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Alopecia Areata
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Hi there,

I was diagnosed gluten intolerant in November, just before Thanksgiving (nice timing!). About two months prior, in September, I noticed a couple round spots where my hair fell out. I figured it was brought on by stress, but read recently that there's a connection between gluten sensitivity and alopecia areata. Anyway, it's been six months and the hair hasn't come back. If anything the spots have gotten bigger since going gluten free.

I've been using Nioxin, but just switched to a gluten-free shampoo and conditioner just on the off chance that there's something gluten-derived in Nioxin (I've heard mixed reports). The little bumps that appeared on my bald spots are clearing up, which is something.

Has anyone had this problem, and if so, how long did it take before your hair came back?

This has happened to me once before, in 2007, and it came back within a few months. It's pretty disturbing. I look like a sumo wrestler if I put my hair in a ponytail.

Any help would be most appreciated.

Heather

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I had alopecia in a mild form all my life, but within the first year of being gluten free I lost almost all my hair! It's been very concerning and doctors have no idea why it's gotten so much worse. I don't want to scare you because I think my case is very strange. I also have some slight elevations in TSH so my doc thinks maybe a little hypothyroidism might be somewhat to blame.

My unscientific theory is that my immune system didn't have as much to fight so it decided to focus more on my hair once the gluten went away. All I know is that I've never felt better, so I'm coping with the possibility of being bald but otherwise healthy. Wigs are shockingly comfortable and realistic, and my insurance covers them. Has anyone else experienced this?

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I have had aa for the last 10 years. It has gotten increasingly worse over time and through a lot of research I discovered the link to celiac. Dec 30 2010, I went gluten free. I found myself very discouraged as well when my hair continued to fall out and would have given up on the diet if my husband did not hold me to it. He said I was a different person - nicer and not as hormonal. So in may of 2011, I went to a natropathic practitioner. She gave me a stool test as said there was fat malabsorbtion which indicated celiac. She Also tested me for other food sensitivities. When I removed the other foods from my diet, my scalp stopped itching(my - I am about to lose hair sign). It took another 5 months or so to show regrowth. Now I have 70% regrowth! I haven't had a full head of hair for years, and now I'm hopeful I may have one soon! Hang in there. And remember it can take 2 years for gluten to get out of your system.

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