Autoimmune Disorders & Hair Loss
Every single journal I’ve read on gluten related to autoimmune disorders lists some form of alopecia as a possible consequence. If you’ve been diagnosed with any auto-immune disorder, including celiac disease, Graves Disease, Hashimoto Thyroiditis, lupus or pernicious anemia, and you’re losing your hair, you can possibly take a closer look at gluten.
Some people will create antibodies toward gluten that attack not only the gluten, but their hair follicles and other parts of the body. These antibodies are called gliadin antibodies. These antibodies reach over and above attacking gluten, and will go after other parts of the body it’s trying to protect.
How To Start Eating Gluten
Today, anyone can choose to switch to a gluten-free diet to help put a stop to hair loss. The trick here is to pay more attention to the kind of foods that you eat. For starters, when buying bread, pasta or cereal, be sure to go for those made with gluten-free flours. Examples include amaranth, buckwheat groats, arrowroot, nut flours, tapioca, soy, potato, sorghum, cassava, and millet.
Meanwhile, you can also incorporate more foods into your diet that are naturally gluten-free. These include fruits, vegetables, seafood, eggs, nuts, nut butter, beans, potatoes, legumes, and meats.
On the other hand, when buying packaged food, its important to check the ingredient lists for any ingredient containing gluten. This way, you will be sure that all your groceries are always gluten-free.
How Malabsorption Affects Hair
So why does malabsorption cause hair loss? In short, your body considers hair as a non-vital organ thats unnecessary to survival. Your body requires a certain amount of nutrients to run all the processes that keep you alive. So when you lack nutrients due to malabsorption, your body may reroute the nutrients that you do absorb towards internal organs and other vital processes, and away from your hair follicles.
Without adequate nutrients, your hair follicles may grow thinner, weaker hair, and your hair growth can slow or even stop. Over time, breakage, shedding, or growing thinner, brittler strands can lead to visible hair loss.
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Celiac Disease And Hair Loss
Celiac disease affects three million people in the U.S. and is classified as an autoimmune disease. Celiac disease is the only autoimmune disease in the world where the trigger or cause is known.
Those diagnosed with celiac disease must adhere to a strict, lifelong medically-required gluten-free diet in order to treat and manage their disease. There are no pills, vaccines, surgical procedures, or magic potions to make celiac disease go away.
Gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and derivatives of these grains, is extremely hard to avoid. Gluten is hidden in many surprise products, and makes eating at restaurants a challenge for celiac disease sufferers.
One of the many symptoms of celiac disease is intestinal malabsorption, which is a fancy way of saying your body isnt properly absorbing nutrients from the food you eat. Intestinal malabsorption leads to malnutrition and nutritional deficiencies, and such nutritional deficiencies can lead to a slew of ailments including but not limited to skin rashes and hair loss.
Every time someone with celiac disease eats gluten, their bodys immune system mistakenly attacks the healthy tissue surrounding their small intestine, and damages and flattens the villi, which are the finger-like follicles surrounding the small intestine. Over time, the small intestine becomes so damaged that it cant properly do its important job of feeding every organ and cell in your body.
Can Hair Loss From Celiac Disease Be Reversed
Once youre diagnosed with celiac disease, the only treatment option is a strict, life-long gluten-free diet.
The good news is that many people with celiac disease go on to live long and healthy lives with plenty of hair on their heads. In fact, once you get your celiac disease in check, and your nutritional deficiencies are resolved, hair loss will likely be a thing of the past.
Just keep in mind that it can take your body time to heal and adjust post-diagnosis. A gluten-free diet, supplementation , and healthy lifestyle changes can accelerate the healing process.
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What Type Of Blood Tests Are Used To Diagnose Autoimmune Diseases
Several different blood tests may be used to diagnose an autoimmune disease. In addition to a regular complete blood count and metabolic panel, other tests that are likely to be included are anti-dsDNA, anti-RNP, anti-Sm, anti-Sjogren’s SSA and SSB, anti-scleroderma, anti-Jo-1, anti-CCP, antibody against cardiolipin, and an antinuclear antibody test. A rheumatoid factor test, which looks for rheumatoid arthritis, is also usually included during the diagnostic phase. The antinuclear antibody test looks for antibodies that could cause an autoimmune response.
