Newbie looking for advice, lots of hair loss :(

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  • #173122

    JessEva
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    Topics: 1
    Replies: 8

    Hello! I’m new to the forum and to Candida. I have been reading about a lot of your journeys and I guess I should say that I can’t believe what some of you have gone/are going through. You are all so brave for battling this horrible beast! It makes my symptoms pale in comparison, however they are devastating to me.

    Although I’m not sure of the reason for my Candida, I have had antibiotics here and there and thought I was eating pretty good (obviously I wasn’t). In the past I have been a total stress-ball and did enjoy a glass of wine (or two or three…) so maybe it’s not so surprising lol.

    My troubles really began last summer. I ran a half marathon in the fall of 2014 and hurt my knee during training. I foolishly ran the race anyway and then busted my butt trying to get my knee back in shape after. I tried physical therapy for months to no avail. I went to an orthopedic surgeon in June 2015 who couldn’t wait to cut my knee open to see what was going on. The MRI I had done couldn’t show him exactly what was going on. I said no thank you to that, so he offered a cortisone injection. I figured great! My husband had just had one for his shoulder and it helped him a lot. Well, a couple of weeks later, I developed a rash, clusters of cankers in my mouth, insomnia and the worst case of anxiety EVER!!! At the time I had no idea what was wrong with me, I just knew I wasn’t “right”. After that came the worst symptom of all for a woman…hair loss. I’m talkin A LOT. My hair dresser noticed a decreased volume within 2 months. I went to Drs that told me I had female pattern hair loss and wouldn’t even consider the injection causing a temporary condition called Telogen effluvium. I found several people online that had similar experiences but the fact that the Drs disagreed really stressed me out further. I also was having muscle twitching and jerking which I attributed to stress and also swollen glands. I never connected any of these other symptoms at the time as I was focused on the hair loss.

    I finally sought out a ND as I knew something was going on inside, not just on the top of my head. The hair loss was getting worse and my stomach was making lots of noise. No pain or issues with movements at all, just lots of noise. We found out I was gluten sensitive in April. I noticed a decrease in twitching and my swollen gland subsided a bit when I quit gluten and dairy (Removed dairy cause I thought I was reacting to it, but now not sure and too scared to try it again). This made me realize that all of my issues were related somehow. She ordered additional food sensitivity testing. We determined that I had sensitivities to wheat gluten, bananas, pineapples, pumpkin, bakers yeast and Candida albicans. The Candida sensitivity was the strongest of all. She ordered more tests, CDSA which came back that I have dysbiosis. There were good numbers for good bacteria but 2 pathogenic ones. Also for yeast, it came back as “none found”. Also not absorbing fats. Found on another test I am zinc deficient. No wonder my hair is falling out!!! She recommended digestive enzymes which I began in early August. Since then my hair has been jumping off my head! I’m losing about 200ish a day and when I shampoo? Forget it! Double that if not more. I thought it was bad before, but since the enzymes? Wow!

    Now, the test results showed that the bacteria were reduced with Oregano Oil and grape fruit seed extract. I am TERRIFIED to begin treatment because of losing more hair. I began the diet on Sunday and within a day my face was burning and my eczema returned which I haven’t had since late winter/early spring. It’s subsided a bit, but I’ve had crazy bad brain fog and the strangest burning sensation on the top of my ears. I did have some diarrhea off and on. I didn’t do cleanse due to fear of losing too much weight. Ive been drinking nettle leaf tea for about a month and was taking a product called Zinc Supreme (30 mg zinc and 250 molybdenum). I stopped taking it and went back to my 15mg dose of straight zinc cause I thought it was contributing to the massive increase in shedding. I obviously have many things I need to work on and totally understand this is not an overnight process, but I need to do something for my hair ASAP. I have a lot of grey and haven’t gotten it colored in 2 months. I’d like to reduce the shedding so I can at least get it colored then perhaps start treatment. I feel like crap right now with the bad hair and the fact that I’ve lost so much weight. With all the diet changes Ive lost almost 20 lbs since January (107 lbs, 5’5″). When I see people I can tell they are shocked at how bad I look. If I can at least get to a better frame of mind before I start treating myself, I really think it would make a difference. Should I work on digestion first then treating the Candida, dysbiosis or vice versa? I’m so sick of this crap ruling and ruining my life!!! I never know what to eat cause there’s so much contradictory advice out there. My ND is telling me to eat rice and more gluten free grains and drink liver support tea. I just don’t know what to do! I am welcome to all your advice, but please remember, this is all new to me. Thank you for taking the time to read.

