Is Alopecia Areata Related to Hormones?
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Angela
Posted on: September 15, 2006

My daughter was diagnosed with Alopecia Areata 2 years ago. One month after she had her very first menstrual cycle I noticed a small bald patch on the top of her head. Since then, we have used a topical steroid prescribed by the dermatologist, that I no longer use because it was doing nothing to stop the hair from falling out. I could only treat her scalp after the hair fell out. I’ve tried Thymusil and got good results initially. The problem is that my daughter’s hair falls out and grows back just fine, but before there is significant growth it falls out all over again. This is so frustrating since her hair is growing back on its own. Please help me. Do you think the start of her menstrual cycle triggered the condition? If so how do I correct it.

Alopecia can be triggered by a sex hormone imbalance. In this case, hormones can be balanced with chasteberry (Vitex agnus castus). It may also be associated with thyroid dysfunction. I suggest that you ask your medical doctor to order full hormonal blood tests to determine whether hormones could be the cause. After testing, consultation with a herbalist or naturopath can provide you with information to treat the condition holistically using herbs, vitamins and minerals rather than drugs.

Alopecia areata is classified as an autoimmune disease. Autoimmune disease can result from allergic reactions to foods or toxic chemicals. The most likely food culprits are sugars, grains with gluten, dairy products and artificial food colourings and flavourings.

Good fats in the diet are necessary for hormone formation. You can use the following guidelines to form a diet that is healthy for hormone balance and free of allergens: Avoid all sugars, all chemical additives and preservatives, all fried food and all refined grain products. Keep the proportion of whole grains in the diet in about the same proportion as fresh vegetables and meat or fish. Use extra virgin olive oil in salads, use butter instead of margarine or shortening and use a good coconut oil (available in health food stores) for any cooking that requires oil.

Please see our website for more information on alopecia areata. Choose "Q&A" from the main menu, then enter "alopecia for the search.

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