Is Gluten Linked to Hair Loss? - Gluten Free Society

  • Sign up for the world’s #1 gluten-free newsletter!

    Gluten-free warrior
    Gluten-free warrior
  • Tags , , ,

    Gluten Found to be a Cause of Autoimmune Hair Loss

    To date, there have been 100’s of symptoms, syndromes, and diseases linked to gluten exposure for those with gluten sensitivity.  One of these little known diseases is alopecia areata (autoimmune hair loss).  This condition can effect men and women and typically manifests as circular balding patches over the head.  Other forms of autoimmune hair loss can cause total baldness and in even more severe cases, can lead to universal body hair loss.  The study below illustrates the connection between celiac disease and autoimmune alopecia.

    A patient with coeliac disease presenting alopecia areas as the only symptom is described.  Alopecia disappeared completely after a few months of strict gluten free diet and reappeared after an unintentional prolonged introduction of gluten.  After a severe gluten free diet, a new and persistent hair growth in the alopecia areas was observed. The possibility a direct relationship in some cases, between coeliac disease and alopecia areata is confirmed.

     

    Source: Minerva Gastroenterol Dietol. 1999 Dec;45(4):283-5.

    Gluten Can Cause Nutritional Hair Loss as Well…

    Aside from causing autoimmune hair loss, gluten can cause malnutrition leading to nutritional forms of alopecia.  One of the primary side effects of gluten is damage to the intestinal lining.  This damage can lead to malabsorption of vitamins and minerals

    The loss of nutrients long term can contribute to many problems, one of which is hair loss.  For example, gluten intolerance and sensitivity can create nutritional deficiencies in protein, iron, vitamin C, calcium, selenium, B-vitamins, and many others necessary to maintain proper and healthy hair growth.

    Watch the video for more on gluten and nutritional deficiencies…

    5 Nutrients Critical for Healthy Hair

    There are several vitamins and minerals that are vital to healthy hair, nail, and skin growth.  Let’s start with some of the most important:

    1. Biotin – Also known as vitamin B-8, biotin is necessary by your body to be able to properly metabolize fats.  It plays a major role in energy production by the body.  Symptoms of biotin deficiency are hair loss, nail brittleness, dermatitis (inflammation of the skin), muscle pain, depression, and fatigue.  40-50% of your daily biotin is produced by healthy intestinal flora or bacteria.  Those with long standing gluten sensitivity are more prone to biotin deficiency for this reason.
    2. ZincZinc is an essential mineral.  It plays a role in several hundred chemical reactions in the body.  One of those roles is in the production of collagen protein.  Collagen is the backbone molecule for hair.  Zinc also helps regulate thyroid hormone production.  Low levels of zinc are linked to low thyroid (hypothyroidism).  This in turn can contribute to hair loss as well.  Zinc is also necessary for digestive enzyme production.  Lack of enzymes contributes to further nutritional deficiency and malabsorption.  In my experience, zinc is the third most common deficiency in those with celiac disease and gluten intolerance.
    3. Vitamin C – This vitamin is an essential nutrient often times found low in patients with celiac or gluten sensitivity.  It is crucial for the production of strong collagen fibers (again – collagen is necessary for hair growth).  It also helps contribute to adequate blood circulation to the hair follicles.  Low levels of vitamin C can cause hair loss, easy bruising, lowered antioxidant function, anemia, and increased risk for infections.  Most forms of vitamin C produced in the U.S. are made from corn.
    4. Protein – Adequate protein is essential for the proper growth of hair. Because the standard dietary advice of most doctors is to avoid red meat and eat more whole grain,  the average American gets too many carbs and no where near enough protein.  Protein is found in animal meats and vegetables.  Grain based proteins have poor nutritional value.  Protein is essential for growth and repair of bodily tissues.
    5. Omega-3 Fats – These fats are essential nutrients that must come from the diet.  They are important for keeping the hair and scalp hydrated.  These fats help give hair it’s sheen.  Omega -3 is also an important component of every cell membrane in your body.  These fats also help to control and regulate inflammation.  Dietary sources include cold water  fish (farm raised fish not included) and walnuts.  Contrary to popular belief, beef also contains omega 3 fats –  provided it is grass fed.

    Learning about and sharing things like this is the reason the Gluten Free Society came into being.

    Always looking out for you,

    Dr. O – AKA the Gluten Free Warrior

    P.S.

    If you found this information helpful, share, like, tweet etc.  If you aren’t signed up for our newsletter already, do so below now…



    First Name *

    Email *

    Gluten Free Warrior Commentary

    comments

    15 responses on “Is Gluten Linked to Hair Loss (Alopecia)?

    1. Maymee says:

      Why doesn’t anyone, doctor or otherwise ever mention the equally bad effects that foods with lectins have on your body? You can eliminate grains but if you still consume tomatoes, potatoes, beans, and in some cases, milk and eggs, you may still have symptoms. Try eliminating these or better yet, get a blood test find out your sensitivities. It made a huge difference in my life.

