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Old 02-06-2011, 12:39 AM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2011
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What should I do next?

Hi, I'm a 20 year old female other than a bit of asthma I'm usually quite healthy, but lately I've noticed that my general well being hasn't been so flash.
In November my boyfriend noticed that I had a tiny bald patch on the back of my head. I freaked out about it then thinking someone must have shaved it off in my sleep. Turned out that wasn't the case as in a very short amount of time I'd say 2 weeks maximum I suddenly had 3 patches. So I went to the doctor, he read me out some facts from a book percentages etc and told me I had alopecia areata, "just cosmetic, nothing to worry about." At this stage my only health concern was the hair loss and so I listened to my doctor and tried not to think about it too much. The hair loss got a lot worse. I now have 5 very large patches, one on the top is about the size of my palm. Comb overs no longer work! Anyway along side this I've also noticed that my periods have been crazy! They last for up to 2 weeks and are the heaviest they've ever been. I'm also losing and gaining weight without really changing my diet or exercise patterns. I'm just up and down all over the scale. The hair loss has also led to me feeling very very down. When outdoors I'm constantly aware of people looking at me. Laughing behind my back or whatever. I'm irritable, grouchy and always tired. Always. I go to bed early and wake up late and think about having a nap all day long. these things are nothing new really. Since I finished high school I've always felt paranoid in social situations and fatigued it's just that now it seems to be 'hurting' me a lot more. I go back to school in a few weeks and I'm dreading it. I don't know how I'll cope. Now I talked to my mother's doctor about the alopecia and the tiredness, the weird periods all of that, but she also basically told me I had nothing to worry about. I can't handle being told that! I'm 20 and I have hardly any hair and I can't get out of bed and I'm scared of the supermarket assistant. I find it really hard to talk about how I'm feeling and was glad to find this website. If anyone could just give me some advice as to what I should do next that would be just great! The only other symptom I've noticed is a tender lump on my neck. It doesn't look swollen or effect my swallowing it's just very very sensitive to touch and constantly hot.
Okay I've written a lot here, any help will be much appreciated.

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Old 02-06-2011, 07:49 AM   #2
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Re: What should I do next?

There are 3 things I think you should do:

1) Go to a good gynecologist to explore and hopefully treat the cause of your very heavy periods, as there are many possible causes. If no cause is found, going on birth control may help.

2) Get your iron checked! If you are bleeding like that, you're probably anemic, and anemia can cause hair loss all by itself.

3) Go to a high-class hair salon or wig or hat shop. If you know another woman who's suffered hair loss, she may have a recommendation. Find a stylist who will help you develop a look that works for you. I had a friend in college who lost almost all her hair to alopecia during sophomore year, and for quite a while she went around in these gorgeous hats with just this slim little fringe of hair sticking out the bottom. Many people did not even know! Then, senior year, her hair all started growing back.

Regardless of the cause of the hair loss, it's clearly taken a major toll on your self-esteem, and that should be treated also. Counseling can help.

Old 02-06-2011, 07:59 PM   #3
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Re: What should I do next?

I think you need to find a good doctor and find out what is wrong maybe a thyroid problem? You need some blood test done to check for this and other problems,
You also could make a appointment to see a good and get something for you social anxiety you do not have to live like this. Sounds like you have some health issues that need to be taken seriously and looked into.
Your mom's doc doesn't sound like he has done much at all in the way of tests and you need to find a doc who does. Good luck..

Old 02-06-2011, 10:49 PM   #4
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
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Re: What should I do next?

Thank you both for the advice. Bought a great hat today and think I will ask around for a recommended doctor.
Thanks again!

Old 02-08-2011, 09:14 AM   #5
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Re: What should I do next?

I have alopecia occasionally. It seems to be brought on by stress.

It first happened when my first wife died, and again when things become stressful.

Hair grows back in the bald spots eventually.

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