Post-Gastric Bypass Hair Loss

For men and women, the risk of post-gastric bypass hair loss is a major risk to be considered. After gastric bypass surgery, the size of the stomach is significantly reduced and the amount of calories consumed every day are limited.

Because the calories are limited, many gastric bypass patients experience nutritional deficiencies post-surgery. When the body is missing nutrients and vitamins, the body redirects the available nutrients to vital organs. This means less vital areas of the body, like hair follicles, can be deprived of nutrients.

Every day people loose hair, and a healthy body stimulates the hair follicles to produce new hair to replace the hair loss. After gastric bypass surgery, when patients are likely undernourished (in that they are lacking in vitamins) 40-50 percent of hair could be lost.

When Might I Lose Hair After Gastric Bypass Surgery?

Typically, if patients lose any at all, they can expect to start losing their hair between three and six months after gastric bypass surgery. It varies with each patient—some patients may lose it sooner and some much later.

On average, it will start to regain its former thickness about a year or 18 months after surgery when the patient’s weight and eating patterns have stabilized.

Gastric bypass patients typically have higher chance of hair loss than other weight loss treatments such as gastric banding and gastric sleeve because the restriction and malabsorption of calories is greater.

Hair loss after gastric bypass surgery is usually temporary. As the body adjusts to a lower calorie intake and balances the vitamins and minerals in the body, hair growth is stimulated and any missing hair is regrown.

How to Prevent Hair Loss After Surgery 

To prevent hair loss, maintaining a healthy level of vitamins and minerals will protect the hair follicles. Vitamin B-12, iron and protein deficiencies have been linked to post weight loss surgery hair loss.

Your surgeon will discuss with you the supplements available to prevent vitamin deficiencies and a nutritionist can help you adjust your diet to provide your body with the energy it needs.

Occasionally, hair loss is permanent after gastric bypass surgery. If patients do experience balding and the hair does not return once the body has adjusted to the reduced calorie intake, many people turn to hair transplantation Mexico to restore their hair. 

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