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Hair loss?

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Old 07-11-2004, 09:45 PM   #1
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Default Hair loss?

Hi

I hope it's ok that I post this question here. I'm not a maintainer yet but I hope to join you all soon! I've lost almost 95 pounds over the last 16 months through Weight Watchers. I have about 10 pounds to go before I hit the top of my range...and 20 or so to go to hit my personal goal.

Since beginning my weight loss journey I've been shedding more hair then I normally had before. I didn't give it much thought until recently when I noticed that my hair loss is starting to become visible. I'm freaking out. I've heard that people sometimes loose hair while loosing large quantities of weight but I can't seem to find much information about this. Has anyone here experienced hair loss? Did if grow back once you started maintenance? Any information on this subject would be greatly appreciated. I do take multivitamins and eat a variety of healthy foods...though I struggle to get in enough protein at times due to not eating meat.

Any info would be much appreciated!

Thanks in advance
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Old 07-11-2004, 10:57 PM   #2
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hmmmm. hair loss can be related to a lot of issues, from serious to simple. first things first.. track your protein!!!! if you're not eating meat, what forms of protein are you eating? i'd strongly suggest that you keep an eye on every single gram and every single source. if you're really not getting enough, think about about 12 grams of protein from a protein shake during the day.

when was the last time your thyroid was checked? hair loss is a major sign of hypothyroidism. and other hormone issues., so maybe a visit to the doc, after you figure out what your protein intake is...

are you getting the right amounts of vits? 95 pounds is no small loss... and although WW is a balanced program sometimes people stick with a few tried and true foods and don't eat enough variety.

and last, but not least, such a huge weight loss often messes with a person's hormones.. and causes hair loss. it's very common in folks who've had wls. some folks used nioxin shampoo. i simply cut my hair short!!!

let us know what's happening.. and congrats on this FABULOUS job you've done!!!!
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Old 07-11-2004, 11:14 PM   #3
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I have experienced quite a bit of hair loss over the last few years. It is noticable for me too. I rarely wear my hair down because of it. It didn't happen for until after my kids were born. I'm not sure exactly when it started. I have had my thyroid checked which was normal. My doc said I needed to lose weight and drink more water. No sodas at all. I've also asked my stylist about it. She said its probably stress causing it. I don't know but I don't like it.
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Old 07-11-2004, 11:28 PM   #4
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Thanks Jiffy

I think lack of protein may be at least part of the problem. I've been going back over some of my old food journals and it looks like I'm averaging around 40 grams per day (often less).

I don't know if I've ever had my thyroid tested, though I was under the impression that people with thyroid imbalances had trouble loosing weight...but I guess that is something I should look into.

I've decided to start upping my protien to around 80 grams per day to see if that helps any...though I guess it will be hard to really see any changes for a while.
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Old 07-12-2004, 05:49 AM   #5
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Protein is what I was going to say even before I read you last post but now I really think that may be it! 40g is not very much protein for a woman, even if you're completely sedentary. And since you've lost so much weight -- congratulations! -- I'm guessing you're not sedentary at all.

When I tried to lose weight in the past, I always lost a lot of hair in the process. I also was spending most of my WW points on carbs and my protein intake was low (I'm not sure how low; never tracked it but I suspect in your neighborhood of 40g).

This time I lost the weight and am keeping it off eating "bodybuilder style". I eat 5 to 6 small meals a day and they're about 45% protein, 25% complex carbs and 30% good fats. So I easily eat 120-150g protein/day -- more than three times what you're eating.

And I haven't lost any hair at all in the three years that I've been eating this way. The conclusion I've come to is that it's the protein and the healthy diet that kept me from losing hair this time. As a matter of fact, it grows so fast that I have to get it cut every three weeks. And my skin and nails are great too. BTW, I'm hypothyroid (medicated for it) and didn't have hair loss as one of my symptoms (though other might, of course).

If you do change to a higher protein diet, don't be surprised if it takes months to notice a difference. Be patient -- I really think it might help.

Welcome to Maintainers and please stick around and keep posting -- you don't have to be at goal to be here and I'm sure you have lots of wisdom and good ideas to share from your weight loss adventure. If you'd like to post your story in the Introductions thread, we'd love to hear more about you!
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Old 07-29-2004, 08:57 PM   #6
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I too have been experiencing some disturbing hair loss. I have been dieting since November 2003 and have lost a total of 63 pounds. Since reading this thread, I have been paying more attention to protein in my diet (lacking before). Are there also vitamins that can help with this? I am 40 and believe I am somewhat perimenopausal, so I guess that could have something to do with it too. All I know is that I HATE seeing all that hair go down the drain!
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Old 08-01-2004, 10:43 AM   #7
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Thanks again for all of your responses on this subject. I've been trying to eat between 80-100 grams of protein a day. I probably ought to eat even more then this since I am quite active and run almost every day. This is proving to be rather difficult for me to do though. Meg, what kinds of foods do you eat for protein? So far I'm not seeing any less hair loss...but then again it's only been about 3 weeks...I suppose I shouldn't expect to see results over night.

