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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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    • Well, I have never cruised on Carnival, but I am sure they can accommodate you.  I assume that you have already alerted them that you require gluten free meals.  If not, please contact Carnival immediately. Here are my own tips.  Some folks eat off the buffet line, but not me or hubby except for coffee/drinks and baked potatoes (jacketed) and fruit that we wash in the restroom (people touch everything!)  Okay, I am OCD, but my last glutening which occurred the previous summer made me sick for three months (GI tested my antibodies to prove it).   When we board, I go to the buffet restaurant ASAP and ask to speak to the Head Waiter (they are usually there greeting customers and often trying to up sell to specialty restaurants.   Let them know you have celiac disease and must be gluten free.  They may try to tell you that each dish is clearly marked gluten free, but really?  Who's to say that some other passenger is not going to switch spoons (or I have seen passengers wandering around with serving spoons...I kid you not!  The staff usually will  go downstairs and fetch a gluten free meal for me from the main dining room's kitchen as there is usually a dedicated area for allergies.  We have to wait up to 20 minutes or so but it is worth it.  Starving?  Get a baked potato wrapped in foil until your gluten-free meal arrives.  Now, do not do this every single time.  Those folks have to go down several levels to fetch food and you don't want to be a pain.  But if the main dining area is closed, they need to make an effort to keep you safe.  On our last cruise, we were advised not to eat anywhere but the main dining room and that included room service (they are not trained to handled allergies).  My headwaiters have sent goodies (prepackaged gluten free rolls and cookies for us to keep in our room.  We can always grab whole fruit (I wash it first) to snack on.  I bring gluten-free non-perishable items with me to eat while at port in case we can't find anything (which can be often).  Again, when we get back to our ship, we contact our headwaiter and he/she can prepare some snacks until we have dinner.   Be grateful and not picky.   We eat all meals in the dining room (or at least as much as possible).  Our headwaiter had a few other celiacs on our cruise this summer, so they prepared some gluten-free waffles, etc. for our breakfast!  What a treat!  At breakfast, we'd have different waiters, so our headwaiter would always instruct our waiters each and every time!  They even let me tour the kitchen and showed me the allergy section.   The only time I did not feel safe was at the buffet.  We once ordered gluten-free pizza and I realized (I watched) that that restaurant didn't really have the gluten-free thing down), do I called him on it.  Got the manager etc.  So, be careful.  Other cruises made us frozen Udi"s which was just fine with us.  They covered it up in foil so that we would not get any cross contamination from their pizza oven. So, have fun!   Tipping?  We prepaid our gratuities, but we gave our headwaiter an extra $200.00 for his time.  For us, it was well worth the service and safety of our food.  It does not hurt to slip some of the tip ahead of time (like after your first meal!)  
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    • Hi there, I hope you're all having a good day! I'll be heading on a week-long Carnival cruise shortly and had a few questions: -What is the tipping protocol? I've prepaid gratuities, but feel like the food request will warrant something extra. Should I tip the headwaiter? Hostess? Regular waiter? Chef? Those cooking at, say, the sandwich or pasta bars? If so, how much is appropriate, and should I tip at the beginning of the cruise, the end, or split it up? -It looks like the main dining room will be closed during lunch hours on most days. Any recommendations on safe bets for midday meals? I'll be on the Carnival Sunshine, for what that's worth. Thank you so much for any information you can share!  
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