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Cortisone Shots for Hair Loss?

DetroitGirl
on 6/2/12 10:08 pm
RNY on 07/09/07 with
I'm 5+ years out from my RNY and my biggest (vanity) concern is that my hair thinned a TON after surgery (to the point that you can see my scalp in front). Before my RNY I had really thick hair. No amount of vitamins has helped and I'm really self conscious about it. A friend just told me today about a co-worker who had cortisone shots to treat her alopecia and it made her very thin hair grow back.

Does anyone know if cortisone shots would work for post WLS hair loss too?
Reel
on 6/2/12 11:15 pm, edited 6/3/12 1:08 am
Cortisone shots are given for an inflammatory response which causes hair to eject (ie. stress, certain diseases etc.). We are losing our hair due to nutritional / protein deficiencies not inflammation. They also say that the anesthesia plays a role in the hair loss, but I've had tons or surgeries and never had hairloss from the anesthesia. 

I'm kinda suprised that your hair hasn't grown back and you are 5 years out. They made it seem as if everyones hair grows back to the way it was prior to surgery after about 18 months or so.

I just don't think that cortisone shots will be effective for us.
Cicerogirl, The PhD
Version

on 6/2/12 11:26 pm - OH
I will be 5 years out in August and not all of my hair grew back, either.  I know several people in the same boat.  MOST of it did, but mine is also kind of thin at the front.  Also, the re-grown hair is just now approaching my shoulders.  At 18 months out, my new hairs were probably only about 3 inches long (but it did not start growing until i was almost 10 months out, so that is really only 8 months of re-growth... So unless someone started with very short hair, I cannot imagine how it would be grown back out after only 9 months or so of growing).  

Someone once posted about hair growing an inch a month (I think that was the figure), but mine has never grown anywhere CLOSE to that quickly!

Lora

 7 years out and maintaining 190 pounds lost!  

“You don't drown by falling in the water.  You drown by staying there.”

 

Reel
on 6/3/12 1:10 am
I already had thinning hair. Guess I'll be wearing a wig much longer than I planned. :-(
Cicerogirl, The PhD
Version

on 6/3/12 1:24 am - OH
I really did not expect it to take nearly this long to grow mine back out. I had never heard any specific timeframe, but I sort of expected it to all be back to shoulder length by 3 years out.  I cut mine to about an inch above shoulder length (in two stages... The first stage was taking 6 inches off and trying it at just below shoulder length, but you could easily see light through the area below my ears, so I later took another couple of inches off).  I would like to grow it back out long again, but if it took me this long to get it close to my shoulders, it looks like it might take another 3 or 4 years to get that additional six inches back.  I do miss my long hair.  I just try to remind myself how much better I feel and look overall.

Lora

 7 years out and maintaining 190 pounds lost!  

“You don't drown by falling in the water.  You drown by staying there.”

 

rbb825
on 6/4/12 4:44 am - Suffern, NY
your hair must really grow back slowly unless your hairloss is from all your plastics and not your RNY.  You have had alot of surgeries over the past 5 years that could all have contributed to your hair not growing back totally.

My surgery was October 2008 and I didnt lose that much after the RNY because my hair was so thin that I thought there wasnt much more to lose - it did get thinner on top though.  I started losing my hair in my 20's and got progressively thinner over the years and this just topped it off.  I was very happy because after all the stories I thought I was going to lose alot of hair - thickness also.

then came = the BOMB = as I call it now.  Oct. 2010 when I got so sick.  In the 5 months period of time when I had 4 major surgeries and lost 45 pounds, I lost almost all of my hair.  I guess since I was so sick and pretty out of it, I hadn't realized how bad it was. I knew I looked terrible and people stared at me when I went out but didnt make the connections.  In June 2011, I went to my nieces high school graduation and had pictures taken.  I was moritfied at what I looked like.  I looked like I was 85 years old - no exacgeration - just like my grandmother before she died.    I must have had about 50 hairs on my head - and I was emaciated (so skinny it was disgusting)  That is when my sister in law took me to get a wig.

