Being an Alopecia Champion for your Child with Alopecia
They say it takes a village when you have a child... and in many ways this is true. Baby needs helping hands, love, support and constant care. Things don't change much even when your baby is old enough to have a life of their own.
Being a champion, an advocate for your baby starts right from the beginning in utero.
I have had the privilege to speak and work with both mothers and fathers alike, concerned about their child's health and their alopecia. Is it possible to help them, YES!
Getting a diagnosis that you child has alopecia can be scary, worrisome and concerning, especially when conventional medicine fails you and doesn't really give you answers to what's going on or how to heal or what the future really looks like.
Why is that? Its because autoimmune diseases in general are relatively new... they've been in our vocabulary for less than 20 years and thus the information from western medicine is a bunch of unknowns since medicine cannot heal it.
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” - Hypocrattes
Many times, parents come to me because they want a natural route, and are hesitant to use pharmaceuticals on small children. I understand this whole heartedly because as I look back, I see my use of meds and even over the counter meds did play a part in my own alopecia journey.
Last week, I got the unfortunate news that a friend's teenage daughter has alopecia. Luckily, though, there are resources to help answer questions, to steer you in the right path and to also give you options of what works, what doesn't and what each path looks like.
In my current program, a mom of an 11 year old, is seeing results in hair growth in less than 4 weeks. Her daughter's health has significantly improved with both visible signs and physical signs of improvement and of course hair growth. Which is the ultimate goal, right?
Did it take a village? Not quite, but it did take the commitment and discipline of the parents, and child. It did also include active participation in the other siblings. The program gets everyone healthy, not just the person affected with alopecia. In this manner, everyone supports and encourages the one child, everyone eats the same delicious meals, everyone communes together and in this manner, the family is more unified with stronger health and stronger immune systems.
What happens next? Its easy to stay on and accommodate children's desires for food cravings, and also easy to teach them nutrition and health during this time.
Growing up, I learned a lot about food, mainly processed food, mainly standard Amercian diet fair and also some ethnic foods. No one is teaching us about food and nutrition, schools have taken those classes out a long time ago... and if you have a child who's at an age where they can learn, what better time so they too can not only put alopecia into remission, but also learn how to keep it there for their whole life. THAT'S THE KEY TO THIS.... not just reversing but learning how to stay healthy with hair for life. That's the biggest take away from this program.
Diet and lifestyle make up for over 80% of your lifetime health, it's best you champion your children to learning and starting now to give them a better head start in life.
Looking back, I am sure we can all agree that nutrition is the one subject that we didn't learn through anyone, not school, parents or teachers ... true health comes from within... and it starts with diet and lifestyle.
Making changes allows you to see positive change.
I have also had many parents tell me that they already have a healthy lifestyle and yet their child is still seeing more and more hairloss.
Why is this?
Many "healthy" foods and choices are not appropriate for people with alopecia. I was talking to a friend the other day, a health and wellness blogger and fitness enthusiast and mom of two little ones... she has online fitness programs and promotes a certain shake/protein shake brand. After seeing the ingredients I told her this wound't be healthy for me or for anyone with an autoimmune disease. Many times, things are dressed up as healthy and could be healthy for the general population, but not if you have alopecia. This is where many people go wrong.. thinking that the normal status quo will get them results. Save time, energy and the pain of losing more hair or having to endure alopecia longer than needed.
Quick changes and in less than 4 weeks, healing is on the way.
Tips for Parents:
Stay strong (they know when you are not)
Stay positive (health and hair can improve)
Be kinder and gentler
Have more patience
Encourage and complement (in other areas, stimulating their confidence and self esteem)
Reassure your child that this can be healed (they lean on you for strength and support)
Bond in the kitchen, try new recipes out from my cookbook (get them learning by doing... they will follow your footsteps, so if you are eating healthy and preparing from scratch- they will learn to do the same, these are life skills that are critical and that they will keep with them forever)
Have a conversation with them about alopecia, how they feel about it and if they are willing to change somethings to improve their quality of hair, health and life. Giving examples of people in the olympics or someone they admire like a top athlete will allow them to understand that to succeed it takes determination and work, just like getting an "A" or stellar grade on a test. I believe the more you involve them (age permitting) you can see higher results and build character too.