20. Excessive hair loss
Alopecia areata is autoimmune hair loss. It affects both men and women. The condition is characterized by balding patches in circular shapes across the scalp. Other autoimmune hair loss conditions cause complete baldness. They can even result in the loss of all body hair. There is anecdotal evidence of a link between gluten intolerance and autoimmune alopecia. Patients have reported a vast improvement as soon as they cut gluten out of their diets. As soon as they start consuming gluten again, the autoimmune alopecia reappears.
The autoimmune alopecia is caused by a set of antibodies called gliadin antibodies. When you have a gluten intolerance, these antibodies kick into high gear, wanting to protect your body from this ‘foreign’ substance. Going above and beyond the call of duty, the antibodies go after other parts of the body, including the hair and hair follicles. In addition to autoimmune alopecia, gluten intolerance may cause your hair to become malnourished. The result will be excessive hair shedding. The reason for this goes right back to the digestive system.
Our hair relies on vitamins and minerals to maintain its health and vitality. When you have a gluten intolerance, your digestive system struggles to absorb these essential compounds from the food you eat. In essence, a gluten intolerance ‘starves’ your hair of the nutrients it needs to survive.
Your hair needs regular doses of protein, iron, calcium, selenium, and Vitamins B and C to maintain the health of the hair follicles and strands. Gluten intolerance also causes inflammation in the scalp. This can cause damage and ultimately necrosis (death) of the part of the hair shaft that attached to the scalp.