Update: My Hair Loss

First off, I want to thank each one of you for your prayers and well wishes as I’ve dealt with some health issues lately!  If you haven’t seen my previous video about my hairloss, you can watch it here.

To make a long story short, I have lost 70% of my hair in the last 3 years.  I am not old enough for menopause (I am only 33) and this is not normal hair loss that comes with age. Along with the hairloss, my symptoms have included:

  • Full on panic attacks
  • Severe stomach (ulcer like) problems
  • Light headed
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Acne
  • Dry skin
  • Excema
  • Hair loss
  • (rest of the symptoms associated with low stomach acid listed here)

In the last 3 months, I’ve literally had multiple doctors visits, 2 rounds of bloodwork, EKG, Ultrasound, and host of other tests.  Doctors prescribed me antacids and said I had GERD or Acid Reflux.  Within 6 weeks of being on them, my symptoms worsened to the point of being taken to hospital twice and an additional 2 paramedic visits. I was blacking out, throwing up daily, and had the worst upper stomach pain I’ve ever experienced.

Here are the illnesses I have been tested for and came back negative:

  • Hormone imbalance
  • Thyroid imabalance
  • H Pylori
  • Ulcers
  • Heart Problems (did EKG and full blood workup)
  • PCOS (did ultrasound of ovaries)
  • Scalp infections (saw a dermatologist to check my scalp for the hair loss)
  • Vitamin Deficiencies (everything was normal except Iron- I now know it’s due to low stomach acid)

Exhausted from enough tests to feel like a lab rat and tired of feeling like utter crap, I did tons of research and took matters into my own hands (not that I’m recommending this, but I was desperate). I found my symptoms matched exactly to low stomach acid. The solution:  an easy fix of HLC with Pepsin vitamins.  Cost me $15 from the local vitamin shop.   Here’s a good article about low stomach acid if you want to research! http://www.modernherbalist.com/betaine.html  and http://www.livestrong.com/article/493568-how-to-test-for-low-hcl-acid-in-the-stomach/    Please talk to your doctor, a holistic doctor or do what I did and do your research before doing something this drastic. The same day I stopped my antacids and began the vitamins my symptoms completely reversed!

Hopefully this is the answer and my body will get back to normal. I really wanted to share this with all of you so it would help even just a few people going through the same thing as me. Also, I know I haven’t been filming as much as I use to and hopefully this will help you understand why as I have really just not felt good in quite a while.

Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers. It means more to me than you will ever know or could ever realize. I will keep you posted and let you know how this continues to go for me. PLEASE, stay happy AND healthy!!!

XOXO,

Marlena

  • are

    Dear Marlena, while I hope that this does work for you, it really is not wise to self-diagnose, and definitely not on the basis of the stuff you read online, where people who have no credentials at all tend to spout off on their theories of health. If you feel you need to go the holistic route, as you put it, then please visit an Osteopath or other medical professional with experience in the practice. Truth be told, “low stomach acid” doesn’t sound to me like it has anything to do with your problem; and self-diagnosing it as a malnourishment issue could pose a very serious risk to your health. Please see a medical professional.

    • Tamar

      totally agree with you

      • marlena

        I did see holistic doctor that night, and he agreed with my diagnosis :) I did a full blood workup as well as saliva test with him and everything was “A+” except for Iron and stomach acid. I’m going to him now as my regular doctor, so I go back in 2 months for a followup :)

        • Bmarie

          happy you are finding some breakthrough! Medical doctors can be amazing, but sometimes they are unable to find answers too. I have been through this myself (as well as many others I know), and it is an awesome blessing when you can start to find some relief. Hopefully it helps with the hair loss too, but even if it does, yay for your other symptoms backing off! Praying for full restoration! Hugs from the PNW :)

        • Jennifer Precious Duff

          all the stomach acid which I’m not surprised if not burning your throat is from the food. Makes you feel like not eating at all, I can understand that feeling.

        • Raindrops

          Some people don’t believe that we do everything and anything including seeing great doctors without better results. They give you medicine but symptoms often get worse. I think that you need to do whatever works for you if you don’t feel better.

      • Jennifer Precious Duff

        Marlene, that was the reason for my hair loss malnourishment. Not a self-diagnosed however diagnosed by my doctor. I had gastric by pass and from the malnourishment I lost my hair along with muscle mass. No matter how much protein or vitamins I took the weight came off faster. I swear to you once I changed my diet to organic all natural I got better. My stomach don’t hurt, my hair and nails grow. I do take handful of vitamins however I could never eat enough to get all the daily allowance of vitamins that I should. I follow you on Facebook also, message me if you have more questions. I swear all your symptoms are the same as mine were.

    • xo

      Thereis no way you actually watched this video or even read what was written above. How many times did she say she has been to the doctor? Doctors are medical professionals and they are not all created equal. They are the ones giving her the prescriptions for the drugs that are not working. I wonder if you were a young woman losing her hair, vomiting and having all of the symptoms she has described for three years would you not start doing some research on your own. I respect doctors but some of them could care less about you or diagnosing your problem. Many of them just want to get paid lots of money.

      • are

        Actually, I did watch and did read. Evidently you did not either read what I wrote or understand it. I said nothing about it being wrong to do her own research. I said that doing your own research and self-diagnosing is not smart. It is especially not smart when you come up with a diagnosis which is not a disease, but a symptom of a disease. All too often, people start treating the symptom and the disease gets worse. That is what I fear is happening here. You may not care that the her self-diagnosis suggests a possibility of a disease that, left untreated, could be fatal, but I do.

        • xo

          I did as well. I was mostly referring to your suggestion that she see a medical professional and she has stated that she has many times. She said she has had two rounds of blood work and many many tests that came back negative. She is continuing to see doctors but it helps to start somewhere and taking antacids per doctor’s orders clearly was not working. I’m not a Dr. but I doubt antacids are going to cure any fatal disease ether. Wouldn’t you agree?

          • xo

            And I hope that her issue is not something fatal.

        • suedechik79

          Most doctors are trained to treat symptoms.

    • RL

      You must be a “medical professional”.

    • suedechik79

      Mecical professionals are only as good as their training. Since you are never there to witness their training, randomly asking her to see a “professional” is ridiculous. It might take years upon years to see a decent doctor.

    • MK

      She clearly did not self-diagnose. She did some of her own research after being thoroughly examined and tested by medical professionals. Also, a reasonably intelligent person knows how to compile similar information from reliable websites online and not buy into every piece of advice spouted at random on the internet. In this day and age, where information is so readily available….reliable, professional information, it’s downright silly NOT to do your own investigations into symptoms you may be having. Just use common sense and good judgement when doing so, which is clearly what Marlena did here. Good for her.

  • Ella

    From all the symptoms you mentioned sounds exactly like crohn’s disease ( I have this myself) or colitis (minus a few symptoms). Though I hope it is only low stomach acid as it’s easier to medicate. I hope you feel better soon! I had hair loss, low stomach acid (I kept throwing it up), weight loss, skin rashes including eczema, ulcers, nausea and vomiting. It took 5 months of seeing various doctors from different departments, they even said that it was me being a “typical female” and wanting to loose weight, which lead to my symptoms, as I was supposedly bulimic. In the end it took major surgery before I even started feeling better again.

    I hope your doctor can finally give you the answers you need! :)

    • Its Aidan

      It’s funny, I have CD as well and I’ve had the same exact symptoms at one point or all at once. I wonder if a colonoscopy is in order or an upper Endoscopy? I hope low stomach acid is the case as I would never want not one more person having this awful disease! Praying for you, Marlena!! You only deserve good things in life!

  • are

    PS also hypochlorhydria, or low stomach acid, is a symptom int self. It is not a disease. It can be a sign of anything from mere ulcers to stomach cancer. if you think this is really your problem, you should take your thoughts, again, to a medical professional who can perform the proper tests on you to find out (1) if that really is the issue and (2) why you have it. Masking the symptom will not cure you of the disease.

  • NormaJeane

    I think it’s Pepsin, not Pepcid.

  • AmyB

    Marlena, I think you are on the right track. If you aren’t already, I’d encourage you to also take a quality EPA omega-3 fatty acids supplement.
    My naturopath put me on the HCL protocol after a very traumatic event. It goes like this:
    Eat a meal that contains at least 15-20grams of protein (about 4-6ounces of meat).
    Start by taking 1 pill (650mg of less) of Betaine HCL during the beginning of the meal
    Finish the meal as normal and observe your body for any changes in feeling associated with the stomach and belly button area. Things to look for: heaviness, hotness, burning, or other GI distress.
    Stay at this dosage of 1 pill for another day of meals with protein and if you don’t notice anything on the 3rd day, try 2 pills.
    Stay there for another day and then try 3 pills.
    Keep increasing the number of pills taken with each meal until you notice some GI discomfort described in step #3.
    When this happens, you will know your ideal Betaine HCL dosage is 1 pill less. For example, if you felt the discomfort going from 5 pills to 6 pills, then 5 pills is your proper dosage for a normal meal.

    Taking HCL is helpful, but it isn’t completely effective if not taken at the proper dose.

    My naturopath was Meridian Grace. I saw her when she was in Austin, but I think she’s somewhere in California now. Oxnard,maybe? You might try looking her up to see if she is close to you. She’s amazing.

