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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec. 24, 2003
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    Chesapeake, VA
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    1,114

    Default UPDATE 7/2/12: Hair loss in women, anyone have this problem?

    I've been losing my hair for a few years now. It's an all over thinning (not breaking, it falls off from the root), and it's definitely noticeable when you look back at older pictures of me and compare them to current ones.

    It's thin, I lose a lot. That's all I know. According to my blood work, I'm "fine". Drs. agree that "something" is probably wrong, but they don't know what.

    I've been to my primary care, a dermatologist, and a rheumatoid Dr. Have had glucose tolerance testing done to check for diabetes, all the standard blood work, thyroid is always fine, blah blah blah. The only thing that came back off was I had a positive ANA for Lupus (hence the rheumatoid Dr.). I'm being watched by her now.. actually have an appt. in a few days. So far, she thinks it was just a fluke, apparently some people test positive and never actually have Lupus. But then again, Lupus can take years to properly diagnose (my SIL has it, which is why I know a bit about it).

    The only med. I took was birth control, which I went OFF of for almost 7 months just to see if I'd notice a difference. Never did, Drs. (including my OB Dr.) all agree that they don't think the BC would cause this, so as of a month ago, I am back on it (it's a low dose Estrogen pill). I take a prenatal vitamin + Biotin daily. Tried one of the Andrew Lessman hair vitamins for months and saw no results.

    I'm sick of being almost 25 and losing my hair. I try not to stress about it (I know stress can = hair loss!), but it is concerning, especially with some of the other symptoms I have (which I won't get into unless y'all ask). I'm just tired of Drs. not having any answers, and half of them blowing me off.. that is until I pull out older pictures of myself. Then they go "Oh, yeah.. it has thinned out a lot." Uh, duh! I'm not making this up.

    Anyone have any thoughts, suggestions, what I should do next?
    Last edited by diffuse01; Jul. 2, 2012 at 04:33 PM.
    -Kady



  2. #2

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    I'm about your age and my hair seriously thinned out winter before last, Then it stopped in the spring. Tried an elimination diet and stopped eating dairy (already don't do gluten) and that helped a little but didn't fix it. Only thing I could figure is I was working at a store where there was a lot of plastic (tires, ect.) off gassing, Because a month or two after I quit I started getting a lot of new growth and it stopped thinning out.

    I also had a lot of fatigue and pain in my joints (especially my hands) that got better after I stopped working there as well.

    Don't know if that is at all useful, But I hope you get things figured out.
    for more Joy then you can handle
    http://dangerbunny.blogspot.com/



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 26, 2011
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    My mom, who is approaching 70 this year, started on Biotin when her hair was thinnning last year and it has worked wonders
    From AliCat518 "Seriously, why would you NOT put fried chicken in your purse?!"



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec. 24, 2003
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    Chesapeake, VA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dangerbunny View Post
    I'm about your age and my hair seriously thinned out winter before last, Then it stopped in the spring. Tried an elimination diet and stopped eating dairy (already don't do gluten) and that helped a little but didn't fix it. Only thing I could figure is I was working at a store where there was a lot of plastic (tires, ect.) off gassing, Because a month or two after I quit I started getting a lot of new growth and it stopped thinning out.

    I also had a lot of fatigue and pain in my joints (especially my hands) that got better after I stopped working there as well.

    Don't know if that is at all useful, But I hope you get things figured out.
    Huh, that's weird about how it changed once you stopped working there!

    I work for my dad at our family business.. we sell nails, nail guns, compressors, etc. to home builders. I don't think there's anything there that's setting me off.. plus I've been working there since I was 17 so you'd think if there was it would've started sooner!

    I do have joint issues, mainly in my knees. I can't stand for long periods of time without "paying for it" later. But I don't know if that has anything to do with my hair loss..

    Quote Originally Posted by rustbreeches View Post
    My mom, who is approaching 70 this year, started on Biotin when her hair was thinnning last year and it has worked wonders
    Yeah I've been taking Biotin for a long time now. Doesn't seem to help.
    -Kady



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug. 8, 2007
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    1,230

    Default

    Boy is this timely. Im going to another doctor tomorrow to try and figure this out. I have been losing my hair for 3 years now. Test came back normal except for slightly low iron. Mine started falling out when I stopped birth control. The migraines the BC pills caused where excruciating and I couldnt handle it anymore. Im your age and its really scaring me.

