I just went back to the hair loss doctor for another follow up. I’ve been taking Spironolactone for a month now, and so far so good. I haven’t seen any crazy shedding from it, which is what I was worried about. But I am on a super low dose. I took 12.5mg of it each day for 3 weeks and then went up to 25mg a day. The first few days I started the medication I felt woozy and had a headache, but I switched to taking the pill at night and then I was fine.
My goal at this doctor visit was to get a dosage increase of the Spironolactone. Last month the Dermatologist said there’s no way she would increase my dose past 25mg, which is really low. I was searching for dosing suggestions on reputable medical websites and couldn’t find any reference to what the proper Spiro dose is for female hair loss. Most internet sites will tell you it’s 100-200mg a day to achieve results, but I wanted to see what medical journals or WebMD, etc. had to say. I couldn’t find anything.
Doctors absolutely hate it when you find something on the internet to reference, and most of them will only accept information from medical journals, WebMD, MedicineNet, or official associations for their field – like aad.org (for Dermatology), etc. I was desperate so I told the doctor “I had read on the internet” that the minimum dose for Spironolactone to decrease and stabilize hair loss is 100mg. She of course said “well I went to medical school, so I have to disagree.” Normally I try to leave out the internet all together, but I had no choice. Somehow she was willing to increase my dose to 50mg a day, but now she hates me, and I’m one of “those” patients…
Another trick I just discovered is that doctors can’t remember what they told you at your last visit. They see lots of patients every day and have no idea what they told you a month ago. They only know what they wrote in their notes, and apparently they don’t always take notes, or read them. Somehow the doctor got the impression that she prescribed me 25mg of Spiro last month, not 12.5mg. My mom always accuses me of putting words in her mouth, which I don’t normally do, unless I have to… Anyway, with all of that drama, I hope I don’t experience side effects from the 50mg of Spiro. I promised the doctor I would tell her if I do have side effects, and I will keep my word on that.
• Well I went to Medical School…
When you go to med school you don’t learn a lot about hair loss. While the doctor has spent the last 10 years in school, I’ve spent the same amount of time learning about only a few things - like hair loss. I am sure a background in medicine would help my understanding of it, but I honestly don’t think most doctors know more about hair loss than me, or than most of the men and women that experience it first-hand and do their own research. I was thinking of becoming a Physician Assistant, which is only a two year graduate degree. At the Dermatology office I go to, they employ several PAs who treat patients just like the doctors do. So the only difference between me and the person you may see at your Dermatology office is two more years of school! When you get your PA degree, you don’t specialize in one area, so you wouldn’t even be learning anything about hair loss – I imagine that would come with clinicals or on-the-job training. I am not trying to bash doctors here – they are extremely important – but I am just so frustrated with almost every doctor I’ve ever seen. For example, when I had bad acne as an adult, I went to several doctors, and none of them fixed my acne. How did I finally fix it? – with research on the internet!
• Prednisone to help genetic hair loss?
Here’s one I hadn’t heard before. The doctor just gave me a prescription for the steroid Prednisone. It’s to calm the inflammation in my scalp (which I still can’t see). I absolutely agree that scalp inflammation is not good and it could make hair loss worse, but I was sort of shocked because one of the main side effects of Prednisone is hair loss! I am deathly afraid of the drug because my mom’s health problems spiraled out of control once she started taking it. I know this is probably a coincidence, but I always thought her hair loss was a partial result of her Prednisone use. The steroid has a host of awful side effects, and I really feel like it’s a bad idea to take it in this situation, even though the dose I was prescribed is really low. My gut tells me to stay away from it! If I had bad inflammation, then maybe I would consider it, but I don’t. This reminds me of when the gyno prescribed Premarin for an issue I was having, and it just made me gain weight. Later I found out how horrible Premarin is, and that it made my problem worse, not better! I try to keep the inflammation my body low by eating well, taking antioxidants, being gentle to my scalp, etc. I asked the doctor why I have scalp inflammation and she said she has no idea.
• Genetic testing for hair loss
Finally I asked the doctor if she though genetic testing to determine Androgenetic Alopecia would provide accurate results. I am really considering getting that HairDX test done. She said she has no idea. Great.
Another day, another dollar. It turns out my health insurance has not been covering any of the hair loss doctor visits or blood work because it’s just a “cosmetic issue!” Like hell it is…!
ps. I wish I could wear cute wigs like the one in the picture every day – maybe match my hair color to my nail polish.