Hello,
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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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:

http://brittanyangell.com/

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. 

Thanks Jason :)

what test did you take to determine your sensitivity?

Do you think you could give me a whole list of foods you avoided and ate more of? I'm trying to get a complete list of foods to avoid in order to help grow my hair back. If you could give me the list, that would be amazing! And also I'm glad you got recovery of your hair! Its really hard to grow it back, because sometimes a diet would work, and sometimes they wont. And for home rem-ides, you have to wait a looong time and barely see results. I'm gonna try a strict diet and see if that works. Thanks again!

Absolutely all dairy (read labels. You will be shocked what has dairy in it) and all gluten. Research for all the different terms that mean dairy and gluten. It was hard at first but now it's second nature. My daughter essentially eats fruits, vegetables and meat. She also takes a daily probiotic with Vitamin D and a multivitamin. You have to stick with it. She was still losing three months into the diet and we didn't see re growth for 6 months. We are approaching nearly three years since our last hair loss. Good luck!

There is an AIPaleo for Alopecia group on Facebook, if anyone wants to check them out. It's a great forum - people with alopecia who are trying the Autoimmune Paleo protocol, sharing their experiences!

Very encouraging post!

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