A Picture Paints a Thousand Words

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What are you thinking when you see this picture?

Is it along the lines of the Fred Flintstone has an amazing meal pattern for bariatric surgery considering meat is always on his menu? I sure did, but did you notice how wonderful Wilma’s hair is looking, or how beautiful Betty’s skin is compared to Barney’s? Take a closer look, Dino’s nails are looking nice and strong too.

That’s right, this month I’m thinking all about skin, nails, and so ‘hair’ come my questions…

Has your hair been thinning after your surgery? Are you taking anything in particular for your hair, skin and nails? If so, do you know the ingredients of that supplement, and do you know what role they have with the quality of your hair, skin and nails? Going back one step, do you know what your hair, skin and nails are actually made from, and why hair loss even happens?

The most common type of hair loss after weight-loss surgery is known as telogen effluvium. It comes from the stress of major surgery and rapid weight-loss which makes the body go into a delayed shock after about two to four months from surgery. Hair starts thinning and that can continue for about six months. New hair will regrow over that time, but good nutrition is important because your hair, skin and nails are made of a protein called keratin.

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All proteins are made up of individual units called amino acids. The amino acids are like jigsaw puzzle pieces which form a bigger picture. They get pieced together to form our hair, skin, nails, muscle and bone. Keratin can come from foods like liver, dairy products and some vegetables like broccoli. Our bodies also make it from individual amino acids, and that’s why eating top level protein foods is so important. They give us the jigsaw puzzle pieces for making keratin to keep our nails strong and our hair growing healthy. But, that’s where vitamins like biotin become the focus of attention.

Biotin is a B-group vitamin. It’s needed for helping our bodies make keratin from the amino acids we get from the top protein foods like meat, poultry, seafood and protein powder.

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It’s like a crane operator in a big construction site - without the driver, the crane won’t work and the construction can’t happen. In other words, a biotin deficiency can lead to hair loss, but so too can deficiencies in other B-group vitamins like niacin, or minerals such as zinc. Think of these nutrients as the concrete truck driver or brick layer in our construction picture. A bariatric strength multivitamin will give you enough of all the nutrients to support hair regrowth when taken at the correct dose, but many people still choose additional boosters to help. That’s what leads me to the hot seat this month…

Drew’s Hot Seat –supplements for healthy hair, skin and nails

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Be careful about choosing a specific supplement for your hair skin and nails. If it tastes nice, have a look at the ingredients list to see what’s inside. Some are advertised as a great source of biotin, but a closer look might explain why Pebbles and Bam Bam are quite partial to those supplements. I’ve been asked about a nice tasting one in particular lately, and I’m afraid to say the second main ingredient is sugar (otherwise known as glucose syrup). We all know what that means for those with a sweet tooth, don’t we? So, if hair loss is something that worries you, I suggest a supplement with more than just biotin for promoting hair regrowth. Go for one with a decent amount of biotin, without the slippery slope of sugar, and one that contains other key nutrients for building keratin.

The Take Home of Today

Hair loss is part of the weight loss surgery experience. It does stop, but the process can be quite distressing for many ladies and gents out there. A safety harness to ensure quality regrowth is eating enough top-level protein like meat, seafood, chicken or protein powder, while the safety net is a bariatric strength multivitamin being taken at the correct dose each day. For the safety conscious, an extra level of assurance can come from taking a specific hair, skin and nails supplement. If you are one of those people, please make sure it’s giving you everything you’re wishing for and nothing you’re not for your weight loss journey.

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Merry Christmas - here’s to an excellent year that’s been, and for the same in 2019.

Drew