    • AmyB

      It looks like Meridian is back in Austin now. However, this is the protocol she subscribed for me. So try it and see how it goes.
      Good luck!

    • marlena

      Thanks so much! That’s what my holistic doctor had me do too :) I’m at 3 pills per meal now.

  • Jenny_del_Castillo

    Hi Marlena! I hope it works the new way you have taken, but I also agree with what are said. Also, you should (in case you haven´t yet) ask for a fully blood test to see if you have your iron levels correct, and also to check if it can be a thyroid problem, and I´m telling you this because I was diagnosed 3 years ago with this problem, and I was having at that time symptoms like panic attacks, nausea, and also hair loss, and it was because I had hypothyroidism and iron deficiency. So if you can, it is recommended to make a full blood test to check and discard those diseases. I´m writing you this not in a bad way, but because I´ve been watching your videos almost since you started on Youtube and because I think you´re one of the most kind and beautiful person (inside and out) I have ever known (unfortunately I don´t know you in person, but I get to know you a little bit in every video you make) :)

    • marlena

      Thank you so much Jenny! I had my thyroid checked, and it came back normal (I’ve actually had it checked 8 times in the last several years as every doctor thought that was my problem) Thanks for your sweet comment and for your support :) xoxo

      • Ina

        I don’t know how it’s like in the USA, but if there is a specialist in endocrinology, you should see him/her, because they can do a more special blood test than normal doctors and they are specialised in this complicated field.

        • A warrior’s heart

          I do agree with this and they also do not just take the TSH level into the norm/abnormal as the answer. There are also calcium levels, as well as,
          several other thyroid blood tests. I do recommend an endocrinologist. I have been in the medical field for 15 yrs. I believe in Natural Path clinicians as well as internal Medicine. I also know that a lot of the time you do need to be persistent and fight for your health due to Ella’s example of the way certain docs treat women. Be diligent and do not take no for an answer!

          • Angie Townsend Telford

            I agree, drs say TSH is the gold standard for thyroid tests, but it’s not. And although you may truly have low stomach acid, it also sounds like a thyroid issue that can cause the low stomach acid and all the other symptoms. I have Hashimotos and have all the same symptoms and have been to numerous docs over 13 years and just got a confirmed diagnosis this week… so I hope you DON’T have thyroid issues, but don’t leave any stones unturned when it comes to your health.
            We love you so much and you’re such an inspiration! I’ve followed you for years. Keep up the good work, beautiful!

      • Monica

        Hey Marlena,

        How are things going? I went through a similar experience about a year ago after I noticed that my hair was falling out and I had developed a bald spot. I was twenty five at the time, so I knew it couldn’t be due to old age. I had a lot of the other symptoms you described too – the panic attacks, the dry skin, and the nausea. I also had a growth on my neck (which I know you didn’t mention). My anxiety had gotten really bad and was interfering with my ability to function in school so I started seeing a psychologist. I described all of my symptoms to her — including the hair loss (which I have to be honest, scared me the most at the time) and she kept insisting that I get my thyroid hormone levels checked. I had them checked several times, and like you, my levels kept coming back normal. I also went through the same barrage of lab tests. I started to feel like a lab rat! It is normally really difficult for people to draw blood from me, but since I was going so often I knew exactly what to tell the lab technicians who were drawing my blood to do, and oftentimes there was still a mark from the last time I had blood drawn. Everything came back normal — except for my iron levels. I felt really helpless because I had all these symptoms but nothing seemed to be coming back as off!

        In my case, however, I had a growth on my neck that felt hard which gave more credence to the idea that I had a thyroid hormone imbalance (since a goiter can be a symptom of a thyroid problem). My doctor thought it was strange so she referred me to someone else. Long story short — I ended up having thyroid cancer. I do not want to scare you, especially since you do not have a growth like I did, but I do think that you should check your thyroid as thoroughly as possible because oftentimes the tests are wrong and there is something wrong with your thyroid. Actually, before I realized I did have a serious thyroid problem, my psychologist told me to just ask my doctor for thyroid hormone pills and to start taking them and see if when I took them the problems went away. She said she that many doctors were treating thyroid problems differently because the tests kept back negative in cases where people did have problems — so they were giving the hormones to people who had the symptoms too instead of just people whose lab tests came back positive.

        Anyway, I hope things work out for the best.
        ~Monica

      • megster

        Marlena: first off, I am a doctor. Hormone test results are only part of the picture; one must also consider symptoms. One can have clinical (observable) symptoms of androgen excess without having high blood levels of androgen. It’s suspected that some women are particularly sensitive to normal levels of androgens. Many people experience a treatment delay because their doctor(s) possess a poor understanding of hyperandrogenism. Persistent acne and hair loss in one’s thirties is a good indicator that it might be testosterone. I know that doesn’t address the other health issues you mention, but it’s possible you’re dealing with more than thing. I hope you’re feeling better these days. If you aren’t, I’d recommend you keep looking for a better doctor.

  • Kayanna Dooley

    Marlena,

    Hey! We have never met, but you have been a big inspiration to me these past few years. Your talent at teaching women how to apply makeup, and your positive attitude is such a joy to see. I have experienced many of the symptoms that you talk about in your hair loss video. I was feeling awful for over a year, losing my hair, upset stomach, countless trips to the doctor and ER, and many other things as well. It turned out that I had gallstones, and my pancreas was super messed up too from trying to keep up. I dont know if you have had yours looked at, or if your doctor has ran any specific tests checking your gallbladder out, but maybe its worth a shot? I feel so much better after having it removed and recovering :)

    I hope that was helpful! I hate to see others in pain :(

    You’re always in my thoughts and prayers!

    Lots of love,
    Kayanna.

    • marlena

      Hi Kayanna!

      I actually had my gallbladder removed last August, so that complicated my diagnosis as well. Still trying to do more tests to make sure everything is ok with my GI tract- we will see!

      • are

        Having your gallbladder removed could have created a problem with digesting certain foods (not, as you suggested, protein, but fats — all fats). And that, too, could create weakness. Also bear in mind that the symptoms you are citing could be the result of multiple problems, not just one. I’m actually starting to wonder if you’ve been checked for Hashimotos disease, which is an autoimmune disease that can manifest as alopecia, digestive disorders, breathing disorders and others.

      • Yess

        hi Marlena,
        I have beige watchng your vídeos for several years (since ten time you used to use painterly paint poat the time :) ) and love your work and how nice you are!… I also had my gallbladder removed and had being suffering from hair loss and most of the simptoms you describe in my specific case my stomac is unable to break down fats, and As same as you after a couple of years of dealing with medication that was just making me feel more sick and using medications to reduce the side effects I am starting to work with a naturopath doctor. There is still a long way for me but I feel better and keep doing my research. My only advice is keep asking questions and educate yourself, look for reputable sources and read as much as you can. Remember that if we want to have better Heath we need to lead the change.

        Thank you for being an inspiration for me and hope one day you can do a video in how to hide dark spots in your skin (liver damage after years of nasty medications :( )

        All the best
        Yessica from Calgary Canada

      • Jennifer Precious Duff

        I had my gallbladder removed also and the comment below is correct. This makes digesting food harder, all organic natural is the only thing that has stopped this and worked for me.

  • Jodie

    Holistic methods are not real medicine for a reason. Talk to a real doctor about what you think the problem is and get a professional opinion, what you read on the internet can’t be trusted.

    • marlena

      I agree to some point, and I’ve seen 11 doctors in the last several years. I still go to regular doctors, but am also working alongside a holistic doctor :)

    • are

      Amen. As the brilliant Tim Minchin says, “you know what they call alternative medicine that works? ‘Medicine.’”

    • C

      Where do you think medicine came from?! Back before we had medical degrees and everything came in pill form we had herbalists and naturopaths. If those things didnt still work then there would be no market for them. Marlena feels her naturopath is working for her, why cant you just accept that? Shes a grown woman, not some teenager who is taking the internet as gospel and has said MANY times that she’s been to a number of doctors who continually misdiagnosed her (most likely because “real Doctors” miss the point and want the numbers and the money and not the satisfaction of knowing that they have fixed a person, also you make less money off healthy people than sick people), and now she has found something that works. Why is that bad?! Get off the horse darlin!

      • <3 Alison

        Thank you!!! Best thing I’ve ever done was find my holistic doctor who treated the root problem and didn’t cover up my symptoms with pill prescriptions. I’d take herbs and vitamins aka natural stuff any day over pills. Anyways, thankful that there’s open minded people put there like you! :)

  • Jackie

    Marlena,
    I’ve been watching you on YouTube for years and you’re one of the sweetest women on there. When I watched your hair loss video , I cried as my story was identical to yours. One day I had this thick head of horse hair and then suddenly and quickly I lost tons of hair to a pt that my scalp was showing and actually sore! Like you I went to a million drs, a ton of blood work , and handed a box of rogaine and pretty much told ah its not that bad! First women’s hair loss is not taken seriously! I continued to seek answers but never really received a firm reason. I did start taking a hair loss vitamin by ridgecrest farms and it did help ( no I don’t work for them)
    As I’m reading your story I’m amazed because I have upper stomach problems as well. Marlena, you will get through this and find your answers. I’m glad your working with both a medical and holistic Dr. Stay strong love, you will get better and have many in your corner supporting and loving you each step of the way!!

