Testing an Autoimmune Diet

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I’m really interested in the link between gut health and autoimmunity. And I’m curious to know if the autoimmune diet I tried back in 2018 could’ve actually made a real difference to my alopecia – if only I’d stuck to it!

So I went to see a Functional Medicine (FM doctor) when I was home in Ireland last summer (2019) to explore this link further. 

What I wanted to find out

  • Whether my gut health could be affecting my hair.
  • If inflammation could be causing the chronic daily headaches I’ve had for 2 years.
  • If the same factors might have contributed to the depression and anxiety I’ve had on and off for years, too. (I know. Not fun.)

The doctor ran some tests on my microbiome and diagnosed me with gut dysbiosis. She told me that this can lead to autoimmune conditions, plus mental illnesses such as brain fog, anxiety and depression – due to its effect on our neurotransmitters. I can relate to that.

What the doctor advised

  • A 5-day gut cleanse. During this time, she told me to only drink smoothies made from water and “medical food” – a protein and vitamin-rich powder called UltraClear Sustain from Nutri Advanced – to ensure I’d still get all the nutrients I need.
  • An elimination diet for at least 30 days. This would include cutting out dairy, eggs, wheat/gluten, alcohol, sugar, soy and soybean products. Yikes… but she DID say I could have one coffee a day. Yay!
  • A supplementation plan for at least 30 days. My range of goodies include this Vitamin B formula plus Vitamin D with K, this Magnesium blend, plenty of raw ginger and turmeric (if you don’t like that, try these) and a very special probiotic that I swear by called FloraMend Prime Probiotic from Thorne Research. I also have to take a lot of fish oil daily – at first, I took Wiley’s Alaskan liquid but then, thankfully, came across capsules instead…which is much better than the liquid stuff!

Want to see how it goes?!

After a false start (see comments below), I started this diet in April, 2020. And I’m posting weekly progress reports about it on my Facebook page

So make sure to join me there, and see how I get on!

Note: I will be writing up a full case study of the diet, plus doing a proper video on my YouTube channel (as soon as I set it up properly!) over the coming weeks. Watch this space… 😉 

Lady Alopecia xxx

Related posts:

Interested in more natural solutions for hair loss? Then check out these posts!

1. Aloe Vera for Alopecia – Yep, it’s a thing!
2. Nutrition – Some handy dietary tips, whether you’ve got hair or not!
3. The Deal with Neem – Check out this wonder oil
4. Meditation Tips for Stress – Which in turn, can help with hair loss.

10 Responses

  1. I was diagnosed with Alopecia Areta 16 years ago, and a year ago my doctor recommended taking Allegra. He said there were a few studies that showed it improved some peoples condition. I started taking it, and it’s been working. It’s not a 100% cure, if i don’t take it regularly i start losing hair the next day. But when i start taking it again it takes a few days or even a few weeks to start working. Thought i’d pass along the information 🙂

    1. Hi Laura – thanks so much for your comment! You’re the second person I’ve heard to mention Allegra, actually…one lady contacted me through my FB page and asked if I’d heard of it for alopecia. It was the first I’d heard of it so I couldn’t offer much advise (other than the fact I’ve read research into antihistamines for hair loss and they can be effective). Since you can vouch for it also, I’m curious to try! Did you notice any bad side effects though? Personally, I’m wary of taking anything that I’d have to continue using every day as I’m not sure about long-term effects of using antihistamines – but it’s wonderful that you’ve found something that works for you! It could be a nice idea for anyone whose hair loss is triggered by allergies. 🙂

  2. Thank you for the kind words 🙂 Of course, please go ahead and share, thanks for asking! Yes I have joined your newsletter, and looking forward to your yoga classes as well.

    You are such an inspiration, keep doing what you are doing! Take care xx

    1. Hi again! Thank you for sharing that, what a lovely site – and I look forward to listening to your music! I’m so sorry to hear about the suddenness and severity of your AU though, you’ve obviously had an incredibly intense few months. Well done you for recording your experience, I’m sure it’ll prove invaluable for others going through a similar thing. Do you mind if I share your website on my Facebook page, actually? Also, feel free to join my newsletter if you like. I’m in the middle of developing a special “yoga for alopecia” course (starting in November and hosted online, obviously! 😉 ) if that would be something you might be interested in. Take care in the meantime and I hope the immunotherapy helps – also that you get headache relief, I’ve had them chronically for over 2 years now so can appreciate how horrible it is!!

      Lots of love to you xxx

  3. Thanks for sharing Lady Alopecia! Googling “AIP Diet and Alopecia” got me here finally – and been reading through your articles for hours now – really great stuff in here, I wish I’d come across earlier! I tried AIP for a few weeks – and gave up last week. Felt hungry all the time, and so difficult to find the alternative food i.e. squash plantain cassava where I live, and if you are vegan protein intake is a bit of an issue. At the same time I feel like I might want to try it again when the time is right, and I am 80% determined on calling it quit on all medical treatments (starting topical immunotherapy next week) so your experiences will definitely be of much help for me. Looking forward to your articles/YouTube updates!

    Sharing is caring – please see below for my alopecia experience if you like 😉

    1. Hi Shino, Thanks so much for your lovely comment! I’m really glad you’re finding value in my site. I hear you on the AIP thing, it was tough at first but I’m doing a more relaxed version now that lets me have beans, pulses, nuts and seeds. I still find that I need to soak everything for a long time though and to never buy the canned stuff – my gut is much happier that way! I do eat meat also, so I had more choices. I guess what you could do in the meantime is to really avoid processed foods, sugar, alcohol and ESPECIALLY gluten/wheat (so, so inflammatory!)…plus soy products (if you can). I’m sure that doing that in itself will make a big difference, and I give some supplement tips in this post if you’re interested. 🙂

      I tried checking out your link but it didn’t work? Sorry about that, I’d love to read about your experience if you wanna try again… Best of luck with the topical immunotherapy, wishing you all the best!

      Lady Alopecia x

  4. I recently found two patches. I’m so grateful for your blog.

    I have read the medical medium thyroid book and a few articles on AIP diets. Curious how it’s been going I didn’t see anything on YouTube! How similar is the diet in 2018 to this one???

    1. Hi Kiran,

      Thanks so much for your comment – I’m really sorry to hear about your patches, too. And I hope you can find some info here that helps! I must apologise, I still haven’t gotten around to posting videos yet, as I actually got married in February so temporarily suspended the diet as I knew it would go out the window! 😉 I had been seeing a lot of success with it though in terms of digestion, mood etc and a little regrowth. The diet I tried in 2018 was quite similar but with more supplements – it was from Amy Myers’ book, The Autoimmune Solution, which I uncovered after reading a brilliant article on the link between gut health and hair loss. More on that here. But basically, they say similar things – that if you have any kind of autoimmune disorder like alopecia, you’re more susceptible to other autoimmune stuff (maybe thyroid issues too) and that reducing inflammatory foods (gluten, dairy, eggs, tofu and sugar) is a good idea. I promise I will get around to doing the videos soon though once I can get my supply of supplements sent again! 🙂

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