    In my brain-fog I neglected to include the supplements my ND currently has me taking:

    Douglas Labs Prevenative III 1 tab, 2x day
    BioSil (silica) 5 drops, 2x day
    Similase Sensitive Stomach Digestive Enzyme 1 before meal 1x day. To be substituted with
    Similase Lipo Digestive Enzyme 1 before each meal
    Zinc 15 mg
    Magnesium Glycinate 120 mg 1 capsule 2x day
    Vitamin D 3,000 iu
    Ortho Biotic Probiotic 1 a day

    Haven’t started yet
    Oil of Oregano 150 mg 1 x day
    Grapefruit Seed Extact 250 mg work up to 2 x day
    L-Glutamine 1,000mg 1 with each meal
    Cod Liver Oil
    Black Currant Oil
    Bittersweet Elixir (contains alcohol??) 5 drops before each meal
    Ashawaghanda 400 mg 2 x day

    #173123

    Jaumeb
    Participant
    Topics: 1
    Replies: 148

    As you see, it is not always trivial to solve the problem. I’d be thankful if you stayed in the forum telling us what works and what doesn’t. Many people just disappear which makes things really difficult for those of us that are trying to understand and solve the problem.

    #173124

    JessEva
    Participant
    Topics: 1
    Replies: 8

    Thank you for the response! I feel I’ve learned so much from reading others stories that I would have to share any information that I have. I hope to have a success story one day, but I realize that could be a long way off.

    #173127

    Jaumeb
    Participant
    Topics: 1
    Replies: 148

    It’s a learning journey. I made many mistakes. I learned the importance of going slow and experimenting by myself, instead of believing everything I read on the internet.

    #173129

    JessEva
    Participant
    Topics: 1
    Replies: 8

    Definitely a learning journey! I feel I’m learning more from this forum than my own doctor. She seems really laid back about the whole process and I feel like it’s a massive undertaking. I’m going to stick with the diet, add some more vitamins (just started vitamin C yesterday), up my zinc, add milk thistle (after I check with my ND) and then start the anti-fungals in a couple of weeks. I have 2 kids that just went back to school last week and I want to wait for the routine to settle in before I start. As I mentioned, I’m terrified of the die off, specially hair loss. When I started drinking nettle leaf tea, taking digestive enzymes and then added the Zinc Supreme (30mg zinc, 250 molybdenum & a couple other things) my hair loss sky rocketed. I also had the additional symptoms:

    -Burning scalp, including top and behind my ears. Hurt to wear my glasses.
    -Sore left inner ear and very itchy right inner ear
    -Extreme dry mouth, like waking up after a bender in college dry.
    -Very dark yellow urine that had a foul odor. As a habit I am a big water drinker. No matter how much more I drank, didn’t change.
    -I have always had very strong, long finger nails and they started to break. Of course I’ll lose one here and there, but never so many at once.

    I also got a rash on my legs when I had to discontinue probiotics for stool testing. This was before all of the above. After I resumed my probiotics it started to clear and then I rub coconut oil on it each morning and it’s almost completely gone.

    Some diarrhea since staring diet, but not before.

    While unpleasant, I can take ALL of these symptoms just not the hair! It is so depressing to wake up each morning and have a sink full of hair and it’s not growing back in. My poor body is so messed up right now and I desperately want to be healthy. Can’t believe how much I took my health for granted up until this point. NEVER AGAIN!!!