      • .MARY LOU HUBBARD says:

        ..I HAVE CELIAC DISEASE & DERMATITIS HERPETIFORMIS. .HAVE BEEN ON GLUTEN FREE DIET FOR 8 YEARS SINCE BEING DIAGNOSED IN 2018. I HAD BECOME SO MALNOURISHED FROM MISDIAGNOSIS OVER & OVER , HAD IT NOT BEEN FOR A VERY KNOWLEDGEABLE GASTROENTEROLOGIST, WELL STUDIED ON CELIAC DISEASE. I WOULD NOT HAVE SURVIVED. .EVEN THEN, FOR SEVERAL YEARS IN & .OUT OF HOSPITAL WAS A STRUGGLE TO SURVIVE. ON G/.F DIET….NO MORE GLASS CUTTING PAIN IN MY STOMACH, VOMITING,& DIARRHEA SINCE. A BLESSING! .THE D.H. IS STILL WITH ME, ALL OVER MY BODY & SCALP CAUSING MY HAIR TO THIN BADLY. .HAVE LOST HALF OF MY HAIR!! ARE THERE SPECIAL HAIR VITAMINS TO ADDRESS THIS PROBLEM??!

      • .MARY LOU HUBBARD says:

        ..I HAVE CELIAC DISEASE & DERMATITIS HERPETIFORMIS. .HAVE BEEN ON GLUTEN FREE DIET FOR 8 YEARS SINCE BEING DIAGNOSED IN 2018. I HAD BECOME SO MALNOURISHED FROM MISDIAGNOSIS OVER & OVER , HAD IT NOT BEEN FOR A VERY KNOWLEDGEABLE GASTROENTEROLOGIST, WELL STUDIED ON CELIAC DISEASE. I WOULD NOT HAVE SURVIVED. .EVEN THEN, FOR SEVERAL YEARS IN & .OUT OF HOSPITAL WAS A STRUGGLE TO SURVIVE. ON G/.F DIET….NO MORE GLASS CUTTING PAIN IN MY STOMACH, VOMITING,& DIARRHEA SINCE. A BLESSING! .THE D.H. IS STILL WITH ME, ALL OVER MY BODY & SCALP CAUSING MY HAIR TO THIN BADLY. .HAVE LOST HALF OF MY HAIR!! ARE THERE SPECIAL HAIR VITAMINS TO ADDRESS THIS PROBLEM??!,NEED A RESPONSE!!

    2. […] But, hair loss??? Oh, my goodness… I am gluten sensitive.  I never realized, but my hair is SO much thicker since I stopped eating it.  Read the article – https://www.glutenfreesociety.org/is-gluten-linked-to-hair-loss-alopecia/?in… […]

    3. Kayla says:

      Thank you so much for writing about this. I think so many people do not realize what Gluten can do the damage to the gut, and to your overall health.
      I’d love to see more with Gluten issues, and leaky gut, bacteria, yeast overgrowth, and MCS and multiple allergies, all as a result of Gluten.

    4. Carolyn says:

      The reasons for hair loss could be different. But in most cases it is the result of some problems with health. Right nutrition is vital to support healthy hair and healthy body. In order to make sure I am providing all the necessary vitamins for my hair I am taking special nutritional supplement, which contains the unique combination of herbs and microelements. This supplement is HairGain Formula (90 capsules) by Military Grade. This product is the only nutraceutical which possesses prostaglandin D2 blocking properties. Awesome nutritional product which defends my hair from falling out and enhances healthy hair growth.

    5. joe says:

      there are several reason for hair loss but no solution is perfect for hair loss every product have some limitation i used bio hair treatment and its working great thanks

    6. Michael says:

      Very good your text!
      I’m eliminating gluten from my diet. So I am following the Paleolithic diet.

    7. Mary Lou hubbard says:

      I AM CELIAC WITH CELIAC DERMATITIS. ON STRICT GLUTEN FREE DIET. STILL HAVE VERY THIN HAIR. CAN SEE MY SCALP ARE THERE VITAMINS THAT CAN HELP? I CANNOT TOLERATE DAPSONE. PLEASE HELP ME! ?

    8. Darryl Gordon says:

      Thank you.

      • Tania Dean says:

        Hi Mary Lou! Eliminate ALL corn and corn derivatives from your diet! Corn can mimic Gluten, so can Dairy, even real butter. Trust me on this. Just eliminate each food for 30 days and see how you feel. Follow a clean diet free from many processed foods from supermarkets as there are way too many added dangers that have different numbers and names as long as your arm! Usually corn or gluten can be hidden by other names!
        Try shopping exclusively at fruit & veg grocers, farmers markets and your trusted butcher that has grass fed organic meat (no grain fed!). Eat more seafood, try eggs and see if you react ( rashes, gut pain or discomfort, grinding feeling in your gut – stop & introduce after 30 days).
        Keep eating clean, be kind to yourself (meditate, yoga and gentle walks on the beach or near water) and know that you’re not alone in your quest for good health. Remember, it takes time to heal. Avoid stress and go to bed early and rise early ( better circadian rhythm helps the body heal).

    9. Tom P says:

      Hi Dr O,
      I’m a 51 year old male diagnosed with Alopecia Universalis. I have lost all of my hair over my entire body which happened about 4 years ago while on a business trip. After eating a meal, I experienced severe diarrhea. Two weeks later all my hair fell out. I was tested for celiac 3 times but each one came back negative. Any ideas as to what triggered this autoimmune response? I’m trying to discern between celiac, Candida’s, leaky gut, sugar allergy. I’m convinced that my underlying condition is due to an imbalance in my digestive system. Any thoughts would be deeply appreciated.
      Thank you
      Tom

    10. FJ says:

      I am 60 and had alopecia areata for a couple of years. Since giving up grains and processed food my hair has grown back. I am working with a nutritional therapist who has helped me change my diet and added a few supplements.

      Self care seems to really help. Getting plenty of sleep, reducing stress, eating clean and doing the health enhancing things you love all help you heal

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Wishlist Member WooCommerce Plus - Sell Your Membership Products With WooCommerce The Right Way .
    Powered by WishList Member - Membership Software