I've been keeping an eye on this discussion since my last posting back in October of last year. It has been very informative (well, for the most part:), so thanks to everyone who has contributed to this thread. I guess the bad news is that we're all still shedding, but the upside is that, perhaps, in collaboration we might find a way to remedy our common, self-inflicted snafu. Here is my $0.02.
Over the past year, I have tried to tackle this problem from multiple angles via vitamin/mineral/antioxidant supplementation (vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B7, B12, D, E, magnesium, zinc, curmcumin, NAC); topical treatments (ketoconazole, minoxidil, corticosteroids, azelaic acid, essential oils); the use of adaptogens and adrenal support supplements (ashwagandha, valerian root, Relora, rhodiola, Seriphos); as well as anti-androgenic supplements (Saw Palmetto, Nettle Root Extract). Unfortunately, thus far nothing has worked very well – I still have scalp irritation/inflammation and my hair loss continues. If I had to estimate, I’m down to about 30-40% of the follicles in the anagen (active) phase.
I can elaborate on what I’ve done and the rationale for why I’d chosen any particular approach if anyone wants to know.
My background is in chemistry and pharma, so knowing the jargon and the basics of the healthcare reimbursement system I was able to convince my pcp to run a lot of tests for me, which he had reluctantly agreed to do. I have to double check, but I think that all of my vitamin/mineral panels came back normal, while some of my hormones were out of whack.
I had my cortisol tested three times using two different methodologies. The blood cortisol test (sample drawn in the morning when the cortisol level is supposed to peak) came back normal while both of the 24h urine tests (urine collected over 24 hours and tested for the total amount of cortisol) showed my cortisol levels elevated (almost 4 times above normal). Our cortisol levels are supposed to follow the circadian rhythm – spike in the morning and diminish towards the evening. Apparently, my adrenals keep secreting cortisol throughout the day (hence the issues with sleep), This would also explain the discrepancy in the cortisol test results. As I’ve mentioned a while ago, I suspect that the B5 megadosing has thrown our HPA axis out of kilter, putting our adrenals in hyperdrive. If not corrected, this will eventually lead to adrenal fatigue, which will, in turn, affect the thyroid function.
That is some excellent news, man. Hopefully, your results are generalizable and can be reproduced in others.
I really like your idea of trying each of the components of Hermetic’s regimen to see which one did it for him, or if it was a combination of some or all of them. I suspect the glandulars are to “blame” though.
I could also take part in this little experiment – take, for example, colostrums for 6 weeks and report the results. If other people are willing to participate, maybe we can assign and keep track of who is trying what. We should also come up with a list of symptoms and a qualitative way to measure outcomes (e.g. variable A ‘scalp irritation’ ranging from 0 to 5, with 0 being ‘no irritation’ and 5… well, you get the idea). Let me know what you guys think.