Hair loss

If the whole surgery and losing my colon wasn’t quite enough, my body has decided to throw me another curveball in the form of hair loss.  It has happened after every surgery to be honest, I think it is something to do with either the General Anaesthetic or perhaps just the trauma of an operation.

I am losing handfuls of hair every day, when I brush it, there is like a whole heads worth of hair on the floor and I have to say, it is pretty scary.  I have very thick hair naturally and so I don’t think it is particularly noticeable to other people.  I have asked my partner and friend and they said they can’t tell but it is still quite an upsetting thing.

After a bit of research, I found it is fairly common and it is called Telogen Effluvium, which is when some stress causes hair roots to be pushed prematurely into a resting state, a more than normal amounts of hair falls out with a general ‘thinning’ of the hair.  It is temporary and the hair growth usually recovers. If there is some “shock to the system”, up to 70% of the scalp hairs are then shed in large numbers about 2 months after the “shock”.

 

sam cleasby blogger writer

This makes perfect sense to me as it has been 8 weeks since my operation, but certainly wasn’t something that I was warned about.  It makes me wonder how many other people are struggling with this and don’t know the cause.  The most common time it occurs is in women about 1-3 months after childbirth. Other times include 1-3 months after a major operation, accident, or illness.

I have had my hair every colour under the sun, I have had it short, long and shaved off completely and so it feels odd to me that this hair loss is so upsetting.  I have twice shaved my head and so the idea of no hair doesnt scare me, but the idea of baldness or bald patches does.  I think this is because I equate that to being ill and I am so done with being ill.

Hair is also traditionally very much attached to femininity and beauty, and the idea of hair loss can feel like a loss of womanliness.  This is of course untrue, there are many amazing women who have no hair at all through choice or illness, but I do wonder whether my fear stems from this thought?

The good news is that, though there is no cure, this condition also resolves itself on it’s own and usually within a few months.  So if you are currently suffering with this post stress hair loss, it should be over soon.

 

Sam xx

 

 

 

8 replies
  1. Lorraine
    Lorraine says:

    Sam mine was falling out before the opp I have thick hair I put mine down to all the Meds, I use to say to Mr Brown that my hair loss was worse than my colitis he said it was stress mine has now come back thicker than ever but it’s so worrying at the time.

    Reply
  2. Laura
    Laura says:

    Mine was falling out during after after my first and worst flare. It blocked the shower every time but weirdly wasn’t noticeable.
    It started to regrow after Iron infusions and I now have a frizz of new hair about 4 inches long x

    Reply
  3. Kati
    Kati says:

    Currently going through this myself…

    After a huge flare of left-sided UC, a 38lb. weight loss in 10 days, and a fast developing megacolon, I had the first surgery in October. My hair started falling out in late December, and I got the diagnosis for Telogen Effluvium from the dermatologist in January. And like everything else, I don’t do anything halfway…

    Most of my hair did fall out. I had it shaved about 2 weeks ago. It is a sad struggle for me. And it isn’t that I don’t look feminine. And I know it will heal itself and grow back. But it is still a struggle, as it was not my choice.

    But don’t lose hope…it gets easier every day. *hugs*

    Reply
  4. Stephen Dolle
    Stephen Dolle says:

    I was losing hair I assumed was part of male baldness, until Prednisone I’ve been taking for a neuro muscular disorder and brain Inflammation, began to reverse my hair loss. Perhaps what you’re describing is an autoimmune response causing hair loss. However, I clearly had brain inflammation that seemed more directly involved in the the hair loss.

    Reply
  5. Maddie
    Maddie says:

    I’m so glad you posted this my hair is falling out so bad ~3months after my j pouch prolapse surgery went wrong and I was left with a temporary ileostomy, it’s making me really upset. Fortunately I had thick hair to begin with but it’s getting so thin and getting me down 🙁

    Reply
  6. Lauren
    Lauren says:

    Thank you for posting this! My mum lost her hair after her illiostomy surgery and could find no answer as to why this was happening.
    Just let her read this and she’s thrilled that she now has some explanation and that she wasn’t alone!

    Reply
  7. Becky
    Becky says:

    Oh Sam, I couldn’t relate to this more. I had UC tOo before getting a stoma (non reversal, as my rectum has been removed since too) Anyway I lost so so much hair. It was the most upsetting thing. I lived in wigs last year…and only after having my final surgery last July, has it started to grow back. It is so disheartening. I would be heartbroken every time I looked in the mirror, every time I washed my hair and more clumps fell out. Only now am I finally in a place where my hair doesn’t look like I’m ill. It is still much shorter than I am used to, but I feel feminine again. You are not alone hun and I really hope your body gets back to normal soon x

    Reply

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