Hair Loss After Bariatric Surgery
Losing hair is one of many side effects caused by rapid weight loss. Bariatric surgery, including gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and duodenal switch, is one of the most effective tools for reducing body mass, resulting in a significant amount of hair loss.
Is hair loss after weight loss surgery permanent?
No. Hair loss typically occurs within the first six months due to the stress of the operation and the malnutrition created by eating fewer calories. That’s why it’s critical to have every bite of food fully-loaded with macros, vitamins, and essential nutrients post-surgery.
You can take certain steps to minimize hair loss and possibly avoid it altogether. This article will show why your hair is falling out and how to stop it.
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What Causes Hair Loss After Surgery?
1. Caloric Intake
Not getting enough calories can cause hair loss. Get a minimum of 800 calories daily by adding healthy fats like coconut oil, Barlean’s Essential fatty acid swirl, or avocado in your protein shakes.
2. Protein Intake
Eating or drinking can be difficult in the first few weeks after surgery. However this post-operative period is the most crucial time to eat a minimum of 60 grams of protein daily to prevent excess hair loss and related nutritional deficiencies.
3. Proper Vitamins
After weight loss surgery it is important to take bariatric-specialized vitamins to fulfill nutrient requirements. Bariatric-specific vitamins are super-rich in which one single vitamin is equalivelent to taking over a dozen individual alternatives found at discount stores. Not taking proper supplementation will hinder recovery and can lead to excess hair loss.
4. Nutrient Deficiencies
You may not see it right away, but if you do not take the proper, bariatric-specific vitamins, health issues like osteoporosis, nerve damage, and hair loss may develop over time.
Solutions to Reducing Hair Loss
Lean protein and bariatric vitamins are essential to avoiding side effects like hair loss after weight loss surgery. If you are not taking in the proper amount of nutrients, your body temporarily shuts down functions that are not necessary for living, including hair growth.
- Check your total caloric and protein intake
- Take a bariatric multivitamin.
- Include a vegetarian-based digestion enzyme in your supplement regimen. This will help your food break down and increase the amount that is absorbed.
- Increase your biotin intake to the recommended 1-2.5 mg daily amount. (Multivitamins usually contain biotin).
- Ferritin levels below 40 can be associated with hair loss. An iron supplement can help increase ferritin levels
- The amino acid l-lysine makes up almost 30% of the protein in our hair. Adding 1 to 2 grams may assist with excessive hair loss. Eggs, fish, and meat are high in L-lysine.
How you view surgery and how your body handles it can affect your hair loss. People who are highly stressed can lose more hair than those who are not as stressed.
The first 3 months can be exciting with how much weight you are losing, but it is important to consume enough calories and protein to avoid excessive hair loss.
Hair loss will not happen as malnutrition is happening. It takes about 4-6 months to see the aftermath. Even changing your diet won’t change the impact of the malnutrition that occurred in the first few months.