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My Hair Loss Has Made Me Ask - What Is Going On With My Body?

Discussion in 'Ask For Help or Advice' started by JDreamer, Jun 4, 2016.

  1. JDreamer

    JDreamer Member

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    Hey everyone. First time poster. In looking around at this forum there appears to be some very bright minds among us and I'm looking forward to the discourse.

    A little background on me. 37, Male, 5'11, and I fluctuate between 182-190 lbs depending on how consistently I'm getting my meals in (isn't always easy with work). My diet consists mostly of chicken, greens, oatmeal, yogurt, eggs, brown rice, and a little bit of peanut butter (cheap protein). I also drink two vegan protein shakes a day (25g/each). I will have a cheat meal or two on the weekends. I don't consume any alcohol during the week - only on weekends and nowadays that's mostly on Sunday Funday.

    I'm not being treated for any medical issues. I had a bad case of mono in college. A long time ago a general practitioner suggested I had Gilbert's Syndrome due to my chronically elevated bilirubin levels. About 6 years back a nurse practitioner said it looked as if I had the antibodies for Sticky Blood (otherwise known as Hughes or Antiphospholipid Syndrome).

    I should note that there was a stretch between 2003-2006 where I traveled for work. On those trips I would be putting in 13 hour days 6 days a week for 4 week stretches at a time. I was abusing energy drinks and coffee to keep going, then one day up in Seattle I became extremely ill (100+ degree fever, my body hurt, gums were bleeding, etc). I tried to work through it until one day I checked myself into a local hospital. Doc looked inside of my mouth and there was some kind of infection near my back left wisdom tooth. He prescribed me Penicillin 500V and told me to fly back home immediately to rest. My body has never felt the same and I often wonder if that infection went systemic.

    Life is is very stressful and has been for a very long, unhealthy stretch of my lifetime. I used to combat it with weight lifting, but it seems like that's not helping me anymore. In fact I have had to dial down my workouts because my body doesn't recover well. I feel like I can't get out of first gear. I've gone from 5 days a week to 3. I'm athletic, but my muscles are not holding definition anymore. My face is getting so puffy, I'm bloated, and I've got the skinny-fat weight in my lower abdomen that won't go away. I haven't had restful sleep in as long as I can remember, which also doesn't help the matter. I'm constantly waking up multiple times during the night.

    I feel like my body cannot relax, like it's in a constant state of tension/inflammation. I snap easily. I've tried to describe this to others, but it feels like I don't get enough oxygen and my breathing is shallow. I should note that my sinuses have been terrible for the better part of the last 10 years. The inside of my nose feels inflamed all the time. I'm constantly having mucous build up in the lining towards the back - especially when I wake up in the morning. The cartilage in the front portion of the bulbous part of nose seems like some days it swells up.

    My hair has been shedding since 2008. It's been lacking body for a lot longer than that - but have always manipulated it with hair product. I'm now at a point where it's blatant diffused thinning and receding. I cling to cans of hairspray just to make things manageable with that ol' so dried out crispy look. I feel like my head won't stop getting bigger. It saddens me to see the state of it. The last shed I went through really did a number on the front and I've been in defcon 5 panic ever since. I was always the guy with cool hair and this may sound stupid - but my hair style is what propelled me out of being a shy introvert into somebody who was social and confident. Even when I had no money or struggling thru bad jobs - I had my hair.

    At any rate. This is a call to arms for me, not just to try to salvage my hair but to get my body right. Any insight is appreciated. Below is the last hormone panel I had run, but it's from 2 years ago. My opinion is that if I didn't work out, my testosterone levels would be abysmal. There was a time back in 2006 my TSH hit 3.24.

    Cortisol 21.5 (range 2.4-19.4)
    DHEA-S 253.1 (range 138-475)
    DHT 28 (range 30-85)
    Estradiol 10.2 (range 7.6-42.6)
    PSA 0.5 (range 0.0-4.0)
    Progesterone 0.5 (range 0.2-1.4)
    TSH 2.29 (range 0.47-4.68)
    Free T3 6.67 (range 2.77-5.27)
    Free T4 1.0 (range 0.8-2.2)
    TPOab 8 (range 0-34)
    Testosterone Free 12.5 (range 8.7-25.1)
    Testosterone Total 342 (range 71-813)
     
  2. artist

    artist Member

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    How much are you eating (calories per day)? What is a cheat meat and how much of your cravings/hunger would you say you're suppressing throughout the week? How many carbs do you eat per day and are you intentionally restricting them? If you're restricting carbs or calories you need to eat more calories (from carbs) and that alone should make a dent in your high cortisol. Eating tons of protein and not a proportionally huge amount of carbs is stressful to the body. Otherwise I'll step aside to let more knowledgeable people analyze your blood work.
     
