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Hair loss after surgery

I thought I would share this post about hair lost after surgery from the OCC Nutritional Team.

Many patients experience early postoperative hair loss, which is mainly due to telogen effluvium, an alteration in the normal hair cycle, a dormant or resting stage, that results from emotional or physical stress (i.e. surgery). This event is unrelated to protein malnutrition or vitamin and mineral deficiencies which is a common misconception.

Hair loss experienced 3-5 months after surgery,

​ ​is more often due to the stress of the surgery and the extreme weight loss; in these cases, hair will grow back.

However, there are nutritional deficiencies that can contribute to hair loss as well. A diet low in protein and/or calories can also cause hair loss. Nutritional deficiencies such as protein, iron and zinc deficiencies can increase your risk.

If hair loss occurs after six months post-surgery, nutritional causes are probably involved in hair loss. The nutrients that are related to hair loss are protein, iron, zinc, biotin, essential fatty acids and vitamin b12. To prevent the nutritional cause continue following our dietary recommendations post-op: in addition to the bariatric multivitamins you should also include probiotics (in addition to gut health they produce additional biotin) liquid B12 which is better absorbed than in capsules, calcium+D3 and of course your protein. Don't forget to take separately the bariatric vitamins from the calcium as iron and calcium compete for the absorption at the gut.

Working on your protein goals and taking your bariatric supplements will help prevent the nutritional cause. Attached you'll find a protein equivalents table to help you count your daily protein; let's aim for 70-80 grams of protein per day.

As always, for OCC patients, if you have any questions about nutrition please email nutritionist@obesitycontrolcenter.com

or you can email me, lori@obesitycontrolcenter.com

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