Living with Lupus and my healthy hair journey

Living with Lupus and my healthy hair journey

Today we have a great blog post written by Motunrayo. Most of you know that I am interested in hair care beyond hair. I am interested in using nutrition to grow good quality hair, using nutrition to prevent deficiencies and address deficiencies. This is why those who sign up for my course also get nutrition advice. So when one of the most influential nutrition coaches’ joined my course in 2019 I was elated. Since guiding her, I have had amazing women with Lupus ask me about hair care, and I have drawn on our contributor’s knowledge and consulted her on occasion too. Even without Lupus, I see a lot of women whose hair would be much improved if they paid a little attention to their diet - the link between our nutrition, overall health, and our hair continues to be interlinked. Enjoy the post!

Motunrayo’s story

My name is Motunrayo Ogunwumiju, I’m a Certified Nutritionist and Healthy Weight Loss Coach for an online health company Healthy Everyday Living (IG: @healthyeverydayliving_).

I’m a wife and mum to two adorable children. I was first diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus also known as LUPUS in 2009. Lupus is a chronic illness that affects the autoimmune system. It affects the skin, hair, blood, muscle, and joints. Lupus also affects vital organs such as the heart, lungs, and kidneys.

Although I was really happy to be given a diagnosis after months of suffering with pains without a known cause, I wasn’t prepared for living with a chronic illness. I didn’t do much research into my new diagnosis. I was however discharged from the hospital with a cocktail of medications such as hydroxychloroquine, prednisone, naproxen, diclofenac and many more. I was also discharged without any in-depth information about how nutrition can help me manage this disease effectively. And nutrition really can help!

For the first five years of my diagnosis, I relied on the medications to get me through each day, my diet was high in animal proteins, dairy, carbohydrates from grains and wheat.

In 2014 I embarked on a healthier journey. The catalyst for this was my second baby. I finally decided to take charge of my own health and be proactive in focusing more on nutrition as a means of managing my symptoms better.

I’ve lived with lupus for a decade, and the road to unlearning my old habits while forming healthier ones has been challenging but rewarding and exciting at the same time.

LUPUS & HAIR LOSS: 80% of lupus sufferers will experience some hair loss and alopecia. It took me 5 years after being diagnosed to really notice the change to my hair density. I suffered from daily shedding and lost my edges. My edges were already compromised because of excessive relaxers, tight braids and weaves, and Lupus made it worse. So in October 2015, I decided to cut it all off. Although I stopped the relaxers, I found it difficult to let go of the braiding with hair extensions. It took me another 4 years of trials and errors before I found the right approach to growing healthy natural hair with the amazing help and support of OribyTiti. ( Ori Lifestyle) .

LUPUS AND NUTRITION: nothing will work if you do not take the time needed to invest in your health which is where your nutrition comes to play. Buying the best hair products on the market will not help if your nutrition is out of whack which was why I had to change my diets to healthier alternatives. I encourage my clients to eat ALL FOOD GROUPS in moderation without depriving themselves. This includes eating healthy fats from butter, coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil, and nuts. All of these are essential for growing healthy hair. 10 years of living with lupus have incentivized me to do more research on the types of food to avoid.

ELIMINATE OR REDUCE: In 2017, I started experiencing terrible muscle pain and achy joints which resulted in swollen feet, fingers, wrists, ankle, and knees. I did a lot of research and found that daily consumption of red meat, chicken, eggs, cow’s milk, and cheese can elevate the level of uric acid which ends up triggering swelling, inflammation and intense pain. So I eliminated animal and dairy products from my diet for a whole year. Sugar is a major element that triggers pain and inflammation in the body especially for anyone suffering from any form of autoimmune illness.

INCLUDE: if like me you want to reduce your animal product consumption then you can do so by switching to a vegetarian or pescatarian diet. A vegetarian diet includes eggs, tofu, and legumes for your protein source while a pescatarian diet includes fish, eggs, tofu, and legumes such as beans, chickpea, and lentils. Make sure to include high fibers in your diets such as oats and whole meals. Switch to plant milk like coconut and almond milk and plant yogurt for the yogurt lovers. And don’t forget healthy fats for that juicy hair growth. Your fruits and vegetables play a major part in your overall health so try as much as possible to include more of this at every mealtime.

EXPERIMENT: you have to be open-minded and be prepared to learn what works for you. If you are on a healthy hair journey, having a hair coach to guide you is so essential to gaining the confidence you need to grow a healthy head of hair. One of the things I learned from OribyTiti is the importance of vitamins such as vitamin d3 and iron for healthy hair growth. The satisfaction of including spinach in my meals which is packed full of nutrients such as vitamin c, folic acid, iron, and calcium stays with me even after months of completing her online hair course.

Please remember that what works for me might not necessarily work for you so be open-minded to unlearn your old habits and be ready to learn new exciting skills to grow your hair with a lot of consistency, discipline, and patience.

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