Featured Image Credit: dakotasbeard/Instagram
A woman has decided to fully embrace her facial hair and grow a beard.
Dakota Cooke, 30, first noticed the excess hair growth on her face at the age of 13 and went through time-consuming and painful treatments like monthly waxing appointments in order to curb the hair growth, but to no avail.
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Initially, her doctor recommended that she go to the gym ‘for at least two hours a day’ in order to ‘work off’ her raised levels of testosterone.
From then on, Dakota’s beard started to get ‘longer and darker’ despite her increased levels of physical activity.
“The peach fuzz has turned into dark peach fuzz that’s about this colour, and it’s longer,” she said. “It’s basically a small beard at this point.”
Dakota eventually saw an endocrinologist - whose role is to diagnose and treat health conditions related to the body’s hormones, hormonal glands, and related tissues - at the age of 19, who initially believed she may have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).
The condition, which affects approximately one in ten women in the UK according to the NHS, affects the ovaries’ function and can cause women to have irregular periods, acne, cysts on the ovaries and excess hair growth (hirsutism).
However, after running multiple tests on Dakota and observing her excess hair growth, the medical professional ruled that she did not have the condition.
She said: “So, I get tested for that and the test results come back negative, and the endocrinologist is just like, ‘well that’s really weird, let’s test you again’, and the test result comes back negative again.
“So at this point, they have really no idea what’s going on.”
The ‘sideshow freak’ performer from Las Vegas still hasn’t received a firm diagnosis, with doctors believing that she has an ‘adrenal glandular disorder’ which causes her to produce elevated levels of testosterone.
But despite having unanswered medical questions related to her hirsutism, Dakota is ‘absolutely the most not shy person on earth’ and is proud to make ‘$250 an hour’ performing in the show.
According to the NHS, hirsutism is constituted by women who grow thick, dark hair on their face, neck, chest, tummy, lower back, buttocks or thighs and can be caused by a treatable medical condition.
The symptom is linked to androgens, which can cause hair growth if the androgen levels increase or if your body develops a sensitivity to them.
While the most common cause is PCOS, it can also be caused by using certain medicines, anabolic steroids, a tumour which affects your hormone levels or other hormonal conditions like Cushing’s syndrome and acromegaly in rare cases.
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