PCOS Causes Significant Hair Loss

A lot of doctors will just tell black females that the weaves and braids that they wear is causing their hair to fall out. This is true to some extent as when the hair is pulled so tightly it will cause traction alopecia. However, this is not always true for black females and doctors are quick to dismiss the most significant sign of PCOS which is hair loss. You will lose hair on the sides of your head and at the back of your head. It's like a reverse pattern of male baldness. That is exactly what happened to Naomi Campbell which is why you would see her hair so thin around the edges. She had cysts on her ovaries. PCOS is a ***** and I've lived with it for 10 years now. I believe extreme high levels of stress brought on an imbalance in my hormones causing me to develop uterine fibroids and cysts on my ovaries. The uterine fibroids I can deal with because I know how to defeat those naturally with Nattokinaise. But, I am still trying to defeat the multiple cysts on my ovaries because that's what's causing the awful mood swings. The loss of my hair, the premature graying of my hair on my hair and in my pubic area, the fast weight gain that's difficult to take off (especially in the belly or upper body), the cravings for sugar which can eventually lead to diabetes, and the awful awful cystic acne and.....facial hair. It makes me angry that doctors of all colors and races dismiss black females a lot if they are overweight and just tell them that they need to lose weight. I've had doctors actually think that I eat a lot as well as my mother. However, with the all the weight my mother has on her, she doesn't have diabetes or high blood pressure due to the holistic medicines she takes to keep those diseases at bay. However, she doesn't eat a lot everyday and neither do I. As a matter of fact, I'm a vegetarian, but it's all the carbs I eat that is makes it hard for my body to break down all the sugars from the carbs. Oh, and don't let me get started on the 7 year itch in the yoohoo that started almost 2 years ago. I knew I would itch occassionally. But one day, I was wondering why certain areas of my body turned very dark like under my arm pits and in my vagina area. This is another symptom of PCOS of course. Anyways, I used a lightening cream on my vagina calling myself correcting something wrong. It didn't burn, but the next day when I stepped into the shower to wash, my skin started to peel in that area and it was not normal. Thin layers of black skin just peeled off. Even the next day though I had taken a shower the day before, more skin started peeling off. It's not like I never washed in that area as that is a daily ritual when bathing and cannot be skipped. But the skin kept peeling for a good 2 weeks despite the fact I only used the cream once in that area. After my vagina returned to an almost normal complexion. I learned why my vagina turned dark. The skin started building up in that area as a protection (called a "velvety skin patch") from the yeast in my body from all the carbs and sugars I ate because now I have the freakin 7 year itch. I regret it to some extent that I used that bleaching cream which caused that layer of skin to peel off because although my skin is at it's normal complexion now and all the old protective layer is off that started building up from the PCOS, I am always itching every freakin month near that time of the month. It's awful and can be painful. Anyways, PCOS is not anything to mess with as it can cause diabetes, loss of vision from the sugar, loss of hair, graying hair, yeast infections, loss of infertility, signifcant weight gain that's hard to lose, weak teeth, bad acne, super oily skin, darkening of the skin in private areas and on the neck, mood swings, depression, and hair on your face and neck. This is the baddest thing out there to hit females. Basically it's the "Ugly Disease" in my opinion because it defeminizes so many women. It happens quite often in black females. And, it's considered incurable. It's not a disease you can catch, but it's brought on by high amounts of carbs, tons of animal hormones found in food and high levels of stress. This can occur in your pre-teens and affect your daughter as a teenager. Let's all fight this together women. Right now, I'm exercising my ass off. I'm cutting down on a lot of sugar. I'm taking vitamins. I have only lost 20lbs, but I'm working hard at it. I think one of the main culprits is coffee, but it's just a theory for now. Don't let doctors misdiagnose you any longer with simply saying you have diabetes. Sometimes they can remove the cysts, but you have to hope they don't grow back. This may help with the sugar levels in your blood and sugar cravings.

http://women.webmd.com/tc/polycystic...-pcos-symptoms
JustIn,

I'm sorry to hear u have had such a hard time with PCOS. It is a very tough thing to have and everyone who has it, struggles.