    • marlena

      Thanks for your support Jackie! I hope you get the answers you need too. Hang in there, and remember that hair doesn’t define your beauty :) It’s hard for me too to accept, but I’ve learned how to work around it. My focus now is on keeping healthy. BIG hugs

      • Karina

        Hi Jackie and Marlena,

        Wow I have actually experienced some of these stomach symptoms too and for years I have experienced hair loss. Many times I feel like I am the only one that is going through this but now I know that many woman and young girls experience hair loss as well. Jackie, do you know where I can find the hair loss vitamin you got? that would be very helpful:) and Marlena I do hope you get better and your symptoms go away! At least now those vitamins you got are helping:)

        • Jackie

          Hi Marlena and Karina.
          Yes, many women experience hair loss from many different reasons. And we are not alone! I think its not taken seriously for women and I say keep searching for a Dr who you feel does. I do feel mine was from stress and lack of proper nutrition as some hair has grown back which allowed me to stop obsessing so much over it! If that makes sense
          I found out about Hair revive from Ridgecrest after reading reviews online I don’t believe much but it did work for me. Also Kerastase makes a wonderful shampoo which I feels helps called Bain age recharge for tight scalps and aging scalps.
          Please do your research on the vitamins because I’m not here to promote anyone just sharing the route I chose :) I’ll never regrow all of what was lost but I like you beautiful Marlena / Katrina will not go down without a fight!! You beautiful ladies enjoy your day. Please keep us updated OK xo

          • Karina

            Thank you so much Jackie! I’ll definitely keep on researching. Sometimes it seems like people don’t think it’s a big deal so I have to do this on my own. But thank you for your advice and support! You’re both beautiful too.

  • Kimberly

    Marlena…

    Do a YouTube search for Dr. Berg and his video “Understanding acid, alkaline and the many myths on pH”. It totally addresses the pH issues and why the doctors couldn’t find your low stomach acid on your blood work.

    Glad you found out–from what you’ve described, I’ve got a lot of the same symptoms as you and my hair has been thinning out like crazy for quite a while now.

  • banaberry

    hun I really hope you feel better, honestly it sounds like you are suffering from anxiety (panic attacks) as those symptoms you listed are all symptoms of anxiety and panic attacks. When my panic attacks started I also had hair loss, if you are not on an ssri you might need to consider that, I hope you get better hun

    • are

      smart answer. Absolutely.

    • marlena

      I have gone down that route years ago when I first had panic attacks, and I’m sure some symptoms may be from that :( But I know it’s something with my stomach too. Thanks for your support :) xoxo

  • banaberry

    and also hun visit the psychiatrist if you haven’t already because they know everything about anxiety and they can teach you coping techniques

  • Charlotte

    Dear Marlena, what a terrific thing for you to share this with us all… very unselfish thing to do too. I know what it’s like to go from doctor to doctor, shelling out big $$$ and getting no answers… good on you for taking your health both seriously and into your own hands, my hear goes out to you. I wish you every success in both your business and your health… as I always say, stay happy, well, safe & warm… from a chilly Melbourne Australia xxx

    • marlena

      Thank you so much Charlotte! xoxo

  • Curious

    Marlena,

    How did you find a good holistic doctor? I live in the middle of the USA in a rural area and am not even sure how to go about finding a good doc. My daughter has had tons of issues and all we get is medicine to reduce symptoms, but nothing to help the root of the issues. Could you discuss a little about finding your doctor?

    • marlena

      I did TONS of research online in my area. It really sucks, but I had to see 3 different holistic doctors (which adds up very quickly) before I found one that was really good. I would look up reviews online and ask around for any recommendations. It’s a lot of work, but the best things I’ve ever done! I highly recommend holistic doctors as they believe in nutrition and root causes vs just meds. Good luck to you!

      • Tina Wilson

        Marlena

        Will you please share the name of your holistic doctor? I live in Roseville and would love the reference.

        Thanks so much!

        Tina

  • Bibi

    Dear marlena, I wish you all the health in the world. Take care of you, and take it easy, relax and try to be happy. You are à good soul and à gorgeons person inside out. I hope this is thé end of your health issues.

    • marlena

      Thank you so much Bibi! :)

  • http://www.honeygirlsworld.com/ Honeygirlk

    I hope you feel better soon :) It seems like you are on the right track. Sometimes we have no choice but to step out of the box and really look at things from a natural approach. I worked in medical for years, but I also know that medical doctors, regardless of how smart are normally specialized and if they have not seen a similar case, their diagnosis may be completely off track from what it really is. Wishing you all the best from Maui <3 xo Honey

    • marlena

      Thank you! xoxo

  • Blackmely

    I’m happy to hear that you’re feeling better. Take care ;)

  • Ina

    Dear Marlena, I’m so glad for you!
    You really can be proud of you! Even as you struggled with your health and were in hospital you kept your business running and even filmed videos! Please, don’t excuse for making less videos lately! :) You are so strong and disciplined, you really have my respect! And of course, I liked you for your beautiful personality also before. :)
    Best wishes!

    • marlena

      Thank you so much Ina! :)

  • olivia dias

    Dear Marlena. I wish you, with all my heart, all the best in this struggle. You have fought so many fights and came out a winner, this will not be an exception. You will get back your health (the most valuable thing in our lives). I have prayed to my angels and asked them to help you.

  • vanilla

    Dearest Marlena, i am glad it is not alopecia. i’ve been suffering from alopecia for 4 years now, my self confidence is at its lowest =( i wear a hat or cap most of the time when i go out. anyways hope you get your gorgeous hair back =) you will always be beautiful in our eyes :-* looking forward for your next video! XOXO

    • marlena

      I’m sorry to hear about your alopecia as I’m sure it’s SO hard to deal with! :( I’ve found some really cute scarfs or headbands to wear that look cute and make me feel better. Also, the colored dry shampoo hides the scalp some. Don’t let it get your self esteem as you’re still beautiful regardless of hair!! BIG hugs to you

      • vanilla

        maybe you could do a video on how to pick the right hat or cap for different face shapes! cute hair accessories how to wear a scarf as a headband or something! i am sure people who have the same problem would love that =) thank you for the reply Marlena it really means a lot ^_^ *hugs*

  • A.

    Hi Marlena
    It is great to hear you have found some relief. I do remember you saying in other videos you drank antacid by the bottle and I guess it isn’t surprising that the extreme use has caused an ongoing effect. Taking multivitamins probably masked the deficiencies you had from you diet. I do hope that you will continue with your MD so that you find the cause rather than relying on the holistic person who sounds like all they did was agree with you (so of course you value their opinion! ). Again with complicated situations it is important to find a good MD and keep returning to them – diagnosis is not a simple process and does require a process of elimination.
    Wishing you a speedy recovery!

  • Kristen

    Hey Marlena, I’m a hairstylist and I’ve also have had the same issue with 70% hairloss in the last 5 years. I just lost 90lbs in the last year but before that I have been dealing with lots of stress (for years) due to family related issues then my mom passed so that was just the icing on the cake. My dr has had me on Spironolactate to help with shedding and to stop hair growth on my chin – no luck. I do have PCOS and I’ve been taking Biotin 5000mg per day for 6 months and still no change. I’ve just learned about DS Laboratories through my salon and started using their products. I encourage you take some time to check out their website, they are about healthy hair and starting deep within the skin (where others haven’t been able to penetrate). Their shampoo has even helped clear skin problems and their products don’t irritate, they heal. Let me know if you’d like any of my feedback or an update.

    Good luck!

    • marlena

      Thanks so much Kristen! I hope you find something that works- can you email me later on to keep me updated? I know how frustrating it is… :(

  • Hannah

    Hi Marlena, I have been following you and relate to you in so many ways! I lost 60lbs eating high protein low carb and have kept it off for over 6 years now. When I lost the weight initially I was in the same situation as you; huge hair loss, extreme fatigue, anxiety, nausea. I saw SO many doctors..even my DO couldn’t figure it out! Do what feels right for you, only you know your body the best! (That’s a Registered Nurse here talking to ya) I used to tell my doctors I am supposed to feel better because I am healthier not worse! I felt like an 82 year old trapped in a 22 year old’s body! I completely empathize with you! It does get better as your body adjusts. I wish I would have seen your post sooner! XOXO Hannah

    • marlena

      Congratulations on your weightloss and for keeping it off! I have no regrets from losing weight, as although I have hairloss now, my health in general is so much better. Thanks for your support- I appreciate it :)

  • amanda

    Hi Marlena. I am sorry to hear you’ve been feeling so crappy ! I have felt crappy lately too! I have the opposite thing going on. Too much acid !! I did see a gastro Dr. and she recommended some books to me. One is…. Dropping Acid: Reflux cookbook and cure by Dr Jamie Kaufman, Dr Kaufman also addresses low stomach acid in her book. I just got the book 3 days ago, but so far it is VERY informative on stomach ailments!! Another one i bought was…Natural Alternative to Nexium, Maalox, Tagamet etc.. By Martie Whittekin CCN. Haven’t had a chance to look through it yet though. I’m glad you got some answers and I hope you start feeling like yourself soon!Thanks for sharing with us! XOXO

    • marlena

      I hope you start feeling better soon! And sorry you’ve been going through issues too :(

  • Pink317

    This post is different than the one that was delivered to my inbox. Same name, different entry. Weird.