    I used to have beautiful long, somewhat thick (lots of strands) hair. Now its less that 1/4 of what I used to have. I have a picture of myself with pigtail braids from Halloween a few years ago, and Ive braided it recently, and its insanely thinner than it is in the picture. My dermatologist said he thought my hair was thick and he didnt see anything wrong. My hair is no where near thick (in diameter or fullness).

    Keep me updated if you find any results, Id be interested to know what they find out. Was your iron checked?

    ETA: There is a 'hair specialist' in Winston-Salem. If I cant find any answers tomorrow, Im going to beg and plead to get an appointment with her. Can you PM me your other symptoms? Biotin didnt help me either.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul. 22, 2006
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    220

    Default

    Sorry, no answers here...just empathy.

    I'm 25 and have been noticing my hair getting thinner for a few years. It's by no means thin (yet), so no one takes me seriously when I voice my concerns. But I swear its getting thinner. It used to be really thick and I could wrap a band around my ponytail only twice, now its three or four times. I'm really afraid the thinning will continue....

    Have you tried nioxin or any of the hair growth shampoos?



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov. 12, 2011
    Posts
    1,095

    Default

    Could it be related to stress/anxiety? Just a thought.
    "A horse gallops with his lungs, perseveres with his heart, and wins with his character." - Tesio



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct. 18, 2000
    Posts
    22,429

    Default

    I wouldn't be surprised if it is your thyroid. It's common for a dr to pat you on the head and say your results are normal, especially if they just test the TSH.

    But there isn't consensus in the medical community. Many doctors question the reliability or usefulness of the TSH test, even though many endocrinologists consider it the gold standard. In fact, a few years ago the normal range for this " perfect" test was lowered because it failed to capture millions of hypothyroid patients. The trouble is many labs, and drs, are still using the old lab values.

    Hair loss is one of the major symptoms of thyroid disease. And yet most drs treat their patients, especially their female patients, like hysterical housewives. I had one endo who put his hand on my shoulder and said, " Face it. You're a woman." WTF????? I had another who said, " I don't do ovaries." this is the same endo who said I had a virus.

    Long story short, I went to drs for years. I did everything right. Everything they said. Got a personal trainer. Changed diet. My hair loss continued. My energy levels plummeted. I continued to gain weight despite diet and exercise. I lost half my hair. Sometimes my heart rate was in the 30's. I was exhausted all the time. My thyroid tests always came back "normal", but I never saw the actual results. I just got a condescending suggestion about Weight Watchers and to stop using styling products on my thinning hair. my GP said that my thyroid was low but not low enough to treat.

    A COTH friend was kind enough to refer me to her GP, who did a complete metabolic panel on me a few months ago. She didn't like the results, and referred me to an endo. Again,he dismissed my symptoms saying I should just face the fact that I'm getting old, and he suggested antidepressants.

    Something snapped. I'd had enough of being dismissed by these asshats. I obtained all my test results and started my own research. First, my test results were not normal. They were within normal limits but my GP should have been comparing the results over time. You can see my TSH rising over time and the T3 and T4 falling. The endos should have caught it too. They had the same information.

    I found a dr through a thyroid BB and saw her a few weeks ago. She reviewed my labs and was horrified I'd gone untreated for so many years. Untreated hypothyroidism isn't benign. It causes heart disease, dementia, and a host of other maladies. She put me on Armour Thryoid, which gives you T3 as well as
    T4. Slowly titrating the dose over weeks. Evidently the average thyroid patient sees 5 endos and goes about ten years before being treated. Nice.

    Within 5 days you know what happened? I could sleep through the night. I am no longer experiencing body aches and pain. And for the first time in years, I'm no longer cold all the time. I was always so cold I'd wear jackets, even in summer. My hands and feet would be ice cold. For the first time in years I'm making plans to do things. My resting heart rate is normal, and I'm not as exhausted as I used to be.

