Thursday, 21 July 2016

Alopecia diet p.3 - repost

Dietary changes halting alopecia areata
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 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.

Replies to This Discussion

jaclyn, is this diet similair to a anti-inflammatory diet? I have recently started eliminating gluten and other things like caffeine, red meat, dairy, and other pro inflammatory foods from my diet but it is proving to be EXTREMELY difficult for me! any suggestions on what to eat would be nice! I find it hardest to mantain the diet when im on the run and not able to fix my own food. What or where can i eat when im out and about with my family and dont have time to drive home or prepare my own food? Salad seems to be the only option and i know that i cant even eat most salad dressings that are available. Im also really unclear about what i can eat and what i cant sometimes. Its very aggravating, especially to a guy who LOVES to eat!
The diet I follow still contains lots of red meat - I haven't found it to be inflammatory in my system at all, but I have read that different people react differently to certain things. (Like lots of people with AI issues can't really handle eggs, or nuts in large quantities. I can do eggs, but even moderate amounts of nuts make me react like I've eaten gluten.)
We do a lot of bulk cooking, so we always have stuff to pack. My husband takes a salad for lunch every day, with a big portion of leftover meat. We have found one local brand of salad dressing that is sugar-free, but otherwise we make our own. We also keep lots of easy snacks around - nuts (especially Macadamia nuts, as they're high in healthy fats and help you feel fuller for longer), dried fruit, Larabars (or homemade versions), etc. For eating out, we often order bunless burgers with salad or steamed veggies. It takes a lot of getting used to, but once you get into the habit you hardly think about it.
If you're interested, here are a few websites I've found VERY helpful, as well as one of my Pinterest boards full of recipes: (This one is AWESOME for explaining why to eliminate certain foods and include others! My husband and I did this 30-day plan and it honestly changed our entire relationship with food.)
I really hope you find something helpful in there. I'm always happy to answer questions!
Wow could you please email...this vitamins list to
thankyou adee
Like you, I went the diet and supplement route. I was too overwhelmed to design something on my own, so I hired a consultant.
Here's the story: I have AA. I realize, looking back, that I had a few symptoms as a child, but nothing I couldn't hide and it went away. Now I am 43. I started losing my hair in January. A giant bald spot opened up along the part in my hair. Smaller spots were popping up on the sides. Toward the end, a big spot opened up on the back of my head and it was thin everywhere. As soon as I saw that big bald spot, I went off gluten and dairy, but my hair still kept falling out.
My initial AA diagnosis was made by a regular doctor. He did a bunch of tests. He told me there were no sure fire remedies and referred my to a dermatologist. I did a search of the normal therapies, their odds of a cure, and possible side effects. I did not want go that route. My friend knew a supplement specialist and I decided to give him a try.
Shane said my thyroid was low and that I had a problem with candida overgrowth. Also, he recognized that the stress I was under from the extreme hairloss was not helping. He prescribed supplements that greatly improved my ability to cope with the situation. Before I started those, I woke up with tears in my eyes every morning. Just getting through the day without crying in front of my kids was hard. After I started taking them, all those comforting things that I kept trying to tell myself, started working. I didn't cry anymore and was able to relax.
The first month, he just worked on strengthening my detoxing organs- (you get rid of toxins with liver, kidneys and skin). He prescribed supplements to specifically improve the health of my skin-like 10 different things. My hair kept falling out during that month.
Once he felt I was strong enough, he started me on the candida detox protocol. It is like 6 different supplements and basically switching to a paleo diet (without the artificial sweeteners, agave or dairy that paleo diet normally allows). The first couple days, I felt like crap. He said that was normal. The candida parasite in my intestines was being killed off and the toxins released from the die-off gave me a headache and lethargy. He said without the month prep, I would have been in bed with flu-like symptoms. Right after I started the candida detox, I noticed that my hair quit falling out! YAY!!!
I have been on it for another month- and my bald spots keep getting smaller and smaller. (I shave my head because it's easier to move on with my life with it shaved.) Every time I let it grow to a quarter inch, I can see there is more hair growing. It is still a little too thin to use, but I like the direction this is going. I have more energy. Over all, my life is better. For me, it was totally worth it. The whole protocol (including his consults and supplements) has probably cost me about $600. I know AA often goes into remission on it's own- but I feel stronger and have more stamina than before this started, so I still think it was worth it.
