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ChloeDharma
June 7th, 2019, 11:38 AM
Ok a bit of a back story, I suspect this might end up a bit rambly.

Last year I gave up gluten to see if that solved some digestive issues and dramatic weight gain I experienced. Long story short, it did. Anyway I noticed that my hair started growing in thicker. I didn't actually credit the gluten free diet for some reason and just thought my hair care routine had finally hit the sweet spot scalp wise.

This year, a few months ago I got fed up with seeing delicious looking pizzas on just about everything I watched. I even started to feel like there was some evil plot to torture me with gluteny food images! Anyway, as my digestive issues were stable and I was happy with my weight I thought I would try an experiment and treat myself to a pizza and see what happened.
I did feel a bit uncomfortable but nothing too dramatic so I thought I'd give myself what I called a "gluten holiday". I went mad and started eating all the things I had been missing, hot cross buns dripping in butter, cakes, sandwiches, lasagna and so on. Yes I know there are gluten free alternatives but they rarely compare to the good stuff.

So this "gluten holiday" kept getting extended and lasted a few weeks or so, maybe a month, I'm not sure now but my scalp acne came back dramatically and I started shedding so much hair. Every brush stroke would drag out handfulls of hairs and when I washed it so much would come out it would tangle as I tried to rinse it. I also noticed that I was starting to see my scalp at the front of my hair and through my parting. I'd say I lost 1/4-1/3 of my hair in this time.

Obviously I was freaking out, I had given up the gluten as my bloating and other digestive weirdness had come back as well as starting to gain some weight but the shedding continued for a while. It has slowed down now and seems back to normal levels, and combined with some scalp treatments I'm doing I have new hairs sprouting up, bearing in mind It's been a while since I came off my "gluten holiday".

I'm convinced that gluten is what caused this dramatic hair loss as the only other thing that I did differently in that time was try a rice water rinse and I really can't see that doing this much damage, plus my issues had started before I did the rinse anyway. I'm also wondering if gluten is what had been causing me issues for so many years before with heavy shedding and thinner hair than I had in my younger days.

Has anybody else experienced this with gluten?

Just to be clear, I'm not saying that gluten would cause everyone to loose hair, I'm just wondering if some people who are gluten intolerant might experience hair loss and not make the connection?

lapushka
June 7th, 2019, 11:57 AM
That is so weird. I would consider a trip to a dietician or doctor for this, though. The effects seem severe enough.

ChloeDharma
June 7th, 2019, 12:04 PM
That is so weird. I would consider a trip to a dietician or doctor for this, though. The effects seem severe enough.

I spoke to my dietician and diabetic liason nurse about the gluten issue last year. They agreed that as my symptoms (not hair issues as I'd not made the connection then) were going away after ditching the gluten then it was logical to continue not eating it. I'm a type 1 diabetic and there does seem to be a link between T1 and gluten issues quite commonly.

lapushka
June 7th, 2019, 01:13 PM
Honestly, it's not worth it then if you're having these issues. I'd stick to gluten-free as well. Gluten-free can be gotten just about any place now. Our Aldi even has a selection of gluten-free pasta and other types of foods. It's easier these days than it used to be.

Lady Stardust
June 7th, 2019, 01:36 PM
I’ve been wheat free and milk free for a few years now, as they both give me digestive issues. I have noticed that my skin got worse when I ate wheat so I can see why you could also get scalp issues.

I also noticed that eating wheat was a migraine trigger for me (amongst many other foods). I hadn’t heard of that before but it turns out that it’s a common trigger.

akurah
June 7th, 2019, 02:04 PM
Even if it's not gluten, whatever you're sensitive to might be what I like to think of as "gluten adjacent"--chemicals that are in the same foods that gluten is in. I sometimes cycle in and out of gluten free not because of gluten intolerance, but because I have IBS and gluten free is an easy way to adhere to part of the FODMAP diet. I haven't yet figured out if gluten is an oligosaccharide or not, but oligosaccharides are one of the things you avoid on a FODMAP diet, and that's what you're avoiding when avoiding gluten.

Tinyponies
June 7th, 2019, 02:08 PM
Hey, Iíve been avoiding wheat pretty strictly for a few years now, and skin wise Iíve cleared acne and eczema as well as many other quite serious internal and digestive issues.

I had a long lapse last year during a period of particularly intense stress and actually that lines up with the massive shed I experienced at that time. I also had a big surgery on my chest, moved house, and family bereavements. So itís hard to pin it down 100%. With all that going on, I hadnít considered this connection.

(Am back to my normal gluten free diet now, and can report feeling a lot better).

