Friday, October 3, 2008

Pictures of Alopecia Areata Hair Loss (What Supplemental Iodine Did to Me)

Here is a timeline of the hair loss I experienced in late 2007-2009. I had almost no hair on the left side of my head for a good year.  I thought it would be a good idea to document this in case someone else with alopecia areata finds their way to this site.

How Did It Start?
Supplemental iodine (Iodoral) is what triggered this autoimmune attack. I have no idea why, but that's the only thing I had changed during this time. I don't think natural doctors take iodine seriously enough at all. It's also important to note, I do NOT have Hashimoto's and there is NO family history.

None of these pictures are to be reposted on any other websites without my express permission.

I woke up one morning and had this spot. This is from Nov 21, 2007

Then it started to get a lot worse. This is from December 28, 2007

Continues to progress. It wasn't growing back. This is from February 3, 2008.

It got so bad in these next few months, I was afraid to take a picture. This next picture is from July 11, 2008. This is my hair at its worst. My doctor told me that I may never have hair here again or if I did it would be white. I was devastated. 

I started to get my amalgams out and things were looking better. In this picture I was amalgam free for 7 days and was on day 3 of my detox. This picture is from Sept 16, 2008.
Round 4, Day 3 of detoxing. This is from October 19, 2008. There was a new small spot of hair loss just above my ear, but also some more fuzzy hair growth. Approx. Round 7 of detoxing. 

This is from November 15, 2008. Look at all the growth!!

This is from January 14, 2009. Look at the growth. All of the loss that used to extend much higher up and back behind my ear has filled in. The only spot that remains is what I originally lost at the end of '07. I haven't been chelating due to severe reactions, but it is nice to see the other spots growing in.

This is from June 29, 2009! My hair is almost completely grown back. The new growth was about 4-5 inches long and was close to blending in with the rest of my hair.

By 2010, all of my hair had grown back and my hair is extremely full and there are no signs of alopecia areata. This post is a nice warning that even "natural" supplements may give one severe side effects. Just because you can buy it online or at a store doesn't mean it comes without potential consequences.


pos777 said...

Hi Dana,

I read your blog with interest, because I’m looking for testimonies that removing amalgams/chelation works. I haven’t been tested yet, but I suspect that my chronic fatigue may be caused by mercury from my amalgams. The problem for me is knowing who to believe, everyone seems to be selling something! It seems a lot of snake oil types are cashing in on the amalgam issue. It was refreshing to find that you don’t appear to be selling anything – unless you are secretly working for Andrew Cutler! (See how suspicious all this has made me!) I’ve just received his book actually.

I was wondering if you have had any improvement in your other symptoms?

pos777 said...

Also, how many amalgams did you have?

Birdlady said...

Well as a child I think almost every baby tooth except the front teeth had one. However I think the biggest problem was with how TERRIBLE the dentist was. This guy should have been called jack-the-ripper. He did not use novacaine. I endured many fillings without novacaine as a 8 year old! He would drop mercury pieces into my mouth constantly. I know that I ingested mercury each time I went to him. He was just a terrible dentist...ugh My whole family went to his too (grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles). No wonder everyone in my family is so ill!

Then as an adult, I had 8 amalgams. Mercury toxicity is accumulative, so even though a baby tooth with mercury fell out, the mercury absorbed into my body from it is still there.

Yes just overall I feel better. My mind is more clear. Even my diabetes insipidus seems to be doing better. I haven't taken my medicine in a week! The hair growth is really what has me excited at the moment. I am absolutely thrilled.

My blood pressure was actually normal the other day, which is crazy for me!

Well I think the reason why there are so many different "solutions" out there is because until the medical community admits that chronic mercury poisoning is real (which they never will for legality) you are going to have a lot of natural doctors, real doctors and kooks with differing opinions. I really believe however, that Dr. Cutler has set the bar in the mercury detox community. Once you read his book everything will make more sense to you.

The reason I don't sell anything on this site is because I'm not a doctor. The FDA goes after people making claims on items without a medical degree and without the "appropriate" research. Yet their pharmaceutical drugs kill hundreds of thousands of people a year and that's okay. 1 boy dies from EDTA chelation and it's headline news for weeks...I don't feel like crossing paths with the FDA. That's just not a bone I want to pick.

