TE or Male Pattern Baldness? How to tell?

Telogen effluvium, alopecia areata, hair shaft disorders, etc.
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SoPhillyGuy
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Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2015 7:23 am

TE or Male Pattern Baldness? How to tell?

Post by SoPhillyGuy » Thu Jul 09, 2015 1:39 pm

I saw my primary physician and a dermatologist for this, and both were rather dismissive since I'm a 42 year old male.

History: between January 2015 and June 2015 I lost 50 pounds (nearly 20 percent my body weight, perfect weight now). In hindsight, perhaps too quickly. About a month ago noticed the beginning of voluminous shedding, which is still occurring. It seems to be only on the very top of my scalp. Hair seems dryer than normal. I seem to fit the TE mold, but little online talks about this and men. Most sites I found seem to concentrate on women, and how this is common after childbirth, etc. As I said above, both doctors I visited were rather dismissive.

I guess my question is, how do I know if this is TE versus just "normal" male pattern baldness? Timing of my diet, the type of hair, etc. seem to point towards TE.

I'm now maintaining my weight with emphasis on protein and about 1800 to 2000 calories daily. Up from the 1200 to 1600 while actively dieting. Also started dietary supplements 4 weeks ago, including biotin (general male supplement, vitamin B, biotin, fish oil). Primary put me on propecia (fin), and dermatologist said he had no issue with this. Primary seemed to consider this a "just in case" action, or that it might speed up recovery.

Sound like TE? About four week in, when might shed stop? How far will it go before stopping? After four weeks it's getting noticeable.

Thanks for any advice anyone might have.

Tom Hagerty
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Re: TE or Male Pattern Baldness? How to tell?

Post by Tom Hagerty » Sun Jul 12, 2015 12:41 pm

I lost 50 pounds (nearly 20 percent my body weight
You lost the weight relatively fast on a low calorie diet. Quick weight loss is one of the main triggers for telogen effluvium. TE is usually characterized by diffuse thinning - a loss of hair density all over the scalp. But you said that your loss of hair is only on the top of your scalp. Thinning in the crown area is often an indication of male pattern baldness. So there are mixed signals.

But you also said that this crown area hair loss was a "voluminous shedding." Massive, rapid hair loss even if it is in only one area is not an indication of male pattern baldness. Perhaps a hair follicle biopsy by your dermatologist could differentiate between TE and MPB.

If you have quick-weight-loss-generated TE, it could take six months to over a year for this problem to be resolved. Probably Propecia will not do much to speed up recovery from TE, and there is the potential for side effects from this drug that I'm sure you've read about.

Maybe all those supplements you are now taking might help your hair loss. The best source of nutrients for your general health and for your hair follicle health come from real foods though.

jacob
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Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2015 9:19 am

Re: TE or Male Pattern Baldness? How to tell?

Post by jacob » Tue Jul 14, 2015 3:15 am

I am few years younger, and lost 30 pounds from October-December 2014. Shedding was probably till April-June. Now in sinkhole when washing hari I see 5 hairs maximum, before it was like 70-100. Every time I go thru my hair by hand 3-4 straws would fall. At least hair is not getting worse, seems more healthy now, maybe I got some volume, but it is very subjective. I use only multivitamins, no genetic balding in my familly, no hair minitiurazation.. I heard that Propecia can do more harm, so I dont use any such things, Vitamin D, B-complex, and fish oil I use...

I done some Internet research, for crash diets, at least one year to see some substantial hair regrowth...
Losing weight is super cool, I had sleep apnea, low quality blood...dieabetes was waiting...so it is great..now...

Now I wait, and don't stress too much.... I should post few photos...

SoPhillyGuy
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Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2015 7:23 am

Re: TE or Male Pattern Baldness? How to tell?

Post by SoPhillyGuy » Thu Jul 16, 2015 12:08 pm

Thanks Tom and Jacob!! It's reassuring hearing from others on this issue. The use of "very top of scalp" was misleading on my part -- meant that I'm not noticing any loss on the sides and back, but otherwise pretty much the entire scalp area. Actually my crown seems better than other areas. The thinning is especially noticeable when my hair is wet, or if I use product (which I know try to limit). Sounds like I need to be patient, and still focus on a healthy diet. Patience has never been my strong suit. :). I wasn't thrilled with the dermatologist I visited ... So for my own peace of mind I may try another.

Totally agree Jacob ... Losing the weight was awesome. I also had apnea, and now off blood pressure and cholesterol medicine. I was super proud and happy ... And then this.

Thanks again.

SoPhillyGuy
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2015 7:23 am

Re: TE or Male Pattern Baldness? How to tell?

Post by SoPhillyGuy » Sun Jul 19, 2015 10:25 am

I fully admit I am grasping here ... But curious if anyone experienced this, or if it may be a good sign. My shedding was daily. Then last week I had a three day reprieve, where I found hardly any hair. Then a day of heavy shedding comparable to my norm before the reprieve. Now another three days of very little shedding. Sign of it tapering off maybe?

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