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Hair loss after pneumonia

(15 Posts)
Tabathatwitchett Sun 20-May-18 03:06:27

Have namechanged for this as I'm ridiculously embarrassed about it.
I had pneumonia back in February. Over the past month or so I've noticed significant amounts of my hair falling out. I have layers in my hair and on one side of my head nearly all of the longest layer has gone. I've just gone into the bathroom and pulled it back into a pony tale with my hands very gently and can feel that it's unbelievably thin at the bottom.
I'm so worried about where it's going to end and how much I'm going to lose. I feel like I'm just about managing to cover it up at the moment but I won't need to lose much more for it to be really obvious.
Has anyone experienced this and can anyone tell me what I should do? I have pondered getting it cut to get rid of the longest layer all round but having it cut when it's falling out seems crazy.

OP’s posts: |
WindyWednesday Sun 20-May-18 08:04:39

I had pleurisy and my hair went really strange a few months afterwards. It was really dull and straw like. I have naturally shiny greasy hair. It lasted a while, maybe six months and then the new hair was normal again. It was odd. My hairdresser still talks about it. It wasn’t my hair if that makes sense.

OdileDeCaray Sun 20-May-18 08:44:21

I was very ill with Pneumonia last year but haven't had any hair loss. It might just be a coincidence so you you should check with your GP.

What are your iron levels like?

Tabathatwitchett Sun 20-May-18 09:11:51

I'm not sure but I have started taking vitamins with iron in them just in case that's the issue.
Windy- that's what mind is like. What's left of it is rubbish hair.

OP’s posts: |
Cateatentoad Sun 20-May-18 09:13:35

Sorry to read that. I had a really nasty dose of the flu in January and I noticed about 8 weeks ago that I was losing handfuls of hair. Really dramatic (to me) and distressing because I wondered how long it was going to go on for. Also, I didn't make the connection for ages until I did some googling and it mentioned hair loss after a serious illness; I then remembered the 3 weeks I was in bed with flu.

The good news is that it stopped about two weeks or so ago (fingers crossed). I keep examining my hair hoping for short regrowth but nothing yet. From anecdotal internet stories it will hopefully grow back in the next 6/12 months but we'll see.

It is strange though - I didn't think that my hair thickness had anything to do with my self-esteem but apparently it did. At the end of the day it's just hair and many people would like to have this as their only problem. I keep telling myself this in the hope that I can gain some perspective as it feels very shallow to be so upset about something so minor in the grand scheme of things. But it is very upsetting so be kind to yourself.

I wish I had bitten the bullet and bought the caffeine shampoo - maybe it wouldn't have made a difference but what harm would trying it do? I think I was burying my head in the sand. I did get blood tests and they were all normal. I decided to get it cut short as I found it distressing feeling how small my ponytail had become.

Roomba Sun 20-May-18 09:16:48

I had a terrible bout of campylobacter which left me unable to keep anything down (or in!) for several weeks. Loads of my hair started falling out a couple of months afterwards. It was awful, when I pulled my hair off my face I had receding hair at my temples that went halfway back to my crown!

I was very anaemic as it turned out, also had v low levels of vit D. Once I sorted that out, I had loads of tiny hairs growing back all at once, like a fuzzy halo round my head. Get checked by your GP as it may be caused by a deficiency.

Tabathatwitchett Sun 20-May-18 09:24:47

I will ring the GP tomorrow and sort a blood test.
Totally agree re the self esteem stuff. I'm in my 40s and way past the point of desperate worrying about my looks but I feel rubbish about it. I'm really concerned that if much more goes, everyone will be able to tell and I have no idea what to do about that.

OP’s posts: |
somethingfunnysomethingclever Sun 20-May-18 12:28:24

Could it be Telogen Effluvium caused by your pneumonia? Your hair will grow back in about 6-12 months of the trigger stopping

www.bad.org.uk/shared/get-file.ashx?id=132&itemtype=document

somethingfunnysomethingclever Sun 20-May-18 12:30:20

P.s that links ^ from The British Association of Dermatologists so might be useful

Tabathatwitchett Sun 20-May-18 15:42:31

I actually think that is exactly right. I have no symptoms and although there is absolutely lots of hair gone, there aren't any bald patches obviously showing at the moment. "Luckily" I'm managing just about to cover it at least I think I am
I'm pleased that it's likely to be short term but scared that there's likely to be another 3 months of it, and wondering what it'll look like by then....

OP’s posts: |
DebbiePec Fri 10-May-19 02:14:24

Hi. I’m going through exactly the same thing. I had the influenza plus an pneumonia in late January February and was even in the hospital for 4 days. About a month ago I started losing so much hair just as you explained. I had so much hair before as well and I’ve lost maybe 70%. I can still barely get away with it because I had so much. I’ve also been extremely tired. Taking showers is devastating. I had all the bloodwork done and everything is fine. I’m going to a dermatologist tomorrow so I’ll let you know what he says. I have a feeling it is from the stress on my body that was done by the pneumonia. I was so sick. I’ll let you know what my doctor says. Hang in there. I knows is hard.

skunkatanka Sun 12-May-19 16:01:24

Just to update, it did settle eventually and I had it cut into a graduated bob which sorted it. I need to get it dyed (to cover the grey bits) but haven't yet as I wanted to give it time to recover.

skunkatanka Sun 12-May-19 16:01:46

Sorry re name change fail there!

vacation2 Thu 06-Jun-19 21:20:13

DebbiePec any outcome to your dermatologist appointment? I'm going through the same exact thing now. Blood work is perfect. I don't know what to do.

jerseybrit76 Fri 03-Apr-20 13:42:12

Just had to say thank you so much for this post. I had pneumonia and Sepsis in Dec/Jan (lucky to be alive) and I've noticed so much hair loss recently. I'm so worried that I will lose it all. I dropped 20 lbs too and my periods stopped so it really shouldn't be a surprise that this is happening, I've been through a lot. But I'm finding this hard to cope with.
What is the caffeine shampoo? Should I try that?
Always a comfort not to feel alone. And it sounds like I will get back to normal given time!
Thanks.

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