Diet for Alopecia Areata—How a Lifestyle Change Might Help

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease that has to do with hair loss with symptoms that are mild and could also be severe. One way to help improve the symptoms is with a diet for alopecia areata.

lady on diet for alopecia areata

Sickness is one of the sad words we have on this planet. No one wants their loved ones to fall sick. And when they do, everyone gets sad. The truth though is that no matter how hard we try to avoid it some sicknesses just happen. Just like autoimmune diseases. The exact cause of autoimmune diseases is not yet known. And autoimmune diseases can be quite severe when it comes to symptoms. Alopecia areata happens to be one of those autoimmune diseases. The question though on the heart of many is if the diet for alopecia areata is really effective. We’ll take a look at this later on.

So many health conditions have diet plans that help reduce the symptoms. Even if it’s not the diet plan per se that does the job, the foods eaten in the diet helps out a lot. Some believe that diet for alopecia areata is very effective. While for some they believe it does not help out at all. If you think about it the exact cause of autoimmune diseases is not known. Which makes it difficult to manage or even treat. But with the case of alopecia areata, it’s a bit related to inflammation. That’s why anti-inflammatory foods might help out with reducing symptoms of alopecia areata.

Alopecia Areata

Alopecia areata is actually one of the common autoimmune diseases you have around. It’s associated with unexplainable hair loss. It affects about 2% of the population all over the world.

Hair loss in this condition happens to different people in different ways. For some just small patches of hair would be lost. While for some there would be an extreme loss of hair.

Hair loss is usually just on the head. When all the hair on the head falls out it’s called alopecia totalis. And when hair is lost all over the body it’s called alopecia universalis.

Alopecia areata can happen to anyone at any age. But it’s more common among people below 30 years of age.

One major risk factor of developing alopecia areata is genetics. A person is at higher risk of developing alopecia areata if any family member has experienced this condition.

The exact cause of alopecia areata is not known. But some studies say it could be as a result of stress.

The science behind alopecia areata is that white blood cells attack hair follicles. And when they attack them it causes slow production of hair. At the same time, the hair becomes shorter and this causes the hair to fall.

Alopecia areata presents with just a few symptoms. The major one being loss of hair. For some, there’s tenderness and itching around the area. Some people also experience changes in the nail. But this is not so common.


Diet for Alopecia areata

The main goal of this diet is to reduce inflammation. When there is reduced inflammation, then the chances that hair loss would reduce also increases. So with that being said, we will take a look at Anti-inflammatory foods and foods that can worsen inflammation.

Foods to Eat

  • Fruits and vegetables: Well not just any fruit or vegetables would do but bright colored ones. They contain antioxidants that help reduce inflammation. And with that, symptoms of alopecia areata might also improve. Some of the fruits and vegetables include:
    • Apples
    • Strawberries
    • Blueberries
    • Raspberries
    • Pineapple
    • Cherries
    • Broccoli
    • Apricot
    • Cauliflower
    • Spinach
    • Green cabbage
  • Good oils: Such as olive oil and avocado oil are great choices for this diet. They contain oleic acid which is an omega 9 fatty acid that helps reduce inflammation.
  • Nuts: Munching on some nuts as well between meals would be a great plan. Nuts such as walnuts, hazelnuts, and almonds are rich in omega 3 fatty acids. And this makes them great for minimizing inflammation.
  • Onions: This is one food that contains a lot of antioxidants. They help out with reducing cholesterol levels, inflammation and the risk of having a heart disease. The good thing is you can either eat onions raw, add them to your soup or make a juice out of it. As long as you eat it, it works great for reducing inflammation. And that’s why it’s a great choice for alopecia areata.
  • Fish: Wild-caught fish especially are very nutritious. They are rich in protein and also contain omega 3 fatty acids. At the same time, wild caught fish does not contain toxins that can worsen inflammation.
  • Protein: Your hair is actually a protein. And for it to grow well enough protein nutrients are needed. Now note that it’s important to consume enough protein. But it’s important you don’t consume too much. Foods rich in protein include egg, liver, beans, and chicken.
  • High fiber foods: Fiber is actually known for reducing the levels of a c-reactive protein that’s found in the blood. And c-reactive protein is the protein found in the blood when there is inflammation. You can consume foods like brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa, fruits, and vegetables.

Foods to Avoid

  • Dairy products: The protein found in milk is known as casein. And casein has been found out to be a source of irritation to the immune system. And this can worsen the symptoms of alopecia areata. Foods like tofu, soy, and vegetables also offer calcium.
  • Polyunsaturated fats: Such fats include corn oil, sunflower oil, and margarine. These fats are not good fats. And consuming them can worsen the symptoms of alopecia areata. That’s why it’s advised that you take boiled or steamed food instead of fried foods.
  • Other foods you have to avoid include processed foods and alcohol.

It’s true that there’s no official diet for alopecia areata. But just a simple diet change can go a long way in improving symptoms. It’s also important that you take supplements that can help out. You can take biotin supplements to help out with hair growth. Also, make sure that you rest well. It’s important that you have enough rest so that your immune system would be in good shape. The most important thing is staying healthy. And you can do this by following the diet for alopecia areata.

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