A diet change - regaining thickness

Many might remember this post: http://longhairedatheart.blogspot.de/2010/03/even-hemline-without-loosing-length.html

Today's pictures will not only prove again that this method works, I also want to talk about a few more things that I figured out regarding hair loss and regaining thickness. Because- trimming alone, may not fix all your problems. You need to get to the root of the problem. But because there could be a million problems, I want to share a solution that your doctor will not usually recommend to you. This one step however, could solve a load of problems at once.

Recently I received this message on YouTube:

Heyy! We talked very long about hair loss. I just saw your recent videos and I must say your hair has thicken A LOT! It looks like you have SO much hair now! It looks beautifullllll!! 
What have you done in the past to thicken your hair? 
And are you hair permanently straight? Please tell me what have you done to thicken your hair?
Here is a timeline of the ups and downs of my hair loss and regain:

Compare this to my thinnest January 2010 (middle):

And here is my hair as of December 2012 (click for bigger picture):


The past months, my hair has regrown better than ever. You can see from the timeline that my hair was not thickening very slowly after the first time I lost hair. But it took me almost 2 years to get that result (Jan '10- Dec '11). What you see here is 10 months of regrowth. Granted, my postpartum hair loss was a bit less severe, but keep in mind I was still working on recovering from the first time too. 

What is different now?
My shed count is much much lower. I wasn't having hair loss anymore either after January 2010, when my doctor started me on meds for the pituitary tumor. But, my shed count just wasn't quite as low. I did not know what my "normal" even was then, since I had never payed close attention to it before I lost so much hair.
After all they tell you that up to X hairs a day is normal...(the new number is 60 a day! 100 is old).

During times of illness, my hairs condition had also suffered, and I am happy to say that has bettered tremendously as well. When I was ill, my hair was more prone to damage. Prior to that it was in great condition, rarely a split end, silky, never tangled or dry. So I was shocked at the change in condition. It started with splits....lots of them, I am not kidding. It looked like healthy hair with a lot of splits and also some breakage at the very bottom. Then I noticed a change in texture, my hair went from silky to oddly frizzy. Some hair grew in somewhat kinky, bent, with an uneven rough texture. 
It was also much less shiny.
(I will post more and pictures for comparison on texture changes soon, with some explanation as to why this can happen) Anyhow, my hair is getting back to it's old self. The regrowth is silky, shiny and smooth.

What helped me a lot in many ways was - changing my diet.

Now you might be thinking "well duh, eating healthier is always better". But I don't mean eating healthier in the conventional way, with lots of whole grains, organic foods, fresh fruits and veggies. I was already doing that and always cooking my own food. It is a little different, and when I first heard of it I literally was like "what the fuck??"
This way of eating promotes avoiding certain foods, and at first I just did not get why I had to avoid healthy foods. I knew fried foods and McDonalds was bad, but that sounded surreal to me.

While I was pregnant, I read up on that said diet though. My husband (then boyfriend lol) was the one that suggested it to me....I mean, he insisted I should give it a try. I was not thrilled. But what made me look into it was the fact that I was a sick little creature, pregnant with my first baby, which doctors did not even expect to make it to full term healthy because of all my damn health issues, and I was constantly monitored, blood checked, put on even more drugs, worried about my baby, wondering if I would be able to see my son grow up or if I would die before I reach 40...Even in pregnancy I was checked to see if I still have cancerous cells on my cervix, and I did! HPV, abnormal cells, it all was still there after I went through this damn LEEP surgery. I was simply fed up with everything, and had nothing to lose. 

