Alopecia Areata And Other Autoimmune Disease: Nutrition Is Critical In Healing

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By Jodi Briden, CHHC, AADP

alopeciaareataFor over 36 years, I’ve been told there is no cure for alopecia areata, an autoimmune condition that causes a person to lose their hair. Like anyone with a chronic condition, I’ve always found that frustrating to hear.

I’ve had alopecia areata since I was 8 years old, so I know the many challenges one faces with a chronic condition, especially living in a world that judges us by our appearance.

Symptoms of alopecia areata can range from small patches on the scalp to complete hair loss all over the body. I’ve known the pain and heartache of having a needle injected into my scalp and to have the non-treated area grow back first. I’ve endured the many years of being told by doctors, “we’re getting closer to an answer and a cure.”

I’ve experienced the fear and the fragile hope of not wanting to lose all of my hair. Despite living most of my life in various stages of hair loss (and for the last 11 years, no hair at all), I’ve always believed that somehow I’d figure out what my own body needed to re-grow my hair and more importantly to heal my body.

Despite living most of my life in various stages of hair loss (and for the last 11 years, no hair at all), I’ve always believed that somehow I’d figure out what my own body needed to re-grow my hair and more importantly to heal my body.

Several years ago I took my passion for food and health to a new level and became a certified holistic health coach. I was taught by some of the best functional medicine doctors in the world. I began to see the powerful connection between the direct, and sometimes immediate, impact of food and the incredible ability of our bodies to heal themselves. This new found knowledge also began to shed some light on the impact my own diet and lifestyle has had on my health, including having alopecia areata, a digestive disorder (leaky gut syndrome) and hypothyroid.

It is very possible to heal, even life long conditions. I now know that to be true. For the last several years I’ve made many changes in my diet. I am beyond thrilled that after making those numerous changes – my hair is coming back (and I’ve healed my digestion and my thyroid is almost back to normal).

After 11 years of absolutely no hair growth, the hair on my head, my legs, my armpits and even my eyebrows are growing!

Having any autoimmune disease is a sign that our immune system is damaged and is in need of healing. While losing hair, thankfully, isn’t fatal, it is a sign of a much deeper issue going on inside our body.

This is true for not only alopecia areata but all other autoimmune diseases as well (MS, Lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, celiac disease, and many others). The common trait found in all autoimmune diseases is internal inflammation, and food has the ability to support the body’s natural healing system.

saladWe can reduce the inflammation and support our body functioning at its optimum level of health, simply by changing our diet. There are certain foods that are naturally anti-inflammatory and other foods that exacerbate the inflammation. Our body can use its natural healing abilities to begin repairing the damage when we remove the triggers and fill up with nutrient dense, whole natural foods.

In addition to nutrition and a nurturing lifestyle being vitally important in healing any autoimmune disease, our attitude and outlook on life is also a critical piece to healing our body. Minimizing negative self-talk, believing that healing is possible and filling ones life with positive thoughts and actions can provide a path of vitality, longevity and great health.

– Jodi Briden, CHHC, AADP, owner/founder of Your Wellness Partner, llc provides customized holistic wellness programs for individuals and groups. She is board certified as a Holistic Health Coach by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners and provides coaching, support, and guidance to clients to regain their health, lose weight, alleviate symptoms and heal chronic conditions, including alopecia areata & other autoimmune diseases, and live a life of vitality and wellness. Connect with Jodi on Twitter as well: @JodiBriden

1 Comment

  1. Hi Jodi – Its’s great to see that you’re doing the 10- day detox – I’m loving it too-  my husband is on board too!  Getting great results – with weight loss, energy level and down time.I was hoping we can reconnect again regarding my daughter Allison who also has been dealing with alopecia areata for the past ten years.   For the past 2 years she has been treated by Dr. Susan Blum – who you may know about through IIN – she’s closely connected to Mark Hyman – she has a similar practice here in NY.  She has gotten some good results as far as balancing Alie’s hormone levels – about 1 year ago – Allison’s hair was almost completely in – but the loss pattern began all over again and the condition now is the worst it’s been.  Even Dr. Blum is baffled as Allie has followed her protocol to a tee.  Allie decided to see a dermatologist who is carefully treating her with steroid injections in a small trial area  and gave her a topical cream for rest of scalp.  Dr. B. said to give it a try since nothing else seems to be working.  Maybe psychologically  this will help remove some of the stress level Allie feels in dealing with AA.  As I don’t know anyone else who has had and healed from this condition – I’m hoping to get some feedback from you on what you’ve done that has helped you.  Allie did a 3- week detox back in November to eliminate all allergens from her diet – she is now gluten and dairy free.   She has a small frame – barely weighs 100 lbs @ 5’2″.    This way of eating is difficult for someone who needs to gain not lose weight!  She is healthy otherwise and rarely gets sick or even experiences digestive problems – here lies the dilemma.   If you can offer any helpful input or share info that may be “missing piece of the puzzle” we’d  be eternally gateful!   I could also put Allie in touch with you if that might be more helpful to her – hoping and praying!   BTW love your site and to see the work you are doing – I’m slowly getting started but hopeful to get on board soon.  I’m inspired by this detox – hoping to use this as a starting point – would like to work with mother/daughter groups – to help them achieve wellness and to learn how to positively communicate/share what works from the past and the present. Look forward to hearing from you soon – thanks for your encouragement – great article – well written.  It seems like the last part you wrote that is Allie’s greatest struggle – I’m sure it would be for me too!  Ida Tropiano – IIN grad – 2010 845-623-1155 845-641-2687 

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