Seeing the doctor is not just an appointment where you sit down and say what’s wrong. Seeing the doctor is about getting the answers that can actually help you.
Many symptoms are easy peasy and the doctor can give you the answer immediately. Hair loss however, is not like that. Hair loss is caused by a range of different things - and your doctor is not usually lucky enough to determine the right cause just like that.
My first visit to the doctor when I started losing my hair was a not-so-good experience. The doctor basically told me I was overreacting, that my hair loss was not excessive and would pass with time. He did not see me: the worried 22-year-old girl with stress up to her ears, worried and scared that something was very wrong. I felt stupid leaving his office. And more importantly, he hadn’t done the tests I needed. I needed to be tested for lots of things, but was sent home as an over dramatic girl with no chill. I never went back. The next doctor did the right tests, talked to me about my life situation, gave advice, understood what I was going through and gave me the right medication.
I found out I had hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism needs to be followed up and medication often needs to be altered, so I went to the doctor several times. I moved to a new city, and by meeting new doctors, I learnt that the most important thing was to never leave that office without my questions answered. I had to fight for what I needed, because ultimately, it was my body and my responsibility. This is extremely important to keep in mind when you are seeing your doctor - be firm and don’t leave until you get an answer! If you are not being understood, change doctor. It’s as easy (and hard) as that.
If you are experiencing hair loss you need to see a doctor. Here are some tips to what you should prepare before the appointment. Think of it as an important presentation where you need to be well prepared.
Go back in time and set an approximate date: when did the hair loss start?
Think about your life situation right now and the past few months. Has anything been out of the ordinary? Are you stressed? Do you have any people bringing drama into your life? It can be helpful to try and remember what you think about before you go to sleep, is anything worrying you?
Consider your diet: what do you eat and drink? Do you get enough sleep? Do you exercize?
Does anyone in your family have any diseases (for example auto immune diseases like hypo- or hyperthyroidism, atopic eczema, alopecia etc)?
Try to really think about your life and write notes. Bringing notes to the appointment can help you to not forget the important things.
Man up! Be ready and confident when the appoinment comes. Don’t be scared to present your cause. It is your body and your responsibility.
Don’t leave until you have said everything you wanted to say and asked all the questions you have. Asking questions is key!