    She said the hair loss should reverse itself eventually.

    The moral of the story is, healthy women do not have hair falling out in clumps. It's not normal. It's probably hormonal. Most thyroid problems go undiagnosed for YEARS. Get copies of all your labs and take charge of your health. Because drs are not going to listen to you. You have to be your own advocate.

    Good luck.
    Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
    -Rudyard Kipling



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec. 11, 2006
    Location
    Cheesehead in Loudoun Co, VA
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    2,439

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    Funny story about my GP: I was tested by her 2 years ago. She told me she wasn't comfortable treating someone with borderline test results (tho the first one showed worse numbers than the second, therefore the first was wrong ). I went home and cried. A year later I insisted on being tested again. I had a long, long list of symptoms. This time, she says to me, "I treat based on symptoms." I almost fell off the exam table. I could have been feeling better A YEAR AGO! But at least she learned a new treatment method and actually LISTENS to patients and doesn't simply blow them off.

    Again,he dismissed my symptoms saying I should just face the fact that I'm getting old, and he suggested antidepressants.
    He also freaked when you told him you were going to see the lady doc because "she just treats symptoms!" As if the symptoms aren't screaming HELLO! SOMETHING'S WRONG IN HERE! I still think you need to send him a letter stating how your symptoms have improved along with a copy of all your tests results with numbers highlighted so he doesn't miss the changes yet again. Along with a photo of your extended middle finger.

    Asshat indeed.
    I'm not arguing, I'm just explaining why I'm right
    Violence doesn't end violence. It extends it. Break the cycle.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan. 14, 2003
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    5,765

    Default

    I started losing my hair in my mid 20's also and got the "pat on the head" many times but never a GP who would send me off for testing. I also developed insuluin resistance young - even though not a pound overweight.

    I have polycyctic ovaries and that comes with the insulin resistance, hair loss and weight gain.

    I also have food sensitivities and serious allergy to gluten. When I unknowingly went gluten free (and low blood sugar/insulin) the first time around on a low carb diet, my hair grew back.

    So, in my case I'm not sure if it is the insulin resistance/pcos or gluten or both. But if I were you, I would give gluten free a serious shot. Fruit. veggies and meats/fish, dairy. Nothing else unless you are absolutely certain it does not contain hidden gluten. Even chicken from the supermarket can have a solution injected into it which contains gluten and it is not labeled as can salad dressings and seasoning packets...



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct. 18, 2000
    Posts
    22,429

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    I guess the cat's out of the bag!

    Bey is the person who saved my life. she referred me to her dr. Though that dr did not treat me,she is the ONLY dr who knew something was wrong based on the results.

    I want to send big flaming bags of pig poo to the other drs. The ones who sneered, who dismissed my symptoms, who made assumptions based on female stereotypes.

    But I will leave these things to karma. I found out the GP I'd been using for years is probably going to lose his license. I'm not the only patient he failed.

    You know what I think? I think that if I was a man and my dick didn't work these drs would have been holding prayer vigils for me. I actually told that to the female dr I saw for my thyroid. She howled with laughter and agreed.

    Don't take no for an answer folks. If your horse wasn't right you'd advocate for him. You know your body best. A dr sees you for 5 minutes.
    Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
    -Rudyard Kipling



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec. 24, 2003
    Location
    Chesapeake, VA
    Posts
    1,114

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PiaffePlease View Post
    Boy is this timely. Im going to another doctor tomorrow to try and figure this out. I have been losing my hair for 3 years now. Test came back normal except for slightly low iron. Mine started falling out when I stopped birth control. The migraines the BC pills caused where excruciating and I couldnt handle it anymore. Im your age and its really scaring me.

    I used to have beautiful long, somewhat thick (lots of strands) hair. Now its less that 1/4 of what I used to have. I have a picture of myself with pigtail braids from Halloween a few years ago, and Ive braided it recently, and its insanely thinner than it is in the picture. My dermatologist said he thought my hair was thick and he didnt see anything wrong. My hair is no where near thick (in diameter or fullness).