  • M.

    Marlena- I sympathize with you wholeheartedly! I lost my health 3 yrs ago and after having NO luck with standard MD’s I turned to a chinese herbalist and am working on healing my ‘gut’ with probiotics and careful diet. It’s a long road, and makes one realize that if you don’t have your health, you have nothing! Keep up the good work, have patience, and keep playing with makeup!! :-) Hang in there!

  • Michelle ComesLast

    Hi Marlena, I am a health care professional, and congrats to you digging and finding out what was driving your symptoms. I think you’re on the right track. If I had realized you were going to be in Seattle, I would have recommended you to Dr. Cristopher Bosted, N.D., or Dr. Paul Anderson, N.D. They are both excellent naturopathic physicians and I trained with both at Bastyr University. Please feel free to email me. I’m not sure where you live in California, but Dr. Robert Duplain, N.D. is in Berkley. He is also an awesome doc.

  • sandy

    i think you just opened my eyes and saved my life!!!thank you so much for sharing!!i am about to go to Europe for tests and i feel more optimistc!!!

  • kate

    I hope you feel better in my prayers

  • lizzylizz

    Hi Marlena, I sure do hope and pray to God that this helps and that you get well soon. I know what it’s like trying to deal with something and specially when it affects in a physical way. You see just about almost 3 months ago I was diagnose with Bell’s Palsy and the left side of my face has been paralized ever since, I was told should only take about a month to recover but it hasnt’ I’ve had little improvement but not completely and it’s stressfull just thinking that everyone is staring at you because I can’t even smile in a normal way or do my makeup like I used to. I would always watch your videos to apply your techniques when doing my make up. I love buying make up all the time, but now I don’t even like looking at a mirror, therefore I undestrand your frustration as I have trying everything I am told in order to recover but I’m still working on this. I just hope that I also can recover and gain complete movement of my face one day not far from now. Love you Marlena and keep up your great work as you alway make us women feel beautiful inside and out. <3

  • Anny

    Hi Marlena, thank you so much for sharing. I was wondering what your regimen is? When do you take the acidophilus and HCL with pepsin (Did you start with 1 capsule before meals and then increase) Did your dr recommend you to avoid any certain foods or add any foods. I’ve been so sick (similar symptoms) and I want to look into this (consult my dr and research as well) I pray and hope this works for you. I wish this feeling on no one. It is so debilitating and frustrating. But don’t give up and continue to keep you wonderful and amazing positive attitude.

  • ~Lin

    Im so sorry Marlena sweetie,I do hope you get well again after your struggle. I know for a fact that doctors often dondt find anything and when you are young and pretty and *only* have acne and dizzyness they dont always tae you serious. I had hernia in my suffocus for 2 years and had severe pain,but the doctors kept telling me it was only gas or that I had been thin before so gaining weight wasnt serious. It kinda is if your waist goes up 4 sizes and you DONT eat more than 2 bites before you throw upp all the time and your teeth suffer. II even told one of the male doctors you look kinda skinny yourself wanna try my diett and see how you feel after blowing up like a balloon?

    Finally a female doctor sent me to get the snakecamera in your tummy and they found the problem after 5 sec!!

    Got meds wahoo life is great once again :)

    get better Angelface!

  • Megan

    Marlena,
    Thank you so much for posting this! I’m 24 years old and I’ve been experiencing extreme dizziness and acid reflux along with weird psoriasis outbreaks and thinning hair. I’ve been experiencing awful panic/anxiety attacks over my health and it’s been a nightmare for the last year. I’ve blamed it on weight gain and being over weight, but I’ve noticed with changing my eating it’s still not getting better. I’ve been meaning to pick up some probiotics and while I’m at it I’m going to pick up some HCL W/Pepsin. I have a whole list of doctors I need to call for appointments due to to all of these awful symptoms I’ve been having. I’m definitely going to give this a try. I will let you know how it works for me and what information I receive from my doctors. Thanks for all of your inspiration and encouraging your beauty community to stay healthy!

  • Amanda

    Tons of. love and prayers are with you Marlena! :( Thanks for being brave enough to open up about something so personal! God bless!

  • Carol

    Hi Marlena!

    I also have low acid stomach and for a while I did not feel well too, but I notice that it most happened wen I eat red meat. Than I went online and found this holistic Doctor from Connecticut that wrote a book call ” Eat for your blood type diet “. Well, coincidence or not, my blood typ0e is a positive therefore, I cannot tolerate red meat because I have low acid stomach and it is very hard for my digestive system to digest this type of food. So I follow he diet and all my healthy problems despaired. You should check that thought!

    Good luck! I hope you feel better soon…

    Take care :-)

  • Carol

    Hi Marlena!

    I also have low stomach acid and for a while I did not feel well too, but I notice that it most happened when I eat red meat. So, I went online and found this holistic doctor from Connecticut that wrote a book called ” Eat right for your blood type diet “. Well, coincidence or not, my blood type is A positive, therefore, I cannot tolerate red meat because I have low acid stomach and it is very hard for my digestive system to digest this type of food. I started to follow the diet and after couple of weeks all my healthy problems despaired. You should check that thought!

    Good luck! I hope you feel better soon…

    Take care :-)

  • Lyn

    HI Marlena! Thanks for being brave and sharing this with everyone! Has you anxiety gotten any better with this new approach?

  • thais

    Marlena, have your doctors investigated autoimune diseases? They’re pretty commom in young women and it can cause hair loss. I’m not saying that you have it (i really really couldntt say that, it’s just something that came in my mind), but it’s worth ruling it out! Talk to your doctor =)
    Ps: sorry for my bad english, i’m not a native speaker.

  • Amanda Nicole Davis

    I am dealing with PCOS so I am glad you don’t have that. It isn’t as easy to treat… Unfortunately. I have been losing my hair and am on Rogaine. ( I am 28). I wish I could afford some good hair :) I never would have know yours was fake if you didn’t say… :)

  • Tasha

    I’m so sorry you are going through all of this. I have PCOS and it shouldn’t be discounted simply based on an ultrasound. Many people have it without the trademark “string of pearls” on their ovaries. Unfortunately, many doctors simply don’t care to do the research and learn all about the disease. I’ve known people that have it and were told they needed a psychiatrist instead of any other form of a doctor. A visit to a reproductive endocrinologist might be worth it, just to be 100% sure it isn’t PCOS. Best of luck to you!

  • Diana

    Hey
    Marlena…just want to thank you soo much for sharing your story about hair
    loss. I agree with you 100% regarding doctors all they tend to do is throw
    medication (since it’s a billion dollar business) to patient instead to really
    finding out what is truly wrong with the patient. I too suffer from hair loss
    and have lost a lot of weight (the chubby kid too). I have done numerous blood tests
    which everything comes out normal. So I too am in puzzle and the hair loss is affecting
    my self esteem. Currently seeing a nutritionist which she put me on low acidic
    diet and a probiotic which helps with weight loss but not too much of hair
    loss. I’m looking forward to update and wishing you best of luck!!

  • Caitlin

    I’m so happy to hear you have found some supplements that are helping and you’re starting to feel better! I have health problems that have several similar symptoms and I understand how desperate you were to figure out what was going on in your own body. It is easy to get frustrated with doctors, there are new issues evolving in the human body every day and even the best in the business can’t know everything about everything, they are only humans after all. I know it’s easy for me to say but I’ve learned the hard way you have to be an adovacate of your own health. But the point of me saying all this: I just wanted to let you know I feel the pain you were going through. I’ve been struggling for almost 10 years, have seen countless doctors, have hospitalizations lasting months at a time, too many surgeries to count and have tried every medication black box and not. I know being beautiful is your job but it’s things like this that hopefully make you really remember what is really important in life. I started struggling when I was 15 and in high school so I know the pain of not having full of control of whats going on in your body and it effecting your daily life, looks and appearence. You seem like a very strong person, and I wish you nothing but the best and will keep you in my prayers.

  • FeliciaBoltonTV

    Sweetheart, I am praying for you! Sincerely, Felicia B @feliciaboltontv

  • Kimberlyrose.

    Oh, I wish I would have seen this before I commented to the other one. But, good to see you are feeling better.

  • Debbi P

    Hi Marlena, thank you for being so open about your hair loss. All though not for the same reason, I suffer from hair loss too. I suffer from very bad anxiety, which has caused my to suffer from something called ‘Telegen Effiluvium’ (I think that how you spell it…lol) which has knocked my confidence., even doing my makeup.

    Thankfully, I am in a good cycle of it at the moment and my confidence is gradually rising. I’ve been a follower of yours for years, so your site/YouTube is the first place I have visited and I am beginning to enjoy my makeup again.