    #173130

    Jaumeb
    Participant
    Topics: 1
    Replies: 148

    One mistake I did was to eat a low carb diet. That never worked for me. Now I am eating foods like quinoa, lentils, etc.

    I also tried throwing supps at the problem and they were not the solution. I now try things one at a time and I keep taking them only if I feel they help.

    #173131

    JessEva
    Participant
    Topics: 1
    Replies: 8

    I couldn’t agree more about low carb. Did that earlier this summer and am definitely paying the price for it weight-wise. I’ve officially lost 20 lbs since Jan 1st and am now at 104. My body needs carbs! Some people can do low carb, I just can’t.

    Something else I’d love some advice on is my thyroid. Can’t believe I forgot to mention this earlier! After my cortisone injection last summer and the crazy symptoms that effected me (anxiety, insomnia, heart palps) an endocrinologist I saw thought I had a bought of thyroiditis and it cleared up on its own as the symptoms had eased up with the exception of hair loss. She game me birth control pills to help with the hair loss and sent me on my way. Did not take the pills.

    My ND ordered further thyroid tests and the results were (Jan 2016)
    TSH 1.11
    Free T3 3.4
    Free T4 1.3
    Anti-thyroglobulin <20.0 IU/ML (this was just done in August)

    Test results for endo visit Nov 2015
    Anti-TPO 10.2
    TSH 0.96
    Total T3 105
    Total T4 8.7
    Free T4 1.4

    All of the results are normal, however, my thyroid does NOT feel normal. There are times when it swells out at the base of my throat on the left side and it hurts to turn my head to the right. When my ND had me take coconut oil in late June I noticed that my throat hurt on the outside, not inside, like a golf ball was a the base of my throat. I also noticed that my hair shedding would not be as bad which was great. The downside was that the pain got to be so bad and I had insomnia whenever I had coconut oil. I had to stop taking it.

    Anyway, I see a lot of info out there how Candida and thyroid issues are linked. My ND can’t offer me anything cause on paper it’s “performing beautifully”. I have an appointment with another endo later this month and I HOPE she can help! I need to support and protect my thyroid before I go the anti-fungal route. It seems any anti-fungal tea, enzyme, food or anything that can cause die off makes the hair hair jump off my head and after a year of this, I can’t afford to loose more. I’d LOVE to hear from anyone who has had this particular issue and what they did to help themselves. Thank you!

    #173132

    Now Gone
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    Topics: 0
    Replies: 43

