Hair loss after bariatric surgery is a very common problem. This problem creates psychological fear, anxiety, aggressive, nervous and unhappy mood in patients.
Hair loss, which is more common between the 3rd and 9th months after surgery, is usually a temporary condition. 1/3 of bariatric surgery patients are affected by hair loss. Nutrition is very effective in preventing or passing this situation.
Hair Growth Cycle
Hair follicles have two stages . These; anagen (hair growth) phase and telogen ( inactive ) phase . All hairs begin their cycle in the anagen phase . In this stage , with the cell division in the papilla and the elongation of the hair shaft, the hair grows upwards from the root and performs a new growth. The anagen phase generally lasts 3-5 years, but it has been mentioned in the literature that it covers a long period such as 2 to 10 years. In the anagen phase, the hair grows 1-1.5 cm monthly. The growth phase of the hair is affected by genetic, hormonal and metabolic factors. It is also known that seasonal changes are very effective in hair loss. In the telogen phase, known as the second phase of the hair, the hair has grown for a while. Growing hair falls out at this stage. If accelerated , this process is called ‘telogen effluvium’ .
Factors that cause an individual to experience the telogen effluvium stage are medications, surgery, fever, childbirth, hyper and hypothyroidism, eating disorders, low protein intake, heavy metal toxicity and some mineral- vitamin deficiencies; such as iron and zinc.
In summary, there are many reasons for hair loss. In individuals who have undergone bariatric surgery, if the patient has difficulty in completing the transitions in the liquid-puree-solid phases, and if he does not take multivitamin and protein supplements in sufficient quantities, the probability of experiencing hair loss becomes quite high.
The Importance of Protein Intake in Hair Loss
The patient who cannot get enough protein amount will be without energy. Therefore, hair loss directly increases. Protein deficiency; hypoalbunemia has a negative effect on the body. Decreased muscle mass causes weakening of hair follicles and therefore loss.
Patients who have undergone bariatric surgery cannot consume more calories in the first year. Patients who can consume 800 calories on average towards the end of the year should be directed to quality proteins in terms of protein. The amount of protein that bariatric surgery patients should take is at least 60 grams at first. This amount of protein should be increased after the first month, it should be strengthened with protein supplements before going to solid food, and after the transition to solid food, it should be at least 80 g per day for women and 100 grams for men.
Finally, 80% of hair is keratin. Keratin means protein. Therefore, hair loss increases with incomplete protein intake and new hair cannot be formed in its place. Adequate protein intake in the body affects both the quality and density of the hair.
The Importance of Iron in Hair Loss
When the relationship between hair loss and minerals is examined, the most important mineral is iron. Restriction of iron minerals, which should be taken with reduced portions after bariatric surgery, directly affects hair loss. In iron deficiency, which is more common in women, it has been determined that severe hair loss is observed if the serum ferritin level is below 40 Ig.
The Importance of Zinc in Hair Loss
Zinc, which provides cell renewal in our body, directly affects our hair health. In zinc deficiency, the hair cannot be regenerated, thus weakening and shedding occurs. In addition, the lack of zinc, which nourishes the hair by keeping the essential oil at the base of the hair, causes both hair loss and weakening of the nails. You should consult your doctor when you want to take supplements in addition to the body externally. To get zinc from foods, you can consume foods such as red meat, poultry, liver, wheat germ, pumpkin seeds.
What to Do Against Hair Loss?
A healthy diet is always the most important factor for healthy hair. In order for the individual to have healthy hair, it is absolutely necessary to apply the multivitamins and diet lists recommended by the dietitian and the doctor after the surgery. Dark leafy green vegetables such as spinach, arugula, chard, nuts such as walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, and fruits rich in vitamin C should be added to the diet when the time comes.
Hair loss is a temporary condition in patients who have undergone bariatric surgery. Patients experiencing hair loss should not panic and try not to complicate the situation. You can get rid of hair loss with the right vitamin-mineral intake and diet list application together with your doctor and dietician by having a blood test.