That is very interesting what u said about the dark patches. Does that mean that if u stop eating sugar and/or white carbs, they will go away? I would be ecstatic if even ONE physical symptom went away. Between the facial/body hair, weight, and dark patches, I think I would literally throw a party if one of em even got easier! lol

Thanks for sharing
It makes me angry that doctors of all colors and races dismiss black females a lot if they are overweight and just tell them that they need to lose weight.
Originally Posted by JustIn
um... it doesn't just happen to black women. the same thing happened to me and i'm pretty sure several other contributors to this board can tell you the exact same thing.
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Yes, but black women with several symptoms are often dismissed. They are told the dark spots are due to hyperpigmentation and that its common with dark skin for example. I have had several symptoms my entire life and I have seen several doctors as I've moved 4 times in the past 5 yrs (had to keep changing docs) and no one ever thought to check me out until I brought it up. I found out b/c I was seeing nurse practioner for something unrelated and she noticed I had a lot of physical symptoms and asked me about it. She did ask me if I had hair loss and if so if it was from weaves so I can relate.

When I was first diagnosed, I was angry at the world b/c I have many obvious symptoms and I can't imagine a gynecologist could give me a full exam and not notice anything symptomatic (just on the outside of my body alone).

Of course I'm no longer angry at the world lol but when I see black women out and about I often see many with symptoms like mine (dark spots, facial hair, excess belly fat etc) and wonder if they know it could be a health issue. I do see white and other women with these symptoms but not as many as I do black women. I wonder if like me, they just thought they had to live with these things.

It makes me angry that doctors of all colors and races dismiss black females a lot if they are overweight and just tell them that they need to lose weight.
Originally Posted by JustIn
um... it doesn't just happen to black women. the same thing happened to me and i'm pretty sure several other contributors to this board can tell you the exact same thing.
Originally Posted by rouquinne
I can say that being a white woman no one even gave a crap about my hair loss, lack of periods, insane weight gain (about 100 pounds in a very short time), extreme pain, etc. I could go on forever. It seems to me that a lot of times doctors look at you and see that you're fat and blame you for it. I was never fat. At 5'10 I was between 140-160 as a teenager and young woman, tons of hair, extremely regular periods for 10 years, etc. Then all of the sudden everything changed. None of my doctors listened to me. It's a combination of untrained, unconcerned, and down right crappy doctors. It doesn't help that many women have no idea what PCOS is. I hope you can find a doctor who can help you. It took me about 5 tries. Sometimes it takes more, I suggest you look at soulcycsters website and look at the forum and check out doctors in your area that others have had sucess with.
Its true. What makes this disease so hard is that
1) so many ppl seem to know NOTHING about it (I've been to doctors who hadn't even HEARD of it) and
2) ppl just wanna tell you you're overweight and need to lose it. Same thing with black women and hair loss. They just wanna brush it off (no pun intended lol).

I was just like you, Curlygirlme. NEVER overweight in my life. I've gained almost 100 lbs in my 20's, mostly over the course of 2 or 3 yrs. I think that is a lot for someone who was never overweight in life. I think it was the 3rd doctor I went to who finally both took me seriously, seemed professional, and knew what they were talking about.

But its a long road. And I def agree that its "the ugly disease." That's my nickname for it lol.
"the ugly disease." That's my nickname for it lol.
Originally Posted by MixedUpCurlyChick
Amen! I hate having it. It's been a total nightmare for me. I currently have two daughters (a two year old and I'm pregnant with my second) and I fear for them everyday because it runs in my husbands family (his mothers sister has an extreme case) and I have it as well.
Wow! Well, I feel for u. There is a good chance they'll have it but u never know, they may not. On the positive side, a lot of women with polycistic ovaries OR breasts cannot even give birth so I am glad u were able to My aunt had both, though though was never diagnosed with the "syndrome." She had to have them removed from her breasts and ovaries and she can't have kids. I suspect other ppl in my family had it when they were alive but no one knows. I think I'll be able to give birth though (fingers crossed!) b/c I have regular periods now. Who knows, maybe by the time our kids grow up, medical science will have found a way to make this much more manageable!

"the ugly disease." That's my nickname for it lol.
Originally Posted by MixedUpCurlyChick
Amen! I hate having it. It's been a total nightmare for me. I currently have two daughters (a two year old and I'm pregnant with my second) and I fear for them everyday because it runs in my husbands family (his mothers sister has an extreme case) and I have it as well.
Originally Posted by curlygirlyme
I to suffer from this horrible disease. I have been able to make matters better through supplementation.

