If you are here you’ve probably already read all about that time I induced my own alopecia areata and my hair started falling out.
I’m not a Doctor and actually when this started happening to me I didn’t go to one. I knew it was caused from my own stress and my own induction. Even saying alopecia areata sounds unfair because giving it a name feels like it is taking away my own responsibility for its manifestation. Will one day I loose hair again, maybe… but I doubt it. Am I delusional?
“I don’t think so” said the delusional woman.
I’ve really come to understand that 70% of health really is preventative; hair loss aka inflammation included. The trick and by trick I mean common sense logic is to know what happened, what is happening, what will happen, and what you can do. That’s it. Yes some people will go to a Doctor and get injected with steroids and their hair will grow back. I’m not a fan of chin hairs so that wasn’t for me. I also didn’t grow up going to doctors because I was raised on Homeopathy, so after thirty years I used my own investigative tools to figure out my own hair loss and the meaning behind it. If you are having other issues this could be a result of a thyroid issue so use common sense and by all means if you need to go to the Doctor AND have insurance GO!
Alopecia Arreata, inflammation, or any sort of autoimmune issues are no fun. Before you start regrowing your hair like it’s a chia pet, understanding the following would be helpful:
Did anything trigger the event? This may not be a question you can answer and that’s okay! For me I can go back and remember the moments (because one is never enough to remind you to get a hold of yourself) where I knew my body was going to turn on me. I could not continue to abuse it they way I was and think I would get off scott free. For me my triggers were incredible stress and anger at numerous moments over a two-three month period. I shocked my own system. If you think your own emotions can’t make you sick you better think again, moon child!
What is it?
Alopecia/Alopecia Areata is an autoimmune disease or what I prefer to call “issue”. An autoimmune issue develops when your immune system, which defends your body against disease, decides your healthy cells are foreign. Autoimmune issues will usually fluctuate between periods of remission (little or no symptoms aka this is when you think you’re done being healthy and return to your old crappy ways) and flare-ups (worsening symptoms which inspire you to go back to your health kick and become the poster person of health). If you scower the web, important people will tell you that there is NO CURE for an autoimmune disease. I don’t really trust “important people” and I also don’t utilize the word “cure” in my daily life because I think of it like this:
As an adult you will always have bills. There is no cure for bills. You pay them and everything is fine or you don’t pay them and then you get stressed, you get behind on payments, you lose the house/car, and the creditors don’t trust you anymore. That is like your immune system. If you take care of your immune system to the best of your ability (of course sometimes things pop up for no reason and shout out to genetics) then everything is fine. If you eat like shit, stress yourself out with no healthy alternative, and shock your system then your immune system doesn’t trust you or your cells anymore. That may sound totally pretentious and slightly ridiculous that a person has that much control over their health. When I look at other cultures’ perspectives on health, they believe health issues are manifestations from your life/karma/etc. You may not believe that and only be here for exactly how I got my hair to grow back so let’s get to it!
What’s happening now?
Your immune system is attacking your cells usually due to inflammation. Your body is out of balance and your system is trying to get rid of the foreign invaders, in my case stress and anger by destroying and attacking them.
What will happen?
You probably won’t want to hear this but you have to let your body run it’s course. There is no reverse. You can’t undo something that’s already done or been started but what you can do is offer (see how gentle that word is) your body another way to protect itself. I’ve said it before and I have to say it again- if your hair is falling out it will continue to fall out until the period of inflammation ends. It may then become dormant for a while in it’s attempt to heal and recover and then eventually when the coast is clear will start healing and regrowing.
What can I do?
A lot actually.
- Your diet. A nutrient dense diet is going to be a big key for healing and probably the hardest part of this plan for many people. Part 2 of this plan is going to give you the complete food rundown. I literally can train myself to eat anything that’s good for me so this was not as tough as I thought. I also didn’t care how hard it was because I wanted my hair back so not following it was not an option. During my immune boosting time I was traveling for work and had to be very strict. Check out my previous post about eating healthy on the road.
- Become your own advocate. This is going to be your foundation. If you are following this diet most likely you won’t be able to go out and eat with friends and family or if you will be eating so carefully it will be annoying. Who cares though because your on a mission to heal your body and after a while your discipline will become your greatest personal quality. No one can tempt me with cake, pizza, or booze when I’m in health mode. My body’s health is number one and if you aren’t with me you’re against me.
- Know your support system. Not everyone is going to get it. Maybe not even those closest to you. Another way to kill your healing dreams is to expect and actually think that everyone is going to get what you are going through and become your cheerleader on the sidelines. Sometimes people suck and that’s okay. Keep your personal health details to yourself if you need to and don’t feel obligated to go showing everyone your bald spot like I did in the beginning. Ya so what I have a bald spot under this luscious mane, I’m okay with it and I’m okay with you not knowing all about my journey!
And the number one thing you can do:
Remember that recovering from and healing alopecia arreata, inflammation, or autoimmune disease (issues) takes time. Your health didn’t turn on you over night and there is no overnight cure all either.
Ill health can happen at any moment during our lives, usually at moments we rather not remember we are a person with a body and spirit that has needs. Illnesses can be a blessing and a gift, sometimes. It can give us the much needed space and insight to see how we are really feeling, alert us to our emotional position in life, and ask us what we are willing to leave behind. Do I wish I never had alopecia, no. It really has helped me pay closer attention to my emotions and patterns that aren’t helpful for me anymore as an adult. Are they completely gone? I mean I’m not perfect people!
Remember that whatever stage you are in you are going to be okay no matter what. Healing doesn’t mean returning to your old state. It can mean something completely new and completely different. Healing has a lot more to do with your thoughts about your ailment than the actual ailment. So where ever you are be gentle with yourself and read on…
Future post alert: Part 2 of this plan detailing specific foods and supplements coming next week!