Skin Conditions Common In Celiac Patients
The arms and legs are also common spots for yet another autoimmune disorder, psoriasis, to develop. Some patients with psoriasis are responsive to a gluten-free diet, but unfortunately, not everyone. Another skin condition that often shows up on the arms is dermatitis herpetiformis , although this itchy blistering skin rash can occur in other places as well. Common sites are the backs of the elbows and the backs of the knees, or on the lower legs.
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Can Celiac Cause Hair Loss
One of the side effects to Celiac disease could potentially be hair loss. What Celiac does to the body as mentioned above, is cause damage to the small intestine when exposed to gluten. Over time that damage will prevent your body from properly digesting the nutrients you are taking in, so even if you have a healthy diet you could start to become malnourished without realizing. As a result, your body may start to suffer from the effects of malnutrition,which includes hair loss.
Another cause of hair loss that has some correlation with Celiac is another autoimmune disease: alopecia areata. This is a form of hair loss that occurs when your immune system attacks your own hair follicles. While there is no direct connection established just yet between Celiac and alopecia areata, the odds of both occurring in a person correlates so high that there are doctors who do recommend that you get tested for Celiac if you have alopecia areata.
Dental Enamel Defects Can Indicate Celiac Disease
While they are usually identified in childhood, they can continue to cause problems throughout life, because they often lead to more frequent dental cavities. Halitosis, or bad breath, is a reflection of our internal environment and gastrointestinal health, and is often present in those with untreated celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, or gut dysbiosis an upset in the balance of our internal microorganisms caused by poor diet and other factors. And, one of the autoimmune disorders strongly associated with celiac disease, and one of the most prevalent is Sjogrens syndrome, which impairs the normal production of body fluids like tears, saliva, and vaginal secretions.
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Diet Changes For Celiac Sufferers
More and more people are opting to avoid gluten in their diet regardless of their intolerance levels, but those suffering from celiac disease have no choice regarding their diet and must stay away from gluten in its entirety.
It may sound simple, but itâs not such an easy task with gluten found in so many different food sources in our daily lives. If you want to remove gluten to benefit your lifestyle and/or your own condition, itâs vital to avoid the following foods, providing they are not labeled otherwise:
- Biscuits and cakes
- Pies and pastries
If youâre unsure of what a certain food contains, itâs always a good idea to check the labels of those containing processed ingredients and researching those that do not. You canât be too careful even the slightest trace of gluten can set alarm bells through the body if youâre suffering from celiac disease.
How Does Coeliac Disease Affect My Hair
There are two main ways that coeliac disease can affect your hair.
The first is malnutrition. If your coeliac disease has gone undiagnosed for a long time, then the body will likely be unable to absorb enough vitamins. Vitamins are essential for hair growth and nourishment, so the lack of vitamins is probably causing hair loss. Luckily, once you switch to a gluten-free diet, the hair should grow back.
If you have coeliac disease and ingest gluten, hair loss does not always occur. But coeliac patients can still suffer from brittle and thinning hair, as well as dandruff, dermatitis, and an itchy scalp as a result of vitamin malabsorption.
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Malabsorption And Vitamin Deficiency
There a few last symptoms related to malabsorption that tend to show up in those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Easy bruising and bleeding, either due to a deficiency of Vitamin K, or to an autoimmune platelet disorder, is one. Rickets, or osteomalacia a softening of the bones in the legs related to vitamin D deficiency is another. As we said before, inflammation goes along with celiac disease and gluten intolerance, and a common site for inflammation is the lower extremities. Sometimes this can be profound, and trigger doctors to think heart disease, but its often unresponsive to Lasix and other diuretics. This condition, too, may also clear up on a gluten-free diet.
As for me, Ill be happy to be gluten-free, from head to toe.
Q: Could My Thyroid Condition Be Causing My Hair Loss
A: Yes, it could. A lot of people with thyroid dysfunction shed hair.
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The hair loss is typically reversed after your thyroid hormone levels are normalized. But this may take some time.
Its important to point out that hair loss may not just be caused by your thyroid, however.
