Update on Food Intolerances

How my food intolerances have affected hair loss – or not.

I had a food and drink intolerance test in September, which identified that I was intolerant to yeast, cow’s milk and egg white, with a borderline intolerance to gluten, wheat, cashew nuts, sunflower seeds ( and a few other foods).

The diet I followed for the next couple of months was extremely strict and I found there was not much to eat that I could buy from supermarkets. I suppose anyone with time (not many people I imagine) would make their own food – and I know of people who do this. But September onwards was massively busy for me, and so I simply ate a very restricted (and quite boring) diet.

I was supposed to follow the diet for 3 months and then reintroduce the foods I was intolerant to back in gradually to see if there was any reaction. I followed the diet for about 2 and a half months in the end (fell off the wagon at Christmas, inevitably!) Seeing as I was really only trying to establish whether or not my hair stopped receding, then I’m not sure I noticed any changes, as the rate of recession is only very slow.

So, no major conclusions from cutting out foods I’m intolerant to, as far as hair is concerned anyway.

I still try to avoid cow’s milk as much as possible, but I occasionally have it, and when I do, I notice I clear my throat a lot. I had 3 cups of tea with cow’s milk in yesterday at work, and I’m clearing throat every few seconds today. I’m thinking that if a small amount makes that much difference to me that I can detect, there’s a possibility that it’s having other effects on me that I can’t detect.

I think that avoiding cow’s milk means I don’t get enough calcium n my diet, so I take calcium supplements. My nails are not half as good as they have been (they are all split), so maybe I’ve not been taking calcium consistently. I’ve noticed for years now though that my nails are always rubbish in February through to about April, and I’m fairly sure this has to do with central heating. Might be wrong on this one, but there’s definitely a seasonal pattern. I also had this flu-type virus that went round and I’ve not felt great ever since.

I also try to avoid bread still, but I’m not too strict about that either. Instead of taking sandwiches to work for lunch, I now usually take mackerel in tomato sauce (from a tin) with watercress and rocket and either cherry tomatoes or avocado. I’ll have a normal meat, veg and potatoes dinner at tea time, for example, and won’t have pizza with my daughter, but will have an alternative. When we have pasta, I do normal pasta for my daughter and gluten/wheat free pasta for me.

In other words….. I’ve cut down on the foods I’m intolerant to, but as I’m not sure they are affecting my hair – and I have no other major symptoms – I’m not excluding them.

Hope that was useful, anyway, to someone.

Rachel x


2 thoughts on “Update on Food Intolerances”

  1. Hi Rachel, I am in the same situation as you where I took a intolerance test and eliminating certain types of food right now. It is demoralizing for me that I also do not see a significance different. ):


    1. Thank you for your comment. Yes, I agree it can be demoralising, but I think eliminating certain foods for just 3 months or so won’t show much difference, as I think hair can thin/recede at a very slow rate. Eliminating foods for longer than that is very difficult if, like me, you’re intolerant to yeast, cow’s milk and egg white, which seem to crop up in most foods! As I have no other symptoms and I’m not sure whether or not the elimination has helped, I’ve reintroduced these foods but on a very minimal level.

      I think there are so many causes of hair loss that it’s difficult to pinpoint yours. It could of course be genetic or hormonal, in which case there’s not a lot we can do about it apart from style it out 🙂


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