    Keep me updated if you find any results, Id be interested to know what they find out. Was your iron checked?

    ETA: There is a 'hair specialist' in Winston-Salem. If I cant find any answers tomorrow, Im going to beg and plead to get an appointment with her. Can you PM me your other symptoms? Biotin didnt help me either.
    Wow you sound just like me! Except when I went to the Dermo, he did agree (after we showed him older pictures) that my hair is thin. My "savings grace" is that I have naturally curly hair, which tends to give the illusion that it's thicker than it really is.

    Yes, Iron has been checked and was normal. Interesting about the specialist in Winston-Salem.. that's about 5hrs. from me but I guess if it comes down to it, I could make that drive.

    I'll PM you

    Quote Originally Posted by sirbeastmom View Post
    Sorry, no answers here...just empathy.

    I'm 25 and have been noticing my hair getting thinner for a few years. It's by no means thin (yet), so no one takes me seriously when I voice my concerns. But I swear its getting thinner. It used to be really thick and I could wrap a band around my ponytail only twice, now its three or four times. I'm really afraid the thinning will continue....

    Have you tried nioxin or any of the hair growth shampoos?
    I have tried Nioxin, it's good stuff. However, because #1, I have curly hair, and #2, I lose 10x more hair when I actually wash it, I only shampoo my hair twice a week (I condition it the other days). So I don't get the full benefit of using the Nioxin daily.

    If you're noticing it thinning, get to a Dr. and have blood work done, at the very least! Maybe you'll get lucky and find a Dr. that'll actually take you seriously..

    Quote Originally Posted by Donkerbruin View Post
    Could it be related to stress/anxiety? Just a thought.
    Eh, doubtful. It's funny, I had a HORRIBLE time throughout middle school and my first couple years of high school. Even in my senior year of high school I had periods where my anxiety was AWFUL. Never lost hair then! Because of my history with anxiety, I know myself really well in that category. I am NOT stressed any more than the average person is.

    Quote Originally Posted by JSwan View Post
    I wouldn't be surprised if it is your thyroid. It's common for a dr to pat you on the head and say your results are normal, especially if they just test the TSH.

    But there isn't consensus in the medical community. Many doctors question the reliability or usefulness of the TSH test, even though many endocrinologists consider it the gold standard. In fact, a few years ago the normal range for this " perfect" test was lowered because it failed to capture millions of hypothyroid patients. The trouble is many labs, and drs, are still using the old lab values.

    Hair loss is one of the major symptoms of thyroid disease. And yet most drs treat their patients, especially their female patients, like hysterical housewives. I had one endo who put his hand on my shoulder and said, " Face it. You're a woman." WTF????? I had another who said, " I don't do ovaries." this is the same endo who said I had a virus.

    Long story short, I went to drs for years. I did everything right. Everything they said. Got a personal trainer. Changed diet. My hair loss continued. My energy levels plummeted. I continued to gain weight despite diet and exercise. I lost half my hair. Sometimes my heart rate was in the 30's. I was exhausted all the time. My thyroid tests always came back "normal", but I never saw the actual results. I just got a condescending suggestion about Weight Watchers and to stop using styling products on my thinning hair. my GP said that my thyroid was low but not low enough to treat.

    A COTH friend was kind enough to refer me to her GP, who did a complete metabolic panel on me a few months ago. She didn't like the results, and referred me to an endo. Again,he dismissed my symptoms saying I should just face the fact that I'm getting old, and he suggested antidepressants.

    Something snapped. I'd had enough of being dismissed by these asshats. I obtained all my test results and started my own research. First, my test results were not normal. They were within normal limits but my GP should have been comparing the results over time. You can see my TSH rising over time and the T3 and T4 falling. The endos should have caught it too. They had the same information.

    I found a dr through a thyroid BB and saw her a few weeks ago. She reviewed my labs and was horrified I'd gone untreated for so many years. Untreated hypothyroidism isn't benign. It causes heart disease, dementia, and a host of other maladies. She put me on Armour Thryoid, which gives you T3 as well as
    T4. Slowly titrating the dose over weeks. Evidently the average thyroid patient sees 5 endos and goes about ten years before being treated. Nice.

