I am new to the site, but wanted to come on and ask if anyone else has had significant success by changing their diet and eliminating inflammatory or foods that you are sensitive to?
I suppose I should start at the beginning.... My mother and great-grandmother both had alopecia areata. I noticed my first spot almost 10 years ago when I was pregnant. Unfortunately I did not carry full-term and noticed that a couple more spots had started shedding. I went to the dermatologist, who gave me some steroid cream and eventually transitioned to the shots, neither of which were particularly successful. I started doing a significant amount of research about food and hormonal reaction, inflammation etc. At that time I eliminated wheat, dairy, sugar, rice, potatoes, and caffeine. I had a FULL recovery of hair within 6 months.
This lasted for well over a year, until I met my husband and decided to go ahead and eat whatever I wanted, which included all of the foods I listed above. Small spots started to pop up and continued to proliferate. I dabbled in eliminating foods again, but was never able to completely cut them out due to being young and lazy. Whilst getting my master's degree parts of my eyebrows fell out and much of my hair broke off.I ended up cutting it short and penciling in my brows. About one year after I graduated I became pregnant again and had even more spots come up, losing more hair in pregnancy than before. I also lost part of the eyelashes on one eye. It came back after the baby was born and then began to shed about 1.5 years later, when I was living on coffee.
A local doctor's office did a blood test to test for foods that I am sensitive to, as "allergic" generally involves an intense, immediate reaction. I found that I was sensitive to a number of foods, including coffee, which was the worst. Some of the culprits were wheat, gluten, baker's yeast, mushrooms, tomatoes, cane sugar, lemon, watermelon, bell peppers, cottage cheese....you get the idea. I immediately eliminated all of those foods and my hair began to grow back. I now have a full head of hair and my eyebrows are mostly intact. There was a brief period where I was eating sugary snacks like a fiend and two little spots popped up, but I immediately eliminated and went back to my diet and they have since grown in. It has been well over a year now. On occasion I will do the "follicle test" on hairs that have come out and they all have the healthy bulb at the end.
I also take Vitamin B sublingually, Emergen-C lite with MSM - which is supposed to promote hair growth, hemp oil-perfect natural balance of omegas, sublingual biotin, and liquid Vitamin D3. I don't take all of them every day, but stagger them throughout the week. The doctor's office also found that I was deficient in both D3 and biotin, the first symptom listed for a biotin deficiency is alopecia...
I would also go to the Dermatologist's office once back on my diet to give the existing spots a "boost," in conjunction with the dietary changes - the shots actually worked!!
I wanted to share my story. Keep in mind, I am one person in the world and none of the information I am sharing has been involved in countless clinical trials and been validated. My Dermatologist and other doctor's along the way have scoffed at my suggesting that my hairloss is dietary. They administered countless tests, but all of my levels (thyroid, hormone etc.) were completely normal.
In Western medicine, the process is healing from the outside in - shots, pills etc. I wanted to heal from the inside out and this has been a successful process for me.
I wish you all well in your journey with this. I remember the times when I was crippled with fear that all of my hair would fall out.
I should also add that I was tested for the Autoimmune marker (ANA?) and that was negative. From my research, alopecia is where the white blood cells rush to a follicle believing that there is a need for them to be there. The follicle becomes so inflamed that the hair falls right from the shaft - hence the lack of the bulb (follicle) on the end of those hairs. Instead they taper. There is a considerable amount of research in regards to foods that can illicit an inflammatory response in our bodies and/or alter our hormone levels.
Also, there were times when my hair was so painfully thin that it wouldn't have even been a pencil-sized pony tails. I have had spots raning in size from a golf-ball to a dime, and at times have had well over 20 active ones on my head. This has been one heck of a roller-coaster to say the least.
I hope this helps.
did you have sensitivity to soy? i have cut out gluten and am going to try to cut out dairy, but i am already a vegetarian so most of my protein comes from soy and eggs. if i cut out soy i will have to start eating meat, which i have come to terms with, but i'd rather not.
You don't have to eat meat at all. Listen to The China Study on audio CD. It will explain everything.
Awh man good to know. I was positive for the Autoimmune marker. Either way I know of people who changed their diet with autoimmune alopecia and had results. I was going to take an in depth food sensitivity test a year ago when I first got alopecia but thought it was a waste of $. Now I think I'll take it soon. What test did you go for?
I have had AU since Feb-May 2011 and I was curious about which Biotin you take and D3? I quit coffee once before but maybe I will attempt it again.
I've been taking Solaray Biotin lozenges ( I read somewhere that sublingual vitamins have a better absorption rate) and Vitacost's D3 drops in olive oil ( an online vitamin retailer that sells them at a fraction of the price). I couldn't believe how much better I felt once eliminating coffee, and to think I thought that was what was keeping me going. Black tea was out, too. I'll do green tea or mate if I'm really in a lurch, but try to rely on Vitamin C to pep me up.
what is the online vitamin retailers address? maybe I will check it out
vitacost.com - they'll deliver any sized order for $5. I've been using them for years and have had a great experience!
COOL, I just ordered Natural Factors Vitamin D3 Drops -- 1000 IU - 0.5 fl oz 1 $11.97 $11.97
Nature's Way Biotin -- 1000 mcg - 100 Lozenges 1 $5.05 $5.05
Item No: NTW 4404508
Great deals hoping they help =)
be careful about buying cheap vitamins. there was a study that recently tested vitamin brands to make sure they were selling what they claimed and most of it was diluted or not even the right supplement (ie. if it was a rare herb/supplement they substituted it with something "similar") and they added flour and preservatives which made up 50% or more of the vitamin capsule which ended up not being the dose stated on the bottle/packaging.
Do your research! I have found the brand Solgar checks out regarding what they put in their vitamins (even though its a tad bit pricier) according to a few studies that have also happened since that one a year back. I know because I've wasted money on crap vitamins before :C