The more I read about the diet, the less crazy it seemed to me. There is a lot of evidence backing up the information, there is some studies, logical explanations and theories and most importantly, there are real people, with real results (I like Forums, I believe you can find the best and most honest testimonials on Forums).
For example - Grains are to be avoided for example, since they contain Anti Nutrients, Lectins and Gluten.
Gluten is very hard to digest and can damage the gut lining. I used to think avoiding Gluten is only for people with Celiac disease, but according to info I read it is actually a problem to many more people. 
More downsides of grains: <- click="click" p="p">

The diet I am talking about is the "Paleo Diet". I read about it years ago on the Long Hair Community Forums actually, but it did not make sense to me why someone would eat this way...;) Diets never made sense to me. I just tried to eat fresh foods, organic. I ate lots of Pasta and bread, I disliked meat and fruits.

Now I eat the opposite. The Paleo Diet eliminates grains (rice and corn too), legumes, dairy and anything sugary or processed. There is Variations of the Paleo Diet or similar Diets. One is the Primal diet that also includes raw dairy only (to avoid downsides of pasteurized dairy), like raw butter or cheese for example. There is also the Raw Paleo Diet, which is a raw food diet, like raw vegan, but it does follow the Paleo principle and plenty of meat is consumed.

Paleo Dieter's eat beyond organic. They make sure that if they eat beef, that the animal was grass fed. Feeding a cow grains is not natural to them and can have a negative impact on their health, and on yours when you consume the meat. 
Paleo Dieter's also stick to eating what was naturally available to us in the beginning of time, paleolithic times. That is why it is also called the "caveman diet". Does not sound very appealing, but the thought behind it is a good one. Nowadays we process most foods. Even your nice loaf of bread or yummy Pasta is heavily processed, because they started as grains. In Nature however, a caveman would have never consumed grains, because it would just not make sense to peel each little hard grain from the shell and eat it. Not enough nutrition, not edible raw.
That is why only foods that are the way they exist in nature are consumed. Meats are best from animals that are fed their natural diet according to Paleo.

Anyhow, I started on this diet slowly. The thought behind this was to prevent my body from detoxing and crashing too much at once, and it affecting the baby. While I was pregnant, I started cutting out things like sugar, and as soon as he was born I reduced my grain intake a lot. 
I am not gonna lie, getting off of certain foods is not easy. I used to deal with hypoglycemia prior to my diet change, meaning my body was low on sugar and getting into a state where I felt dizzy, faint or even passed out. Not a good thing when you are holding a baby! 
Because I went slowly, I felt fine for the most part, but at first I did experience weakness and just an overall tired feeling. I also felt nauseated due to consuming much more fat (the diet explains the benefits of certain fats), which I have to do in order to maintain my weight. Plenty of people eat Paleo for weight loss, but I don't want to lose any weight. 

After this phase however, I started noticing benefits, even while I was still transitioning and eating things like rice and dairy (which I cut out last). I am usually very sleepy in the morning, and have suffered from fatigue for quite a while, to the point where I was wondering if I had chronic fatigue syndrome. But all of a sudden I was waking up rested and refreshed in the morning! I even felt/ feel great after only 6 1/2 hours of sleep, more than 8 would make me feel crappy nowadays ;).
I also noticed minor stomach discomfort disappearing. My old diet did not cause me severe bowel problems, but often some light constipation and bloating. After pregnancy I also experienced back aches and carpal tunnel syndrome, as well as minor joint inflammation, which disappeared as soon as I fully transitioned, within about a week.
Then there was my skin...it was not "bad" at the time, but I just did not look as "fresh" in my opinion. I always thought that when we grow older, we just naturally lose that glow, the fine texture of skin, that is inevitable, but now I think many people could actually benefit in looks from a diet more suitable to them. The Paleo Diet is easily digested and nutrients absorbed, unlike the foods that it eliminates, therefore your body will not be detoxing as much through your skin which means - better skin.

My skin became clearer, and somehow more glowing, rough patches disappeared, it felt less oily and the texture just seemed finer in general. And like I already mentioned, my hair has changed also, probably due to not having certain health problems anymore, but I feel eating this diet helped my body deal with those said health problems.

