Am I losing my hair or just my mind?
November 4, 2011 9:47 AM Subscribe
How can I tell if I'm losing too much hair or just shedding normally?
posted by anonymous to health & fitness (14 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
For the past three weeks or so I feel like I'm definitely shedding extra hair, but I can't decide whether it's normal shedding or something I should be concerned about. I have a history of health anxiety and I am also pretty vain and consider my hair one of my best features.
I am 21-year-old lady. My hair is just beyond shoulder length, very fine and quite thick. I do not use heat on it and only colour it with natural dyes which I have been using for over 6 years with no problem. It still seems healthy and glossy. I have no bald spots and while I think it seems thinner, my friends disagree with me. My mother says that I have always shed a lot of hair, even as a little girl.
It is not coming out in clumps but I feel like I am shedding a lot. I wash it bi-daily and last time I counted and there were ~40 hairs out in the shower. When I wake up in the morning there are 3-4 hairs on my pillow, some more (haven't counted) comes out when I brush it, and throughout the day I probably pick 4-5 hairs off my clothes. According to the Internet you can lose up to 100 hairs a day but it really seems like a lot, and if I am indeed losing my hair I want to stop the problem ASAP.
I have already been to the doctor three weeks ago as I was feeling quite tired. All my numbers came back fine except for borderline low iron and my energy has since improved after taking iron supplements. However, I have been significantly anaemic in the past with no hair loss. I know that some people have thyroid symptoms in the 'normal' range, but my TSH is 2.15. I did not have my hormone levels checked, because my doctor believed it was unnecessary because I have no symptoms of PCOS...I have very clear skin, a normal menstrual cycle, very little body hair and I am not overweight (BMI 21.5).
I eat well and exercise regularly. I am a vegetarian and I take a daily multivitamin, iron, B12 and D supplements. I am not on birth control or other medications. I was very stressed in August to mid-September as I had a neck injury that looked like MS symptoms (spoiler alert, this was me: http://ask.metafilter.com/195118/fear-of-the-unknown) and spent a lot of time very anxious and upset, I don't know if this could have had any effect on my hair.
I am wondering if I seem to be shedding normally or if I should go back to the doctor for more tests. I really, really do not want to lose my hair and because of my anxiety I have trouble distinguishing a real health problem from an imagined one. Sorry for the long post but I wanted to give as much information as possible. Thank you all in advance.