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Thinning Hair, Chroic Yeast Infection & Other Issues - Help Please
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My mom has Celiac Disease and even though I have not had a biopsy I am 99% positive that I have it too. I have been on a gluten free diet for five months now. About a year ago, I vividly remember having problems with dry, itchy scalp which I thought was just severe dander. I would literally scratch my scalp and little pieces of it would come off in my fingernails. Around the same time, I also started noticing that I was losing a lot of hair when I would blow dry and straighten. At the time I thought nothing of it because I have always had extremely long, thick hair. Now, a year later, I have 1/2 the hair I once had. I don't have bald spots, but it is very thin and lacks volume. I didn't notice how thin it had gotten until about 3-4 months ago.

On top of that, I have also had a yeast infection for the past year and a half that will not go away no matter how many times I treat it. I am worried about this too because chronic yeast infections could mean that the yeast in my body is out of control (which would also prohibit me from absorbing nutrients and could be causing the hair loss).

Can anyone tell me if they experienced hair loss and, if so, did it eventually grow back once you started the diet? I am terrified that I may have permanently damaged my hair by scratching/picking at my scalp and that my hair is gone for good! If it does grow back, how long will it take?

I'm only 24 years old, and I am so stressed, anxious and depressed because of all these problems related to Celiac.

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My hair did grow back. Like you the loss was diffuse, or all over not in patches. I had to be strict with the diet, I take Country Life Hair and Nails supplements and use shampoo that is for sure gluten free. When I get glutened or in my case soyed also, I do get a recurrance of hair loss for a short time. So for me it is part of the autoimmune reaction. For some it is more due to nutrient deficiencies. It can take about 3 months to notice the hair growing back so do try to be patient, hard as it is.

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My hair did grow back. Like you the loss was diffuse, or all over not in patches. I had to be strict with the diet, I take Country Life Hair and Nails supplements and use shampoo that is for sure gluten free. When I get glutened or in my case soyed also, I do get a recurrance of hair loss for a short time. So for me it is part of the autoimmune reaction. For some it is more due to nutrient deficiencies. It can take about 3 months to notice the hair growing back so do try to be patient, hard as it is.

Thank you so much. I am relieved to hear this. I have been worried about this to the point of obsession and cannot stop feeling anxious about it. I have to admit that I haven't been very strict about the diet. There have definitely been times when I have cheated in the past 5 months. This probably isn't helping the situation so I am going to be very strict from here on out. I also am taking Country Life Maxi Hair vitamins.

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Tell me about chronic yeast infections! I've been struggling with them since I was 13 years old. It's very frustrating and painful, especially when they don't go away after using various creams, suppositories, oral meds, etc. My yeast infections seem to come and go. Usually I have several each year. But in the late 1990s, I literally had one for about 8 months that kept coming back, no matter what I did. It was horrible and I got really depressed. I even got so desparate as to use gentian violet. BAD idea. It made me break out in open sores and peeing was like pouring gasoline on myself. The only way I finally broke the cycle was to drastically reduce the amount of sugar in my diet.

That's my other problem, i constantly crave sweets: cookies, cake, ice creams, etc. I notice the more sweets I eat, the more I crave. I also suffer from a lot of fatigue, which is another symptom of candida overgrowth.

Also, keep in mind that sometimes your body gets "used to" certain medications if you use them over and over. For instance, if you use Monistat cream every time you get a yeast infection, it sometimes wears out its potency. When they were really bad, I had to alternate and use different types of creams, etc. Sometimes I'd take an oral antifungal as well as the cream. Also, I find that Monistat and other over-the-counter yeast creams are often not strong enough to actually get rid of a yeast infection, especially if its chronic. They are good at "masking" the symptoms for some time (in my case about 2 weeks or so) and then it comes back. I often use Terazol, which is a much stronger anti fungal cream that has to be prescribed. The other thing that is confusing is sometimes you could have a bacterial infection, or even have both. So unless you are pretty positive that it's just yeast, seeing a doctor would probably be a good idea. I got frustrated with the docs, too, though. They just kept telling me that some women are very unlucky and just have chronic yeast infections all the time.

Anyway, feel free to contact me or ask me any other questions as I've suffered from these nasties for 19 years now!

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Have either of you tried prolonged use of AZO Yeast tablets? They are sort of a preventative for that issue. You can take up to 3 daily to get rid of symptoms... and 1-2 to maintain being symptom free. About 4 years ago I had the same issue you all are describing, tried everything OTC and prescription. I'm just super sensitive and was spending a lot of time in bathing suits, etc. My doctor tested me for diabetes because having high glucose levels in your body can cause yeast problems. I was good but he then suggested Lactobacillus supplements which is what AZO Yeast is. It really worked wonders for me. If you haven't tried it, you should. It can be used in conjunction with other products if you are having current problems. It is gluten free. Found at WalMart, pharmacies, etc.

