Poo

How the number of bowel movements I have per day is relevant to my hair loss!

It may not be the nicest topic, but I think it’s relevant to my hair loss, so bear with.

A couple of weeks ago I received the results from food intolerance test. Today, I had a telephone consultation with a nutritionist. It’s a service the food intolerance test people  offer and I’d successfully managed to put it off thus far, thinking I was doing fine. I’d sussed some foods out that didn’t contain my 3 main reactive ingredients – yeast, egg white and cow’s milk. But oh, how wrong I was! Just a couple of minutes into the conversation, it seemed that most things I’d been eating were off limits. Whoops!

Bowl of fruit - healthy eating help alopecia

Firstly, she told me to exclude the foods I was borderline reactive to – these include gluten and wheat – as well as those foods I was very reactive to.

Me: “Ah yes, I have been doing that. I’ve been avoiding gluten, so I’ve been eating rye bread.”

Nutritionist: Sharp intake of breath. “There’s gluten in rye – you can’t have that….or spelt and barley.” (Oh dear)

Me: “I’ve been doing well avoiding cow’s milk. I’ve been having soya milk.”

Nutritionist: “Mm, well ok. Better to have almond milk though as soya products are hormone disruptors.”

I was also dismayed to hear that peanuts and alcohol of any kind were not advised while my ‘gut is healing’, that gluten-free could only really be achieved by baking your own bread, that any kind of chutney/vinaigrette/mayonnaise (i.e. food made with vinegar) is out of bounds, as well as most things shop-bought. Even carton juices are a no-no for me!

Instead we talked making pancakes with bananas, using chia seeds instead of eggs (no, I don’t know either!), ghee (pardon?), rice, millet, quinoa and oats.

Despite the nutritionist’s strict dietary plans for me, she really was very helpful. One thing that cropped up in our conversation (and this is the point of my post), was bowel movements. I said that with the modifications I’d made to my diet so far (obviously not as many as she would have liked!), I had noticed a distinct increase in the number of bowel movements I had per day – I mean some days I would go 5 times! She said that a normal number of bowel movements per day is 2 to 3. Well, this was news to my ears! I’d only ever gone once a day at best – some days not at all. The nutritionist said that I’d been suffering from constipation. This would have been caused by eating the foods my body is intolerant to. These foods would have caused irritation in my stomach lining and so foods would have been constantly maldigested. She said that malabsorption can also cause bloating, joint pain and a whole host of other symptoms. So, 2 to 3 times eh? Who knew?

ANYWAY…. back to hair. The nutritionist said that every physical condition we develop is related to what we put in or on our bodies – and toxins in our foods, toiletries etc. can do a lot of harm. She said that when you heal your gut, everything else falls into place. She said that alopecia is an auto-immune disorder and that there is a link to intolerances. Mm… interesting…

I’ve had chicken and vegetables for tea.

Till next time 🙂

Rachel x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Biding My Time

A list of the results & currently waiting for and what I’m doing in the meantime

At the moment I am just waiting…….

I am waiting for:

  1. My biopsy results to come back (another two weeks I think) – these will confirm (or not) the diagnosis of frontal fibrosing alopecia
  2. My food intolerance test result – this should be back in about a week’s time and should highlight any food intolerances I might have, which may or may not have been instrumental in causing or increasing the rate of progression of my frontal fibrosing alopecia
  3. The effects of balancing my energies with acupuncture to be felt

I’m also continuing to:

  1. Eat healthily – apart from the odd sweet treat and glass of wine – well, a girl’s got to have a life!
  2. Include a lot of protein and iron in my diet
  3. Listen to meditations and take time out when I need to keep my stress levels low
  4. Use my essential oil blend on my scalp (as well as applying the prescription steroid lotion)
  5. Hang upside down to increase the blood flow to my head
  6. Have an Indian head massage once a week
  7. Take supplements for hair, skin and nails
  8. Use a chemical-free shampoo and conditioner

N.B. For more of what I’m doing to help slow the progression of frontal fibrosing alopecia, read my previous post https://hairlossdiary.blog/2017/09/19/slowing-down-frontal-fibrosing-alopecia/

One thing I will say is that the steroid lotion is very thin and watery (although most definitely NOT water, as it smells very strong – a bit like nail varnish remover). When I apply it to my scalp, it can run down my face and into my ears. As it is a steroid, I am careful to wipe it off my face, as I know that steroids can thin your skin. I also have to be careful to remember not to apply it and then use my hairdryer on my hair, as it is highly flammable! The first dermatologist I saw said it has a very low success rate for frontal fibrosing alopecia, so I am wondering why I’m bothering to persevere with it. But hey ho, I’ll give it a try like everything else.

Needles

Food intolerance testing and acupuncture to try and get to the bottom of the underlying cause of my frontal fibrosing alopecia

This week is a week of needles for me. Firstly, I’m taking a food intolerance test, which involves pricking my finger with a needle for the blood sample, and secondly, I’m having an acupuncture session. I’m trying both of these to see if I can pinpoint (see what I did there :-)) the cause/s of my frontal fibrosing alopecia.

Intolerance Test

It was suggested a while back by a GP that my eyebrow loss might have been cause by an allergy. This coupled with what I call ‘crepey eyelids’ – something which happens to my eyelids occasionally and without warning – has led to me taking allergy tablets on and off. I know food intolerance is slightly different to allergy, but a friend who also has frontal fibrosing alopecia says she has taken the food intolerance test and it has highlighted some intolerances, which she now excludes from her diet. She says that her hair has now stopped receding. Worth a try anyway!

The intolerance test my friend used and which I will be using (when I summon up the courage to prick my finger) is York Test. The test is in two stages. The first simply identifies whether you have any intolerances, with a positive or negative result. If you get a negative result you get your money back. This first test costs £24.99. The second test then tests for and identifies the food/s you are intolerant of from a range of 158 potential foods. You have a choice of which type of test you would like at this point and I have chosen the Food & Drink Scan for skin conditions (and other issues). The other options are the IBS Diet Programme and the Ideal Weight Programme. If you like, you can bypass the initial test, pay for the full test only and request that your blood sample is tested for on the correct programme for your symptoms. This is what I have done.

Acupuncture

My holistic therapist friend has referred me to an acupuncturist. I’ve read that a lot of people with frontal fibrosing alopecia have tried acupuncture. As with the above, it’s worth a try. I’ve never had it before and don’t know what to expect, but I’m quite excited to find out. I’ll report back in another post!

See you soon 🙂

Rachel x