  3. Tarmander

    Tarmander Member

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    I hear you about the feeling in your body. I can really relate to that. Like this feeling that you are constantly trying...trying to get things done, trying to get a meal made, trying to figure out what exactly is wrong. You are in the right place.
     
  4. Pointless

    Pointless Member

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    It appears that a lot of things are going on with your body. I would recommend slowly integrating a metabolic makeover plan. Aspirin can help with your estrogenic symptoms. I'm not sure about any kind of sticky blood disease, but aspirin would be contraindicated if you bleed easily. Take K2 and gelatin every day with the aspirin to prevent ulcers and bleeding.

    Also, and most importantly, modify your diet. You can read all kinds of discussions on this, but an optimum metabolic diet would contain things like OJ, lowfat milk, liver (for trace minerals and vitamins), seafood (for thyroid factors), low-PUFA meat, some eggs but not too much, white rice, salt (this helps a lot of people.(try 1-2 tablespoons as an experiment and use the least effective dose), tropical fruit, coconut oil, and raw carrot salad (helps with estrogen and detoxification), greens for magnesium, coffee for your liver and magnesium and niacin. Add these things in slowly and see how you react to them.

    You didn't mention your digestion. How's your gut health?
     
  5. OP
    JDreamer

    JDreamer Member

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    It's interesting you mentioned all of that. Let me give you an example of what normally would be my typically routine during the week:

    Breakfast - Scrambled eggs, yogurt, a slice of rye bread or an english muffin
    2nd Meal - Vegan Protein Shake and some oatmeal
    Lunch - Chicken and spinach or kale salad
    3rd Meal - Vegan Protein Shake and carrots
    Dinner - Chicken, green beans, brown rice (sometimes I'll pass on the brown rice), spoonful of peanut butter

    I'm typically aiming for at least 100-125grams of protein a day. Because of how hard I work out I'm probably under what I need for caloric intake. I'd say I'm getting 2000-2,200 at best. When we get busy at work that can get reduced even more. For cheat meals it's always some variation of fast food. I have a soft spot for double cheeseburgers from Burger King and of course pizza.

    A 3-4 years ago I decided to really cut back on carbs because I was in a chair all day for work. This was a far cry from 2002-2008 when I worked in Italian restaurants and carbs were plentiful - albeit processed carbs.
     
  6. Pointless

    Pointless Member

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    Bro we eat carbs galore. "Processed carbs" I'm not familiar with any reason not to eat these, please someone correct me if I'm wrong. The best carb source is sugar from nutrient-rich foods like fruit and dairy. Increasing your carb intake would be the highest level beneficial therapy that you could undertake. Do whatever you need to do to mitigate any side effects from increasing carbohydrate intake. If you have gut problems, lower serotonin. If you have hyperglycemia, take biotin. If you have hypoglycemia, increase meal frequency. If you gain weight, cut fat even below 10% if necessary.

    The reason that this is so important is because the oxidative respiration of glucose is what sustains the energy production in all cells, without resorting to catabolic stress functions, and ENERGY is what gives your body structure and allows you to engage with your environment, prevent aging, reverse and prevent degenerative disease, etc.
     
  7. OP
    JDreamer

    JDreamer Member

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    No doubt there are. Funny you mentioned aspirin because people who are treated for Sticky Blood will typically be on a regimen of it or warfarin. I've been learning more about K2 over the last few days.

    I used to be a big milk drinker (2-3 glasses a day) in my teens and early 20's. Then I cut it out completely due to things I was reading about dairy. I've noticed I get random salt/sugar cravings - especially when I'm stressed. I currently supplement with coconut oil for cooking, pulling, and even ingesting. From time to time I've dosed with 500mg of Niacin because I love the flush - but I've read mixed things about whether it's an antagonist when it comes to hair loss.

    Not good to be frank. I'm bloated a lot of the time. When I eat too many carbs I tend to get more constipated and the stools look more yellow. They can also get powdery sometimes (which I notice when I flush the toilet). That may be from the wrong kind of carbs though. When I reduce those and eat more greens my stools are compact and normal colored.
     
  8. Pointless

    Pointless Member

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    Salt and sugar cravings are natural, especially on the rabbit starvation diet that you're eating. Rabbit starvation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (I'm exaggerating) Use your cravings as a guide to get what you need. Low carb diets can seriously stunt your metabolism, a fact that's widely agreed upon on this board.