    Thank you again for sharing
    <3 Debbi x

  • Cassie

    Oh My Gosh! I am SO SO SO glad I came across your website and your video of hair loss! I too am experiencing major hair loss just in the past couple of years. I’ve seen my doctor countless times and she couldn’t give me any real answers. I have had the same symptoms as you, nausea, dizziness, almost blacking out, panic attacks, weight loss, weight gain, stomach pains, chest pains, the list goes on and on. I’ve seen a cardiologist, had so much blood work done, x-rays, some test they do for GERD where they make you drink something and they look inside you to see how it flows or something. Every time I made an appointment it would seem like they were just sick of trying to help me because they couldn’t find anything. They pretty much chalked it up to reflux and stress. I know there was something wrong. I know my body, and I know when something is different. I was put on all types on medicine. Nexium, ranitidine, xanax, zoloft, and many more that I can’t even remember. It all made me feel worse! I have lost about 60% of my hair! I use to have very very thick hair, Now it’s so thin I just want to cry everyday. The only thing that I can think of that was changed in my diet or body was that I had inserted a form of birth control called Implanon. I have taken it out about a month ago and I feel better but my hair is kinda falling out. Other symptoms have subsided a bit. I will look into low stomach acid and into some holistic healing. Thank you so much for sharing your story!!! I hope that I can find out what is wrong with me also. Best wishes to you!! <3

  • Kathleen

    Hi Marlena,

    I’m SO glad to hear that your results are sounding very positive! I hope that they continue for you since you have been dealing with all of this for quite some time. I just wanted to mention a product that may help you with the thinning hair that you’re experiencing. It’s called Ovation Cell Therapy. I haven’t used this myself, but I have heard nothing but high praise for this system. Go to ovationhair.com to see videos of the experiences that various people have had since they started using it. I’ll keep you in my thoughts and prayers. I hope that you’ll continue to see nothing but improvement from here on out.

  • Jessica Miesel

    Hi Marlena! I’ve been following your hair loss journey and I want to thank you for your bravery to share it with us. I started losing my hair when I was 25 (now I’m 29) along with panic attacks, severe anxiety/depression, skin changes, stomach problems and sudden food sensitives. I, like you, was tested for everything under the sun and while my thyroid was low, after taking synthroid, nothing changed. I started going more holistic with yoga and breathing techniques for panic attacks, and acupuncture and scalp massages for my hair. Oh, and vitamins. So many vitamins.
    My hair loss seems to have stabilized (though not regrown). But my other symptoms remain. I’m excited to test my stomach acid levels and see if it provides me with another route to try.
    I’m so sorry you’re going through this. It can be scary, frustrating and isolating. Even though you and I don’t know each other, I am thinking of you and sending you lots of healing vibes. And please feel free to reach out to me if you simply need someone who can honestly say “I understand”.
    Wishing you continued success in your health and happiness!
    Much love,
    Jessica

  • anel

    Hello Marlena I’m also suffering from hair loss and specialist dr can not give me an answer would it be possible to share the name of the holistic dr your seeing I would so appreciate it .. hope you feel better … Thanks for sharing ..

  • Misty

    Dear Marlena, I have been struggling with stomach problems for months and have tried so many things. Now that I have watched this, I see so many similarities in my issues and am going to try this. I would have never thought my stomach acid was low. Hopefully, this will help me as well :) .

  • sarahmascara

    Lyme’s disease?

  • Maryanne

    Marlena! I’m so sorry to hear you’re going through this. (I haven’t been following your blog regularly, but I appreciate your vids, mission and recipes.) It sounds like the Pepsin is really helping you and sometimes, because we live in our bodies, we do make better decisions than the doctors…so it’s totally possible that you have diagnosed yourself correctly. After reading your long list of negative test results, I was sure it was a food allergy. We are the same age, BTW, and when I was little I had dairy allergies so severe that my hair was falling out! So, keep that in mind, especially if there is something that’s part of your daily diet. If the Pepsin doesn’t wind up being your cure, go the elimination diet and food diary route. Wishing the best for you. :)

  • Maryam Imran

    Dear Marlena, im experiencing the same symptoms ..I will go get my blood works done as well…! My question is that by taking these vitamins and other suppliments, did it made a positive affect on your hairloss?…

  • Gina D

    Marlena, have you been checked for Celiac Disease? Many of your symptoms sound EXTREMELY familiar to what I went through a year ago (luckily not as much hair loss as you, but still a significant amount).

  • Melissa

    I feel like there’s come a point where you have to be your own health advocate. So often doctors become frustrated when they can’t immediately fix something with a pill and pretty much give up. This is especially true for women. It becomes a situation where “ohhh…just hormones…get used to it honey.” We should never settle for less than stellar health. Our bodies are made to WORK and when something isn’t right we should actively seek solutions. You are a great example of personal responsibility. There is nothing wrong with eschewing the great doctor worship we have in this country. I am so thankful for wise and helpful doctors and they do have their place in society….however…so often we accept a lesser life because those doctors give up. Having exhausted all those routes, what else could you do? Try ANOTHER doctor, or perhaps go a different direction. If the doctors weren’t treating this an emergency, I can’t understand why anyone would freak out about you trying this regime. What can it hurt? It either works or doesn’t. Worse case scenario is simply being back to where you’ve already been.

  • http://smashinbeauty.com/ SmashinBeauty

    OMg Marlena, I am so happy that you found a cure to your illness and very happy to hear your much better. God bless you dear hope all will continue to be well and you are in my prayers. I know how you feel when you are sick and nothing is helping.. God bless and take care!

  • <3 Alison

    I hope things get better and better each and everyday for you Marlena!! Sometimes we have to take matters into our own hands and self-diagnose when our own doctors aren’t finding answers. I was having health issues 3 years ago and my doctor had no answer/solution/help. I researched, and by word of mouth found a holistic doctor who treated my issue and body as a whole. So glad you found one too!

  • Amber

    Hi Marlena, just want to say i love your videos and i have been watching them for years!! As far as your as your hair loss i just wanted to say i had a similar problem with my hair breaking and falling out,and my hair stylist asked me if i was using dry shampoo which i was, she said its SUPER SUPER bad for your hair it takes all of you natural oils away from your hair leaving it to break so much easier and fall out. she said its only to be used maximum one time a week just as help when your hair is looking greasy after a few days of no washing. i stopped using it and my hair has stopped breaking and is growing back in normally. hope this helps cause you said you use your dry shampoo everyday so maybe try only using it wevery couple to see if it improves :)

  • Shay

    Marlena! I think it was VERY intelligent to take matters into your own hands!Its your life and you were at a cross roads stay in the dark with the “Medical Professionals” or get out there and save your own life! This is a moment to be happy for someone NOT tell them what they ought to be doing ma’am! I find it very Rude to hear people telling YOU what you are doing that sounds like it IS working might be wrong because Doctors by their real names are “Practicing Physicians ” They don’t know everything and they NEVER suggest you do anything natural they push drugs on you! I think you were Brave and did what was right for you! You weren’t getting any answers and the Doctors couldn’t help you! FYI the web is not all full of lies and YES you can self Diagnose! When I was 18yrs I came down with some weird Illness that the Doctors could not figure out !? Every week for over two yrs i got my blood taken and I have a fever I lived on Advil and Antibiotics! I was pretty much slowly dying fast! They did surgery on me NOTHING! So I did what I could I knew nothing about Natural Medicine! I went on with my Life SICK as hell! I became a Massage therapist!!! The Ladies in my class were Natural paths they took me to the natural store and nursed me back to health! they cured me of what ever the hell I had! I went back to the Doctors for the last time and he could not believe that i was completely healed!! The drugs they gave me almost shut down my Kidneys and reeked havoc on my Liver! People are gonna do whats best for them and by the sounds of your post I know what its like to be soooo lost and scared and angry from not knowing! But seriously I hope you stick with your natural Doc I to this day dont go to the Doc i see my natural path and I have not been sick since not even the fly or BARLEY the common cold!! that 12yrs and running! Keep up the good work and Keep learning thats the only way we have power over our own lives!! =) I happy your feeling better Much love and Blessings sent your way keep at it! =)

  • Shay

    Sorry this smart phone’s crap! makes me sounds like i cant speak English properly! =/

  • dekota

    I have the same thing. I went to the hospital because it goes on for days at a time, eases, and then comes back – sometimes worst than before! I take antacids twice daily, sometimes two in the morning and two at night compared to the usual one in the morning and one at night. I found my only relief was vomiting and got to the point of purging on my own when it started. I went to the hospital several times to receive no help but an explanation of why they don’t want to give me pain killers – when I told them all I wanted was answers. I was in the ER four times in one month. Nothing. I did the same thing you did, self diagnosed and treated myself at home. It worked to my advantage. I wish you the best of luck because i know what you are struggling with. ♥

  • Julianna

    but is this the reason for hair loss?

  • Julianna

    PS… Marlena, even if you feel like crap. you are still very, very inspirational, so super gorgeous (at any weight or health condition), and truly a joy to follow. Your greatest gift from God, is the authenticity that shines thru your voice, your personality, and your words. Your ARE the living “beauty” that you want other women to feel. I feel it… and a lot of it is credit toward you! I have learned how to apply makeup THE RIGHT WAY by watching and practicing your tutorials over and over and over again. I LOVE the products you sell and endorse…. I have learned which cosmetics to spend money on, and what to buy on the cheap. I can sing your praises for hours… I brag about you to my husband and tell him just how neat, and real, and talented you are as a human being (and makeup artist) I have made you a household name to all my women friends. If ever, you decide to open a store in the NJ (or NYC) area, always remember me to manage it… I will sell everything under that roof because I absolutely believe in quality and authenticity. Its a big internet out there full of nonsense, junk, and people who don’t care. I say Thank You Marlena, and behalf of all women who appreciate your talents and the gift from God that you are…. Your Dad must sprinkle glitter from Heaven in your path.