You can look up candida protocol on line- from what I have seen, there are a lot of charletons and misinformation out there. I trust this guy for a few reasons, but one is because he doesn't sell any supplements- he just tells me the dose, the names and brands that work best and I find the best price on line. I pay him a consultation fee- so there's no kick backs or ulterior motive for prescribing more supplements. I would not try winging a candida detox on your own. Like bacterial infections, candida can become resistant to whatever you try to poison it with the first time. If any is left alive, that repopulates your body and the same therapy won't work again. Diet alone won't get rid of it, because it is linked to your blood stream and it can feed off blood sugar. As long as you are alive, it will survive. The diet is not easy, but I was motivated. I ate only meat, salads, summer squash, cauliflower, eggs, and almonds. I drank almond milk and water. I ate goat cheese. No preprocessed foods. No microwaves. This extreme diet is only for a few months. Then I can ease up and eat some carbs occasionally. Hope this info helps someone else. Contact me if you want more details on my supplement guy, I know he does phone consults.
Can you please send me this specialists contact information? My email is I have had Alopecia for about 2 years now. I lost about 90% of my head hair (and probably about 10% of my body hair) intially. It has been growing fantastically for the past few months, but has recently begain falling out again. I went and got tested for candida overgrowth yesterday (along w/all my vitamins, autoimmune diseases, etc.). Whether I am diagnosed by my doctor though, I'd be interested in talking to him. Thank you.
I am so grateful to you for this post. I have AA for last 15 years. I have consulted many renowned Dermatologists in India in these 15 years for AA and nobody was even able to diagnose my Alopecia. While surfing through net, I read your posts and the story of your recovery. It gave me a hope and direction to diagnose my AA myself. I did my ANA test which came negative. And I also did tests for Vitamin D3 deficiency and Biotin Deficiency. I am very deficient in both. So I have started taking supplements for them. I am also going to do food allergy test and will change my diet accordingly. For the first time in 15 years, I am feeling very positive about my recovery. Thank you so much for sharing your experience.
My 17 month old was diagnosed with alopecia 4 months ago.  She has probably acutally had alopecia since 6 months old looking back.  We were blaming the spots on the back of her head on "rubbing".  New spots really started to show around 12 months.  At 11 months we transitioned from formula and baby organic fruit and veggies to "regular people food".  We had already identified a dairy allergy and she was on Soy Milk only.  We started gluten free three months ago in addition to dairy free. She certainly has regrowth in her large patch but continues to develop small patches elsewhere.  She has about 50% hairloss at this time. My husband and I are trying to decide whether or not the gluten free is making any difference. How long were you gluten free before you noticed a change? 
If she has regrowth, I would keep it up.  Did you notice her hair loss get worse once you transitioned to "regular people food"?   Is she too young for other food allergy tests?  I wonder if it is something else. Egg is also another common allergy.    This website has really yummy recipes for low allergy foods:
She has a facebook page where she posts recipes too. I would not give up on diet yet. The fact that she has regrowth is such a good sign. And there is really no other effective treatment. Some people have temporary response from steroid shots, but most do not, and I would REALLY worry to trying steroids on a baby.  You might as well do what you can.  I hope you find a support group of parents of children with alopecia. I think it would help.  It was so hard that it happened to me- but if it was happening to my baby- I think that would stress me even more- because I imagine, like me, you love your baby more than anything in the world.  I will pray for your family and your baby. I hope she grows out of this and you find strength to make this easier to bear. Good luck. My prayers are with you.
Thank you so much.  And yes!  Her hair loss was rapid at the 12 month mark which was approximately 2-4 weeks after we changed her to a more liberal diet.  She also had 5 immunizations at that time so I am not sure if it was the combination of things?  Her pediatrician is actually holding off on her 15 month immunizations for another month or so.  We are trying topical steroids.....which make me nervous even though they are just topical. I know long-term steroid use on the skin can create issues with skin thinning and even hypopigmentation.  They advised holding off on allergy testing until she is two because there is a higher probability of false positives when they are young.  The pediatric dermatologist told us that eliminating allergens from her diet will not change her situation.....and I strongly disagree. And yes, it is devastating as a mother to watch people stare at your child and ask if she "got a hold of the scissors".  It is such a helpless feeling.  Thank you for your recommendations.
Hi Stephanie,

My alopecia started after I got several immunizations. I believe it was due to stress, poor diet, and the vaccines that put my immune system over the edge. I will never get any vaccinations again after further researching it. Best of luck to you and your daughter. 

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