I'm going to talk to my doctor about getting a thyroid test as well as a full blood work up to see if I'm nutritionally deficient in any area...I'm not sure what all they can test for but I think it would be nice to know how my body has been doing.
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Old 08-02-2004, 10:53 AM   #8
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Hi Deelighted! I definitely think that you need to be patient but it's a great idea to check with your doctor to see if anything else is going on, especially with your thyroid (I'm hypothryoid myself ). Assuming all's OK with tests etc and you want to try boosting your protein a bit, here's what I do.

I eat 5 - 6 small meals every day and all have some protein. My usual protein sources are egg whites and an occasional whole egg, cottage cheese, chicken and turkey breast, tuna, salmon and all other fish, seafood, lean beef, and some protein powder. So a typical day for me might be:

7 AM -- egg whites and oatmeal
10 AM -- LF cottage cheese and yogurt
1 PM -- salad (some oil) and chicken breast
4 PM -- rolled up sliced turkey breast and an apple
7 PM -- salmon and veggies

My protein portion sizes are usually 1/2 cup cottage cheese, 8 egg whites, or 3-4 oz of chicken, meat or fish. The five servings of protein that I listed in my menu give me 123g protein for the day. A sixth meal would boost the total to around 150g.

If you're not a vegetarian, I think you should be able to add in a little more protein without too much trouble. If you're a vegetarian, it's a little more challenging but can be done.

Hope that helps!
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Old 08-03-2004, 07:14 AM   #9
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Hello, just thought I'd say I have thyroid disease and had surgery years ago but stay on medication. My hair has thinned out on top and I have gone throught the oh my God stage its not fun and makes you wonder what to do about it. Doctors don't seem to be real helpful in this dept. I took it into my own hands and now use rogaine for women and use a great shampoo and conditioner. The shampoo and conditioner can be found at a good salon or I was lucky enough to find it at Walmart hair salon. It is called Nioxin and it helps so much. Your hair will feel nice, stop falling out and over all be in much better condition. I use it daily. I stopped for awhile and then went back to it because I saw such a difference. It cost me about 30.00 but we are worth it and there large bottles and last a long time. So check it out and with all the other support you have gotten on the protein I think you will be on the track to feeling better about things. Good luck and if you need more information feel free to contact me. I have been there its not fun!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 08-03-2004, 09:16 AM   #10
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Hi all, I too have been having some hair thinning...I think it is more common in women then we think...I am also on WW and I am starting to realize that most of my points are used on carbs...I am going to have to start tracking how much protein I have in a day...I too have had all the tests run and have even thought of having a hair transplant, ughh...

Skyfirefly - I recently bought the Nioxin from a recommendation from my hairdresser, I have been afraid to use it as the only things I hear about it are bad...I hear it increases your shedding and dries out your hair - but you have good things to say?
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Old 08-03-2004, 11:16 AM   #11
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My WOE is pretty high in protien, but I still go through my 'summer shedding' every year. Does anyone else do that?

I'm a big fan of pre-natal vitamins. That extra folic acid does great things for hair and nails.
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Old 08-03-2004, 12:05 PM   #12
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Starprincess - after looking at my food journals lately I am thinking I probably only have about 35-40 grams of protein per day...that sounds low but I do not know how much I am supposed to have in a day...

Can anyone get pre-natal vitamins?
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Old 08-03-2004, 12:18 PM   #13
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Meg's is good model to follow: about 120-150 grams of protein per day - so you're very low. As for the pre-natal vitamins, yes, anyone can get them. They're sold right alongside regular vitamins.
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Old 08-03-2004, 12:28 PM   #14
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A bit late chiming in here, but I'm putting in another vote for protein. (It IS an election year, after all!)

Back in the mid-to-late 90's I was on a vegan VERY LOW PROTEIN diet. And I mean LOW. Maybe 5-10% of my calories - at MOST - were from protein!

And my hair got thinner and thinner...not like you could see my scalp or anything but it was NOTICEABLY thinner. My stylist commented on it in fact.

Back in 2001, I went back to being a meat eater - eventually my hair started 'coming back' thank God...

(I do NOT mean to say that vegetarianism is necessarily a bad thing, but I'd suggest you eat more than plain potatoes, plain brown rice, and vegetables, which was basically ALL I was eating for the most part, with the inclusion of a pint of Ben & Jerry's Non Dairy, fat-free Sorbet on the weekends...)
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Old 08-03-2004, 12:45 PM   #15
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Thanks Star Princess and Mrs Jim - I decided that I am going to start charting everday how many grams of protein I am getting and just see what I am actually having per day ...
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