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Old 07-06-2019, 07:49 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
3,203 posts, read 3,196,256 times
Reputation: 2031

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I've been reading about this online for while now and there is definitely a link between the two.

I have been on high blood pressure meds for something like 15 years now. I was diagnosed when I was in my mid 20s (at the time it was very high...about 190/160...something like that).

I have been on a couple of different meds throughout the years and have noticed my hair has gone from SUPER thick and fairly long to just...lifeless. I feel the meds are a major contributor because after my first year on them (I had moved out of state around the time I started taking them), once I returned home for a visit it was the FIRST thing everyone commented on. They couldn't believe my hair had changed so much since last seeing me; I was known for having a full/thick head of hair. I was not overweight and I worked out regularly so I knew it was the meds.

I just accepted I had to be on them and started to deal with the hair thinning by always wearing a high bun as I like that style on me anyway, and it covers up the fact that hair is thinning in the crown area.

Well, at this point, yearssss later, it's been a very long, slow progressive road towards even more hair thinning and now loss. I'm actually balding in my crown now. I just turned 40 and I do understand it could be due to aging but I just feel it's the side effects from the meds still. I also did something NO ONE should do; I took myself off my meds for an entire year once; the results were amazing...I had my usual crazy thick hair back by the end of that year (which thinned back out again after going back on my meds).

I have been on lisinopril/HCTZ most recentl for years now, and my doctor said I could choose to come off of one so I came off of HCTZ and haven't noticed much of a difference. However, now I'm thinking I should have asked my doc to take me off of lisinopril instead and leave me on HCTZ as my reading so far hasn't come up with many people complaining of hair loss from that med. Either that, or just drop both and try spirinolactone which I understand supposedly helps with hair loss in addition to BP.

I understand everyone's body is different but I would really love to hear from those women who have struggled with their hair after being on bp meds. Please share your story and if you were able to change to a med that worked. I'm particularly interested in those who were on HCTZ alone or spirinolactone. If you happen to be African American if you could share this as well; I am and have worn my hair natural this entire time fyi (no relaxers since 1999).
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Old 07-06-2019, 09:26 AM
 
3,964 posts, read 1,693,299 times
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Hair thinning is usually due to an underlying hormonal imbalance. You could have that due to PCOS (which usually pops up in the mid-20s when you started to notice the symptoms of hair loss) or some other hormonal problem. One sign of PCOS is male pattern baldness. It can also cause high blood pressure. Have you been checked for that? One reason that spironolactone is recommended is because it regulates the production of androgens, which causes some of the problems (like hair loss/acne) related to PCOS. It is also a diuretic. I would say that it would be worth a try for you.
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Old 07-06-2019, 11:26 AM
 
Location: Southern California
23,678 posts, read 8,235,451 times
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OP: Could be a sluggish thyroid as it's so often missed by the docs, even thou one's number are fine...I was one of them for 10 miserable years as they kept telling me "you are fine, you have good numbers"... We are not numbers and many do need some thyroid support...hair loss is a major symptom of thyroid dsyfunction.

And I hope you are doing a lot for yourself to keep BP in good order...it does go up and down all the time and also I believe taking some magnesium daily helps that issue too. So much fear in this BP issue and then there is the white coat issue in doc's offices.

I was given HCTZ when I first got on Atenolol years ago and in recent times I've cut that 5mg tab in half and some days don't take it all ... I take Amlopidine also.

We had talked about how the researchers are now saying the sugars have been the culprit in all this BP issue. I've cut way back on those and use moderate salts and eat potassium rich foods.

Last edited by jaminhealth; 07-06-2019 at 11:36 AM..
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Old 07-06-2019, 11:53 AM
 
Location: State of Transition
78,581 posts, read 70,482,002 times
Reputation: 76542
Quote:
Originally Posted by RamenAddict View Post
Hair thinning is usually due to an underlying hormonal imbalance. You could have that due to PCOS (which usually pops up in the mid-20s when you started to notice the symptoms of hair loss) or some other hormonal problem. One sign of PCOS is male pattern baldness. It can also cause high blood pressure. Have you been checked for that? One reason that spironolactone is recommended is because it regulates the production of androgens, which causes some of the problems (like hair loss/acne) related to PCOS. It is also a diuretic. I would say that it would be worth a try for you.
This sounds like a good avenue to explore. You could also get your thyroid checked for good measure. Check the thyroid numbers yourself, if they tell you they're "fine". If TSH is on the high side of the "normal" range, and T4 is low, that divergent pattern indicates that underlying thyroid disease could be present.

What kind of meds do they have you taking? Are they BP-lowering meds only? IOW, no further inquiry or testing was done, to figure out the underlying cause? If that's true, they're just giving you a band-aid solution, at the (quite likely unnecessary) expense of your hair. You should be questioning this. Shop around for some specialists who are interested in getting to the bottom of the situation. Or as the quoted poster says, the hair loss could be due to the underlying condition itself, rather than the meds. Either way, you need more info from the medical world, than you've been given. You have a right to know if you've been diagnosed with PCOS, or something else, or nothing more than high BP.
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Old 07-08-2019, 01:08 PM
 
9,354 posts, read 6,251,862 times
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Blood pressure medications. Beta blockers, including the following, can cause hair loss: metoprolol (Lopressor)
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Old 07-08-2019, 01:30 PM
 
2,225 posts, read 1,098,119 times
Reputation: 9082
I started on atenolol 35 years ago, and it seemed like my hair was thinning while I was taking atenolol. My doctor switched me to lisinopril with no further problems, have been taking lisinopril since then.
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Old 07-08-2019, 01:47 PM
 
Location: Kansas City North
4,036 posts, read 7,315,397 times
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I’m 64, I’ve been on HCTZ and Atenolol for close to 40 years. Always had thick hair and never noticed any difference. The past few years I think it is slightly thinner but I blame that on “older” age.
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Old 07-08-2019, 08:28 PM
 
9,354 posts, read 6,251,862 times
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Remember, side effect is a nebulous term


If one person on the med files an adverse effect form after having the flu after starting the med, flu becomes added to the side effect list
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Old Today, 08:12 AM
 
Location: Dark Side of the Moon
152 posts, read 30,971 times
Reputation: 410
Even 'aging' hair loss is usually due to an underlying hormonal issue as our hormones decrease with age, but I think 40 is still fairly young to experience extreme hair loss for that reason. Some hair loss is also a result of autoimmune diseases.

If your thyroid is fine, no PCOS, no autoimmune disease, consider BCP's as a possible problem, if you take them since some birth control pills do cause hair loss due to their impact on hormones.

Also, because you're 40, other hormones could be changing rapidly, so I'd consider a talking with dr about a bioidentical HRT as an option; you're well within the range of perimenopause, which could be a factor. BTW: there are lots of creams you can buy OTC. I use this one and this one.
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Old Today, 12:16 PM
 
Location: Southern California
23,678 posts, read 8,235,451 times
Reputation: 15440
About hair loss, I think of my mom and she had thick hair all her life until into 60's and thinking about this, I don't think she ever took any thyroid support, so this could have been a major issue. Hair loss is a big one with sluggish thyroid.
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