    Within 5 days you know what happened? I could sleep through the night. I am no longer experiencing body aches and pain. And for the first time in years, I'm no longer cold all the time. I was always so cold I'd wear jackets, even in summer. My hands and feet would be ice cold. For the first time in years I'm making plans to do things. My resting heart rate is normal, and I'm not as exhausted as I used to be.

    She said the hair loss should reverse itself eventually.

    The moral of the story is, healthy women do not have hair falling out in clumps. It's not normal. It's probably hormonal. Most thyroid problems go undiagnosed for YEARS. Get copies of all your labs and take charge of your health. Because drs are not going to listen to you. You have to be your own advocate.

    Good luck.
    Thanks for taking the time to write all of that!

    I need to look at my blood work and see what thyroid tests they ran.. I believe they did more than just the standard TSH though.

    I have NOT been to an Endo yet. Well sorry, I went to a nurse practitioner at the office of one (was able to get in to see her faster than the actual Endo) and it was awful. She talked AT me, and I barely got a word in. Didn't even ask what my symptoms were. So I never went back and haven't made an appt. with any other Endo's since.

    Your symptoms are really interesting.. my hands/feet are always cold; my rheumatoid Dr. said it's Renaud's syndrome. I constantly have body aches, mostly in my legs.. have had what we think is sciatic nerve pain in my left leg for almost a year now. I cannot stand for long periods of time without A. Getting somewhat lightheaded and B. Paying for it the next day with my knees hurting terribly. I have low blood pressure as well, usually runs around 90/70 (had a tilt table test done years ago for this and my BP dropped to 75/45, they made me stay for IV fluids.. yet they DIDN'T WRITE THAT IN THE REPORT.. WTF!).

    I just wish I could find a Dr. that didn't blow me off. They run the tests, sure. But they all come back "normal" and they all look at me and say "Well, we don't know what to do."
    -Kady



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar. 3, 2007
    Location
    North-Central IL
    Posts
    3,470

    Default

    I'm 27 and I've been losing hair like mad too. Birth control four-ish years ago sent me suicidal and I lost a TON of hair on it and it took two years to grow back, still not quite as thick. I seem to have all the thyroid symptoms too, and my doctor sent me for labs. The TSH was "fine" and my glucose was great so he patted my head and put me on Zoloft with Xanax for panic attacks (these I've had for years and years and didn't know they even had a name) and Ativan to sleep. These things help, but not completely. I'm still losing hair, I still feel drained (the Zoloft apparently was supposed to 'perk me right up'), I still have trouble sleeping. I wonder how one would go about finding a doctor to run the full thyroid thinger-ma-jigger...

    As for the OP, I would try gluten free and also check out the Baking Soda/Vodka hair care thread here.
    Quarry Rat



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun. 25, 2004
    Location
    Carolinas
    Posts
    4,714

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    My hair has been thinning for the past several years and my DR gave me the 'don't wear hats, blow dry hair and stay away from styling products" speech. Not good if you have to work in corporate America and have to at least look presentable.
    I broached the thryoid subject several times over the past years as it runs in the family, both hyper and hypo. Plus like others I have multiple symptoms. The DR was monitoring my test results during this time, I am on the "low side of average".
    She finally put me on medication, without my request, this year. I need to go back for a retest to confirm the dosage, but I am starting to feel more like myself.
    Agree this is often overlooked by the medical profession. IMO the main reason they reacted for me is: I told the primary DR I didn't respect his profession after my sister's death. She had most of the symptoms of hypothyroidism most of her life, yet the DR's told her to eat less, exercise more. Yeah her DR said her test results were on the "low side of normal" also.
    My sister's excess weight plus RA plus spinal stenois plus depression plus, plus, plus caused her death 10 years ago.
    Make certain you are doing all that you can do to eat well, exercise and rest. In the meantime either work with your DR or find another DR who will respect you and listen to you.
    "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
    Courtesy my cousin Tim



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec. 24, 2003
    Location
    Chesapeake, VA
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    1,114

    Default

    Oh and btw - thyroid issues DO run in my family. My Aunt had to have hers removed a few years ago, actually.
    -Kady



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar. 17, 2003
    Location
    North Texas, US
    Posts
    2,156

    Default

    I can so relate to JSwan and High Bey. I'm going through this now.