    For constipation, try cascara. This will move your bowels and increase bile flow. It will repair your gut biome (there's a study on that posted here). The shorter your bowel transit is, the less absorption of endotoxins (toxic byproducts of bacteria), and these endotoxins can impair your metabolism. Stools that are relatively loose but not watery may be optimal. I'm not sure what a powdery stool is. As for types of carbs, you can try sugar-only and starch-only to see if you react to one kind of carbohydrate. Starches can negatively affect your gut biome and can get absorbed into your blood causing blockages of capillaries. It's generally agreed-upon that sugar is superior, but some people tolerate starch more. This is somewhat controversial. Eat clean starches like white rice and potatoes if you go in that direction.

    The best thing for bloating, for me, is acetazolamide, but this is one of the more dangerous therapies recommended here. Sometimes correcting hypothyroidism can eliminate excess water. Thyroid hormone is another very high-level therapy that can repair your body in every way and make pretty much everything work better. Ray Peat says that the optimum TSH is 0.4, so you're in no way in danger of hyperthyroidism.

    I'm not trying to overload you with therapies, though. It's best to experiment with different addition to your diet and embark on drugs and supplements as a second resort. The diet modifications are extremely powerful and do work because it's based on sound principles.
     
  9. OP
    JDreamer

    JDreamer Member

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    As my own healthcare advocate, I want to avoid drugs and anything associated with big pharma if at all possible.

    Btw, when I mentioned powdery stools .... I notice it when I flush. The stools break apart, in almost cloudy fashion. I'm definitely taking very careful notice of what you're saying though. It's why I came to this site in the first place - I can't get right on my own.
     
  10. Pointless

    Pointless Member

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    As for hair loss, peating is not 100% guaranteed to grow your hair back or even slow it down. Danny Roddy advocates the metabolic theory of balding, but it doesn't seem to pan out in experience. In this poll, 3 men voted that their hair loss has not stopped since beginning peating:

    Correlation Between Peating And Hair Growth/Loss

    It's not ironclad science, but neither is Internet foruming. Most of the people successfully regorowing their hair here are watching their diet, thyroid health, and using red light or laser therapy on their scalp. I have lost a lot of hair since I started changing my diet, even though I'm obliterating health obstacles that have been around for years and years one by one. It started when I took a ton of progesterone. This was when I was barely getting my toes wet on Ray Peat and didn't really know what I was doing. When I stopped taking the progesterone or changed the dose, I would have massive shedding. Now it's been falling out at a medium pace, not massive but not slowly either. I think that some of the supplements I'm taking are aggravating hypothyroid symptoms, because my temps are pretty low.

    Monitoring temp and pulse is another important thing. You can't get blood tests every day, but you can check your temp and pulse to gauge your day-to-day progress. Waking temp of 98.0 and daytime temp of 98.6 is good. A pulse of about 80 is optimal. But sometimes adrenaline or the weather can obscure results because that can warm you without actually increasing your oxidative respiration of glucose.
     
  11. Pointless

    Pointless Member

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    It may not be necessary. If you can stomach aspirin and bioidentical hormones, it doesn't seem like your situation calls for any drugs. Cyproheptadine has been a wonder drug for me, but that's called for usually in cases of diarrhea.

    EstroBan also helps people a lot with estrogen. It's a vitamin supplement, but it's very potent. This will probably eliminate your mucus problems. Check out haidut's supplement company www.idealabsdc.com You can get some stuff there that you can't get anywhere else.

    Stay away from aromatase inhibitors, X-rays, and finasteride. I don't think I need to tell you that, though.
     
  12. OP
    JDreamer

    JDreamer Member

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    When I got those labs back from 2 years ago I was surprised to see that my Estradiol and DHT were so low. I figured they would be much higher based on what has been happening. Then again it's not an up-to-date panel so who knows what they look like now.

    I'm definitely not touching Finasteride. I don't even want to mess with the possibility of the side effects that comes with that.
     
  13. javin

    javin Member

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    I was having this symptom for a month or two before I got into Peat stuff. For me it seemed like this symptom was almost exclusively tied to stress/anxious feelings. After I stopped taking supplements/started eating more sugars (mainly oranges and other fruits) my stools became solid. Maintaining a sense of calmness in your life might help as it did for me. Every so often I get the break-apart stools, but it's usually around the times where I am feeling emotionally unbalanced.
     