All my new growth is smooth and shiny, my hair is not prone to breakage and splits anymore, like it was for a while. I am still trimming out damage and do S&D on splits, but they are staying gone for the most part. Especially the newer growth shows no signs of damage or any "weirdness".

Effects on my health issues:

I used to have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, an autoimmune disease where the body attacks the thyroid, also a Pituitary Tumor at the brain, that made the Pituitary Gland produce too much prolactin (that is what caused me hair loss in 2009/10!), and my most scary problem was HPV with an already progressed case of abnormal cells, "pre-cervical cancer" CIN III.  (cancer is cancer, but it is labeled as pre cervical cancer, because at that point they don't urge you to do Chemo and such yet, I had surgery then, but declined Chemo or Radiation, I wanted to wait and see if I bettered.)

According to recent tests, my thyroid is functioning normally, my prolactin is at a normal level, the tumor shriveled down to non existence and my test at the Gynecologist showed I am not only clear of cervical cancer, but also of the HPV, after 8 long years.
I am so in shock about the last result, I haven't even posted about it yet.  

How much did the diet help?

I really don't know for sure, but I know it did help, because I was able to watch the reactions and bettering with my own eyes, witness it on my own body. I feel as good as I did when I was 16....but I am not 16, hard to believe lol.
If I eat certain foods like wheat now, I will get severe reactions to it. I feel hazy, sluggish, brain foggy (is that a word?), my stomach hurts, my joints ache and I break out badly.
That tells me that for my body, certain foods are not good.

I am aware of the fact that many people eat a normal diet and experience none of the problems I used to have, and I really DON'T want to argue diet with anyone. But I wanted to share how I personally benefit from this, and anyone that is interested and willing to give it a try, might benefit from this too, especially if you do have health, hair, skin or hormonal problems. 
If you don't like it and the effects, you can always stop, but if you give it a good try, you might reap benefits from it.
I am sure some people are much more sensitive to certain foods than others. And I understand that there will be people that would never consider this diet, and that is okay.
I just want to be able to eat this way in peace, and you get to enjoy your muffins and coffee. It is true that some people never seem to get sick, no matter how they eat. And it is also true that certain other diets hold health benefits, but in a different way, and I decided that the Paleo Diet was most appealing to me. To be precise, Raw Paleo sounds like a very healthy options, because it eliminates toxins that cooking can create (cooking is basically burning foods, and above a certain temp. toxins are created).

I will probably write about the diet more in detail, but today I just wanted to share the big change I made.


8 comments:

  1. I'm also on a paleo diet! i'm doing it to see if i can balance my hormones, which usually cause me acne on the jawline. i hope my hair can benefit from this diet as your did. ^^

    ReplyDelete
  2. From the North

    Just be sure to avoid things strictly. I noticed that cheating is not really helpful and it sets me back loads(sadly). I was also amazed by the hidden wheat you find everywhere and how drinks like coffee can cause cross reactions and inflammation in your body just like Gluten does.
    Cheating makes my skin flare up badly.
    I am sure your hormones will improve, for many hormonal problems are linked to being a cause autoimmune diseases. Let me know about your progress! :)
    Emi

    ReplyDelete
  3. I was really surprised, as I read, that you are on diet XD
    Sounds great and me and my fiance will try it soon. He for loosing weight and me for better health, as I am nearly skinny like you ;)
    Nice to read, that you are feeling a lot better and you can see this in your hair :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Congrats on your come back and being HPV free sooo awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is very helpful since a lot of people now a days are experiencing this kind of problem. We should be more aware of the nutrients we are getting so we’ll be able to monitor our health and avoid these type of situations. Thank you for sharing this information. More power to you and all the best.

    Byron Brewer @ Knight and Sanders

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great blog on Very Important topic Hair loss that is common problem these days but as you explain these treatment and diet detail ,these are awesome thanks for sharing these blog and keep sharing these type of information.
    Best Hair Transplant in Ahmedabad

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Emi

Emi
34 year old mom of 2 boys from Frankfurt Germany

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