Friday, September 7, 2012

Dealing with hair loss

I love Optifast and the wonderful results I'm getting in not only being healthier, but emotional healing as well.  However, there are a few side effects that I'd rather not deal with.  Most are pretty easy to handle, but some mess with my head a little bit (no pun intended).  The one that I am facing right now is hair loss.  The other day when I was brushing my hair after taking a shower, hair came out in two clumps.  It was so alarming that I wondered if I should try to go in and see a doctor.  Yeah, I'm a little melodramatic at times, but after having cancer last year, I'm hyper-aware of things more than I ever was before.  I went into the bathroom, pulled out a large hand-mirror and then faced the mirror backwards to see the back of my head.  When I moved my hair to the side, there was an alarming amount of hair missing.  I looked like a chemo patient, if that gives you enough of a visual reference.  Generally, I don't worry about this sort of thing because it is just hair and it does grow back, but I wondered if perhaps it could be more.  I have been losing a small amount of hair all along, but clumps of hair ... not good!

I talked with a couple of friends, some that have experienced this while on Optifast, and others who have not.  I got some recommendations for vitamins to take that help grow hair stronger and thicker, but was advised to call the clinic for some advice first, which I was definitely going to do.  I have been using Nioxin, a shampoo/conditioner line that also serves as a preventative measure specifically in dealing with hair loss.  When I talked with the staff at the clinic, the first thing they did was to assure me that this does happen to people sometimes.  They looked at my medical history and said that since I have been losing weight so fast, they're not too surprised.  When I do blood work on Monday, they are going to order more tests to ensure nothing is wrong with my thyroid and that I'm not anemic.  So we talked about the vitamin supplements that I wanted to take.  While they didn't think it would help, given past experiences with other patients, they also told me there was no harm at all as long as I am taking proper dosages.

It just reminds me how the body reacts to the foods we eat and don't eat.  It's amazing to me the amount of years I spent abusing my body with too much inappropriate food and how I was blind to it all along.  It's not as if I didn't see what all the eating was doing to my body, but it is so much easier to pretend it's not happening if you don't look in the mirror and put on a smile for the world to see.  I look at old pictures of me now and I really ache for that person.  I remember the pain I was in constantly just walking, sometimes even just tying my shoes.  I remember when I would sit on the edge of my bed and put on socks and sneakers, I would feel pain in my tummy and breathe heavy as I bent over to tie the laces.  I would get so winded with just simple acts like that.  I would never mention it to anyone else because then, again, I would have to acknowledge what was really going on in my life.  Ignorance is bliss ... or is it, really

The good thing is that with the place that I am in now, I can recognize that not everything is easy to deal with, but that I can walk through the feelings that are coming from every direction instead of running away from them.  I can slow down, be in the moment and know that it will be okay.  It reminds me of how I felt crossing that catwalk the other day at school ... the intense feelings I had in the pit of my stomach were overwhelming to me and all I wanted to do was run, but I didn't.  I didn't turn around from where I started to get off the catwalk, nor did I run to get to the other side as fast as I could.  Believe me, I wanted to, BADLY, but I regrouped enough to remind myself that I am not doing this alone, that God is with me in every step and moment of my life, and it will be okay.  I may not always know the outcome, but it will be okay. 

So, here I sit, dealing with a hair loss that is by no means the worst thing in the world.  I'm taking vitamins, so we'll see if they help.  If anything, I can at least look forward to being even more healthy that I already am, with awesome skin and strong nails!  I am also reminded, ever so gently by the medical staff at the clinic, that the hair does grow back ("We have never had a patient go bald", they've said to me).  And, really, that's not so bad.  Just please don't stare at my head if you see me in person.  A lot of people stare at me these days because of all the weight loss, so I'm sort of over all the gawking.  Just sayin ;-)


A.P. said...

oh man! I JUST this week asked my doc about the hair loss because mine is falling out like crazy. He said that they basically don't have an explanation. We're getting the protein and vitamins. I also saw my hairstylist today, who lost 100 pounds on optifast, if her hair fell out. She said yes, and to take biotin. Also, use thickening shampoos and hair products. She mentioned to other supplements too, but I can't remember what they are.

Kathy said...

Hmm, might have to look into the biotin. Thanks for commenting on this because it's one of those things that not a lot of people talk about and it does happen to people while on the program (like you and me!). If there's no harm in the vitamins, then I'm all over it ;-)

Unknown said...

Please how much hair did you all lose? Arrrgh I'm scared as mine is falling out everywhere & is so thin. Did you stop the Optifast & for how long did it fall out?

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