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How is excessive hair loss treated ?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 1998
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Hi, I am a 40 year old female. 5'9", 145. 3 children. Youngest is 5 and i nursed her for 2 years. No health issues until now. I have excessive hair shedding. It grows just fine and fast but it falls out like crazy. (I've always had long, hair and a lot of it). I now can hardly grow it to my shoulders. I also have Beau's lines on my thumbs and slightly on my other fingers. Not sure if this next symptom is related but I also have flashers in my eyes for the past 6 months. Eye doctor gave me full exam and said everything looked fine. 20/20 vision although I can definitely feel a negative difference in my vision. Additionally ( also don't know if this could be related), my heart rate jumps to 180 while I'm aerobically exercising although I'm not working harder than I should be. My resting HR is 80 and I experience palpitations 1-2 times per day. My blood pressure is 112 over 68. Low iron seems to be a common denominator that may cause each of these symptoms yet the Dr. Doesn't seem to think this is my case. My total iron is 113. TIBC is 350 and transferrin saturation is 32. My ferritin is only 14. My thyroid has been tested and they say is fine. I've been working on figuring out what is wrong with me for almost a year. Been to a gyno, dermatologist, internist, endocrinologist. Any ideas?
Posted Mon, 16 Apr 2012 in Hair Loss
Answered by Dr. Jasvinder Singh 2 hours later

Thanks for posting your query.

Your lab values of total iron (normal: Female 50–170 μg/dL), TIBC (normal: 250–370 μg/dL), transferring saturation (normal Female 15–50%) and serum ferritin (normal: Female 15-150 μg/L) are within normal limits and are not low. Hence that is the reason that your doctors don’t seem to think that you are iron deficient.

Regarding the hair loss, there are many causes on hair fall like stress, fungal infections, alopecia aereata, hormonal imbalance (overproduction of dihydrotestosterone and thyroid hormones irregularities), malnutrition, telogen effluvium and sebum plugs on skin. Exact diagnosis can only be found after examination and preferably a scalp biopsy.

Till you consult a trichologist, give your diet an overhaul if you're lacking vital nutrients for growth and switch to foods for healthy hair like food XXXXXXX in protein, vitamins(mainly vit A and vit C) and other micronutrient like zinc, iron and copper. Also eat a healthy balanced meal, use mild shampoo and lather gently and rub gently with towel to dry you hair.

Try and avoid using blow dryers. Biotin is present in foods like eggs and liver and is considered good for hair growth. So in addition to these foods, biotin supplements can be taken. There are many medications to improve hair loss like finasteride, dutasteride and topically applied minoxidil but these are available only under prescription. In that case you have to consult a dermatologist or trichologist (hair expert).

Taken when at rest, a normal adult's pulse can be anywhere from 60 to 100 beats per minute. So your resting heart rate is perfectly normal. Palpitations are found in anemia, hyperthyroidism, abnormal levels of electrolytes like potassium, magnesium, and calcium, caffeine, tobacco and alcohol intake, stress, heart conditions like narrowing of the coronary arteries and paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardias. You have got normal blood counts and thyroid profile. I feel that a clinical evaluation and investigations like ECG, stress echo and blood tests measuring the levels of electrolytes are needed in confirming a diagnosis. Please consult a physician/cardiologist for the same.

Hope this answers your query. If you have additional questions or follow up queries then please do not hesitate in writing to us. I will be happy to answer your queries.

Wishing you good health.
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