Post weight-loss surgery hair loss
May 6, 2016
Obesity is a major health concern in all parts of the world, with Australia being no exception. Although those who undergo obesity surgery are always excited about losing weight, losing hair afterwards is a common concern. Sudden increase in hair fall after bariatric surgery is not uncommon. In this post, we examine the relation between weight loss surgery and hair loss, followed by how to manage/prevent the condition.
The Nexus Between Weight Loss Surgery and Hair Loss
Weight loss surgery often leads to “telogen effluvium” – a condition that hampers the rate of hair growth, and therefore, the patient loses hair faster than they grow new ones. The stress caused by post-op diet may also trigger the condition. Hair loss is more common after gastric bypass and gastric sleeve surgeries, compared to other weight loss surgeries. The rate of hair loss is the highest during the first 3 to 6 months after the surgery.
It is not possible to predict if an individual will lose hair after the surgery, therefore, there’s no fool-proof prevention option. There are, however, certain nutrients that can help reduce the odds. Let’s take a look.Protein
Protein is the foundation of the post-surgery diet, as it helps in wound healing. Protein intake also helps maintain lean muscle mass, while the patient is losing weight. Those who undergo a lap-band surgery need at least 65 grams of protein every day. Bypass and sleeve surgery patients need a minimum of 80-100 grams protein per day. Patients are advised to include tofu, tuna, fat-free yogurt, chicken breast, and cottage cheese.Liquids
If you are on a weight loss diet, it is always advisable to ensure adequate fluid intake. Water prevents dehydration, and patients don’t experience fatigue or headache. Patients are advised to drink at least 1.5-2 litres of calorie-free fluids, such as diet sports drink, water, and flavored water. Being well hydrated facilitates wound healing and also helps prevent hair loss.Fatty Acids
It is a common misconception that fats are high in calorie and promote weight gain. There are good fats, the ones that your body is likely to be deficient in after the surgery. If you do not take the essential fatty acids, it might result in hair loss and scaly skin. Make sure there is sufficient Omega-3 fatty acid in your diet, by including pureed boneless salmon, flaxseeds, walnuts, and canned tuna.Biotin & Silica
Biotin is Vitamin B Complex that promotes healthy hair growth and prevents hair dryness. It increases the elasticity of cortex of the hair, thus, prevents hair breakage. Biotin is present in low concentrations in carrots, bananas, and yeast.
Silica is a vital mineral in treating hair loss. Regular intake of silica helps in preventing hair thinning and revive lost lustre. It bonds with many minerals in the body and takes several nutrients to the peripherals of the body, including hair. It helps the hair follicles in getting essential minerals and promote hair growth.
In addition to maintaining a healthy diet, you need to get enough sleep and exercise every day, to prevent/reduce hair fall. Weight loss surgery can completely transform your body and is a sure step towards a healthier life. However, when planning to go for weight loss surgery, make sure you are in safe hands. We, at Perth Surgical and Bariatrics, strive to provide the desired results to each and every patient. If you have any questions related to bariatric surgery or postoperative care, call us at 0893709686 and we will be happy to help you.