No recovery after telogen effluvium

Discussions about the diffuse thinning experienced by women, usually after menopause
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Kim
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2013 4:01 pm

No recovery after telogen effluvium

Post by Kim »

I've learned a lot from this forum thank you all.
I've had beautiful thick hair all my life until I was 29. Just like those you see in shampoo commercials. At 29, I suffered from chronic telogen effluvium for over a year. I was the only one in the family suffering from this, even my grandparents have beautiful hair. My doctor also confirmed that I had TE. It was a horrible experience and I've lost more than half of my hair. I don't have bald spots but my hair density is decreased a great deal. My ponytail was a dollar coin size, but now not bigger than a dime. My close friends and family could immediately tell the difference.
TE problem stopped in 2007 and never reoccurred since. Almost all the info I found assured me that hair would fully recover after TE. It might take many months but it certainly does. However, my hair didn't grow back. I see some new hair here and there but it's far from any possible recovery. I stopped believing that my hair will recover since it's been 5 years. I think I'm looking for the slightest information that might give me hope.
I'm a very healthy woman, I exercise regularly and follow a balanced diet. I'm not a vegetarian but I tend to eat more veggies than meat ever since I was a kid. My iron levels have always been on the low side but doctors don't find it alarming despite my attempts to get their attention.. My ferritin results are never above 25 which is extremely low, but even this wasn't alarming to them.
Do you think I might still recover 5 years post TE, once my ferritin and iron levels reach to an acceptable level?
Prior to my TE, I was under extreme stress and I'm thinking that it might be a trigger as well.
Tom Hagerty
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Posts: 629
Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2010 9:21 am

Re: No recovery after telogen effluvium

Post by Tom Hagerty »

once my ferritin and iron levels reach to an acceptable level
Between 40 and 60 ng/ml is ideal but most experts in ferritin levels don't advise building up the number by taking supplements. Lean meat is best for slowly increasing serum ferritin. Your 25 ng/ml is not really horrible though. Some young women who are vegetarians have values in the single digits.
My ponytail was a dollar coin size, but now not bigger than a dime.
I hope you are not pulling your hair too tightly to get that ponytail. You probably know that keeping your hair continually tight can lead to hair loss - tricotillomania.

You've had chronic telogen effluvium. The only women I know who have this condition are exercise fanatics. They all are extremely thin and take pride in being thin. When women are below 18 percent body fat there is a change in the hormone balance - no menstruation - bad hair days. Are you in the low body fat category?
Kim
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2013 4:01 pm

Re: No recovery after telogen effluvium

Post by Kim »

Hi Tom,
Thank you for your reply. I moderately exercise 3 times a week and I'm an active person in general. And, yes I'm very thin and my fat percentage is very low. I've always been this way since my childhood but I have no other health concerns. Things I like eating are happen to be healthy and this makes it hard for me to put on weight. For example, I never eat deserts or chocolate because I don't have a sweet tooth at all. Or I don't eat french fries because I don't like the taste of it. The list goes on.. I love veggies and fruit but it's hard to put on weight eating them. I've added more red meat to my diet but I know it takes a while to see the benefits in terms of ferritin levels.
Carybear
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:08 am

Re: No recovery after telogen effluvium

Post by Carybear »

Hello Kim
I just want to let you know that I am also someone who's suffered with chronic TE and have seen very little in terms of recovery. Sometimes I'm not even sure if Ive gone into AGA . Right now I'm suffering the shed of finer hairs that around my temple easily become dislodged. This worries me a great deal I don't know if they'll be replaced with terminal hair or not.despite my earlier observations, it seems I've lost a little bit of density on one side, the side that was most affected by hair loss.
I to have very low body fat, and it's because I have food allergies. It's really hard to gain body fat if you can't have sugar, dairy, wheat...
I just want you to know that I feel the same
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