The question of hair loss comes up all the time in the LivingAfterWLS community. Is there anything we can do to prevent hair loss or at least decrease the severity of it?
Some bariatric centers say there is nothing to be done, that patients have to just live with the hair loss as part of the gastric bypass experience. Other centers say a diet of 70g. protein a day will prevent hair loss. Still other centers recommend taking a daily multi-vitamin and supplemental vitamins intended to improve hair health. I believe in taking a supplemental vitamin that contains silica which is known to improve the health, texture and volume of hair.
Hair loss usually occurs in the fourth of fifth month following weight loss surgery. During the phase of rapid weight loss, caloric intake is marginal. This puts the body in a state of panic called starvation. A healthy body normally sheds ten percent of hair follicles at any given time. When a body is starving roughly thirty to forty percent of hair follicles are sacrificed as the body channels nutrition to more vital areas. During this phase hair loss is dramatic, often patients find clumps of hair on the shower floor. Remaining hair becomes drab and lifeless.
I knew hair loss was a potential result of weight loss surgery, but because I'm a "cup-half-full" person, I didn't believe that hair loss would happen to me! That just happens to other people, I told myself! Imagine my surprise when my blonde locks were littering the bathroom floor like hair saloon
The hair loss is a transient effect of your gastric bypass surgery and will be resolved when nutrition and weight stabilize. Many patients report favorable results from taking a silica tablet that contains calcium, magnesium, zinc, boron, betaine and horsetail extract. Usually this vitamin and mineral supplement is marketed under the "healthy skin, hair and nails" category at vitamin stores and discount stores.
This is a large vitamin - I call it "the big ugly" and for new post-ops it will be nearly impossible to swallow. The pill can be split with a sharp kitchen knife or purchase a pill splitter at the drugstore. As always, check with your bariatric center if you are newly post-op before taking any nutritional supplement or medication.
Kaye Bailey ? 2005 - All Rights Reserved
An award winning journalist and former newspaper editor Kaye Bailey brings expertise in writing and personal experience with gastric bypass surgery to EzineArticles.com. Having spent most of her life overweight Ms. Bailey is strongly empathetic toward the obese, particularly overweight children. This compassion compelled her to found the website http://www.livingafterwls.com, a fast-growing resource of information, understanding and support for the weight loss surgery community.
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