Glad things are calming down for you, op :heart:

ChloeDharma
June 7th, 2019, 03:08 PM
Honestly, it's not worth it then if you're having these issues. I'd stick to gluten-free as well. Gluten-free can be gotten just about any place now. Our Aldi even has a selection of gluten-free pasta and other types of foods. It's easier these days than it used to be.

You know, I've noticed a sudden huge inccrease in gluten and lactose free products in the last couple of years. It's really good that there are more available products for people now as restrictive diets can be such a nightmare otherwise. I finally discovered a pasta made from corn recently that works nicely, also a red lentil one that was pretty decent. I had missed the convenience of quick meals like pasta.


I’ve been wheat free and milk free for a few years now, as they both give me digestive issues. I have noticed that my skin got worse when I ate wheat so I can see why you could also get scalp issues.

I also noticed that eating wheat was a migraine trigger for me (amongst many other foods). I hadn’t heard of that before but it turns out that it’s a common trigger.

The skin thing is interesting. I did notice before I gave up gluten the first time that I had such painful acne on my scalp that I generally couldn't use a hair brush to brush my hair, or at least, couldn't let it touch my scalp. I also noticed I developed acne over quite a bit of my upper body which was odd as I've not had acne since I was a teenager.
I hadn't heard of the migrane link and thankfully stopped having migranes many years ago so should probably be grateful those didn't come back.


Even if it's not gluten, whatever you're sensitive to might be what I like to think of as "gluten adjacent"--chemicals that are in the same foods that gluten is in. I sometimes cycle in and out of gluten free not because of gluten intolerance, but because I have IBS and gluten free is an easy way to adhere to part of the FODMAP diet. I haven't yet figured out if gluten is an oligosaccharide or not, but oligosaccharides are one of the things you avoid on a FODMAP diet, and that's what you're avoiding when avoiding gluten.

Ok this is REALLY interesting! My sister has been talking about lectins recently and linking me to Dr Gundry videos which seem interesting. I need to look at this FODMAP thing, thank you so much for this information.


Hey, I’ve been avoiding wheat pretty strictly for a few years now, and skin wise I’ve cleared acne and eczema as well as many other quite serious internal and digestive issues.

I had a long lapse last year during a period of particularly intense stress and actually that lines up with the massive shed I experienced at that time. I also had a big surgery on my chest, moved house, and family bereavements. So it’s hard to pin it down 100%. With all that going on, I hadn’t considered this connection.

(Am back to my normal gluten free diet now, and can report feeling a lot better).

Glad things are calming down for you, op :heart:

It's like trying to piece together a jigsaw puzzle isn't it? What out of x, y, z...in fact often a whole alphabet of suspects, might be causing this? I'm so sorry that you have had such a bad time and I'm glad you are feeling better and recovering xx

Lions-mane
July 13th, 2019, 03:55 AM
My hair loss was what inspired me to do the research that led to my diagnosis of celiac disease. Among other horrible symptoms, like daily vomiting foam, my hair had become noticeably thin and it scared me. I always had thick hair. Now I know it was the gluten causing it. Three months after I quit gluten my hair stopped shedding and my stomach was healing. Now it's been 7 years and my hair is back to normal. If I accidentally eat gluten ill have severe stomach pain and suffer some shedding.

Joules
July 13th, 2019, 05:20 AM
Even if it's not gluten, whatever you're sensitive to might be what I like to think of as "gluten adjacent"--chemicals that are in the same foods that gluten is in. I sometimes cycle in and out of gluten free not because of gluten intolerance, but because I have IBS and gluten free is an easy way to adhere to part of the FODMAP diet. I haven't yet figured out if gluten is an oligosaccharide or not, but oligosaccharides are one of the things you avoid on a FODMAP diet, and that's what you're avoiding when avoiding gluten.

This. This post needs to be in bold red letters. I read a report from some medical conference a few weeks ago that basically said that 97% of "gluten intolerances" are more like "gluten adjacent" intolerances, they have nothing to do with gluten itself and gluten in unnecessarily vilified. I'm not trying to discredit anyone's experience, it's just if you think you're gluten intolerant get tested for other kinds of sensitivities instead of just blindly prescribing yourself such a strict diet.

PixieNixie
July 16th, 2019, 04:09 AM
I have celiac disease. One of my symptoms was hair loss. My hair was shedding like mad, but was told you can shed up to 150 hairs a day so not to worry about it. Now that I have been diagnosed and have been gluten free/ dairy free for three years, my hair is recovering. It isn't as thick as it was, but there has been a noticable difference on how much hair I shed in the shower and such from then to now.