  14. Pointless

    Pointless Member

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    Haidut once opined that estrone is the most accurate serum test of systemic estrogen. You can probably search that if you want more info on his rationale. Regardless, serum estradiol can be misleading because estrogen builds up in cells, especially adipose. DHT is the phantom boogeyman of the hair loss world, because apparently it's the master controller of hair loss even though the lab tests are inconclusive and contradictory. C'est la vie.

    This is somewhat off the topic of your situation, but I have a theory that the best way to improve one's health is to implement every beneficial therapy at exactly the same time in the right amount. But since everyone's situation is different, it's impossible to know what would be best except by doing things one at a time. "OK, now we'll try some OJ. OK, now we'll try some liver. Oh, there's a side effect, let's change the amount of this to compensate, etc..." Maybe the best thing is to work on high-level therapies like nutrition, thyroid, gut health and then move on to low-level therapies to optimize things like antagonizing estrogen, serotonin, prolactin. These last 3 are the major metabolic toxins, but sometimes if you start off blocking them, it will cause side effects if the dominos aren't lined up for the whole metabolic cascade to function from beginning to end.

    Anyway, since you're just getting into this, I thought you'd be interested in that theory as you plan your approach. I suggest you keep a log and have a detailed log for your personal use with dates that you start and stop different supplements, food journal with your reactions, keeping track of different symptoms, putting down specific goals and plans to achieve them.
     
  15. artist

    artist Member

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    I don't think I would be alone on these boards in feeling you're undereating by about 1/3+. I'm a 135 pound female and I eat more calories than you, and I'm pretty sedentary. Calorie recomendations around here are gonna be higher than most places I'm guessing, but there is a lot of reasoning and evidence to support this approach. Before you go down a lot of supplement rabbit holes and micronutrient micromanagement I would definitely examine this and give upping your cals a good long trial and see how it affects you. Ray Peat is not a low carb (or low cal) guy whatsoever and he has written a lot about why low carb is not good for health. Moreover I think he eats like 4000+ calories a day himself and he doesn't even lift like you do and he's 80 years old. If you're very busy I would just make your portions bigger. If you're eating 5 meals a day I see no reason why you can't get more cals in there. Getting the additional calories from carbohydrates will have a number of benefits. It will help you utilize protein better, it will be unlikely to cause fat gain compared to dietary fat, it will help your thyroid function, and it will make your life more pleasant all around by lowering your stress hormones which look to be very high based on both the numbers and your symptoms. If you're concerned with being lean I would adjust your overall macros to emphasize carbs even more at the expense of fat intake, but you have to be careful not to drop your calories in the process. It's possible there are other things going on with your health of course but sometimes this alone can make the other weird syndromes just evaporate. All too often dieting + stressful life = your situation. Happens all the time and describes many people who wind up on boards like this, probably the majority. If you need some more justification for these claims I would spend some time on Ray Peat's site or functionalps.com which has a lot of quotes from his organized by topic.
     
  16. OP
    JDreamer

    JDreamer Member

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    The complication is that I'm the type of person who when stressed loses his appetite. But I do agree it's an area I need much improvement in. I can't imagine how deprived and catabolic my system must be right now from not getting the right nutrients while juggling a stressful job and weight training.

    I need to find the "right" set of carbs to increase because of the bloating factor - but then again that could be stressed induced.
     
  17. OP
    JDreamer

    JDreamer Member

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    If I'm burping a lot during meals - is that sign of low stomach acid? If so, what can I do to fix it?
     
  18. Pet Peeve

    Pet Peeve Member

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    A couple of years ago I was under an extreme amount of stress at work, I then stopped smoking after 15 years of daily smoking to try and better cope with the stress, I also went full paleo. Within 3-4 months my hairline receded by an inch, it was not a gradual thing over years, more like "boom!". At that time I became so burned out that I just left the job and felt and looked sick. This experience together with Danny Roddy's book has made me a firm believer in the theory of hairloss as a result of stress instead of DHT. Since stopping working in an effort to get my health back, Cyproheptadine seems to be the best thing I've tried so far. It's to early to say if my hair will grow back, but I feel more like myself again if you see what I mean.
     
  19. Pointless

    Pointless Member

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    How much cyproheptadine do you take? Have you considered using it topically?
     
  20. Pet Peeve

    Pet Peeve Member

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    Right now I take 2 mg three times daily. Or I take 2 mg when I feel that the last dose has worn off (and stress and negativity returns). 4 mg in one dose gives me the feeling that I'm about to have a cold so I think it's too much at once. I've never thought about using it topically.
     
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