Learning to Thrive

Learning to Thrive Series: Trisha Repp Benzing

For our third Q&A session, we had the pleasure of interviewing Trisha Repp Benzing. Please take a moment to read Trisha’s courageous journey with alopecia.

Q. When were you diagnosed?

I was diagnosed at 19. My hairdresser found a small spot on the back of my head. I went to my dr who referred me to a dermatologist. Within 30 days half of my hair was gone. I think the stress of the diagnosis increased the speed of the hair loss. I was devastated. At that age, appearance is very important. I had severe depression for a while, which didn’t help either. My friends and husband eventually helped me realize I was beautiful with or without my hair, but it was a rough time for me. Read more…

Restoring Your Soul

What does it mean to feed your soul? How often do you slow down enough to notice exactly what you need to restore yourself and not just ‘escape’.

And I’m not just talking about a mani/pedi afternoon! (Of course those are great too!)

Taking a moment, as often as possible, to really honestly ask yourself what you need will not only provide you with some relief and satisfaction but a new sense of self and what’s important to you may emerge. Read more…

We are the Guardians of our own Mind

Positive mindset is something we need to feed ourselves with daily. It’s easy to think negative and hard to think positive. Why? Why is it so easy to think of different scenarios that are bad for us?

For me there is only one word that fits — fear. Since this is a guest post for us with alopecia, I take it as an example. It’s been very easy for me to feel fear, and it’s because I’ve been feeding my mind over a long period of time — even during the school years — and it’s not easy to make it go away, it’s a bad habit. Read more…

4 Myths I Didn’t Need To Believe About My Chronic Illness

In an ideal world, we’d all support our body’s miraculous ability to heal itself and develop new cells through our lifestyle choices. Whether through the food we choose, physical activity, the amount of rest we receive, or even the conversations we have, everything would either contribute to our ongoing good health or inhibit our body from being well or healing.

This is even true when it comes to autoimmune disease. Often, when a person is diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, medications are prescribed with little to no explanation about the disease and how our lifestyle impacts that condition. Read more…

Learning to Thrive Series: Lu Mueller-Kaul

For our second Q&A session, we had the pleasure of interviewing Lu Mueller-Kaul. Please take a moment to read Lu’s courageous journey with alopecia.

Q. When did you notice your hair loss?

In the spring of 2014 I suddenly lost an eyebrow. It was the strangest thing — I looked in the mirror, and my left eyebrow was gone. I did remember that it had looked a bit thin for a few days before, but I hadn’t really paid attention. At the time, I had long dreadlocks, and kept them very neat. They were carefully divided, and where the roots were parted, you could always see the scalp.

I had not noticed that these bare spots had gotten bigger in some areas–the dreads were really hiding it well. Now I’ve seen old pictures from 2011 where there was a very clear bald spot over the right ear — but I hadn’t noticed it at all. Read more…

Association Between Vitamin D Levels & Alopecia Areata

AE 14A recent study out of Turkey found that in those with alopecia areata, low vitamin D levels are common and may relate to a more severe disease state.

Vitamin D has a well-established effect on the immune system and is linked to a variety of autoimmune diseases. Researchers have found that vitamin D may be able to help in some aspects of autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, lupus, and type 1 diabetes. That being said, there hasn’t been any research looking at the relationship between vitamin D and AA.

Recently, researchers at the Şişli Etfal Eğitim ve Araştırma Hastanesi (Training and Research Hospital) in Turkey conducted a study to determine if vitamin D levels relate to AA and how vitamin D may affect disease severity. Read more…

Taking It All Off – For Love

Valentine’s day: a day so many of us go out of our way to abundantly acknowledge, celebrate, and demonstrate love for the people in our lives.

But has it occurred to you to include yourself in that lovefest? Are you lovin’ on yourself today? Read more…

Dear Mark

Today I responded to a comment in a public forum from a man who has has alopecia universalis – no body hair at all – since he was thirteen.

He is in my Baby Boomer generation, and there was little help available to cope with alopecia when he was a child. This wonderful man shared his hurt and his pain over the bullying he experienced both as a child and an adult. It took courage to share. My heart was full of empathy and compassion for him, and I could not leave without responding. Here’s what I wrote: Read more…

Hair Loss: My Battle With Alopecia

For over 36 years, I’ve been told there is no cure for alopecia areata, an autoimmune condition that causes a person to lose their hair. Like anyone with a chronic condition, I’ve always found that frustrating to hear.

I’ve had alopecia areata since I was 8 years old, so I know the many challenges one faces with a chronic condition, especially living in a world that judges us by our appearance. Read more…

Learning to Thrive Series: Laura Hathaway

Q&A session with one of our own fitness icons, Laura Hathaway! What an amazing story of courage and determination!

Q. When were you diagnosed with Alopecia?

December 2006…No previous history of Alopecia. For about 6 months before diagnosis I was not feeling well. Run down. Wrote it off as being a busy mom of two young active kids, opened a new family business, etc. Then I was getting my hair done. My hair dresser found a round dime size spot in the back of my hair. At first I thought to myself “ok, this is a sign to slow down” but then within a week it started raining hair… from everywhere and did not stop until it all fell out. I have had Alopecia Universalis for 9 years now. Read more…