• Jacinta King

Hair Loss Post Surgery

Hair loss post surgery is a common concern for a lot of people! Here is what you need to know:

We are all constantly losing and growing hair each day - our growing rate however tends to be more than our losing rate so we don't notice a difference. Certain stressors on the body however can shift this balance so that we're losing more than we're growing. These stressors include major surgery (including surgeries other than weight loss surgery) and rapid weight loss. This is why some people experience hair loss post weight loss surgery. For most people it tends to come on anywhere between the 3-6 month post op mark, however will generally settle as the rapid weight loss phase stabilises.

With this is mind, if you get hair loss it's effectively going to happen no matter what you do. In saying this, certain things can lessen the severity, most importantly adequate protein intake and compliance to prescribed multivitamin supplements and blood testing. A Zinc and Iron deficiency has the potential to worsen hair loss, so it is important to take your multivitamin which includes these nutrients and have your bloods tested at 3 and 6 months post surgery to screen for Iron and Zinc deficiencies. It is also recommended you achieve a protein intake of at least 60g per day.

If your hair loss is persisting beyond 12 months post surgery, it tends to be more nutrition related causes like deficiencies and inadequate protein vs general stress on the body due to surgery and rapid weight loss.

It is always best to consult with your Dietitian about your hair loss concerns and not commence any extra supplementation without their advice. A lot of people jump to hair/skin/nails supplements, however these will not counteract the stress of surgery on the body and they can also cause other health concerns. Your Dietitian will also be able to best advise you on how to achieve the best protein intake and nutritional adequacy through your diet for your personal situation.

- Jacinta

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