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Monday, August 31, 2009

Alopecia: The PCOS Diaries


UPDATE: I have since LOST 40 POUNDS, eat more protein than carbs, and have a more active lifestyle. I have not lost a lock from the scalp since this month back in 2009. For all of those who are struggling with PCOS, I greatly encourage you to modify your diet!!!!!



Me? Lose my hair? Never! It was always them other there. You know, them that perm, that overstyle, that heat. I was wrong both about what I thought and in judging. Now, albeit true, you can loose hair from dye, relaxers, and tension. But this is not what happened to me.

This week, I had to face the truth: it is me. It could be you. I am certain that someone reading this has, will have, or already has had some form of alopecia.

First, I'd like you to know this is not a pity party! I am too proud for your sympathy. Also, this is somewhat of a"fake" problem in my point of view. I still have a place to live, employment, food, and civil rights so let's put this in perspective (said for our mutual benefit =D).

But my hair did fall out. I attribute it to PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome) and over the past few weeks I have lost about 10 locs from the scalp. I can't see a visible blad spot, but they appear to have fell from the scalp in the crown of my head.

First, I dismissed the notion that my hair was falling out. I had lost 2 locks to dye prior to now. So when I saw, the locks in the shower floor, I assumed it was the color. Then, when I found a few more the next week on my pillow, I said to myself that this can't be right. I have always had hair, everyone in my family does, and I have been good to my hair. Yup! De-nial! But when I was separating my locks with a gentle run through with my hands, and a Sisterlock came along between my pinkie and ring finger, it was clear. I have alopecia... at least temporarily.

What does it mean for me? I have to get healthy. PCOS is affecting everything in my life. It makes me tired, made me gain weight, makes me take meds, makes me depressed and worried, controls my hormones and thus mood from time to time. The symptoms of PCOS are wide and only the symptoms can be treated. For example, it causes crazy sporadic hair growth (not on your head) but on your face and other unwanted places. I had to treat it with laser hair removal. It also creates dark patches of skin from Insulin Resistance Syndrome. My symptoms are supposed to be treated with meds, each symptom it seems has a different medication. But the main medicine I was prescribed makes my stomach ill (Metformin). I am currently looking for an alternative.
This is how I plan to get healthy: increase probiotics, use natural progesterone, stop antibacterials, remove toxins I know about, and severely reduce the sugar in my diet. I know there is a correlation to insulin levels and PCOS. There is also info that suggests toxins and the lack of good bacteria in your body correlates to the occurrence of PCOS.

If you have PCOS, think you might, or suffer from another hormonal disorders, I am suggesting the resources below:
Official Web Site of John R. Lee, M.D. - progesterone and hormone expertise
Quick Links: PCOS & ALTERNATIVE REMEDIES - PCOS Message Board
Natural treatment for PCOS
The Struggle for Mastery in Insulin Action:: Alternative Pathways ...
Master Your Metabolism
A Patient's Guide to Pcos : Understanding--And Reversing-- ...

You may be wondering why I am sharing this info. I want women that have PCOS and/or alopecia to know that they are not alone. There are women who choose to wear their hair natural and have alopecia. I am now one of those women. I always thought I would have the option to go with no hair by choice. If I can wrangle my PCOS, this will still be an option. If not, I embrace the change.

Yes I have cried about this and lost sleep over it. I have not decided whether I will throw my locks away or attach them to my hair somehow. I don't feel bad for mourning the loss. To say "It's just hair." is like saying "My skin is just brown." Both statements are simplified to a fault and don't take into account societal views or the individuals experiences. Still in the end, what matters most is what you think of yourself. I know the Divine never allows obstacles that are random and that can not be overcome. I really think it's a wake up call to rid myself of PCOS. I know others like Colette Harris have done it. How encouraging this is!

So can I. I am. I will. This is my alopecia affirmation. It is for me, but I am sharing it because sharing it is for you.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this Sophia. It was very personal, heartfelt and inspirational.

M

Bajan Lily said...

Thanks for taking the brave step to share this.
I suffered from Alopecia Areata for almost 18 months, and cried frequently as a small bald spot became several small bald spots and eventually one LARGE bald spot - becoming pregnant seemed to be the catalyst that started my hair growing again.
Of course I am not suggesting you go get pregnant - just I hope that your story can also have a happy (happier) ending than what you're experiencing now.
This is my virtual hug to you. Be blessed.

