Although it’s not a life threatening condition, Alopecia Areata (patchy baldness) can cause sufferers much anguish and distress. I first noticed a golf ball size bald patch on the back of my otherwise thick hair when I was about 17. The doctor said it was stress related and gave me some cortisone shots in the area. A couple months later, the hair grew back in quickly.
I wish that was the end of the story. In retrospect, I was lucky. Many people with alopecia areata lose all their hair all over their body. I just had one bald spot and it grew back. A year or two later, I got another spot and then a couple other smaller ones. Back to the dermatologist for shots. However, this time the hair started to take some time to grow back. In my twenties, I got new bald spots in different areas just about every year. I had odd thin patches that came and went as well. Sometimes the spots would not fill back in after the cortisone shots. My last dermatologist wanted to take a biopsy but I refused. I had every blood test imaginable taken.
Everytime I went to a new barber, he/she would remark that the last barber butchered my hair. “No, ” I would sigh, “that’s how it grows.” I started to go to one barber who specialized in cutting the thicker areas shorter than the others.
I also suffered from canker sores pretty regularly. I was heavily involved in martial arts and whenever I recieved a cut inside my mouth, I’d get a painful canker for about 10 days.
When I had my last bout about 4 years ago, I broke down and bought a product to hide the spots. It was a black powder that worked pretty well except it would rub off on anything I happen to brush my head against, like a head rest or pillow. However, this product, Dermatch from Dermatch Inc. was a life saver.
Believe me when I tried almost everything — i tried chili peppers, topical steroid gels–I can’t even remember everything, but if it’s out there, I’m sure I tried it.
But something did work — for me. I completely cut gluten out of my diet. Yes..no bread, no pasta, no Pizza! It’s one of the hardest things I had to do, but it seems to be working. 4 years and not one bald spot. All the thin spots filled in (which never happened for over 20 years). My better half says my hair is like a ‘carpet’.
And guess what? I never get canker sores either.
There is one more thing I added, which I feel is related. I started taking a Fish Oil supplement morning and evening religiously exactly when I stopped the gluten.
This is the one I take:
I know this is not scientific, since I did both things at the same time. But I’m not willing to test stopping the fish oil to know for sure. In my mind, if you suffer from this problem, try the gluten-free diet and the fish oil together. An added benefit is that the fish oil helped improve my lipid profile immensely. I’ll go over that detail in a future post.
Let me know what you think.
33 Replies to “Alopecia Areata Cured!”
Congratulations on curing your alopecia! How long did it take for you to see results after you went gluten free? Can I ask what your diet consisted of? Thank you!
Hi Tammy, no special diet, just avoid all wheat and increase intake of fish oil. I saw results in just a few months. I think a low carb diet will help with inflammation.
Please let us know how you progress.
Thank you for sharing I found out that I have alopecia in october of last year and those spots are disturbing and painful for me to look at in the mirror it had even gotten worse. I have been wanting to try a gluten free diet I will be trying this thanks again please keep us updated on how everything is working for you. God Bless
Hi Brittany, how are you doing now?
Did you also cut out dairy by any chance? I have alopecia areata and dairy seemed to be the culprit.
No. Dairy did not have an effect either way for me. That is very interesting. How confident are you that dairy was part of your issue? Have you tried raw dairy or dairy from grass fed animals?
Hi . My name is Tamshra Paulino from Guam . I’m recently diagnosed with this alopecia && I’m doing intense research for better care for my hair . I’m also 17 when I found out in September when I received a golf ball size patch too && since the past months I’ve tried endless searching help for my thick hair to prevent all continuing patches that are soon to connect . Thank you for the tip . I’m willing to give it a shot for the gluten free diet . 🙂
Good Luck Tamshra. Try fish oil or eating more salmon too! Please stay in touch.
hi .. do you recommend cutting back from red meat and poultry as well ? or just gluten free diet with fish oil is enough ..
No need to cut back on meat but go by how you feel. If you don’t feel good, don’t eat it and always check with a doctor, they can be your best ally to great health.
I currently have Alopecia barbae, I’m pretty certain it’s down to a supplement in my diet. I’m taking Fish oil at 1g twice a day but I have recently started taking 5g creatine to help with my workouts but I’m pretty certain the patch had started before I started the creatine.. How much mg/g of fish oil do you take?
Sorry I forgot to add, they jave linked high white blood cell count alopecia. From what I have read fish oil increases white blood cell count.
Jay, can you post a link to that study? Maybe it’s related to inflammation or low grade infection. I don’t remember exactly how many grams i took, but it was several.
I will be posting about infrared and red light therapy soon. Look into getting a strong laser pointer in the 650nm (red) or 808nm (infrared) to reduce inflammation in the spots and improve hair growth. I think the studies say 650nm is better. Good luck!