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  • Foto van schrijverAndjenadebie Autar

Hair loss

Recently I have received many questions and comments about hair loss related to lupus. Today I will tell you all about my transformation process and what have I noticed about hair loss since I was diagnosed with lupus.

Since childhood I always had long, thick and especially full hair. It was therefore often quite a task for my mother to comb my voluminous hair.

When I was about 20 years old, my hair suddenly started falling out. At first, I thought it was a vitamin deficiency because my diet at the time was anything but healthy. Therefore, I decided to take the necessary vitamin tablets. However, the situation did not improve and the hair loss only got worse.

Suddenly the moment was there – the moment I had to cut my beloved mane. But even when my hair was cut short, my hair loss continued. Bald spots were visible on my head and I barely had any hair left. Within a year I went from having a thick head of hair to having thin and lifeless hair. This left me quite distraught and depressed. In addition, my uncertainty also increased.

After several visits to various specialists, I was diagnosed with lupus. You are already familiar with that story. My iron level and the Hb levels in my blood were very low, so I was prescribed iron tablets. In addition, I was prescribed Prednisone and many other medications. Of course, these did not have any positive effect on my hair growth.

There was no end to my hair loss, so I decided to look for a wig. In the end I didn't get one because I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with my hair. I also felt a sense of shame. I didn't know what to do and this caused me to feel even more depressed.

Eventually I decided to visit a hairdresser in The Hague who I thought could provide me with a full head of hair through extensions. Full of confidence and optimism, I went to the hairdresser. Unfortunately, I came home disappointed. I could not get extensions because my hair was in such a deteriorated condition. My hair was so weak and brittle that the hairdresser could not attach the extensions to it. I was advised to start watching my diet and perhaps the condition of my hair would improve.

Then I visited a dietician. I was determined. Something had to change about my diet. As a result of the conversation with the dietician, I decided to eat more fruit and vegetables. In any case, much more than I did before. And I ate mackerel twice a week.

About three months later, I decided to visit the same hairdresser. My hair had started to grow slowly but surely and was in better condition than it was three months ago. The extensions could be attached. However, extensions were only a temporary solution, so I tried everything. I explored different styles to find what really suits me.

I gave up the extensions a few years ago. My natural hair has greatly improved, making the extensions unnecessary. Although I am extremely happy about that, my hair is not as thick as it was in my childhood and adolescence. Unfortunately, my hair will never be as healthy as it once was, but I'm very happy that I don't need extensions or a wig now.

Nutrition has played a crucial role for me and to this day I still pay attention to what I eat. I certainly did not stop taking the dietician's advice. I continue to eat a healthy and varied diet. Kiwis, pineapple, mango and mackerel are part of my weekly routine. Spinach and fruit are my favorites these days. In addition to my healthy diet, I also take Biotin capsules, vitamin B12 capsules and I get vitamin B12 injections. Of course, a healthy diet is only one part of a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, I have stopped smoking and drinking alcohol. I exercise and walk a lot. I should probably do more, but I'm going to increase it slowly.

At the moment, I only take Plaquenil for Lupus.

For those who have recently been diagnosed with lupus and who suffer a lot from hair loss, you should pay close attention to your diet and lifestyle!

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