Causes of Hair Loss after Weight Loss Surgery
The body is a well-tuned machine. However, as we get older and our lifestyle patterns change, that delicate balance can be thrown off. This can result in overeating, under exercising and other behaviors that are not optimal for good health in adulthood. Bariatric surgery aims to rebalance the body, at least with regard to caloric intake and weight. It does so by restricting the number of calories that can be consumed or absorbed into the body.
In the case of an obese bariatric patient, the body will be used to consuming far more than it needs. This means that after bariatric surgery patients will be “depriving” their bodies of half or more of their usual caloric intake. The result is a shock to the body as it struggles to regain its caloric equilibrium with the new healthier lifestyle. This shock may, in turn, cause temporary hair loss and nutrients and vitamins are routed to other parts of the body.
The trauma of surgical procedure itself can also contribute to hair loss. Surgery in and of itself causes a temporary disturbance to the body which may also cause hair loss. Every person’s body reacts to traumatic effects in different ways, making causes difficult to pinpoint and prevention virtually impossible.
It is also important to remember that there are other reasons for hair loss that should be considered along with typical post-surgical issues.
- Stress can cause hair loss as it affects many of the body’s normal functions. This can be heightened by obesity. One of the lifestyle changes on which a patient needs to focus includes stress reduction. Lowering stress levels may prevent some hair loss or thinning.
- Genetic baldness, known as pattern baldness, can also be a contributing factor at virtually any age in adulthood. Patients should learn more by speaking to their physician.
No matter what the cause of hair loss, it can be very stressful to see hair falling out. Patients should be mindful that up to 50% of those who undergo weight loss surgery may lose some hair. It is often a temporary issue.
Patients concerned about hair loss should speak to their physician or surgeon to learn about the possible causes.