Hair Loss in the Bariatric Patient

Healthy Eating News

Hair loss is a concern for many people, including bariatric patients.  Hair loss has many causes. Those causes specific to the bariatric patient include: major surgery, rapid weight loss, low protein intake, iron or zinc deficiency and certain medications such as beta blockers, anticoagulants or retinoids.  Hair loss rarely lasts more than six months unless there is a dietary cause.  Iron deficiency is often linked to hair loss and research indicates that a ferritin level less than 40 ug/L is highly associated with hair loss in women.  Low protein intake is also associated with hair loss. Bariatric surgeries that reduce the size of the stomach, which in turn reduces hydrochloric acid, pepsinogen and normal stomach churning, may contribute to maldigestion of protein which could result in hair loss.  Hair loss can also be caused by thyroid disease and polycystic ovarian syndrome.  Genetics also plays a role.  If you are a recent bariatric patient and are experiencing hair loss, know that time and patience and good nutrition will help hair grow back.  If you had bariatric surgery more than six months ago, speak with your Physician. 

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