Having one autoimmune disorder also increases your risk for having others, some of which produce hair loss:
- Celiac disease can be associated with iron deficiency, which triggers hair loss.
- Alopecia areata, a skin condition, causes hair to fall out, typically leaving round spots without hair.
And for women, menopause creates a low estrogen state that can thin the hair follicles, giving the appearance of overall hair loss.
If youre shedding hair, I would definitely tell your physician, who can determine the reason. Doctors can sometimes prescribe treatments to minimize or reverse hair loss.
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Crohns Disease And Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
Inflammatory bowel diseases , like Crohns disease, ulcerative colitis and celiac disease, are still not fully understood, nor is the connection between IBD and hair loss.
Regardless, research shows that the immune system is involved in the mediation of inflammatory bowel diseases, and this might be one way IBD can contribute to hair loss. Often, immunosuppressant medications are given to help manage IBDs, and these might also contribute to hair loss.
Also, people who are dealing with inflammatory bowel diseases often have trouble absorbing adequate vitamins and minerals, so dietary deficiencies might also cause hair loss. And then theres stress. Stress and IBD are often joined at the hip, and stress can have some pretty major impacts on our follicles, too.
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What Is Hashimotos Thyroiditis
Hashimotoâs thyroiditis, also known as autoimmune thyroid disease, can be caused by both genetic and environmental factors. According to the American Thyroid Association, it is an autoimmune disorder that causes long-term inflammation of the thyroid. Over time, the thyroid gland struggles to produce enough thyroid hormones, which leads to a slow or underactive thyroid . Hashimotoâs thyroiditis occurs most commonly in middle-aged women, but it can appear at any age and sometimes affects men and children.
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Gluten Assaults Hair By:
- Malabsorption of nutrients from intestinal permeability.
- Antibodies attacking the immune system.
- Inflammation and necrosis causing loosening and shedding of the hair.
It has been documented through The Healthy Diet Paradises hair loss diet academy that in most cases of advanced hair loss, the removal of wheat gluten is what causes spontaneous hair re-growth.
Soy products are also an insidious cause of autoimmune disease and hair loss. Please read our page on soy to learn why.
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Diseases That Cause Hair Loss In Men And Women
While the list of medical conditions plaguing humankind is literally unending, diseases that cause hair loss in men and women can surely be documented with ease. As a leading non-surgical hair replacement systems brand, we continuously work on creating awareness about hair fallout and conditions that lead to it.
Today, Lordhair will talk about diseases that are a major cause of hair loss globally. From the introduction to causes, symptoms, and treatments, we will try to touch upon everything in a brief manner. Lets get started right away:
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Does Graves Disease Cause Hair Loss
Graves disease is one of several autoimmune diseases that can impact hair follicles and growth cycles. It can develop in anyone at any age, though most often it occurs between ages 30 to 50 and is significantly more likely to affect women than men.
If you are managing Graves disease or other thyroid disorders, you might start to notice youre losing hair and wonder if the condition is to blame. Read on to understand the Graves disease and hair loss connection and what you can do to combat thinning hair ASAP.
Do Sore Scalp Cause Hair Loss
Scalp problems involving loss of hair are a life disappointment when you desperately need that hair. We earlier saw how lupus can consequently lead to hair loss.
Other causes of hair loss regardless of whether you have sores on head comprise the following things.
- Diseases like hyperthyroidism
- Side effects of chemotherapy or radiation therapy
- You can also experience hair loss after a recent head surgery
- Heavy metal poisoning thallium or arsenic poisoning
- Mental problems such as Trichotillomania
- Damage or injuries to hair shafts
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How Celiac Disease Can Lead To Hair Loss
If your celiac disease has gone untreated for a long time, you may be malnourished. Malnutrition can cause hair loss, along with a host of other problems. Once you fix any vitamin deficiencies related to being malnourished, your hair should grow back.
Celiac disease is also related to other autoimmune diseases, conditions where your immune system attacks your body, known to cause hair loss. In general, having one autoimmune disease makes you more likely to develop a second autoimmune condition. If your hair loss is not associated with malnutrition or age, it may be related to two other autoimmune diseases associated with hair lossalopecia areata and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.