This blog is really just place for me to vent and it happens to be on a topic that interests others. :) I want to get the information out to help people in a similar situation as me! I want people to get healthy and feel better.

pos777 said...

Well I’ve found the information down the side of your page amongst the most useful and easily digestible I’ve come across.

I’m very encouraged by the improvement you’ve experienced and you have inspired me to begin the rather daunting task of reading Andrews Cutler’s book. It’s big!

I hope you continue this blog, I would be great to follow your progress.


Birdlady said...

Yes the book is a little intimidating. There were a few pages in there I just skipped because it was WAY over my head.

Unfortunately the book is a little jumbled. I recommend using the index when searching for specific topics. Maybe even buy a highlighter and mark interesting info as you go. That way you aren't trying to figure out what page something was on.

Good luck!! I will definitely continue with the blog.

Lauren said...

Hi Birdlady, I just wanted to ask you a question... I am doing chelations therapy now with my naturopath, because after many months of being sick with no answers, it was discovered that I had toxic levels of mercury, lead and about 5 others.
The chelation itself makes me really sick, intesifying all of my symptoms. My naturopath is now putting me on a much more gentle protocol to help me get through it. She said that so much mercury and lead was coming out that my body couldn't keep up with it.
On top of joint pain and fatigue, I developed a constantly upset stomach, an itchy rash, but most disturbing is that my hair started to fall out. Even my eyelashes.
I think the theory is that as all the mercury comes pouring out, it's making all the symptoms much worse, but reducing my dose will help. And I'm on some new supplemetns now as well. Anyway, I was just wondering if there was anything you did about your hair loss? I'm getting married later this year and it's pretty devastating to have my hair falling out.

Birdlady said...

Hi Lauren, It sounds like you are actually causing more damage with the detox protocol your doctor has you on. My hair has grown back completely which was fixed BY chelation. I should probably update this section with a new picture. The hair that fell out is nearly the same length as the front layers.

I don't know what your doctor has you on, but it sounds like it's not helping at all. I'd consider talking to the doctor and see if you can stop doing it.

Do you have amalgams in your teeth? If you haven't already, please see the information on the left hand side of my blog for more information on the chelation protocol I recommend. I don't know what chelator you are using, but with your severe symptoms, I think it's safe to say it's not working or helping your situation at all. Please look into DR. Cutler's information. I don't agree with everything he says, but his chelation stuff makes the most sense.

Lauren said...

Hey, thanks for your reply. I am doing DMSA, but was taking 93mgs for 3 days, then stopping and taking nutritional supplements for 11 days. I've completely stopped for a couple of weeks and when I start again it will be DMSA for 1 day, supplements for 6-7. So a shorter and gentler cycle.
My Naturopath seems to think that I had too much DMSA and it was releasing the metals so rapidly that my body couldn't cope.
I only have porcelain fillings. I still don't really know how I got sick, except that the water in our house is probably part of the problem (I'm no longer using it).
In between treatments, I DO feel better. I was sick to the point of not really being able to get out of bed/couch for about 6 months, and so there is a big improvement. I was an extremely active person before this all happened, so it's a big change. I don't think I can stop the DMSA completely, because I know from blood and urine tests how much lead and mercury I had (and others) and I want to get it out!

Birdlady said...

I am so sorry to hear you doing so poorly. It breaks my heart to hear stories like this.

Were you on a regular dosing schedule with the DMSA? While I was chelating, I was taking very small doses of DMSA every 3-4 hours including during the night for 3-4 days and then taking 3-4 days off. Even doing this, I felt pretty terrible some days and eventually I had to stop chelating because my adrenal glands puttered out. lol

I hope that you can figure out the source of your metals. IF you have high blood and urine levels, I would have to assume you are getting exposed to them constantly. We found out our bathtub was leeching lead, so if you live in an old house check your bathtub!

Claudia said...

