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!



This celiac mask is really getting on my nerves.


Disclaimer: Men this post is for the ladies :)

Celiac disease is quite the emotional roller coaster. Whenever it seems as though you’ve got it figured out, something new creeps in just to keep you on your toes. Hence the title of this post about celiac being a “mask.”

Wednesday I’m having a laparoscopic procedure done to check for anything going on in my reproductive organs like endometriosis. I keep having these stabbing like cramping pains throughout the month and my ovulation time is excruciating. And even after cutting gluten, latex fruits/veggies, lactose, corn and poultry – I continue to gain weight right in my belly region. No, I am not pregnant.  

I’ve gained 10 pounds since Christmas and almost 20 since last summer. Today I woke up and weighed 5 pounds more than I did yesterday along with feeling a tightness and fullness in my stomach that I never usually have. Something is going on. I feel completely uncomfortable and out of control. I don’t eat gluten-free processed junk foods so I know that isn’t the case and even if I did do that, the weight doesn’t come on that quickly from over eating.

It really is true that once you resolve the main problem, you start finding things that were masked by the undiagnosed issue. Once you cut one thing, another comes along making you wonder if you are ever going to be able to eat anything ever again.

For me – I was diagnosed with celiac disease, Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism and arthritis last January. At that time, I cut gluten, poultry and latex laden fruits/vegetables. Then in the spring I cut lactose too as Greek yogurt continued to irritate my stomach. Finally in December, I cut corn. I’m not sure there is anything else to cut.

I’ve been able to manage the Hashimoto’s strictly with food. My thyroid levels are perfect with no extra medication. It took a full year to get there but I’m happy I chose not to take medicine.

Then I started feeling sick again last fall, which didn’t make sense because I’ve been very diligent about gluten removal only to find out that I should have cut corn too. The over compensation of corn products sent my body into overdrive again.

As a fluke, my old obgyn didn’t fill my Nuva Ring prescription and I have been off that for almost 2 months now. It’s amazing that my migraine headaches went away during my last 2 periods and I’m sleeping perfectly. Could it be that was causing all my sleep problems for the last 10 years?

Bottom line: I feel amazing. My head is clear. I’m productive again. I feel like I’m on top of my game. I’m not having any stomach pains (the old kind) and all of my blood work levels are perfect. So why am I having these other issues?? It is so cruel to think that I’ve done everything I’m supposed to do and there continues to be one missing link each time I think things are great.

Hopefully, Wednesday is the last missing link and I can get that all figured out. I will post again at the end of this week and let you know how it goes. I get really nervous about these types of procedures simply because I don’t have them often and I am terrified of anesthesia.

What other things did you find out you had along with celiac disease?