    Hi JessEva, We’ve all been there in one way or another. Just wondered about your thyroid, have you had it checked. Hyperthyriodism can cause super weight loss and hair loss, insomnia, etc. Candidia is a natural part of our gut ecology but it gets out of balance from various things, usually too much sugar in the diet, alcohol, antibiotics, hormones, stress (this one is overlooked a lot), etc. Stress really taxes your immune system which can wreak havoc on your digestive system. Also what kind of shampoo are you using, I seen cases of where the chemicals in a shampoo caused a lot of hair loss. I would go to a really natural shampoo with not many chemicals (JR Liggetts Shampoo, it’s a bar you find at the health food store and doesn’t have any chemicals). As far as diet, we can all agree on eliminating processed foods, sugars, diary, alcohol, etc. You need to eat as healthy as possible to strengthen your body, I eat mainly whole foods. As far as the balance of carbs, fats and protein, I have found different people need different percentages of these, so you need to figure out what works for you. For me, I feel good when I eat lean meats (organic), some eggs (all free range), a small amount of beans (usually black beans and garbonzos), gluten free seed grains quinoa, amaranth, millet, non-gluten oatmeal, a lot of veggies salads, avocados, steamed or sauteed veggies, red potatoes (only), yams or butternut squash, no fruits except granny smith apples, lemons, limes, cranberries, only once a day. You may experience yeast die-off which will make you feel worse temporarily. The molybenium should help with that. You need to take a good multi strain probiotic on an empty stomach at least 2X a day with FOS (a pre-biotic that the good probiotics feed on). The good probiotics also feed on the special sugars in certain starches black beans, yams, red potatoes, butternut squash. You also need to take the anti-fungals oregano oil, and oregon grape root, paul darco, etc. Take these after meals, not at the same time as the probiotics. As the gut heals, your digestion and tolerance for foods will improve. At first, I couldn’t tolerate even the seed grains or the black beans but now it is better, so you may have to wait on those until later. I would address everything at once as I think your health issues are all related, we are wholistic and not just parts as the doctors seem to think. So, check out your thyroid, change your shampoo. Also, my female hormones were very low after menopause giving me a very dry mouth, so I added back the identical hormone progrestrone cream you apply to the skin on certain areas of your body and it has helped with the hot flashes and dryness. I get the natural hormone cream at the health food store it is made from plants, do not use the mare horse urine ones. You need to learn yoga to relax and stretch as it will help manage the stress and tension in your body. I also some nights use mindfulness meditation tapes to listen to which stops my mind from chattering or worrying and I sleep better. If you have a good Chinese oriental medicine doctor in your area they are good for these types of problems. I believe you may have what the Chinese call Yin Deficiency which happens especially to older women after menopause (although it can happen before and to men), where stress, low hormones affect our immune systems. They use herbs and accupuncture to help the body regain it’s balance. Remember we are supposed to have some candida in our gut, so it’s not a foreign invader. It gets out of balance when our system is not functioning well and we have undigested foods or too much sugar in our gut and it’s really doing it’s job of trying to eat up all this stuff. The problem is it gives off a toxic waste product that makes us sicker on top of our bodies already being dyfunctional and sick. So the cure is to get the diet right, heal our bodies, encourage the good yeast to grow and minimize the bad guys, get the stress under control and you will feel good again. However, once you are susceptible to the bad overgrowth you will always have to stay on a good diet to stay healthy, especially if you are older. You may once in a great while have a homemade dessert but not very often. You need to learn to look for clues of healing in your own body. Is your tongue coated with a thick whitish yellow coat? Sign of mucous and yeast. Are you having skin break-outs? Are your daily stools, well formed and floating in the tolet or are you constipated? Are you sleeping well? How is your energy level? Are you getting headaches or other body aches, signs of inflammation in the body? Are you heal these should all get better. Watch out for the effect of different foods on your symptons and eliminate them as needed for now. Chinese doctors look at all these symptons in your diagnosis. Good luck as you are learning how to be healthy.

    #173133

    Now Gone
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    Topics: 0
    Replies: 43

    Hi JessEva,
    I can see from your list of supplements that your ND is giving you the recommended ones for candida overgrowth. Whether all of them will agree with you I’m not sure. My stool lab test resulted in the lab recommending oregon grape root and oregano oil for the candida. I did take a little of those, but getting the diet right really helped most. At one point my hair fell out drastically (after menopause) and I was really worried but it has stopped and I do still lose some but it has regrown a little and I’m not bald. I try to use only natural shampoos and I don’t comb or brush it much when it’s wet. I use a really large tooth comb and just gently comb some of the tangles out when it’s wet. I also don’t wash it everyday. They also say not to stand directly under the shower a lot. So I think anything where you are pulling excessively on the roots when it’s wet. Hyperthyroid is related to hair loss and weight loss so make sure you check that. Also, stress can cause your hair to fall out (happened to my sister in law and she’s young and totally healthy), so yoga, walking in nature, relaxation tapes and maybe a counselor to manage the stress in your life.

