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Ask the Medical Expert Archives 2000-2004

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Week of October 16, 2000

    Question:   Beginning around June of this year, I began noticing that I was shedding a lot more hair than I had in the past. My hair went from dry to oily, I went from washing it two times per week to washing it daily, or every other day. I also noticed an increase in facial hair and oiliness of my face. Now, 2 months later, my hair is noticeably thinning - my scalp is now visible (it has never been before). I am a 45-year-old menopausal female and have had a complete hystorectomy/including ovaries. I have consulted my family physician regarding this condition and he told me that it was probably stress related. However, because I am presently on Estratest, I am concerned that I may have a significant hormone imbalance (possibly androgen excess, or not enough progesterone?) Is there any way that I can find out if this is the case and if so can my hair loss be stopped and/or reversed?    Dr. McLaughlin's Answer

    Question:   Six months ago, I had a TIA and suffered loss of speech and blurred vision. I am still having trouble with regaining my speech. I cannot find words that I normally have no trouble saying. I often have pain in my head (not headaches) and have great trouble retaining new information. I am finding it difficult to function at work this way. Is all this TIA related? Am I having more TIA attacks?    Dr. McLaughlin's Answer

    Question:   I am a 33-year-old female who has been living in Mexico City for the past year working as a newspaper correspondent. I have suffered a great deal of stress especially in the first half year. When I started having more time to myself and was able to relax, I started feeling absolutely exhausted and would occasionally wake up with my heart racing. Now, what worries me is that on some days, I feel a kind of pressure in my head. It's not a pain, more like a tight dullness that keeps me from concentrating. I have been suffering from PMS, which I had not had for a while, along with symptoms of depression and breast tenderness. Could it be that I am developing or have developed a hormone disorder or imbalance? Or could this just be a late reaction to the stress and the pollution in Mexico City and/or the altitude?    Dr. McLaughlin's Answer