Rapid weight loss from any source can trigger hair shedding. Since bariatric surgery is particularly effective at creating rapid weight loss it is also particularly effective at triggering hair shedding.
KEY CONSIDERATIONS – HAIR SHEDDING:
• Does not affect every patient following bariatric surgery.
• Is most often encountered in the early months.
• Is believed to result, in part, from the premature entry of hair follicles into a dormant state ("telogen effluvium").
• Rarely lasts more than 6-12 months.
• Generally does not require any action unless other causes are suspected.
• Does not lead to baldness and patients should be reassured that normal growth will eventually return.
• May be exacerbated by inadequate protein and micronutrient intake.
• May not be completely preventable.
Nutritional contribution to hair loss is more likely if:
- It persists beyond the first year of surgery.
- It first begins more than six months after surgery.
- There are significant
ongoing issues maintaining adequate food intake due to difficulties swallowing, nausea or vomiting.
- Bloodwork demonstrates persistently low iron, zinc or protein levels.
- Presence of other symptoms of vitamin and/or mineral deficiency.
- Return to your surgeon to test for micronutrient deficiencies, particularly zinc, iron and B12 and they will treat accordingly.
- Ensure you are consuming a minimum of 60-80g of protein per day.
- If you have ongoing food intolerances, make an appointment with your surgeon for assessment.
- Ensure you take daily bariatric surgery specific multivitamins.