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Can acupuncture cause hair loss?


#1

Hello, I had about 8 months of acupuncture and herbs in an effort of achieving pregnancy, which was unsuccessful. However, now I’ve noticed the last few months my head hair seems to be thinning and falling out a lot, and also I have noticed black spots in my field of vision. I was wondering if all the treatments to get the blood flow better to the ovaries and uterus could have taken it away from my head/eyes causing a resulting problem?
Or could this just be a new problem entirely that has nothing to do with it?

For reference I’m a 42 year old female, last year had multiple blood tests to check hormones and thyroid while trying to get pregnant and everything came out normal aside from discovering the MTHFR mutation for which I have switched from folic acid to methyl folate in my vitamins.


#2

No the treatments are not re-steering circulation, that’s just not how things work physiologically.

Hair loss is a common sign of thyroid imbalances - as is fertility. More than likely your treatments were simply not correct and the condition that is also contributing to the fertility issues has progressed. Technically normal thyroid tests do not indicate that there isn’t an issue there. So it’s good that those came back normal - did run just TSH, or an extensive panel T3, T4, autoimmune antibodies, etc.? and what were the numbers?

What herbal formulas were you on and what amounts and how often did you receive acupuncture?


#3

Hi, I was getting weekly acupuncture from a specialist in fertility, and she was prescribing formulas based on follicular or luteal phase (usually variants of rehmannia 6 for follicular and formulas with more warming effect for luteal phase from what I recall, they were custom formulas ).
My cycles are regular 26-27 days and have been unchanged. Age and egg quality was given as the likely reason for no pregnancy by the western doctor. Just under two years ago I had two natural pregnancies before receiving any treatments, but both resulted in miscarriages. Have had no pregnancy since.

Blood tests for estriadol, LH, FSH, etc. were all normal/good.
Other results -
TSH: 1.430 uIU/mL|
T4,Free(Direct) 1.31 ng/dL
Thyroid Peroxidase Antibody: 11 IU/mL
Thyroglobulin Antibody: <1.0 IU/mL

There were several other blood tests I have results for, and all were found “normal.” These were all done end of last year. Let me know your other thoughts…


#4

Any other relevant symptoms? What does your tongue look like?

From the read of it, and the miscarriages, you are likely more blood deficient than kidney deficient so they may have just been missing the mark a bit. Your cycles are technically short - how many days do you bleed for? - any other issues with the cycles, what color is the blood when the cycle starts?


#5

Thanks.
Other symptoms are sometimes fatigue in the mornings and afternoons. For a long time I was having loose stools but that’s shown some improvement. Some tinnitus, occasional cold feet/toes.
Tongue always has a bit of thick coating, with the coating coming off in spots and that changes some during the month. I was told that was a dampness issue.
Periods last for about 5 days, the blood starts out brownish and ends brownish, during the middle it’s red and usually has some clots. Usually not much pain/cramping.
The reason the cycles are a little short is because my luteal phase is rarely longer than about 12 days.


#7

Now I can only offer so much without seeing you physically - but my recommendation would be to find another practitioner if you have choices in your area.

You have signs of blood deficiency and spleen qi deficiency/dampness from what it sounds like. Yin tonics, such as liu wei di huang wan, can be problematic with your diagnosis. Now it may have been modified to avoid that. Either way, while conception itself is difficult to guarantee with regards to time frame - your other symptoms should have vastly improved in that 8 month time frame and it sounds like, if anything, they have worsened.

More than likely you need a different approach - stages of herbs - damp clearing first, then tonifying the blood and qi. Within 3-4 months you should have had more appropriate length cycles, more energy and the dampness on the tongue should have been gone.


#8

Thank you. Yes, most of what she did was stimulation to the ovaries during sessions, and “yin” and “yang” herbs depending on the time of the cycle, in order to try and achieve pregnancy.
At this point my goal is no longer that, but hopefully correcting the thinning/falling head hair, black spots in my vision field, and occasional fatigue and tinnitus. Are those also attributed to the dampness?


#9

As I don’t know your current practitioner, I don’t want this to sound judgmental - but more of a general statement. Personally, I’m very leery of Chinese Medicine practitioners who “specialize” in anything and in particular fertility. I get that in some denser areas in may help them to standout amongst other practitioners and/or that they may like working with that population - both of which are fine. Why it bothers me, is that in a way you don’t treat “fertility” - you do what you are now considering - you treat the entire person and then with regards to fertility they will very likely get pregnant. Trying to push conception without doing that leads to very poor results - similar to western interventions. Potential problems with specializing (same with western medicine) is that it may lead to myopic views and poor systemic awareness which is critical for Chinese Medicine and valuable for western medicine. Along those lines practitioners may not see a broad enough array of issues to truly deepen their practice.

As far as your more specific question - no the fatigue, hair and vision spots are likely blood deficiency - which can be a precursor to dampness (i.e. weak spleen qi) - the tinnitus could be from dampness, but may also arise from blood and/or yin deficiency.


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