Hello everyone. I have been lurking on these boards reading all your posts for several months and just recently decided to join. I am so happy to find a board where we can all share our experiences and struggles with this affliction. Like many of you, I always knew I was "different" for some reason, but I did not actually find out the reason until sometime around 1998. I have never been diagnosed officially, but I do know that I have PCOS because of all the symptoms, etc. But that is not the topic of this thread, so I will continue with that.
I have experienced thinning hair on my scalp the past several years, which is typical for PCOS. However, on May 29, my 21-year old stepdaughter was killed when she wrecked her vehicle coming home from her job in the early morning hours. (She was a college student and worked as a waitress.) Needless to say, it was particularly devastating to me and our entire family. You always expect to lose your parents, as that is the natural order of things, but you never expect to lose a child. To say the very least, suffering this loss is so inexplicable that the only thing that I can say to describe it is to say that it has been emotionally crippling in the worst way.
I do know that suffering severe emotional and psychological stress as I have suffered in the recent past will cause hair loss. For about the last two months, I have noticed my hair falling out in big wads in the shower and on my comb when I comb it out. I constantly have to pick it up from the bathroom floor and from my carseat (it is cloth), where it sticks to the headrest as I am driving.
I have about half the hair on the crown of my head I had in the photo I have posted on my profile photo. I have also noticed drastic thinning at the temples also, which may be related to my previous/current emotional state. I have not experienced this much thinning in such a short time period since after the birth of my daughter, when she was about five months old. And I do know that hair loss due to emotional and psychological stress is similar to the hair loss experienced after pregnancy, so my hair loss at the temples may be directly related to emotional and psychological stress.
Before I began to have the unprecedented hair loss, in about July I began taking cinnamon and saw palmetto to help curb the symptoms of PCOS, and almost immediately I noticed benefits, which continue to improve each week and month. My skin has cleared, the terminal hairs all over my body have lightened and thinned out to more manageable levels, my sugar cravings have improved, I have noticed weight loss without effort, etc, etc, etc. I have been taking a daily multivitamin and fish oil supplements for over a year also. I just recently added the saw palmetto and the cinnamon to my vitamin/supplement regimen.
What I would like to know from you ladies is if it's possible that the saw palmetto causes hair loss on the scalp before it starts cycles of regrowth. I know this situation is complicated by my emotional state after losing my stepdaughter, but if someone could shed some insight about what they have experienced using the saw palmetto, that would be great. I know that sometimes some have experienced hair loss when starting on spiro, and I wonder if a similar effect occurs with saw palmetto as well.
I am sorry that this post is so long, but I thought that it was relevant to the question at hand, and having the whole picture would be important for someone who could give me insight about what may be happening to my hair. It is disheartening to me because I think I will have to cut it short again since it's become so thin; I had grown it out to reach between my shoulderblades.
I realize the hair loss may be a combination of the two factors, but I would like to know if hair loss accompanies beginning a regimen of saw palmetto, and if so, how long genrallly before it stops? Initially I did notice less hair in the shower when washing my hair (about half as much fell out to the drain), but in the recent months, I have noticed an excessive amount in the drain--which could be the aftermath of what I suffered at the beginning of the summer.
Any insight would be helpful to me.
This forum is a godsend, truly.