  • Maranda M.

    Dear Marlena,
    Thanks a million for posting this!! I too have had a LOT of hair loss lately. Thanks to your research, I found that my Nexium was suppressing my stomach acid (which was not good). I was also anemic and vitamin D deficient. I credit your research for opening my eyes to this and I thank God that you were so willing to share your story. May God be with you!!

  • Shaun Marie Levin

    I hope this solves your issues with your hair. I’m wondering if that might be the issue with me as well. I’ve lost over 50lbs. have another 15-20 to go and about 8 months ago I started losing massive amounts of hair. Mainly in a few general areas but it’s safe to say in that time I’ve lost more than 50% of the hair on my head. Maybe more because it started getting worse again after being on massive testosterone blockers for months. I’ve always had stomach and skin issues plus issues with elimination and anxiety. And my endocrinologist did extensive blood panels. Everything was in normal ranges and was better than the last time he drew blood a few years ago. Maybe I should give the vitamins a try. I’ve tried almost everything else. I’m even going for a consult with Bosley tomorrow to see how much it would cost to get surgery. I’m sorry if I’m just too vain to live with this and be ok. Please keep us up to date on how this treatment is working for you. Bless!

  • anne

    Hi Marlena, I have experienced the same symptoms for the past 2 years. The only thing that I can say for sure helped me stop losing my hair was a product called Blood Sugar Specifics. It has 200 mcg of Chromium and 1,000 mg of Cinnamon. I was looking for something to help my spiking sugar levels and in turn this actually stop my hair loss. It is my miracle pill. Bought on Puritans Pride site really cheap!! Hope this helps. Feel better :)

  • Arzu Gunther

    Dear Marlena,

    My name is Arzu Gunther and as I was reading your story I saw that it was so similar to what I have been through. I was tested for so many things that I wasn’t sure what to believe anymore. I finally started keeping a journal and noticed that wheat and other things were affected me emotionally as well as physically. I couldn’t believe how close my symptoms were to yours. If you don’t mind, I would love for you to please take the time to e-mail me or if you like you can message me on Facebook. Unfortunately, the world we live in today allows to trust less and less each day. :) Please pray about it as I did and hopefully I will hear back from you. I look forward to helping you as I have finally found relief through simple diet changes. Take care and God bless. :) Below is a quick photo I just took.

  • Jenell

    Marlena,

    hope you feel better real soon!
    Love you and your work!
    I came across this video and thought you might find it helpful:

    http://youtu.be/tGsrny2NQ5U

    XOXO
    Jenell

  • Nikki

    Hello Marlena,

    If you find this isn’t working as you had hoped. Please take a minute and look into this. I was literally dying when we found this woman. I had the highest candida numbers ever seen. I was being ate up from the inside out at 28 years old. I hope you find help and get well soon.

    http://drshaunayoung.com/

  • RQ

    Hi Marlena,

    Sorry to hear about your health problems. Do you think you might have iron-deficiency anemia? It causes low iron, hair loss, fatique, shortness of breath, and lightheadedness. You can take a blood test to see if you have it or not. Good luck. Hope you get well soon.

  • Shelby

    Out of the blue yesterday, a friend sent me some information on a product she began taking to rid her of the Candida overgrowth in her body. I sat down this morning and started reading about the affects it has on your body. You were the first person I thought of, many of the symptoms sound like what you have described! Have you researched that? She said it took about a year for her doctor to come up with her diagnosis.

  • Melissa

    Coming into this late, but please get tested for Celiac disease. In many cases, gluten intolerance and Celiac disease can be diagnosed through a blood test. Hope you are feeling better. :)

  • mm26mm

    Could this be related to your past surgery?

  • Tina Wilson

    Hi Marlena,

    I live in Roseville, and would love the name of your holistic doctor. I trust that you researched him/her well and I have several issues I would like to talk to them about. Sometimes I feel like I’m on a conveyer belt at my primary physician’s office.

    Thanks so much!
    Tina :)

  • Teesh

    You should try the Virgin Diet by JJ Virgin. I bought her book on Amazon. I found out I have a food intolerance (different from an allergy) that was making me sick.

  • LizRob

    Marlena, thank you so much for sharing your story… I have been suffering from these same symptoms for VERY long time.. about 10 years actually :( Hair thinning out, acne, itchy skin and scalp… I just thought my hair was thinning and I just had bad skin… I would try to eliminate all types of foods from my diet and try all kinds of skin cream and nothing worked!!

    I have been a fan of your videos for quite some time but didn’t watch for a while.. and when I decided to check up and see what you were up to… I was so shocked you were having these symptoms too!! I am going to buy some of the HCL Pepsin tomorrow, I really have no doubt this is what it is… I have also been tested for most of the things you have been tested for… and I am healthy in those regards as well… WOW!!! THANK YOU MARLENA. You are an angel to share you joys and struggles with the world. God Bless.

    MUCH MUCH LOVE,
    Liz

  • Leah

    Marlena, have you been checked for Celiac disease? Everything you are describing sounds like it could be Celiac. Please try a gluten-free diet (and hair products) and see if you feel any better. My prayers go out to you. I’m a big fan.

    • Leah

      The reason I brought up hair products is I talked to lady who finally got diagnosed with Celiac and eating gluten free cleared up all the health problems, but the hair loss remained. She finally discovered there was wheat ingredients in the Aveda shampoo and conditioner she was using. She then switched to “gluten free” hair products and that did the trick. Please look into Celiac disease with a gastroenterologist. They will need to take a small biopsy of your colon (like during a colonoscopy) to confirm the diagnosis but it is so hard to diagnose and so many people go undiagnosed and suffer. I’ve been thinking about you all day since I came across your post last night. I hope you find the answers you are looking for.

  • Kelsey

    Good for you for taking matters into your own hands! I’m sorry but if i’m miserable in my everyday life and I’m not getting answers you bet I’m going to look for any answers I can find. From personal experience, doing just as you did saved my life. Sometimes Doctors don’t have all the answers but I do want to make it clear I did follow up with my doctor and no I didn’t take any scary pills. However, using what resources you have to look up information to take and discuss with your doctor is what anyone would do for themselves or a loved one when they are up against a wall. I can honestly sympathize with you and I truly hope you have found your answer, there is honestly nothing worse then not being able to look enjoy your life because you know their is something very wrong and your scared.

    I wish you health and happiness from one strong girl to another.

  • Christina

    I just read something this morning and it’s funny, but it made me think of you and your health issues. Amazing how this internet machine can make us feel and care for people we’ve never met, but we focus on the negatives of the internet so much, it’s great to remember the positive. I digress.

    Do you drink diet soda? I know I do. I read this article (http://rhondagessner.wordpress.com/2013/09/02/a-killer-in-your-fridge-sweet-poison-a-must-read/) that is making me want to stop, and I am wondering if you are a heavy diet coke/pepsi/etc. drinker like I am. If you are, you may consider stopping. I am thinking I have a lot of the symptoms listed on the article… Ugh.

    Hoping for all the best for you!

  • KRdoll5

    Hey Marlena! I was reading that you had your gallbladder removed and have started on some new vitamins. Im seriously so sad that you have to endure all that because I know exactly how you are feeling- I had my gallbladder removed, hypothyroidism, vitamin D deficient and RA . SO many doctors remove gallbladders and majority of them never talk about life after. Keep doing what you are doing but try getting a great dose of omega-3, often found in fish oil also. Keep up with your gluten and dairy free diet. I still have the skin issues and I just dont know what to do about that. Its a lost cause sometimes. You are SO beautiful and SO sweet and I always keep your health and happiness in my prayers!!!!

  • Rayna

    Hi Marlena, my name is Rayna. I pray for the health of all humanity. God has talked to me through my spirit and now I have a purpose in my life. Help people in need, we have to open our hearts for hope and we have to believe and declare a healthy body. I invite you to listen to an audiobook by Dr. Joel Wallach “dead doctors don’t lie” it might help you with your currents conditions. Declare in jesus name that you will be healed. You can email me to raynab.88@gmail.com or brisenorayna.my90forlife.com blessings.

  • Cheryl

    I also saw a holistic doctor for hair loss he put me on same as you to break down protein but with Botin and hair vitamins too

  • Jennifer Rigsby Cusmir

    Marlena, I have been experiencing similar symptoms. My hai falling out was heartbreaking for sure. I went to see my naturopath about everything and she of course check my thyroid, which was normal. She also checked my TPO which are thyroid antibodies. Normal is a level <35….my levels of antibodies was 501! Basically, my immune system is attacking my thyroid. I have been diagnosed with Hashimoto's disease, an autoimmune disease. I am currently trying to lower my antibodies through a clean gluten-free diet and supplements. You may want to look into it. People with Hashimoto's usually have stomach problem, leaky gut, and skin problems. Stick with a naturopath or holistic doctor as they are trained to find and treat the cause of your illness and not just treat symptoms like conventional doctors. Take care!

