Hairloss docs that listen? Am I doing this wrong?
November 28, 2020 7:56 AM   Subscribe

I'm located in LA, but willing to drive (hours if necessary). I'd like to wait until we're out of quarantine, but I have decent health insurance now and would at least like to schedule an appointment. Unfortunately, in my past experience, I've only dealt or met with fairly dismissive doctors. My mood, physical health (I mean, other that this), and self-care have improved tenfold in the last few years, and I'd like to tackle anew this hair-loss thing.

I've tried nearly every natural remedy, been to endos, derms, GPs galore. Still have some lingering stomach issues but those have gotten better. Totally willing to just get on Rogaine at this point, but after seeing this recent post about hair loss, I'm...shocked (and encouraged) that folks are finding doctors that listen to them? And schedule tests? And measure iron? In all my years of living in and around LA, I've never been able to find a doctor willing to do this. At one point I said 'fuck it' and scheduled a ferritin test on my own, but when I brought the result to my GP he dismissed it and said "it wasn't important." Unfortunately, I don't quite remember the result! I went to UCLA's hair loss clinic with supposedly our foremost expert on the topic, and she looked at my hair for five seconds and said, "Well, I guess this is just the new normal for you." Ha!

I don't know if it's because I'm a woman, or Black, or annoying, or all three, but...anyone have thoughts or advice or doc recs? I'm no longer severely depressed about this or anything, but I'd at least like to get it under control. I'm still shedding and thinning like crazy, and the texture has changed for the worse, but I still have hair (amazingly). I wear it natural (have for years), adhere to the curly girl method, rarely (if ever) wear tight styles, braids, or extensions -- although many doctors have just looked at me and told me to stop doing that...I guess because that's their canned response for Black women. LOL.

Since we're in quarantine, I've even looked into scheduling a tele-health appointment with someone out of state but not sure how that follow-up would work.

Thanks for your support over the years, guys. I'm sick of this question/issue, so I'm sure you must be, too...but I appreciate any, and I mean any, advice here.
posted by themaskedwonder to Health & Fitness (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Some antidepressants cause hair loss, if you're taking any medications, this might be a side effect your doctors never mentioned to you. I took wellbutrin for awhile and lost a lot of weight, but I also noticed my hairline receding. I searched it up-- yep, there was a link between the two. I stopped taking wellbutrin, my hair grew back (almost back to normal, not noticeable to anyone but me I am sure).
posted by erattacorrige at 8:10 AM on November 28, 2020

If you decide to go the tele-health route, my dermatologist is a woman, black, and specializes in hair loss. Memail me if you'd like her contact info.
posted by Dolley at 8:40 AM on November 28, 2020 [10 favorites]

Don't know if it might help but I had a friend (female) who had a similar issue and it turned out to be celiac that was causing the anemia she had that wasn't going away. Changes in diet helped a lot. I do not have suggestions about how to get traction with someone but it's another avenue of exploration.
posted by jessamyn at 9:23 AM on November 28, 2020 [2 favorites]

I have no knowledge of a celiac/hair loss relationship, but it's certainly possible. Your stomach issues could be related to celiac. Have you been tested? It's just a blood test, but you need to have eaten food with gluten for the antibodies to show up. If you go on a self-diagnosed gluten free diet and then get a blood test, it may show a false negative.

In addition, low iron and anemia are very common symptoms of celiac disease.
posted by citygirl at 10:25 AM on November 28, 2020

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