Be prepared for your doctor's appointment and you might make life a little easier
Some symptoms are easy peasy and the doctor can give you the answer immediately. Hair loss however, is not like that. Hair loss is often caused by a range of different things - and it's not easy (even for a doctor) 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. The next doctor was quite the opposite: took me very seriously, 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.
They 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 be prepared, and to know what worked for me. Sometimes, I had to be persistent to get what I knew I needed. For some conditions, where there are no easy answers or cures, it is important that you try to learn how your body works. This way you can work together with your doctor to find the best solution.
If you are experiencing hair loss you need to see a doctor. Here are some tips to what you should prepare before the appointment. You might 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 exercise?
Does anyone in your family have any diseases (for example auto immune diseases like hypo- or hyperthyroidism, atopic eczema, alopecia etc.)? These things can be genetic.
Try to really think about your life and write notes. Bringing notes to the appointment can help you remember the important things.
Be ready and confident when the appoinment comes. 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!
Also: keep track of your test results, this way you can track how your body is changing according to medicine, life situation etc.