I know its been a while since this post but i was hoping for feedback or update. I ran into your blog during my iodine research. I was googling iodine triggering AA and could not find any negatives rather iodine being used as a treatment for thyroid issues (which caused AA.) My 3yr old daughter had some fluctuations in thyroid levels last summer so rather than putting her on meds her holistic ped recommended low dose of iodoral supplement. Like a light switch hair thinning and thumb size bald spot started on her crown 2 months later. After mentioning to ped he said halt iodoral and get blood checked to see thyroid levels. They came back fine. Four months later, there is still significant hair loss with bald spot spreading over most of her crown. There is also thinning at edges BUT with some hair growth in bald area. Treating with small amnts of steroid solution (crindge) that 2 different dermatologist recommended. She has been in optimal health with only slight sleep apnea issue. Never having the many issues accompanied by her t21 diagnosis. ..thank god! Where typical pop have a 2% chance of getting AA t21 pop have 7% chance. Not much different. We have no AA history in family and not even balding men. We are known for having long thick hair in our fam. I too feel that her AA was triggered by iodine! Wont be going back on that! Wish there was a switch to flip it off again :( now what? Waiting game? Please keep us posted of findings or progress. You and another blogger handyman bananas are the only people I have found online info on with same “coincidence”?

Dana said...

Hey Claudia,

Oh my! I'm so sorry this happened to your daughter too.

It does seem to be an odd "coincidence". I agree that it's not common and honestly very very very weird. All of the hair that I had lost has grown back. YAY! In Oct 2013, I had a new bald spot show up on the back of my neck on the right side. I had not taken iodine, but it had been a stressful time in my life. It got bigger before it got smaller, but it's not too bad and there are hairs growing back now in that area.

Unfortunately with AA, it does seem like it's a "wait and see what happens" kind of problem. Once you get it, sadly I think outside of a miracle, during times of stress more spots are likely to show up. I actually just looked up the blogger you mentioned and I had no idea he made a video about me. haha Yes I suspect his hair will grow back, but in a few years he may get a new spot. Time will tell.

I also used the steroid ointment and I think that combined with some of the heavy metal detoxing, was beneficial. Nowadays I can't do detoxing because of severe reactions to it, so I just use the ointment now if/when needed. I haven't used it though for a few months and my hair is growing back in that spot and doing great!

Claudia said...

Hi thank you so much for your feed back its greatly appreciated! What's the name of the steroidal ointment you use? We are currently using fluocinonide its a liquid topical solution. Another derm just prescribed a black tar cream which is an irritant and suppose to stimulate hair growth. I'd imagine not pleasurable for my 3 yr old so haven't tried it. Yes this seems to be a long life battle we will have :( had I known iodoral would have triggered I wouldn't have touched it. She also has a horrific case of flu with 4 days of high fever while on iodoral which derm said if shes suseptible to AA could have triggered it too. My next step is to try cranial sacral therapy to help reset her nervous system. ..that couldnt hurt. And return to her holistic ped for maybe blood work to check heavy metal toxicity. I heard bromide (which is in alot of things) and thallium cause AA and that some times iodine assist in the detox of these metals. Acts almost like a binder to flush them out? Its all very interesting and mysterious but I know there's an answer somewhere.

Dana said...

The dermatologist gave me this.

I misspoke and it was not an ointment but a topical solution. So likely similar to what you have now.

The dermatologist was really concerned and actually wanted me to get steroid injections into my scalp...Yikes I declined, but I know some people with AA do end up doing that. I am very thankful that mine eventually grew back and it's the same color as the rest of my hair. It just took a lot of time, tears and patience. Sometimes it got worse before it got better.

It definitely could have been the flu too. I think any sort of illness or stress like that to the body can be a trigger for AA. I had a new spot show up years later after my sister was re-diagnosed with cancer. I don't handle stress too well...heh

Take care and I am praying for your daughter. :)

Julya Murillo said...

Dana, I was just diagnosed with AA per a dermatologist...I have a bald spot about the size of from my thumb nail to the first knuckle (about 1 inch by 1/2 inch).

The strange thing is that I have hashimotos thyroiditis and have symptoms of mercury toxicity (allergic to many sulfur foods, gut issues, short term memory issues, etc) and therefore have been suggested to remove my amalgams. I have an apt to remove them Dec 23rd.

I'm planning to do the Andy Cutler protocol (starting with VERY low doses of DMSA and then ALA).

I know that you are not giving health advice, and I'm not asking for it. But can you please give me some reassurance that chelating personally helped you and possibly even contributed to hair growth?

Thank you so very much. If you would rather email me privately so people don't think you're giving out health advice (I'm just asking for your personal theory and story) email is

Thanks :)

ch17 said...


ch17 said...

Dana, please send your email to me