I think that a disproportionate number of black when exhibit phenotypic traits of this disease due to us having low levels of vitamin D in the form of d3 cholecalciferol. This vitamin plays a major role in the maintenance of organ systems and hormone production. There is another form of vitamin d which is d2 and this form is synthetic and should be avoided (this is what they put in milk). I take this daily. When you take this you should also make sure that you are getting enough calcium.

People who suffer from PCOS usually have higher serum concentrations of estrogen and testosterone. I take a supplement called DIM which is made from cruciferous veggies. DIM assists in flushing the excess bad estrogen from your body.

I also take a supplement call Maca which is a Peruvian tuber that helps to normalize all of your hormones. It is actually called an adaptogen. It also helps to increase progesterone which women who suffer from PCOS have low levels off.

I think what is so tragic is that traditional foods that were prepared correctly contained alot of the minerals and vitamins that would of prevented us from getting this in the first place.
However, I have never had any hair loss. Currently, I am not taking any medication for it. Previously, I have taken birth control and other medications to manage my hormonal imbalance. But generally I feel worse taking the medications. Therefore, I try to eat healthier and exercise. Right now I am about to start aggressively exercising again so that I can drop the pounds this year.

I do not view PCOS as a death sentence. Or even something that terribly inhibits my life. Rather I feel that it is just something that I have to deal with. The most annoying thing for me is the excess hair. It makes me feel less feminine. But I am learning to live with it- ---remove it---and rock my face still. The only thing that I worry about is the ability to reproduce. I have never been pregnant. And never really tried to become pregnant either. But I really want a family one day.

Thanks for the support ladies. We should do a healthful living challenge or something for support.
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I was diagnosed with PCOS as a teenager a few years ago. It actually didn't take long for me to get a diagnosis; I was lucky I guess. When my mom and I realized my periods had stopped we went to an OB/GYN and she discovered I had cysts on my ovaries. It was kind of a relief to know what the problem was, I was showing several of the symptoms and just didn't know it, and the birth control really helped (not to mention the intense acne treatment. Anyone else use accutane? That stuff is serious). I never had hair loss, though. Guess I'm pretty lucky for that.
The worse part about having to take birth control for my hormones (other than my mother refusing to say "birth control" and only calling them "hormone pills" which to me is embarassing) is that they are not cheap. It's hard enough trying to live while going to college!
Thanks for sharing!

Were u saying that D2 is found in milk? I'm curious b/c I sometimes drink a lot of milk...

I to suffer from this horrible disease. I have been able to make matters better through supplementation.

I think that a disproportionate number of black when exhibit phenotypic traits of this disease due to us having low levels of vitamin D in the form of d3 cholecalciferol. This vitamin plays a major role in the maintenance of organ systems and hormone production. There is another form of vitamin d which is d2 and this form is synthetic and should be avoided (this is what they put in milk). I take this daily. When you take this you should also make sure that you are getting enough calcium.

People who suffer from PCOS usually have higher serum concentrations of estrogen and testosterone. I take a supplement called DIM which is made from cruciferous veggies. DIM assists in flushing the excess bad estrogen from your body.

I also take a supplement call Maca which is a Peruvian tuber that helps to normalize all of your hormones. It is actually called an adaptogen. It also helps to increase progesterone which women who suffer from PCOS have low levels off.

I think what is so tragic is that traditional foods that were prepared correctly contained alot of the minerals and vitamins that would of prevented us from getting this in the first place.
Originally Posted by vacurlz
Hi,

Agggghhhh, this makes me so angry - women getting ignored and not treated!!! Lots of love to you all here. Every story I hear is the same.

As others have said here it isn't just black women that Dr's ignore. I was diagnosed 6 years ago but it was not through my constant complaints, no it was through a random scan for something else. I was told over the phone whilst I was on public transport that 'oh by the way you have PCOS, this means you will not be able to have children naturally or possibly at all' No follow up, no nothing.

I did all my own research went to the docs for years with new info, still would do nothing. The standard treatment here in the UK is Birth control pills, that is the best we can hope for. This doesn't stop the weight gain, hair loss & hair gain or mood swings. the acne is about the only thing that gets gone. They think I may have Endometriosis as well and are only NOW looking into my shabby reproductive organs!

They try to pretend it doesn't exist and pack you off without any useful advise or explanation. I got most of my up to date info on PCOS from soulcysters not my Doctor.

Annnnnd breath.....sorry I get wound up over this issue!

Last edited by Rin; 11-13-2009 at 01:39 PM.

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