The Alopecia Resource Centre
About the Alopecia Resource Centre
Even though 147 million people world-wide have Alopecia, isn't it strange that most of us don't know others with Alopecia? Or perhaps we do, we just don't know it.
That's why forums such as online support groups are so important, as are face to face catch ups with people living with the shared experience of Alopecia.
The Alopecia Friendship Group has been created for just that! Face to face catch ups each month. These catch ups will include planned discussion on a particular topic and/or guest speakers relevant to our auto-immune disease.
The Alopecia Resource Centre is a holistic provider of services for people with Alopecia founded by Tammy Lobato from her experience of a lifetime with Alopecia.
Tammy began her service for people with Alopecia when she created Tammy Lobato Wigs from her desire to provide high quality wigs and compassionate high level service for those with hair loss.
In her consultations with clients, Tammy spends quality time understanding immediate and additional needs in relation to their experience with hair loss. She realised that her clients needed a more holistic service than just the provision of wigs – that her clients need not only the immediate aesthetic solution of a wig but they also require treatment and counselling. They seek qualified specialists to talk with – those who understand Alopecia and its effects, and receive treatment using specialised natural medicine that supports and strengthens the immune system.
What is alopecia?
Alopecia affects roughly 2% of the population.
The hair loss can take place rapidly – virtually over a few days or more gradually.
Sometimes, it leads to the complete loss of hair on the scalp (alopecia totalis) or, in extreme cases, the entire body (alopecia universalis), sometimes it remains as patches, sometimes it grows back and in some cases, it doesn’t.
The only thing for certain is that the hairloss and any regrowth is unpredictable!
WHAT CAUSES ALOPECIA?
There are a few schools of thought about what causes alopecia although stress is almost always a trigger, as is a compromised immune system.
There are five key contributors to the creation of autoimmune diseases.
95% of our clients experience some kind of heightened stressful period or a traumatic event leading up to their unexpected hairloss. For example one of our clients as a four year old was riding her bike down a hill when the breaks failed and she fell off. From her usual state of increased anxiousness, Sally thought she was going to die. She had experienced heightened adrenaline to such an extent her hair started coming out in chunks within hours of the accident. The remainder fell out over the next week and never returned after 40 years.
I am sure something similar happened to me at age 3 when I developed Alopecia but cannot recall the reason for the extreme stress I must have experienced for my hair to fall out over several months and never return.
Many of our clients, like myself, have ongoing heightened adrenaline that is constantly present and exacerbated when experiencing a frightening occurrence or trauma. This constant adrenaline causes stress related illnesses (including autoimmune). Most other people do not have the constant adrenaline, only experiencing it from time to time and in that state it is a healthy hormone.
We have clients who have developed Alopecia as a result of being bullied, work pressures or from the loss of loved ones. Unfortunately, we are seeing an increase in teenage girls presenting with Alopecia due to increased life pressures, environmental factors and toxins.
Many Dermatologists reject the involvement of stress in Alopecia.
THE IMMUNE SYSTEM & THE GUT
Conventional medicine classifies Alopecia as an autoimmune disease. Often diseases that are classified as autoimmune are those not comprehensively understood by medical practitioners. Conventional medicine describes Alopecia as a form of hair loss produced by the autoimmune destruction of hair follicles in localised areas of skin.
Conventional medicine then refers people with Alopecia to dermatologists who treat the condition as a skin disease by treating with chemicals that are said to promote hair growth.
Functional/Natural health practitioners believe Alopecia is caused by a weakened immune system and work on strengthening/healing the immune system.
Recent research proves a theory around ‘Leaky Gut’ and it’s trigger of autoimmune diseases. Leaky Gut occurs when the walls of your intestines become loose and allow undigested food particles, microbes, and toxins to escape your gut and enter your bloodstream. Leaky Gut can be caused by food sensitivities, parasites, stress etc. Once the toxins enter your bloodstream, your immune system tags them as invaders and attacks them, causing a huge rise in inflammation. Extreme inflammation is what triggers and worsens autoimmune symptoms.
There is increasing evidence that the common viruses and/or bacteria that often live dormant in our systems – our livers, kidneys or guts may at some point be overloaded by toxins and become unable to continue fighting the viruses or bacteria; the viruses or bacteria then make themselves active creating other symptoms and potentially other autoimmune diseases. (Do you know you are three times more likely to develop more autoimmune diseases once you have one?)
Such viruses could include Epstein Barr Virus and bacteria such as Streptococcus.
There is overwhelming evidence that gluten contributes to Leaky Gut in certain people and that Leaky Gut causes autoimmune diseases. Medical doctor and gastroenterologist, Dr. Alessio Fasano’s research recently concluded that gluten triggers the release of Zonulin. Zonulin is a chemical that signals the tight junctions of your intestinal wall to open up, creating intestinal permeability, also known as leaky gut. Gluten also causes inflammation which triggers and exacerbates autoimmune symptoms.
Changes to Gluten and how they affect us
1. Gluten is in so much of today’s diet – breads, cereals, biscuits, sauces etc. It has also become highly modified from the gluten of 50 years ago providing for the creation of higher yields. It is also found in so many more products such as medication fillers and manufactured meats.
2. The predominant chemical in the weed killer Round Up is Glyphosate – the increased use of this chemical in wheat crops (Glyphosate has been found to contribute to the development of some cancers) – is thought to also contribute to the harm being experienced from gluten.
3. This reason is highly technical and scientific - it is called Molecular Mimicry and it is scary. Gluten is a large protein that has a molecular structure that looks like our thyroid. In people with autoimmune thyroid disease, the immune system seeks to destroy the gluten but can end up attacking the thyroid by mistake.
Diet plays such a large role in increasing or decreasing the symptoms of autoimmune disease and in the ability or not, of reversing the symptoms and the disease itself.
In sensitive systems such as ours, inflammation occurs and is worsened by what we eat - we will often react differently to that of our friends and family.
Experts have developed a dietary approach that informs us of all of the inflammatory foods we should avoid in order to heal our leaky guts and reverse the symptoms of autoimmune diseases.
All information provided by Tammy is researched from a variety of medical experts in autoimmune disease. Sources of that information together with a variety of additional services and assistance to advance the knowledge and healing of her clients are available from the Alopecia Resource Centre. To book a consultation please go to alopeciaresourcecentre.com.au or phone 03 9796 2730
Tammy first met her client Lexie when she was 9 years old and requiring a wig when her Alopecia had caused Lexie complete hair loss.
After three years without hair, Lexie’s hair began growing back after using experienced Chinese Medicine.Read More