• Hair loss prevention – Consume at least 60 to 80 grams of protein each day. It can be difficult to meet these protein needs every day after surgery since you will not be eating as much as you used to be able to eat. However, you can better meet such needs through protein supplement shakes and bars as well as through frequent protein-rich snacks. Such snacks may include string cheese, hard-boiled eggs, cottage cheese, tuna fish, jerky, and nuts, to name a few.
• Take vitamin and mineral supplements daily as recommended by your doctor. Everyone after gastric bypass surgery will be asked to take a daily complete multivitamin. However, some people with identified nutrient deficiencies may be asked to take other supplements as well like zinc, iron, or vitamin D, for example.
Include foods in your diet that will provide needed nutrients to prevent hair loss. To prevent nutrient deficiencies that could increase your risk of hair loss it will be important to add the following foods to your diet.
• Folate: Beef liver, spinach, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, romaine lettuce, avocado, broccoli, peas
• Vitamin B12: clams, liver, trout, salmon, tuna, beef
• Iron: liver, lean red meat, chicken, seafood, lentils, beans, tofu, dried fruits, nuts, seeds, eggs, leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale, broccoli, and asparagus
• Zinc: oysters, beef, crab, pork, chicken, beans, yogurt
• Calcium: yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese, broccoli, kale, spinach, tofu, salmon, sardines, almonds
• Vitamin D: cod liver oil, oily fish like herring or swordfish, dried shiitake mushrooms, raw maitake mushrooms, egg yolks
In addition to the foods listed above, you can also obtain such nutrients from certain fortified foods like certain cereals, orange juice, and fortified cow or almond milks.
• Eat a wide variety of foods every day. This will ensure that you consume plenty of nutrients needed for optimal health. It can be easy to find yourself in a rut eating the same foods every day. This may be due to convenience or because you may be fearful of trying new foods since you are not sure how your newly routed digestive system will tolerate them. However, it’s important to try new foods each week so that your body can reap the nutritional benefits of a variety of proteins, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains over time. If you are not sure how to do this, it may be helpful to speak to a registered dietitian who specializes in weight loss surgery to assist you.
Along with such steps, it may also be helpful to have your B12, B1, folate, iron and zinc levels checked at least every year to be sure that any hair loss you may be experiencing is not from a nutrient deficiency.
Note: Some medical experts suggest taking a complete multivitamin, zinc supplement, and perhaps a biotin supplement after gastric bypass surgery to help reduce risk of hair loss. However, it is important to point out that the benefits of zinc and biotin supplementation in reducing risk of hair loss has only been seen in those who have deficiencies of such compounds. Research has not been able to confirm any added benefits of such supplements in those who have no noted deficiencies.
Gastric bypass surgery can be a life-changing surgery for many that wish to lose weight and lower their risk of chronic disease. However, it’s important to know that such a big step should not be taken lightly. This is because gastric bypass surgery requires a major change in the way you eat and live.
Life after gastric bypass surgery requires that you consume certain supplements every day to lower risk of side effects such as nutritional deficiencies and related symptoms like hair loss. It also requires visiting the doctor on a regular basis to make sure you are consuming enough nutrients for optimal health.
If you do experience hair loss after gastric bypass surgery, and you are not sure how to treat it, be sure to see a qualified healthcare provider for help. And in the meantime, be sure you are following the steps above to consume adequate nutrients to lower your risk of hair loss after gastric bypass surgery. Follow us on social media for more tips and advice.