    First Hypo diagnosis was 28 years ago (in college), but was not put on meds.

    Over the next few years told that previous diagnosis was wrong and that "it was all in my head" FU very much!

    Have been tested god only knows how many times, especially the last 10 years with many of the same symptons J mentioned. No go. One asshat told me if I just lost 50 lbs (I was about 190), that I'd feel fine. Gee, if I didn't feel like shit, I'd do more not to mention I take care of 25+ horses BY MYSELF.

    Finally got a bad test result last November and put on meds (Levothyroxin). Felt much better for a couple of weeks and then back to same ole same ole. Retested and worse than before...doubled dose.

    In the last six months I've gained 30 lbs with no changes in diet or lifestyle...actually more active.

    Went to a nurse practitioner who specializes in women's health (and hormones) last week. Pulled 5 tubes of blood and now waiting on results. She says that Levothyroxin is T4 and most people convert T4 to T3, but some don't. She thinks I'm in the later group. So, taking the meds is making me worse...NICE. She mentioned Armour Thyroid as that has T3 in it. I'm guessing that she'll be putting me on that. And perhaps some hormones. I've heard really good things about her, so hoping and praying that she can get me straightened. I've been telling a parade a drs. the same list of symptoms for about 8 yrs.
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  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec. 24, 2003
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    Chesapeake, VA
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    I'm looking at my most recent blood work (done in April). These are the thyroid tests that were done:

    Thyroxine Free: Result, 1.01 Reference Range: 0.65-1.52 ng/dl

    T3 Uptake: Result, 33.2 Reference Range: 22.5-37.0%

    TSH: Result, 1.441 Reference Range: 0.55-4.78 uIU/ml

    I just checked and the last time before this (March '11) my TSH was 1.410, so that didn't change. He (this was my GP at the time) also did a "T4 Total" test that says "Thyroxine" next to it where my result was 5.1, reference range: 4.8-13.9.
    I'm not sure what the difference between that one and the "Thyroxine Free" the other Dr. did though.

    I do have some other numbers that weren't in range, but I don't know what many of them mean.. I can post those too if anyone wants me to.
    -Kady



  18. #18
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    Oct. 18, 2000
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    Yes, many people not only fail to improve on T4, they actually get much worse. Armour has gotten a bad rap for no reason. It's a 100 year old drug, safe, effective, and not as big a money maker as T4. So you can guess why T4 is being pushed by pharm reps.

    Before all this testing was invented, it was common to treat hypothyroidism based on symptoms. Obviously it's better for the science to improve so that drs can treat their patients better and more effectively. But the testing has not proven to be the "gold standard" promised. Millions of people were taken off Armour. Monkeying about with the testing left millions more untreated, or poorly treated. Many labs, and drs, still use the old lab values - leaving many patients suffering from advanced hypothyroidism but being put on all kinds of other drugs for their symptoms. Many women are unable to conceive, and pay outrageous sums for infertility treatments. After being treated for underactive thyroid - they conceive naturally.

    It's a freakin' shame that so many doctors fail their patients in this way. How many people are on antidepressants, statins, fertility treatments, or just absolutely miserable because they lack a simple hormone. Think about it.
    Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
    -Rudyard Kipling



  19. #19
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    Oct. 18, 2000
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    Quote Originally Posted by diffuse01 View Post
    I
    TSH: Result, 1.441 Reference Range: 0.55-4.78 uIU/ml
    .
    Your lab is using the outdated TSH range.

    Find another dr.
    Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
    -Rudyard Kipling



  20. #20
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    Dec. 24, 2003
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    Chesapeake, VA
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    Quote Originally Posted by JSwan View Post
    Your lab is using the outdated TSH range.

    Find another dr.
    Oh really? See I wouldn't know that. And that's from my most recent blood work too. Hmm.
    -Kady



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