Those of you who have followed me a while know that I’ve had some health issues over the years relating to Celiac’s Disease. Honestly, as far as diseases go Celiac’s, once managed properly, is like the pick of the litter. Now days, restaurants and food manufacturers are all on board, serving the gluten free masses with much tastier and much vaster menu options. As long as I can avoid gluten, Celiac’s is not much more than an inconvenience at times.
There are times where I’ve had trouble managing it, however. Having been gluten free since 2002, I have found that the longer I’ve been away from gluten, the more sensitive I became to it.
Wait, not that kind of sensitive – unless there’s cake that I can’t eat, then maybe there’s some real tears.
What I mean is the longer I avoided gluten, the sicker I became if I was to accidentally eat it. I learned the hard way over the last 15 years that I could no longer:
- eat french fries cooked in the same oil as chicken nuggets (I miss you, McDonald’s)
- use the same toaster as the rest of my family
- use the same spaghetti strainer, pots, pans, wooden spoons and even kitchen sponges as the rest of my family
- take medication without first checking to see if it contained wheat
These are just a handful of things I learned the hard way, most early on, but most recently, there was my makeup. I had checked the formula on my favorite brands several years ago, but as with anything, that was subject to change. After suffering through about four months of daily illness (a variety of stomach symptoms you don’t want to know about), testing for other allergies, keeping a food diary and ruling out other medical conditions, I finally decided to research anything I was eating, drinking or putting on my body. After all the food and drinks were determined to be okay, it was on to my cosmetics. Turns out the lipstick, concealer, and powder that I previously thought was safe was no longer and I was rubbing gluten all over my face and lips every day.
So aside from the unpleasant stomach symptoms and joint pain that accompany any instance where I eat gluten, when you have Celiac’s disease and consume it on a regular basis you start doing damage to the lining of your intestines. The damage can actually prevent proper absorption of nutrients that come with a host of other issues like weight loss (which trust me is no fun when you’re doing it this way), hair loss, and brittle nails to name a few.
After a month of feeling sick this last time, I knew before my test results had even come back, that I was somehow ingesting gluten because I was losing hair by the handful in the shower and my nails were thin and brittle. These symptoms, in addition to the weight loss, told me right away that I had damaged my body’s ability absorb nutrients.
The good news about Celiac’s as I mentioned before, is that once you eliminate the gluten, your body will eventually heal. After pitching my cosmetics and finding gluten free brands to replace them with, my stomach and joint pain disappeared almost right away. My hair loss and my nails were another story though.
Since this wasn’t my first time going through the sickness and then the healing of Celiac’s, I knew it could take quite a while longer – months and months – to get back to where I started, and after I thought about it, there seemed to be two choices:
First, I could get pregnant and enjoy beautiful hair, skin and nails like I did the last three times I had kids. Adding one more to the mix though was going to be tough since we made it medically more difficult for my husband, and thus would either require surgery or a divorce and then finding a new husband.
Seemed like a hassle.
My second choice felt much simpler. I had been in contact with Natrol, one of the nation’s leading manufacturers of vitamins and supplements, and they had told me about their Biotin product. Natrol’s Biotin restores naturally healthy hair, radiant skin and strengthens nails, and they were nice enough to send me some to try.
Biotin, a B vitamin also known as vitamin H or B7, is an important nutrient not only for hair skin and nails, but also to convert food into energy* – something I think I need help with even when I’m feeling healthy.
As you know I’m not a medical doctor, and I’m certainly not a nutritionist (I’m usually wearing one too many food stains to be taken seriously on that front even if I was properly trained and certified). What I can speak to is my experience this time taking Natrol’s Biotin after a prolonged “glutening.” After taking the Biotin for several weeks, not only did I notice that my hair was not falling out anymore, but it had already started coming back in thicker as well. My husband noted that the drain in our shower was much better, and my hairdresser even said that she could tell how much regrowth I had.
I also noticed even before the hair growth that my nails were improving as well. They were growing faster and the new part of the nail was thicker and stronger in appearance than the older section of nail. In fact, not only were they growing and looking better to the naked eye, I don’t remember a time except for when I was pregnant that they’ve looked and felt so strong!
All the benefits of pregnancy for your hair, skin and nails without the stretchmarks!
Natrol’s Biotin has not only given me healthy nails and hair, but I think it helped accelerate the healing I needed after my prolonged glutening. My hair and nails were noticeably healthier months ahead of schedule based on my previous experiences with the same types of gluten exposure in the past. I saw results in weeks rather than months.
I’ve seen such a difference after taking Natrol’s Biotin that I plan on taking this on a regular basis because my nails are stronger than before and my hair, although curly and crazy, is back to it’s healthy, wild self.
Okay, maybe not that wild.
For wheat-free options of Natrol’s Biotin, you can choose from 1000mcg or 10,000mcg strengths in tablet form. You can find Natrol at retailers nationwide including drug stores, grocery stores, natural/health food stores and even clubs like Costco & Sam’s.
Keep an eye out in a couple weeks for another great product and a giveaway from Natrol!
And since Natrol sent me these vitamins, in exchange for my opinion which was solely expressed here, I’d also like to stress that you should consult your healthcare professional prior to use if you have or suspect a medical condition, are taking prescription drugs, or are pregnant or lactating. I say this because I’m not a doctor or an expert. The above was my personal experience, which being positive, I’m happy to share in case others are looking for a similar result. However, as the old disclaimer goes, individual results may vary. Also, these statements (nor any other I might make for that matter) have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. WHEW.)