Has anyone else experienced success when making (and sticking to!) dietary changes?

Hello,(please forgive the length of this!)

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.
Much Love.

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Replies to This Discussion

Thank your for sharing. Welcome to this site. At one point I was told check if I had celiac but that came out negative. I am also taking biotin.

Thanks!!
I also don't have Celiac. In fact, when they tested me for the Autoimmune marker (ANA?) that was also negative indicating no presence of an autoimmune disorder! I am guessing that I am sensitive to wheat itself and gluten as well. Cutting it out, and other foods, has been the best thing I could've ever done for myself.

My only issue with biotin is that it gives me zits! :) Does this happen to you, too?

I'm glad to see your post! My patches started a few months ago, small at first and now some are 2-3 inches in diameter. All testing has been fine. My job is pretty stressful and has been more so the last 6-7 months. Other than that I had recently wondered if there may be some dietary issues contributing to the cause along with the stress. Biotin makes my skin breakout too but debating on taking it after reading this. So glad I found this site.
I also had my baby premature! My son was born at 24 weeks gestation and weighed only 1pound!! Thankfully he is a happy healthy 2 year old today, but I was never given any reason for why this happened and I'm wondering if alopecia was the cause?

I believe I've become sensitive to a few things as well. I cut artificial sweeteners and my hair came back. Had it again, got a spot. Same sort of thing as you.

I still have spots so I'm wondering if maybe something else should be removed from my diet as well. No idea where to start though.

Thanks for sharing this! I've been off of gluten, caffeine, sugar, dairy, alcohol, any processed foods, and red meat, since I got my first patch. I started doing research and read this book published online by Cate Spoth about her reasoning re: diet and autoimmune diseases, the book is "ALOPECIA: MY STORY OF ALOPECIA AREATA & AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE" Her story was really helpful, as was her information specifically regarding certain foods and supplements, and I plan to stick with the diet. I was just officially diagnosed with AA today and my doctor said that I actually have some hair growing back in the spots, so that's good news. I'm curious if it's possible (I only have two small, one quarter sized, the other nickel sized spots) if I can turn my process around right now without having any further spots/ issues. We'll see, I guess. 

Thank you! You've given me hope! I too am brand new to this site and this is actually my first post. I have Alopecia Areata and have had the injections for about 2 years now with very little results. I have new growth but it's snow white and wispy thin. I'm now looking at the Paleo diet with the intention to move to the AIP diet. I have my fingers crossed that this will work. Thank you again, you've inspired me! :)

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