My surgeon told me it was from a combination of the stress of all the surgeries, being so sick, all the anestesia and total malnutrition.  I am totally amazed = it is now 1 year later - I just got a hair cut and cut off the bottom to make it even to where all the hair has grown back and I am absolutely amazed - It has totally grown back to my shoulders and really full and curly - I have never had 1 curly hair on my head in my life.  So, it can grow back in 1 year - not how it could possibly take 5 years.  Hair grows 6 to 8 inches per year depending on how fast your hair grows.  I know for the first month or two - I kept feeling fuzz.  I had to wear ponytails for the past year once it grew back enough to not wear the wig - after awhile =  I couldnt take it = it was so uncomfortable and now for the first time, I can wear it down with a headband  = it is so nice.  Dont get me wrong - I will always have really thin and part balding on my scalp but atleast it grew back on the rest of my head and the curls are so exciting.

I really think you have had so many surgeries that it has complicated your hair coming back - between all the plastics and most recently the exploratory you had last year.  I do hope it comes back.  Sometimes, just as we age, our hair gets thinner too.

 

Cicerogirl, The PhD
Version

on 6/4/12 9:28 pm - OH
No, the hairloss was definitely from the RNY.  I lost half of my hair from months 4-9.  I am sure, however,that the additional surgeries have not helped with the hair growth (body busy healing instead of growing hair), but I did not have any loss after any of my surgeries after the RNY. At first I thought the additional surgeries explained why the hair was growing so slowly, but it did not speed up even during the "down time" between the plastic surgeries and the one last August.

I did have a second round of hair loss about a year and a hal*****hat was more than a year after the any surgery (too long to be because of surgery) and my doctor is chalking it up to peri menopause side all my labs (including my thyroid checked out ok).

Even before my RNY, my hair would not have grown back to shoulder length in just a year.  Two years, maybe... Which is why I was expecting it to take about that amount of time.  I never thought I would be 5 years out and still growing my hair back.

Lora

 7 years out and maintaining 190 pounds lost!  

“You don't drown by falling in the water.  You drown by staying there.”

 

rbb825
on 6/6/12 1:14 am - Suffern, NY
I think your doctor is right - the peri menopause is a major factor.  It happened in the middle of your plastic surgeries so instead of your hair growing back, you lost more.  And many woman dont realize but peri menopause can actually last 10 years, so you were probably in peri menopause for the past 5 years which made things worse.

It isnt possible for the hair you lost 5 years ago, if it started  to grow back with that year to still be growing back unless it just started coming back this year.  Hair cant take 5 years to grow 8 inches - your hair isnt that long and you do get your hair cut, you have probably had more than that cut off in the past 5 years, so what you have now is all new hair.  You might still have new hair growing that will eventually make it thicker which a very high protein diet should help.  Sometime other minerals can cause hairloss like zinc, copper and I am not sure what else.  There are many homones that affect it which caused me to lose alot of my hair starting in my 20's.

My younger brother had 2 knee surgeries when he was 13 and 21 - they were major reconstructive surgeries. When he went into the second one at 21, he had a full head of beautiful hair and with 6 months, he was almost bald - like a 50 year old man -all around the edges.  they said it was due to the anestesia and stress of the surgerie and didnt know if it would ever come back and to this day, he is now 47, it never came back.  he tried hair transplants at 25, nothing really worked. Some people, once it is lost, the hair folicles just dont come back to life.

I couldnt believe mine came back - 1 year ago, I had a few strands and now it is better than it was before I went into my surgeries (1 1/2 years ago)  Dont get me wrong, you still have 10 times more than I do on top - I will always look balding on top - that will never come back - I lost that 20 years ago and there are no folicles to grow back but I am happy with the back coming back.

 

Price S.
on 6/3/12 4:39 am - Mills River, NC
my hair loss was late in the game, started late and went on for quite a while.  It was thin to begin with.  The benefit I have gotten in when it did come back, and I'm not sure it all has, it is curley.  Like some folks after chemo get curls.  Anyway, it is cut really short and it is curling which it has never done before. 

I don't know anything about cortisone shots for hair.  Had one in my knee and it did nothing.