  • rav

    marlena, I no this is off topic bt I was really relly hoping u can tell me more about the under eye fillers, as I have been struggling my whole life with severe under eye circles , which have caused me a lot of emotional stress in life due to ppl always telling me how tired I look all the time, so if u can pls tell me more about that or name of dermatologist t you go to , as I live in Sacramento area too.plss

  • Tristan

    Hi Marlena. I just watched a few of your YouTube videos about your recent health problems and you mentioned you were going to have some upper GI procedures done. I was wondering if you have had an EGD with the extension on it that goes farther than the standard EGD scopes. You have a lot of symptoms that my dad had and the only thing that found his problem was the EGD that went through his stomach and in to his upper intestines. If you want to you can email me at tpcollins87@gmail.com if you have any questions. Get better girly, you are beautiful! Tristan

  • Laura

    Hi Marlena! I really admire you and think you are a wonderful role model! I hope you are feeling better these days. I am in school to become a holistic health practitioner. I have had to do substantial research to advocate for my own serious health conditions in the past few years so I understand what you are going through. If you are interested in doing more research, the best GI book that I have read so far is called Digestive Wellness by Elizabeth Lipski.

  • Lindsay Bryce

    Hi Marlena, have you had your thyroid tested, as i spent 5 years with all your symptoms and more and was only recently diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Have a look at ThyroidSexy on FB. Hope this helps. Finally finding out what was wrong with me really helped me see that there was a light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you for your wonderful video’s and keep on looking amazing. :)

  • Meg Sprunt

    Marlena thank you so much for your genuine love for all your followers. Your sincerity is one of the reasons I have been following you for all these years. You are a beautiful person both on the outside but also where it counts- in your soul. I want to pay your sincere love forward. I use a product that I would recommend for the health of your hair and to help it regrow. Would you be interested in learning more about it?

  • pgsnichole

    I have a weird question about hair loss: what do you do for sun protection?

  • Rae

    Hi Marlena,
    I started losing my hair for months I haven’t been paying enough attention til I noticed how thin my scalp is getting thinner so i started looking online google and YouTube and I encountered your video. I had the same exact experience that you had. I’ve been diagnosed with GERD and my doctor gave me Dexilant which works. However I’ve been having abdominal pain and they just tell me that I have an infection, I did all the test and treatment no bacteria or virus was found. A diffrent doctor told me I’m just ovulating too much, did ultrasound, nothing. I love my doctor because he does care but sometimes I think that since I look healthy, they don’t pay much attention to me. Then I saw him again for my hairloss. I didnt had any pattern like heriditary does, so he said is stress is the cause of my hairloss. Great! Now am even more stressed. So I didn’t some research and I found out that some people claims Dexilant causes hairloss. I stopped drinking that, and I went for hollistic approach. I’ve been taking Ginger tea I haven’t have tummy ache for a month. I don’t eat vegetable but since my hairloss I’ve been slowly introducing myself to eating greens and healthy stuff. Since I’m not used to eating veggies, so it doesn’t sit well in my tummy but I’m getting used to it. I’m only 27 and I will eat anything that will prevent my hairloss. I read that deficiencies of any kind can cause hairloss. So I’m going healthy even my family and my husband are shocked and the same time proud of me. I pledge of replacing one whole meal with salad and not eating after 6. It’s been tough. I’ve also been putting 100% coconut oil on my hair and tablespoon on my ginger tea. I read is good for you and Dr. Oz approved it :D . Since then my hair breaks less. I haven’t seen dermatologist because of my schedule but I want to and see a fastest way to grow them back. All of this is because of your hairloss video. I was not alone. I am happy coz your not afraid to talk about it. Because to me it so embaracing only my husband knows about it. How do 27 year old can deal with this without breaking down. Maybe some people don’t care it’s just hair. I didn’t loose any confidence yet because my husband thinks am very pretty. And knowing I’m not alone. I know you’ve heard this before but I’ve been following your tutorials since you have a short hair :D I used to be an anti-feminist in high school and I refused to wear pink, short skirts, cleavage showing dress and makeup. Yes I was an emo kid and a late bloomer. But since watching your tutorials I started to try makeup, be open to colors, and too look and feel pretty. This must be too corny already. But just wanna put it out there. Thank you Marlena. One day I hope I make difference too other people too. Your inspiration.

    • Rae

      sorry for a lot of typo it’s not easy to proofread on the iPhone.

  • Rachael Patten

    I highly recommend you check out Stacy Toth of paleoparents.com
    She also has lost a ton of weight and has had her gall bladder removed- her blog and podcast both tackle issues surrounding how to make modifications to diet to increase health. I am glad you are seeing a naturopath – the fact that the MDs wanted to put you on antacids so quickly goes to show how much they have to learn about nutrition.
    I also recommend chriskresser.com for interesting articles on thyroid (why your “normal” numbers might be misleading, and general whole foods nutrition.
    So happy to have found your tutorials- fun stuff!

  • nyx

    Dear Marlena what are you doing to cure your hair loss?are you taking minoxidil or something similar?

  • Diana

    Marlena,

    This is so similar to what happened to me a couple years ago, along with allergic reactions that were out of control (I tend to get a lot of food allergies). I researched extensively and came across the same solution. Now, I take HCL with every meal with protein. For probiotics, I recommend taking Dr. Ohhira’s and Jarrow Formulas Saccharomyces Boulardii + MOS. These three things changed my life.

    Also, people with type A blood have lower stomach acid naturally… and getting older decreases everyone’s stomach acid.
    I’m so glad you found the solution!

  • Pespy

    Dear Marlena, I pray you are feeling better as I write this. I am one of your fans and followers and I am sad to hear of what you have been through. I have been through something similar with the hair loss. It falls out in clumps and I worry so much. I found out that I have very low iron – it could be due to low iron production, inability to store iron or metabolize it. I don’t know the answer, but when I take my iron pills, I energy level goes through the roof. Of course, I lose a bunch of weight every month, so it’s an ongoing issue.

  • Liz

    Marlena,
    I have been watching your videos and tutorials for years and I have never posted a comment on any of your sites, but I think its time too now. I just wanted you to know that I am so happy you have found something that is helping to heal you. I have been going through some devastating health issues myself and I know how hard the unknown can be, esp when you are so young. Even though I never met you, and weve never had any correspondence, I truly feel for you and what you’ve been going through. You are incredibly strong woman, and beautiful both inside and out. You’ll get through this. When it gets hard, just remember how many people are out there rooting for you.
    hope all continues to go well.

  • lina

    are you going to post update? i hope you are better now (seems like that in your videos) and your hair growing back…=)

  • Renae

    Marlena, so sorry to hear about your health issues. I just wanted to ask if you have been made aware of the side effects of Aspartame? It is in almost every brand gum and mints, diet sodas, yogurts, etc. Please look up the dangers of this artificial sweetener. Google aspartame side effects. I think you may find your symptoms there. I have been panic attack free since I stopped using those products 5 years ago. Take care. Renae

  • Courtney

    Hi Marlena my names Courtney, I just wanted to say I think it’s very brave of you to discuss your hair loss. I’m only 22 and going through the same thing right now. Over the last 2 months I’ve probably lost around 50% of my hair and I completely agree I feel rubbish like I don’t even want to go out. I’ve resulted at the moment to wearing a hat all the time but I’ll take your advice and have a look at extensions as I think that would be a great boost for me.
    I hope your hair is finally starting to grow back.
    Courtney x

  • KT

    Dear Marlena,
    I wish there was a way to talk to you as I am disabled, bedridden and housebound, only able to travel via ambulance. When I first got sick, I had suffered from all of your symptoms and it doesn’t mean you have neurological disease and cancer like myself. Yet I had major stomach issues that took doctors a while to diagnose and I am not sure if you have gotten one yet it sounds just like what I have called gastroparesis is you want to look it up. I also have lost over 80% of my hair and worse. Lost my teeth that parents spent so much on to make perfect so I understand howit feels to not feel human. Yet your a fighter and I wish we could talk since I have over 20 diseases and feel what you are going through I went through too. Please email me, as I would love to talk about how long it took for me to find good doctors who knew what they were doing. I spent 2 years in the hospital that could of been avoided if the doctors just did their job right. If your not comfortable emailing me as I know I am a stranger know my prayers are with you.

  • Lorena SR Jones

    Hi Marlene,
    I understand your pain. I myself have been dealing with an unknown illness. I’m currently going through many dr visits, blood work, tests and so on. My hair has been falling out the last 6 months. It’s super thin!. As of right now there are two thing’s the Dr’s may “think” I have. It’s colitis or gallstones. A CScan showed inflammation of gallbladder, colon n large intestines but unclear what could have caused it and if it was the gallbladder that’s is lots of stone. They recommend my gallbladder be removed soon. Well, this Wed coming up, I’m going under for a colonoscopy to check my colon and large intestines. I’m praying it’s nothing and it was just my gallbladder that caused all my issues. I wish you the BEST! And that you get well soon.

