a LOT out of long term breastfeeding. It is the most natural thing.

And, very importantly, I could not take it from my son for my own vanity. My hair is not "that" important to me. Important enough to take care of it, but there are situations that make hair far less important. When I only picture his little face, and how he smiles when its is time to nurse, he rolls on his side next to me, and after he is done nursing he is really happy....well it makes me tear up to think I would have to stop. Children get much more out of it than just nutrition.

Long story, short...
I decided to keep an eye on my levels. My results came back and my prolactin seems to be "okay". Not low but decent. I am unsure how to convert the units the doctor used though, so at the moment I can not say how low it is compared to back then. It could still cause hair loss, but we will see. Not much I can do.
My thyroid is working normal right now, close to an overfunction, but still normal. How weird, that I went from an underfunctionto this. I still have high antibodies, typical for Hashimoto's, but at this time the doctor says I will not need medication for any of my problems. What a positive result! Not perfect, but so much better.

Have I thought about possibly having short hair?
Yes, I have thought about the "what if..." and came to the conclusion, that I will wait out the shed (however long it will last), trim if I need to (I already trimmed back to tailbone length), and cut as needed. If I do have to cut, I will keep a straight hemline because it is easier to grow it out again, and I am just not in the mood for layers and all that hair salon nonsense ^^.

BUT, I may not need to cut, or not a lot that is, IF these freaking hormones settle on their own soon :D.

* approx. 3 months after pregnancy/birth your hormone levels drop and eventually regulate, causing hair loss in the mean time.

7 comments:

  1. Bleib stark! Du hast schon deinen ersten Haarausfall überstanden und bist so ein großes Vorbild für viele, du wirst es nocheinmal schaffen!
    Ganz liebe Grüße,
    Lena aus Deutschland

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh je, ich hätte nicht gedacht, dass man die Geheimratsecken so stark sieht :( Solange der Zopf und die Spitzen aber noch dick sind, bringt Schneiden ja auch nichts.
    Ich drücke dir die Daumen, dass der HA bald aufhört!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm sorry to hear that you're suffering from hair loss again, it must be very frustrating. :/ I really admire you for choosing not to take the medicine against hair loss though, and to breastfeed instead. You're a very good mother and I'm sure you won't regret it! It will be a difficult road again to have your hair back to its full glory, but you've already seen before that you can do it and that you can be patient if it's necessary. Keep it up!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Corin,
    thank you Corin :) True, it is frustrating in some way. All I have been doing since growing my hair is patiently trimming to get rid of damage, dye, hair loss thinning...BUT what can I do? :P It is my only choice, unless I want short(er) hair.
    And yes, I sure won't regret it, my baby makes up for it every day.

    Katze
    Jaaa, teilweise habe ich es mit einer Calorimetry abgedeckt :/ jetzt mach mein Freund immer witze und meint es sieht aus wie diese Modefrisur mit den kurzgeschnittenen Seiten :P Der Zopf ist duenner, aber noch nicht so wie damals vom Gefuehl her.

    Cloak,
    Danke! Vielleicht wird es jetzt nach dem 6. Monat postpartum langsam weniger *auf Holz klopf*

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hallo Emi!
    Drück dir ganz fest die Daumen, dass es schnell wieder bergauf geht mit deinen Haaren.

    Und einen süßen kleinen Schnuggel hast du da bekommen, wünsch euch alles alles Gute :)

    Liebe Grüße aus Österreich
    Natascha

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hallo Lory!
    Der Haarausfall hat zum Glueck aufgehoert, will bald ein paar Bilder vom Neuchwuchs posten.
    Vielen Dank!:)
    Emi

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi I hope you don't mind me asking. What dose were you for your thyroid? I am on 100mvg and want to stop as well. I am 5 weeks post partum and so over the symptoms. I have been taking it since my second month of pregnancy when I got diagnosed.

    ReplyDelete

 

Google+ Followers

Emi

Emi
34 year old mom of 2 boys from Frankfurt Germany

Followers

Instagram @silberin_manelieht