Celiac and Premature Gray Hair

Celiac and Premature Gray Hair
Celiac and Premature Gray Hair

I got my first gray hair when I was a junior in college.

I was 21 years old.

At 24, my roommate used to sit on the couch and pluck my gray hairs out while we watched tv. If someone peaked in on us they probably thought she was combing lice out of my hair. I wanted them gone. There weren’t that many but enough to drive me crazy.

Fast forward 10 years later and I have more gray hair than I ever imagined. I absolutely love being a dark brunette but the gray’s show so much more prominently when my hair is dark. This means I need to get it touched up every 4-5 weeks instead of 6-7 if I had highlights.

I don’t mind getting my hair done, I really love being in that chair. If I ever became famous, I would have no problem doing my make up but I would have a team of hair professionals following me around to make sure it always looked great. I wish I knew how to do more with my hair.

Anyway, I started researching a link between celiac and premature graying. There was a study done in 1980 by a British researcher that found  patients who lived with undiagnosed celiac disease suffering from premature graying had a reversal in the amount of gray growth after living gluten-free.

In the book, Living Well with Hypothyroidism, it states that people who are left-handed and have premature graying are at a higher risk of autoimmune diseases. I can’t find the cited source online for this stat but I found it extremely interesting. I am not left-handed but I certainly do have premature gray hair.

A B12 deficiency is also a cause for premature gray and often the deficiency is caused by bowel disorders like Chron’s disease and celiac disease.

I have noticed in the past year that my hair and nails are remarkably better after being gluten-free and my gray hairs are still there but they do not appear to be growing at the rate previous to diagnosis.

So, while there is no official link between celiac and gray hair – there seems to be quite a bit of people on celiac forums talking about the subject and saying their grays improved on a strict gluten-free diet.

Do you have experience with premature gray hair? Have your symptoms improved since your diagnosis or going gluten-free? Please share your story below!