    Lorena Jones

  • Jennifer Precious Duff

    Hey Marlena, I watch your vids on youtube and have for over a year now. I have watched your weight lose journey. I too have lost a lot of weight (168 lbs) and I lost about 70% my hair also. I wore my hair long for years and when I lost weight I had to cut it off. My hair loss was due to my dramatic weight loss.

    For the last 5 years I have wore a short inverted bob, it’s only been in the last 6 months that my hair has actually grown. I hav all the same stomach issues as you do. My hair did not begin to grow until I changed my diet to an all natural organic diet. I use Organix Biotin & Collagen shampoo and conditioner which in just one wash made a HUGE difference in my hair thickness and texture without any feel of build up. I try not to use a lot of products in my hair and don’t tie my air up, at night I wear a silk cap. It seems that the cotton pillow cases break my hair and dry it out.

    I hope some or any of this helps. I’ll keep watching on youtube and I wish you well.

  • Arcy

    Hi Marlena,

    it has been 3 months since you posted this video, could you give us an update? Has hair loss diminished after you started taking the vitamins?

    My hair has been falling for the past 4 years (since diagnosed with prolactinoma) but not as bad as it has in the last couple of months. Although I haven’t done any specific blood tests, I came to the conclusion that my hair loss is actually do to my high prolactin levels (taking caborguline to stabilize it), I have yet to find how to stop the hair loss though. I had long THICK hair and although it is still long and thick, I have probably lost about 60% of my lions mane. It is difficult not to stress about it which definitely doesn’t help, but it is hard to ignore the issue when every time you brush or wash your hair you end up with wads of hair on your hands :-(

    I look forward to your update. xx

    • Kimberly R

      I too would love an update! I have also had stomach issues but no hair loss. I started taking Acidophilus and Super Digestive Enzymes along with a Ultra Mega Green vitamin for women. From time to time I have to take Prilosec but not nearly as much as before. Nothing was found from my Upper GI or barium test. Hope yours has gotten better!!

  • rlz

    Has taking HLC with Pepsin vitamins has your hair started growing back thanks

  • cmuberti

    I just found out that there is another test for low stomach acid (achlororhydria). I’m not sure if it’s the same Heidelberg test mentioned on the Livestrong website. You might want to check this out. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypochlorhydria#Diagnosis

  • SueBe

    Marlene, has your doctor ever suggested Lupus? You are at the age where this strikes a lot of young woman. There can be multiple symptoms with Lupus.

  • Bindy

    Hi Marlena!!!! I am so glad I found you! Thank you bringing up this topic because I think there are a lot of us out there experiencing hair loss out there. And I truly agree…it’s such an uncomfortable and embarassing issue to bring up to anyone. That’s why all these years I have felt alone and have always had low self esteem because of this.
    So when I came upon your youtube video “Dealing with hair loss and extensions”, I was like, “wow! Marlena is so gorgeous! She doesn’t look like a person who can relate to my problem!” and when I listened to what you had to say, it made me cry because you gave me hope that I can still look gorgeous again.
    Thank you for sharing your video and your tips and tricks. I will be following you from now on!!!! Please post up some hair tips/extension tricks too because your hair looks so gorgeous!!!!!

  • Amber Pugh

    I am sure someone has already suggested it (I did not read through all the previous comments) but that sounds like almost all the symptoms I had before I went gluten free. I have severe gluten intolerance and was miserable.

  • Lenora

    I was noticing that you were filling in your hair line. I was able to notice because I suffer from 2 hair loss. Telogen Effluvium due to low iron, or a shock to your body (like childbirth), and Alopecia Areata, an autoimmune disease. There is no blood test to accurately diagnoses these. What you really need to do is see a dermatologist that works in a good teaching hospital, as I did. I didn’t do any blood test, she just knew her literature enough to rely on the symptoms and timeline of my diseases. Also, for Alopecia Areata, a skin biopsy can be done to confirm the presence of T-Cells on the hair follicle,

    You should explore these avenues!

  • Brynja

    Marlena,
    I feel your pain and I want you to know I just figured out why my hair has been falling out for the last year accompanied with so many stomach problems. I was gluten intolerant and there was gluten in my shampoos and hair products! It was nothing I could test for and the anxiety of it was horrible. I’m trying to spread my experience. Gluten Sensitivity may not apply to you but consider it! Here is my article about what happened to me http://brynjamagnusson.wordpress.com/
    Good luck!

  • Анна

    The reasons for hair loss could be different. But in
    most cases it is the result of some problems with health. Right nutrition is vital
    to support healthy hair and healthy body. In order to make sure I am providing
    all the necessary vitamins for my hair I am taking special nutritional
    supplement, which contains the unique combination of herbs and microelements.
    This supplement is HairGain Formula (90 capsules) by Military Grade. This product
    is the only nutraceutical which possesses prostaglandin D2 blocking properties.
    Awesome nutritional product which defends my hair from falling out and enhances
    healthy hair growth.

  • Angela

    Hi Marlena, Can you update us on the progress of reversing your hair loss.

  • Angela Royval

    Hi Marlena! I’ve been a fan and follower for years now, but am just now learning of your hair loss struggles thanks to a random check of your YouTube page. I am 37 and otherwise healthy and have also lost a large percentage of my hair recently. Like you, I’ve had blood work done and am researching like crazy. I’m so sorry you are dealing with this also as I can completely relate to the amount of tears shed and overall feeling of just hopelessness as our hair is supposed to be our crown and glory. I am to the point where I can see my scalp in the front of my hairline and am trying to figure out ways to disguise the excessive thinning of my once perfect head of hair. I’m taking Biotin and multivitamins too and have gone from washing my hair every day to every other day or more if possible. I just wanted to send you a quick note to thank you for sharing your story with us. It’s truly encouraging to know that we are not alone and I’m so thankful that you are sharing what you have learned so far. Praying for answers for us all.

  • Pauline

    Marlena, I went through the same exact problem and what really really helped me was Omega 3, vitamin D3 and A LOT OF WATER. Just make sure that NONE of the supplements you’re taking have soy or are soy capsules. Soy is by far one of the biggest poisons for the body, it’s all GMO and basically toxic.
    I’m glad you’ve gone the Holistic route, there is no better way to go! Acupuncture has been very helpful for me as well. If it’s something you’re open to, definitely give it a try.
    I hope you feel better!! Keep us updated <3

  • Arati

    Marlena, what you have listed are also symptoms of renal failure. Please get yourself checked out regularly. Blood and urine tests will catch it.

  • Meli

    Marlena,
    I know exactly what your going through. I had low stomach acid and actually took the same brand of hydrochloric acid (solary) plus enzymes and probiotics. The only difference was that i had your symptoms plus my whole body would get numb including my eyelids and tounge. It was very frightening for me to experience this when eating! I would vomit my food as well and had ridges in my fingernails, acne, 69 percent hair loss, you name it. I saw holistic doctors including one that has cancer cures in Mexico. I started taking one or two pills of the HCl initially but I was forced to increase it to six because 2 were not cutting it. That meant I had to drink a great deal more of water with my meals and I was like a walking water balloon that had to pee every minute. My body was not able to kill any bacteria from food so i was constantly paranoid about food sanitation. its easy for people to judge about self diagnosis when in reality as caring and as educated a doctor can be, at the end of the day its you tossing and turning at night pondering and brainstorming what could be the cause of what your going through.
    things grew worse and I had to eliminate almost every kind of food imaginable. I was eating only avocado and organic bread that had to be baked the same day and then the worst happened I was not able to tolerate water. In other words my body could not digest it properly. I lost a lot of weight. I was 27 years old at 128 lbs and dropped to 97 lbs. I was ashamed because I would imagine that strangers would think I was on drugs or purposely starving myself. I had a blog too but because of my health I had to stop writing. So I know too well your struggle.

    This whole nightmare was three years ago and I now eat anything I want with no problems. I have perfectly normal digestion, no food allergies and my body now produces stomach acid on its own. So please honey dont loose heart over your situation… I believe your doing the right things because i was there and while the hcl didnt cure me i know that it is way better than prescription pills. I’m telling you all of this because I believe I can help you in some way or somehow. My suggestion is somewhat unorthodox (im not a weirdo just trying to help) and I would hope that you contact me through email. Just so you know I’m not spamming or anything I’m giving you the email from my own blog which is support@poshraccoons.com. I hope to hear from you soon and please remember your not alone!

    Meli

  • Polly

    same happened to me after losing 145 pounds… my hair won’t go back to normal /:

  • Patti

    Hi Marlena – I found your story while looking for hair loss solutions for myself. Like you, I’ve had multiple work ups that were negative. It’s been a long and frustrating (unpleasant) journey. As it’s been nearly a year since your last posting on your hair loss story, would you have time to do an update? I watch your YouTube videos and it appears you have recovered – ? I don’t know if you are still struggling & wearing extensions, but as a hair loss sufferer myself, I would love to know if your solution above worked for you. Take care! XO

  • http://batman-news.com Jessica

    Hi Marlena! It’s been almost a year since your last hair loss update. How are things going for you now? Is it possible for you to share additional information? I am going through something similar, and it’s really taking a toll on me mentally. Thanks for all your helpful advice! :)