more hair loss, after return of my period postpartum (12 mos.) but better strategy!!

Seems I won't get away this easy. I foolishly thought I could just focus on regrowing my hair after my postpartum hair loss, but it seems my hormones are not done with me (and yes I have known about this hair loss for a while but I still wanted to post my progress for this year, even if it is about to thin again)

<- Jan. 2012 hair loss

I have actually been dealing with noticeable increased shedding on and off for almost 4 months. When my son was 12 months old, my period returned, while breastfeeding around the clock still. I remember I had a period of increased shedding only at some point, but I did not think much of it and it stopped. 
My first period was not a nice experience, but after a while everything should go back to normal.

But it did not, I just got over my 4th postpartum period, and it was by far the worst. I never even had the slightest pain or cramps during my periods, but this was real PMS (pre menstrual syndrome).
Worse than the cramps was actually the back pain. I also experience achy and stiff joints and carpal tunnel just like I did after pregnancy. I have the SAME symptoms I did right after pregnancy, and something tells me I am in for a second postpartum shed!

This is not common, but it can happen in women whose hormones have a hard time balancing (and if you do, let me tell you that is not normal). What might have contributed is that my son went from nursing once during the night, back to nursing 2-5 times for a short period. I also experienced bad acne around the same time, and more blemishes that normal since a little bit before my period returned.

I can somewhat control the blemishes with my diet, but my hair is still shedding.

Now, for the 3rd time, I am faced with the question of what to do....and this time I decided to take action quickly, and try a different approach. IF I figure out a way to at least lessen it, it might be useful in the future.
Of course I will get my levels tested to make sure my thyroid and pituitary gland are not acting up again.

I don't want to take medication however, even if there is an imbalance. I am still breastfeeding, and my son is not ready to wean. He still gets a lot of his nutrition from my milk. Instead I want to try helping my hormones balance themselves with herbs and vitamin supplements. 

I am not for popping supplements left and right, but it is a good compromise to prevent worse until my hormones have figured themselves out (last time I shed for 3 1/2 months, so if it is the same I have two more months to go).

And now here is my Strategy:

1.  Be very religious about my diet/ lifestyle. 

As I have mentioned before - if I cheat and eat something containing wheat for example, I break out and have other bad reactions. The fact that I do break out, means it very much affects my hormonal balance also. So there can not even be the occasional bit of wheat or dairy. I recently experimented a bit with eating dairy, to see how it would affect me, and I wonder if that contributed to my hormones being thrown off more than they already were.
I also scanned through my beauty products again, and threw out a few things with hidden wheat, soy, corn, rice or milk. Especially milk can have a strong effects on hormones, since it contains hormones from the cow, that don't like your own hormones very much ;).

What I want to add into my lifestyle is sun gazing (staring at the sun and in general getting enough day light and just relax) and cold therapy (cold showers), which were recommended to me on a Forum.

2. Supplement Vitamins

When you do have hormonal imbalances and/ or certain autoimmune diseases, your bodies ability to absorb and break down nutrients and vitamins is often impaired. This means you will be lacking things that others may not. So there can actually be benefits from supplementing.
Also keep in mind that most foods nowadays are not as nutrient dense because of how their were grown, so being 100% covered is not as easy even on a great diet, and even harder when you do experience imbalances.
When my hair loss started, I was actually able to stop it by taking a prenatal vitamin and some added vitamin D. It also kept my skin clear during the first months of my periods return. Now, I shed less and my skin is better with the Vitamins, but it does not stop the shedding.
This might have worked because the hormones first started depleting me of nutrients.

Because Prenatal Vitamins do not exist in Germany, I am combining a multivitamin with another supplement to get the same dose (the Multi has half of what the prenatal has!). I tested taking only one multivitamin, but my hair still shed with one.

3. Herbs to detox the liver and regulate hormones

Now you will wonder - why a liver detox? I will explain the connection. But first:

- DIM
(Diindolymethane) works by helping your liver to detoxify ‘bad estrogens’ from your body and promote good estrogen. It is made of concentrated vegetables like brokkoli for example.
-Vitex (chasteberry)
Vitex works on your pituitary gland, and helps it regulate its own hormone production (which can get your progesterone and good estrogens back in balance).
-Milk Thistle
Supports the function of the liver.
-Burdock Root
supports the liver and purifies the blood from excess estrogen's that are floating around.

Why the liver?
Estrogen dominance and the liver are very closely linked because the liver is where excess estrogen will get detoxified and swept out of the body via the bowel. With an inefficient liver the excess estrogen will have the chance to recirculate throughout the body.
I made sure these supplements are not only organic, but also contain nothing that I wouldn't eat. I am planning to post more detail about these supplements in the future.


Will this work?

I don't know! But I do know that after losing hair over and over again, I won't just sit here and take it, if I can make a difference.
It does suck tremendously! Especially since I keep being patient and just regrow it, while some people would just chop it or shove some extensions up their hair...
But that is not me. I will always strive to have natural long hair. Even if I would have to go short someday, I would regrow it.

10 comments:

  1. Hello Emi, I enjoy reading how you are taking care of yourself and your holistic approach. You have a very informative blog!

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  2. Hi Emi, I finally got to check out your blog. Very interesting points, I have seen an increase in my acne, I can totally see the connection now, I started drinking regular milk instead of my usual almond milk.
    You know my boyfriend is lactose intolerant and he had been experiencing alopecia (random bald spots on his head and beard). I was reading an article that connects people who are lactose intolerant usually have a hidden gluten intolerance too. Then I read somewhere else that alopecia might be connected to gluten intolerance...I told my boyfriend to stop consuming so much wheat (or anything else that contains gluten) and he really did see a difference in his hair loss, the patches are starting to grow hair again :) Thanks for your update, really appreciate your honesty and insight.

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  3. btw all the best on your holistic approach!

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  4. Hello there!! I'd often wondered when you had your baby---congrats to you!
    And, I can totally feel your pain about hormonal shedding. I too, am going through this, but not due to pregnancy, but due to peri-menopause.

    I found a good shampoo that may help--it's from I.C.O.N and its paraban/sulphate free. It's called "energize' line and it treats the scalp to detoxify anything coming from it, and create stronger hair at the root. Within a week of using this, my shed ratio went down significantly. You can only get it at a salon, but I highly recommend it as I am delighted that my shed is back to normal after a summer of bad, bad shedding.

    Feel free to contact me on facebook!

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  5. Hi there,

    Hope you get better now. I would suggest you to use hair loss treatment to regrow your falling hair.Good luck! Wish you all the best!

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  6. Rachel, it is just like a multivitamin! Not really specifically for hair loss. :)

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  7. I love the blog. Great post. It is very true, people must learn how to learn before they can learn. lol i know it sounds funny but its very true. . . The Reviewer

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  8. Hmm… I read blogs on a similar topic, but i never visited your blog. I added it to favorites and i’ll be your constant reader. Dermatologia

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  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  10. Do you have an update on your hair?

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Emi

Emi
34 year old mom of 2 boys from Frankfurt Germany

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