    #173134

    JessEva
    Participant
    Topics: 1
    Replies: 8

    Thanks for all the info Donna! Stress has been a huge factor for me and it seems the worse my hair gets, the worse my stress gets. I feel I’ve been able to get to a good place mentally at times, be at peace with my situation and try to trust my body. It knows what to do and how to heal if given the correct tools. However, the hair loss will pick up and will increase my strss and then insomnia. Very counter-productive to my health. I keep telling myself to get back into yoga. I used to run as my stress reliever, but that is not possible now and I need to be gentle to my body. I’m 44 and haven’t hit menopause yet, but I know that’s coming sooner or later. My ND did mention bio-progesterone but not needed yet. Hope I have luck with my endo regarding thyroid. I know it’s off just not sure hypo/hyper. Its funny, my chiropractor kept telling my that my thyroid was struggling even though all my labs wee normal. I think she was on to something.

    #173135

    JessEva
    Participant
    Topics: 1
    Replies: 8

    I’ve been using Nizoral, Awaken by Surface (gluten free, thought it would help. It doesn’t) and Paul Mitchell Tea Tree & Lemon Sage Thickening shampoo. It is the absolute worst when it’s wet!!! I try to be as careful as possible, but it just keeps falling and falling. Glad to hear you were successful at getting your health and hair back. Gives me hope!

    #173136

    Now Gone
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    JessEva, I wasn’t exactly sure how old you were. Just want to warn you that after menopause the dryness and heat (hot flashes, inflammation} gets much worse. I went through menopause late at age 56 and now I’m 63, so miss my hormones. If it’s the thyroid, they need to look at both T3 and T4 on the blood test as if they just do one it might not show. My ND also did the saliva test which did show mine a little low. I tried to take the natrol thyroid medicine but couldn’t as it kept me awake all night several nights in a row. I switched over to taking some natural kelp and massage to my thyroid area. The higher protein diet and healthy diet in general getting your body back in balance will reset the thyroid. I don’t really agree with running as I think it’s too hard on the body unless you’re in your twenties. Walking in nature, yoga, a good meditation tape you can listen to at night or an ocean tape so you can sleep well. Maybe a therapist to discuss and get a plan of action to deal with your stress. I believe your hair will stop coming out and will regrow if you get the other problems under control. Worrying will not solve anything and will only make it worse. I know it’s hard not to worry but it’s also called rumination and is an anxiety disorder like OCD. If you learn how to get healthier now and get your body back in balance it’ll help you when you do go through menopause which can also be hell. A good Chinese OMD can be helpful if you can find one.

    #173137

    Now Gone
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    I see the products you were using to help your hair loss. If it was a chemical in the shampoo then changing to a natural product would help. If the alternative shampoos don’t make a different then the hair loss is caused by an internal problem in your body, which I believe it probably is. Get you body well and get the stress down and you should see an improvement.

    #173138

    JessEva
    Participant
    Topics: 1
    Replies: 8

    You never know how good you have it till something goes wrong, like hair, hormones, healthy bodies. I certainly took all of the above for granted, but it has made me learn what it truly important. I am looking in to counseling as my stress is like a roller coaster and that isn’t helping out my gut/health at all. It’s terrifying when you don’t even know what to eat! I’ve been slowing trying buckwheat over the last few days and today I got a funky looking rash on my face, right next to my eyes. Perfectly symmetrical on both sides. I’m assuming it was the buckwheat. Did not react to it on my IgG testing in June. I am going to get back into yoga and walking. Get the toxins out, reduce stress, start some leaf peeping 😉 I do miss running but with my current state and bad knee, it’s out of the question. I was reading one of rasters posts about acupuncture being good and I’m looking into that as well. I’m open to anything now. Thank you again Donna for taking the time out of your day to not only read but offer up some great ideas. I really appreciate it!

    #173139

    Now Gone
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    Keep in touch and let me know what happens. You will have to see what works and what makes things worse. It’s like your body is your own laboratory. You may have to cut out some things now but will be able to add them back later. I know what a struggle it is to figure out what’s going on and to try to get healthy again. I’m not 100% but I am healing and feeling better every day, but I have to stay disciplined, not something I’ve been good at in the past. But I’m motivated with seeing my health improve and losing some extra weight I was carrying over a few years. Best wishes.

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