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I used to take acidopholus (sp?) pills and oral nystatin pills for years. But again, my body seemed to get used to them and they had little effect. I haven't taken the Azo oral pills, although I did try the suppositories once or twice and found them to just create more irritation. I also have vulvodynia and vestibulitis and sometimes it's hard for me to tell if I have an infection or if it's just a flareup with the vulvodynia. Overall, my body is very sensitive and will react to certain treatments in negative ways.

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Has anybody followed a candida diet? I was diagnosed a few months ago and the weight that i have put on has still not come off. I went to a nutritionist yesterday and she recommmended a candida diet for 40 days. Anybody have thoughts?? thanks!

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Have you ever tried applying plain yogurt? It seeds your body with l. acidophilus and other lactobacilli. These bacteria occur naturally in your body and they help to outcompete the yeast. Heard about this in my microbiology class (I'm a cellular biologist) and tried it and it's worked fabulously for me. Make sure to choose yogurt that's not had sugar added to it or you'll end up just feeding the yeast. I will sometimes apply it to myself and just wear a pad or you can dip a tampon in the yogurt and wear it for a couple hours.

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I had a GI fungal infection, from my throat down to my intestines. It was terrible. I took Diflucan daily for 60 days, 30 days off, and 30 days on again. This, along with massive doses of probiotics, did the trick finally. A GI can predscribe.

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    • It only takes a minute to make a difference. Celiac disease has been overshadowed by the gluten-free diet fad. Getting diagnosed and staying healthy is no piece of cake – those of us who have celiac disease struggle to stay healthy. We need better. We need to be understood. We need a cure. View the full article
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    • Another link: http://naldc.nal.usda.gov/download/7351/PDF
    • Thanks for posting.  I know it is difficult to talk about these sorts of things even on a webforum.  It is good thing for people to be aware though about celiac disease and that it can cause mental problems.  Gluten can cause brain damage and it can cause anxiety. If the brain does heal it may take a long time. I know that gluten can cause anxiety and obsessive thoughts.  My experience has been similar to your experience. When I first quit eating gluten I had a similar constant loop and strong negative feelings. There are lots of people on this forum who get anxiety when they eat gluten. Some people also experience gluten withdrawl where they experience anxiety after giving up gluten. It can take a long time for the body to heal and for obsessive thoughts to go away.
       It is normal for people to socialize with each other and to be comfortable about it. You said you have problems still socializing and being around people. It might be a depressing thought but it sounds to me like you still have problems with anxiety.  I would recommend considering what options you have available to treat the anxiety. When I quit eating Gluten I still had some symptoms, even though I felt much better. I have been slowly recovering over a period of about three years. I had obsessive thoughts even after I quit eating gluten.  Now I very rarely if at all think about those things. My experience is that my mind would latch on to certain things that caused me anxiety and focus on those things. Sometimes my focus would shift and I would latch onto other things. My ability to socialize has also improved greatly with time. I have made some dietary changes which I believe have helped greatly. It sounds to me like you have obsessive thoughts about things and maybe some brain damage. My experience has been that my obsessive thoughts about different things went away with time. I feel my obsessive thoughts were caused by gluten and not by what people did around me or any events. As my brain healed I became more self aware and things became less stressful.  I can't give medical advice on this forum but I can talk about my current diet and my experience with celiac disease. My experience with gluten is different from a lot of other people so it is a good idea to ask other people and to talk to a doctor.  I avoid oats and avoid almost all processed foods. I buy certified gluten free food. I eat healthy and I exercise every day. I take st John's Wort as I have read studies that say it may be as effective as some other anti-depressants for treating certain types of anxiety. It is available over the counter. I started with a small dosage and then stepped it up over time. I think it helps a lot.  This is also something that you should talk to a doctor about first. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Martin_Mahoney2/publication/7426926_St._John's_wort/links/540d8acc0cf2f2b29a386673.pdf A lot of people with celiac disease have vitamin deficiencies.  Vitamin b deficiency can cause anxiety. Some people do not process the synthetic form of vitamin b (from normal pills)  very well, and do better on an activated form of vitamin b. I take:
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      St Johns Wort daily.
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      I think each of these helps lower my anxiety level.  I eat fruit with every meal. Canned fruit from walmart is cheap and good for you. I eat salad and and vegetables and avoid dairy.  I eat frozen fish often as it has healthy proteins. Eating healthy is very important. I eat potatoes and rice. http://www.livestrong.com/article/454179-what-is-methyl-b12/ I avoid eating soy sauce, soy, cheese, aged meats and fermented foods (I do drink certain types of alcohol in moderate amounts.) These foods contain lots of Tyramine. I might (or might not) have "monoaine oxidase deficiency" and if so high Tyramine foods should be avoided.  I thought I might have problems with elevated ammonia in my blood, but I am not convinced of that anymore. I limited my consumption of meat for a while as well as dairy but I am not sure if i helped.  I have heard that Celiac disease can effect other organs besides the brain and those organs can have an effect on the brain.  My current diet is working so I am going to stick with it for now. I try not to worry about things that are outside of my control. Be patient as it took me a long time to recover.  Let me know if you have any questions. There is a lot of information on this site and people who are willing to help.
       
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