announcing hair loss # 4 (and the reason?)

I've done it again! I'm losing hair...but I think the reason is actually quite simple and not necessarily a big health issue. I think it is because my prolactin levels keep going up and down from breastfeeding!

A few days ago I was just sitting here, wondering why the hell I am losing hair again.
(June 2013 hair on the left)

The first thing I do when I lose hair (sounds like a common occurrence..) is to think about what I did or changed 3 months ago (after a "traumatic" even, hair can go into the resting phase, will remain there for three months and then shed for another 3 months approximately)
3 months ago, I tried to wean off of Fenugreek supplements. Fenugreek has been helping me to keep up my breastmilk supply since my son was two months old. Back then it dropped because we started out with a nipple shield, and nothing but the capsules brought it back up.

So I was off the Fenugreek about 15 weeks ago and noticed a very drastic drop in my supply when my son had a stuffy nose and could not breathe while nursing.
My prolactin levels were probably in the basement then. So I started taking Fenugreek again, 6 (!!!) capsules a day, and after a little over a week I was having more milk again.
Now, of course I regret trying to get off of Fenugreek. I wanted to see if I can do without it.

When mothers decide to wean children off of breastfeeding rather sudden, the same can happen. It is almost like another postpartum shed.

Come to think about it....nursing a toddler I can expect my levels to go up and down because of how unpredictable their eating habits are. He will have phases where he wants more solid foods, and he will have phases where he wants more breastmilk.
Certainly not every woman is prone to hair loss from fluctuations, but given my history with prolactin, I think I am.

What to do?

It is a no brainer...- there is not much I can do. Of course there is medication to lower prolactin, but not only would it suppress my milk supply more, it would also really mess with my body's new found balance again. Remember my prolactin levels have been normal since early 2012? And have been normalizing every time? They are normal again now.

So well, I guess I will be loosing hair every time fluctuations will occur. I will try not to mess with my Fenugreek dose again and stick with 2-3 capsules. And I can try to make sure my little guy does not skip nursing sessions all too often when out and about.
He is not that irregular really. I don't think that would cause a major problem. He nurses frequently (still every 2-4 hrs), but he also eats frequently.
I will let him keep nursing frequently until next pregnancy. I think if nursing would change during pregnancy, it would not affect my hormones the same way? At least I had no hair loss with my prolactin levels going up during pregnancy.

I really can not imagine that it could be something else. And if it would be...it is being taken care of. My health is getting better and better. All the things I try bring improvement. I never knew I had so many things to fix, but I guess one can get pretty used to minor problems.

I think while being a mom, I have to be realistic and understand that I may not be able to hold on to my long hair dream. I feel like I will always try to keep it long, but if I must cut it I will. I really don't know what I will decide because I will have to wait out the shed and see.
This is hair loss number 4. I lost hair 4 times in 3 years. That is an awful lot and I don't have much more to lose. I am in the medium range of thickness now (8.5cm circumference), and I might get to the lower medium range or even beyond with another shed.
This actually bothers me a bit more than having to shorten my hair, because my head was made for a lot more hair. My ponytail circumference was close to 10cm/ 4 inches. That is a big difference that I feel and see. Even if I trim my ends, the curtain of hair will not be as dense and instead show visible loss.
Going shorter than Tailbone length is a bit scary to me. I reached TBL in 2006, and it has only been longer since.
I don't mean to whine about it, but it is an annoying feeling when your hair is thinning.
I started growing my hair ten years ago, and have been feeling "longhaired" ever since, with my medieval woman beauty ideal in mind. I am bit scared to let go of it, because short haired me was so long ago, and a different person in a way.

Anyhow, we will see what happens. My only plan for now is to trim all growth off every month, or maybe a tad more to see if I can maintain a hemline I like. If not I will still trim until the end of the shed and then decide.

If the 3 - 3 - 3 month rule is right, I will shed until October, and my hair should have visibly regrown by January.

Other possible reasons??

Well, yes..there could be other factors involved. Basically I see it like this - my hormonal balance is very fragile at the moment. But that does not simply happen for no reason. There are others factors at play, that cause my hormones to easily be thrown off of balance.
My main "suspects" are prolactin and my pituitary gland, my thyroid, adrenal glands, yeast, an unnatural birth of my son (c-section) and a pregnancy with hormone replacement medication for thyroid and pituitary gland, long term use of the pill (7 years)....see it really is not all that surprising my hormones are out of whack with so many possible things gone wrong.

I also had to temper with my supplements...Ultimately, we don't have enough money for all of them, so I stopped taking some of them (Vitex, burdock root, iron, multivitamin, magnesium, zinc) and reduced others to make them last (Vitamin D3, raw thyroid, DIM, calcium D glucarate, milk thistle).

But the good news is, that I seem to have restored at least some balance, as my PMS are completely gone and my cycle is regular, 28 days between periods (perfect!!), and I shed considerably less hair when I do lose hair...not handfuls, just an increased amount. This has allowed my hair to have less taper overall, even though my overall thickness is less than it used to be! I dream of what my hairs full potential would be like :) I would be so happy I think.

So things are not all bad I guess.

Weirdly, I don't feel as scared about the hair loss, because it is kind of becoming a routine....:P : shed - regrow - shed - regrow - shed - regrow - shit....-regdjdjfgs.


6 comments:

  1. HI EMI.. THIS IS TINA EVEN WITH A TRIM YOUR HAIR STILL LOOKS GREAT ! THANKS FOR THE UPDATE I GET SO HAPPY WHEN I SEE YOU HAVE MADE A NEW BLOG ! HOPE YOUR HAIR LOSS GETS ALL BETTER :)

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    Replies
    1. Oh then you will be very happy because there is more to come :)!

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  2. emi this is tina again..i too experienced hair loss i started massaging my scalp every day an spritzing apple cider vinager alot more on my scalp...everytime i wash...i also sqeeze my wet hair out with honey (about a quarter size amount)an squeeze the excess onto my scalp before towel drying. it all seemed to feed my roots an my hair is now thicker than ever.i also take royal jelly in a base of honey once a day...just thought i would share some things that worked for me.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, these are all good things to use because they are anti fungal, anti inflammatory and anti bacterial. They can really help a scalp that is out of balance or dealing with bacteria and fungus.
      I am currently doing something similar, because I suspect a fungal infection spread to my scalp (Had it on my face). I am using grape seed extract, after I had no success with ACV. It is stronger but similar to ACV.
      The honey and royal jelly sounds interesting. Do you leave the honey in or wash it out after application? Thanks for sharing!

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  3. hi EMI

    i have read all ur blogs and was amazed the changes you went through with ur hair and health..and i was just wondering if you could advice me if the paleo diet u mentioned about would help someone suffering from hairloss after doing a six month course of the medication name roaccutane
    i am done with the course and its been a year since i have gotten off it,but my hairloss hasnt stopped....my hair is now half the volume it used to be prior to using this medication

    please fill me in with anything u know
    thanks

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  4. Thanks for writing such a good article, I stu mbled onto your blog and read a few post. I like your style of writing... Dermatologia

    ReplyDelete

 

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Emi

Emi
34 year old mom of 2 boys from Frankfurt Germany

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