Anonymous said...

Pregnancy reverses PCOS hair loss because huge amounts of progesterone are produced, especially in the last trimester.

There are some great articles on PCOS and reversing it, including one by Dr. John Lee, at the Virginia Hopkins Health Watch -- http://www.virginiahopkinstestkits.com/aboutpcos.html

~Francesca~ said...

Hugs to you Sophia, thanks for sharing this with all of us.

Serving Christ said...

Thanks for sharing a part of you with us. We care about you and want you to be healthy, wealthy and full of vibrant life! My you find peace, joy and commitment to keep pushing forward for YOU!!

Be Blessed!

Naturally Sophia said...

Thanks all for the kind words.

Thanks anon for the link. I have purchased some of Dr. Lee's progesterone cream.

anthia-ofo said...

Oh Sophia, my daughter was recently told she had pcos. I had just started using Natpro progesterone cream for pre menopausal/hormonal symptoms, so I suggested she begin using it too. It's early days yet, but she's already seen improvement. She's also cut down on sugars and carbs and started exercising. I've noticed my hair is growing faster and I'm expecting more hairs to grow and get thicker with time. I've been using progesterone cream for almost 3 mths and it saved my sanity. This site has so much info: http://www.progesteronetherapy.com/Their cream is more concentrated and you really need more than the 'recommended' dose to see results in a reasonable amount of time. The lady that runs it will answer any question by email and give tons of links and info. I'm praying for you. You're not alone and this thing can be overcome.

Loren said...

Thanks for sharing this info. I lost the locks in the front of my head due to psoriasis in my scalp. The locks fell out and I saved them. My loctitiaan used weaving thread and sewed them onto my hair after it had grown 1 1 1/2 inches. It worked and I have my locks back and it is thickening up from scalp massages on a daily basis. Good luck!

Loren said...

I made a mistake in my comments. My hair had to grow 1 1/2 inches not eleven inches.

Queen Nat said...

Sending hugs to you for sharing your story. It is not in vain.

ayankha said...

Sophia, first I must say this is a very good post. You rock!

I'm not very knowledgable about alpecia or pcos, but from what I hear about some meds for the symptoms may contribute to the hair loss as well. If I hear of any natural alternatives, I will certainly pass on the info. I applaud you for focusing on getting healthy. ((((I'm sending positive vibes your way)))

Anonymous said...
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Naturally Sophia said...

Thank you for your many suggestions and kind words all. I am researching each suggestion and appreciate your encouragement.

Anon-I have never in the history of my blog removed a comment from a reader. But anonymous, that was just crazy and off topic. I will not have anyone offend my readers with that misogynistic bull and pseudo religious non-sense. Please never ever leave a comment like that again.

Thandi said...

You know, I never agreed with the 'it's just hair' school of thought.All the best with this next part f your journey. I wish you all the best.

knotsnlocks said...

Ditto...Thanks for sharing. It's always good to be informed. Though trite, this too shall pass and I'm cheering for you! :-)

knotsnlocks said...

Ditto...Thanks for sharing. It's always good to be informed. Though trite, this too shall pass and I'm cheering for you! :-)

Amba said...

Hi Sophia, it's been truly ages and I haven't read your blog in ages so there was a lot to catch up on. I feel for you totally about the loss of locks having suffered something similar after Nina was born. Thanks for sharing. I'm a great believer in progesterone cream and what an imbalance can do. I have a personal testimony on that which I can share with you. Hope the cream helps. Arbonne has a wonderful progesterone cream so if you ever want to try another brand let me know. I have read Dr. John Lee too. Keep your chin up. You are such an inspiration with your detailed and interesting blog. Hugs.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I want to say this is my first time at your blog and I really was moved by your story. I know what a feeling of helplessness it can be when you feel like you can't even control your own body. If you haven't visited the d-herbs website, I strongly suggest it. This brother is DEEP and really educates you on how to heal the whole person. The articles are detailed and just by reading them you will learn alot about your body and health. I sincerely hope you can find something that may help you in your journey.

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generic cialis said...

I have come across many cures on alopecia but still I am not convinced. Do these cures needn’t be effective on everybody? Does one need to first consult his/her Doc

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Kartki Świąteczne Łódź said...

Is really personal and inspirational for myself