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Change in hair and skin because of ME/CFS?

Discussion in 'Skeleton, Skin, Muscles, Hair, Teeth, and Nails' started by Jessrose21, Dec 30, 2009.

  1. Jessrose21


    Farmington, NY
    I use to have really curly hair but ever since I got sick, my hair has gone straighter and straighter. It's sort of depressing because my curls were a big part of my identity, you know? I was known as that girl with the curly blond hair. I'm wondering if part of it is the meds I'm on, gabapentin and venlafaxine.

    And I've developed perioral dermatitis, but I'm convinced that was a result of taking Zelnorm for IBS. :(

    Has anyone else noticed similar types of changes?
  2. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

    Hi Jessrose,

    My hair was falling out, starting about 8 or 9 yrs ago. Not leaving bald spots or anything thankfully. But I was shedding like crazy and leaving half a dozen hairs on my pillow in the morning, and washing or brushing my hair.

    This stopped a few months after starting a low carb diet.

    My naturopath says that lack of protein or omega 3 fatty acids are the usual culprits with hair loss.

    Also, omega 3 deficiency can cause dry skin and skin problems of many types as well as dry hair, dandruff and scalp issues. There may be other causes -- probably are -- but these are the ones I know of.

    And these are not too difficult to remedy, fortunately. The addition of protein and omega 3 will not cause an immediate improvement, but over time they can make a big difference.

    Also the skin stuff can be caused by an overloaded liver, and various methods of detoxing the liver can help. Again, there may be other causes but these are the ones I know of.
  3. Hypothyroidism can cause your hair to become dry and coarse. Mine is straight to begin with but it felt like it was made out of straw or something. That got better with the proper thyroid medicine.

    Some other signs of hypothyroidism are dry skin, low body temperature, goiter, gaining weight, fatigue etc.
  4. laura

    laura Senior Member

    Southern California
    me too with the hair issues

    Maybe its because of the nutrient deficiencies, but when I got sick I also experienced a lot of hair falling out, and my hair was stripped of all it's nice color, like someone stripped the shine and color off it, leaving dull nondescript color underneath.

    No amount of supplementation or diet changes has gotten it back; alas, I have made friends with hair dye.

    And recently have found one small area that is very thin, don't know if that is CFS related or genetic, being in my early 40's...
  5. Robin

    Robin Guest

    Mine went from ringlet curly to wavy over the course of many years. I always just thought it was hormonal changes in adulthood (I've heard other women describe the same thing that were healthy!)

    I hated fighting my curls so it's a welcome change. :)
  6. Jessrose21


    Farmington, NY
    Hmm, I've been taking Omega 3 in fish oil capsules for years, 1,280 mg a day.

    I do have dry skin and low body temperature (97.6), but my TSH and Free T4 have always been in the normal range. Sept it was: Free T4 0.82 (0.59-1.31 normal range), TSH 3.51 (0.38-4.70 normal range)

    Yeah, I used to hate my curls and wanted straight hair, too! Now I wish I had them back because I looked much better with them. I may have to go back on the no-shampoo regimen, that I found in the Curly Girl book by Lorraine Massey. It did help with the curls. Your theory on the genetic signal makes sense. Wouldn't that be cool if they could figure out how to turn the curl gene on and off!
  7. Lily

    Lily *Believe*

    TSH Level

    Hi Jessrose
    I just wanted to mention that there is a lot of controversy among endocrinologists and other docs about the normal thryroid ranges. Regarding TSH, my understanding is that the upper end of normal used to be considered 5, but was changed a few years ago. Many labs still quote the old range and not all endocrinologists agree whether it's 3 or 5:rolleyes:

    Based on that, many would treat a finding such as yours or delve into it further. I don't remember what was said about T3, T4 although I just read about all this in September when my doctor wanted to treat me for low thyroid:( Ended up that I couldn't tolerate the medication when I tried it anyway......whew, that was a trip:eek: With no treatment my TSH, T3 & T4 were all within in the normal (new & old) range 2 months later :confused:

    I would love to have some treatment that would help my excruciatingly dry skin. It isn't as bad as it was, but it's bad - and my hair seems like it must belong to someone else:eek:

    I mention this because many of the people that I've talked to who have been treated for hypothyroidism were in the borderline range and felt sooooooo much better with treatment. I was hoping for that, but oh well - maybe there's hope for you:)
  8. bakercape

    bakercape Senior Member

    Cape Cod. Mass
    I'm in my late thirties

    and since having cfs since 17 I have had a different kind of acne then I had beforehand. I still have acne on my chin area and lower cheeks. It not a surface type acne but is rather cyst like. Its not bad and not really noticibly to others.

    I definately feel it is related to my illness. I have read some cfs doctors stating they fing a lot of this type of acne in there patients. I believe Dr. Cheney was one.
  9. Martlet

    Martlet Senior Member

    Near St Louis, MO
    I always had fine hair, but lots of it. Now, I have thin, fine hair. My dermatologist tested my ferritin levels. Way, way low, even though I have normal levels of iron. So, I've added iron supplements and am eating more red meat. I'll try adding some omega 3 as well.

    As for skin, it's now dry, but I put that down to living in the Midwest. It improves whenever I go back to Europe and no longer have to contend with a/c and force air heating.

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