There are a lot of side effects that patients deal with when they have a flare-up of their IBD. One thing that is often overlooked when discussing the side effects or symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease is what it can do to the hair. Unfortunately hair thinning and loss is a very unpleasant side effect for many patients. While hair loss might not be the most medically significant problem it can still be a devastating one.
There are several reasons for the hair loss experienced in IBD patients. The first reason for this issue is due to malnutrition. Patients who have lost a significant amount of weight over a short period of time may be at a higher risk of experiencing hair loss or thinning of the hair. The mal-absorption of nutrients in IBD patients can also cause issues with hair loss even when the patient maintains a stable weight. Normally this kind of hair loss is only temporary and the hair grows back as nutritional status returns.
Hair loss occurs because chemotherapy targets all rapidly dividing cells—healthy cells as well as cancer cells. Hair follicles, the structures in the skin filled with tiny blood vessels that make hair, are some of the fastest-growing cells in the body. If you're not in cancer treatment, your hair follicles divide every 23 to 72 hours. But as the chemo does its work against cancer cells, it also destroys hair cells. Within a few weeks of starting chemo, you may lose some or all of your hair.
If you are having chemotherapy , your hair loss may be gradual or dramatic: clumps in your hairbrush, handfuls in the tub drain or on your pillow. Whichever way it happens, it's startling and depressing, and you'll need a lot of support during this time.
Some chemotherapy drugs affect only the hair on your head. Others cause the loss of eyebrows and eyelashes, pubic hair, and hair on your legs, arms, or underarms.
The extent of hair loss depends on which drugs or other treatments are used, and for h...
So here we are, managing a precarious balance between what was then and what is now. We are still fragile at this point, and a spill might land us anywhere between a chipped ego or a burning wreck of our self-esteem.
After all, each of us is different. Tough as leather here, tender to the touch there. We are excited, and we are emotional.
The person we were is not far behind while the replacement is sometimes viewed as a surrogate or an imposter, more an actor than a reality. We like the new model but do not always trust it.
The barbs that pierced our personal esteem and self-image are still attached at many levels. Shaking them free leaves bloody little marks from the cruel words and disparaging stares we collected across the years. Things are improving, but much of the hurt is still fresh, and fresh hurt often manifests itself as fear.
Then, as is the case in about 30% of the patients who have had gastric bypass surgery, hair loss begins. We are strugglin...
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