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Have you noticed people with irregular bald spots on their heads? This is due to a condition called alopecia areata. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition characterized by sudden hair loss and begins with one or more circular bald patches. It destroys certain hair follicles and can be triggered by extreme stress. According to Harvard Health, many foods encourage inflammation, promoting and exacerbating autoimmune symptoms. By adhering to certain dietary suggestions, you may be able to reverse alopecia areata or at least lessen some of the most distressing symptoms. Let’s talk about the things to avoid when you have alopecia areata.
What are the causes of alopecia areata?
In general, your immune system defends your body against outside attackers such as viruses, fungi, and bacteria. As alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition, it occurs when the immune system misidentifies healthy cells as foreign substances, and your immune system assaults your hair follicles by mistake. Hair follicles are structures from which your hair grows. Eventually, hair loss occurs when the follicles shrink and stop generating hair. Researchers are unsure about the exact cause of this sickness. Some potential causes are:
- Genetics or family history of alopecia areata
- Possessing other health conditions, such as vitiligo, Down’s Syndrome, psoriasis, thyroid disease, etc.
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Cancer drug, nivolumab: Nivolumab-induced alopecia areata happens in persons undergoing cancer treatment with the cancer drug nivolumab. In many circumstances, hair loss indicates that the medication is functioning.
What are the symptoms of alopecia areata?
The most prevalent symptom of alopecia areata is hair loss. Typically, hair falls out in places on the scalp. These patches are frequently a few centimeters to millimeters in size. Hair clumps on your pillow or in the shower may be the first signs. Other regions of the face, such as the brows, eyelashes, and beard, as well as other parts of the body, may experience hair loss in patches. Someone may call your attention to the spots on the back of your head.
But the point to be noted is that alopecia areata is not diagnosed just by hair loss. According to doctors and experts, hair loss caused by alopecia areata is unpredictable and spontaneous. According to the National Alopecia Areata Foundation, this hair loss is not necessarily permanent. Because the hair follicles are living, hair can often regenerate. It can also grow slowly and reappear after a long period of inactivity. The degree of hair loss and restoration varies substantially across individuals.
Food to avoid when you have alopecia areata –
There is currently no treatment for alopecia areata, but there are certain things you may do to improve your view on the disease.
- Diary: Dairy products are rich in fats, which raises your body’s testosterone levels. It is only one of the various causes of hair loss that have bothered many people. Dairy products also tend to aggravate skin conditions, including eczema, psoriasis, and dandruff, in people prone to them. In turn, this results in hair loss.
- Sugar: High sugar intake causes poor blood circulation. This makes it challenging for blood and nutrients to reach your hair follicles. Some people who consume too much sugar report scalp inflammation. When your scalp is inflamed, you get a burning feeling instead of a very cold scalp because of insufficient blood flow. It, again, leads to damaged hair.
- Refined Carbohydrates: Refined carbohydrates present in bread, cake, spaghetti, and pizza is one of the many factors that contribute to hair loss. Your body’s defenses against stress are blocked by foods containing refined carbohydrates. And once you eat them, they turn into sugar. We’ve already talked about what sugar does to your hair, so, yeah.
- Polyunsaturated fats: Harmful Polyunsaturated fats are found in corn oil and sunflower oil. As a result, it is preferable to eat steamed foods rather than fried foods. Bake or lightly sauté your food.
- Excessive Nuts: if you have an allergy to nuts, avoid it. Most nuts contain selenium, which, while necessary in trace amounts, can contribute to hair loss if consumed in significant amounts. Be careful of the Brazil nut because it is high in selenium.
- Greasy foods: The scalp produces an oily material known as “sebum.” This sebum moisturizes both your hair and the skin on your scalp. But this sebum also gets oily when your body is overloaded with grease. Your hair will appear a little too limp and greasy as a result. As a result, it causes hair loss as the grease covering your hair follicles makes it difficult for your hair to grow.
- Carbonated drinks: Carbonated beverages interact with the insulin in your blood and reduce its sensitivity to sugar. It causes blood sugar to rise, impairs blood flow, and reduces the nutrients reaching your hair follicles, resulting in hair loss.
- Caffeine: Caffeine is a terrific hair growth stimulator when applied topically, but excess caffeine isn’t great for people with hormonal issues, specifically those with low or high cortisol levels.
- Avoid Nightshades: Peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, and potatoes should be avoided if you have alopecia areata since they trigger inflammation.
Ideal diet for alopecia areata –
If you retain your immunity throughout time, you have a decent chance of avoiding this condition. However, there are techniques to control hair loss and encourage regeneration if you have the condition.
- Essential Vitamins: The most important vitamins and nutrients needed to control alopecia areata are:
- Biotin: It is responsible for hair growth and increasing hair volume.
- Zinc: It plays an essential role in hair tissue growth and repair. It also aids in the normal functioning of the oil glands surrounding the follicles.
- Thiamine: It prevents nerve damage so hair follicles can grow without any hurdles.
- Vitamin C: It strengthens the capillaries that supply blood to the hair shaft.
- Antioxidants: It increases blood flow and nutrient-rich blood to the cells of the scalp, which promotes hair growth. There are many different kinds of these supplements, including vitamins, minerals, and bioflavonoids.
- Healthy Fats: The body’s inflammatory response is tamed by healthy fats. Therefore, using canola, avocado, and olive oil for cooking is recommended.
- Fruits and Vegetables: Increase your consumption of fruits and vegetables. Antioxidants are found in foods, including apples, strawberries, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, pineapple, green cabbage, and apricots.
- Onions: An excellent source of antioxidants is onions. You need it because it lowers inflammation, cholesterol levels, and your risk of heart disease. Include raw onions in your food, sandwiches, and salads.
- Fish: Fish are extremely nourishing, high in protein, and provide omega-3 fatty acids. Wild fish consumption can aid with alopecia symptoms. Increase your consumption of fish like herring, sardines, mackerel, trout, salmon, and fish.
- Bone Broth: Bone broth in soups and stews might work wonders for alopecia patients. It is nutrient-dense and easy to digest. It contains collagen, phosphorus, glycine, gelatin, magnesium, and calcium. These assists in enhancing immunity, nourishing your skin, hair, and nails, and reducing inflammation.
Alopecia areata is hair loss from various body parts like the scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows, face, beard, etc. People with autoimmune illnesses such as psoriasis, thyroid disease, or vitiligo are more likely to develop alopecia areata. Although there is no cure for this condition, there are some things to avoid when you have alopecia areata. You may be able to reverse alopecia areata or at least lessen some of the most distressing symptoms. Avoid peppers, dairy products, sugar, tomatoes, caffeine, eggplant, potatoes, and polyunsaturated fats in your diet. Instead, include fish, fruits, vegetables, onions, bone broth, and healthy oils in your diet.