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jmjm55077
on 6/3/12 4:52 am - MN
I started losing hair about 4-5 months after surgery...lots of hair...Went from very thick hair to thin...hoping it ends soon...I read somewhere that taking adult daily vitamin (as oppose to chewable flintstones) has more to help hair health so I just started doing that. I have long hair but it's beginning to look stringy...fortunately I wear it plaided in summer...By fall I hope the shedding stops...not to mention I'm tired of cleaning out the bathtub daily...lol

Cortizone helps swelling related issues...don't see how that would help but i'm not a doctor.
jane   
                  
poet_kelly
on 6/3/12 12:13 pm - OH
An adult vitamin with 100% of the RDA of things, like the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery recommends all RNY patients take, would probably help.  Flintstones is very low in biotin, among other things they are low in or lacking altogether.  They are not adequate for RNY patients at all, but the lack of biotin in them may contribute to hair loss.  A quality ADULT multi is important for us all.

View more of my photos at ObesityHelp.com          Kelly

Please note: I AM NOT A DOCTOR.  If you want medical advice, talk to your doctor.  Whatever I post, there is probably some surgeon or other health care provider somewhere that disagrees with me.  If you want to know what your surgeon thinks, then ask him or her.    Check out my blog.

 

DetroitGirl
on 6/3/12 6:42 am
RNY on 07/09/07 with
 My hair still grows pretty fast, it's just very thin now. I've struggled with anemia for years but I had a blood transfusion in February and my iron has been great since then. I was hoping to see some baby hairs but nothing yet. I'm back on biotin, so I guess I'll just keep hoping...
Kim H.
on 6/3/12 7:10 am - VA
RNY on 07/11/11 with
From what I've read the biotin is really not that helpful. I would attack it more from a nutritional standpoint. If you're anemic- to the point of requiring a transfusion- that's really very serious. If you're not absorbing iron, what is your absorption of other nutrients like? Really, even though it sucks, I'm not surprised your hair isn't growing because your body sounds like it's under constant stress. Keep working on your anemia and improving your overall nutritional health and see if then your hair improves. I think it will.
        
I am my own hero...I save myself one day, one meal, one bite, one choice, one challenge, one step at a time...
DetroitGirl
on 6/3/12 8:33 am
RNY on 07/09/07 with
I've been trying to attack it nutritionally, but really, all my levels are good right now (i've checked protein, iron, thyroid, etc). It's very frustrating, because I don't know what else could be causing it...
rbb825
on 6/4/12 4:52 am - Suffern, NY
no one know why your levels got so low to need a blood transfusion?  Did you have an endoscopy and colonoscopy to check for any bleeding in your digestive system?  These are usually the number one reasons for this.  Sometimes they also check your urine to make sure it isnt coming from your urine/kidneys.

I had a blood transfusion in November but it was after losing an enormous amount of blood after having kidney stones blasted.  I pee'd dark red urine for 10-12 days = they couldnt get it to stop and finally got a blood transfusion - 2 procrit shots, tons of iron.

Have they checked to see if you have any ulcers, possibly in your remnant stomach that could be bleeding?  just some thoughts.  The bleeding has to be somewhere.

 

(deactivated member)
on 6/3/12 11:44 am - waukesha, WI
Hardest part from me is the hair loss.  I am really very depress about it.  I personally would not do cortisone shots for hair loss.  Cortisone is not the best for our bodies can cause weight gain, spike in blood sugar ect.  I am not saying I would not ever do cortsone shots but just wouldn't do it for hair loss.  I have turned down cortisone for other problems such as herniateds disk in my neck. 
Cherokeesage
on 6/3/12 2:53 pm
RNY on 02/24/12 with
I have no idea where they give these cortisone injections for hair but I get them in my knees and back for pain.  It hasn't helped the knees but it has helped the back.  I have very fine thin hair that is getting much thinner on the top of my head.  Unless the cortisone is given to the scalp area makes a difference , I can say where mine is injected hasn't done anything for my hair.  I'm just over 3 months out and hope the thinning stops soon. 

Banded  Oct 2008:  290       
RNY Feb 2012:        245    
Dr's set goal:            170 reached Oct 11, 2012
My goal:                     160  reached Dec 1, 2012
Today :                       145-150

I am half the person I was in 2008.

DetroitGirl
on 6/4/12 5:07 am
RNY on 07/09/07 with
Did I imply that I didn't know why I needed the transfusion? Because if so, I certainly didn't mean to. It's the hair loss that I can't figure out the source of...