Hair Falling Out - Any Suggestions for Anemic Colostomy Patients?

Sep 03, 2022 5:10 am

Weirdly, I have been noticing my hair everywhere... full strands are falling out. I've found them everywhere, after shower, on my desk, on the kitchen island, and now on my nightstand.

I've had my colostomy since June. I'm not on any meds and luckily never had to do chemo or radiation, so I really don't get why this has started to happen.

Has anyone had similar issues? Suggestions? Solutions?

The only thing off is that I am anemic, but I'm super scared to take iron supplements because I don't want a blockage from constipation.

Sep 03, 2022 7:36 am

Hi Elle.

I have taken an iron supplement, took one every two days, for about two months. No problem, easy fix, worked great.

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Sep 03, 2022 7:49 am

Hello Elle.
Sorry to hear about your hair loss as this tends to be very anxiety provoking (for women especially).

There can be many reasons for hair loss including gut problems, but anaemia is likely to be the root cause if that is a condition you already have.

My mother suffered from Pernicious Anaemia and lost almost all her hair. The recommended treatment nowadays seems to be vitamin B12 injections.

I would recommend you look on the Pernicious Anaemia Society website for lots more information. (I'm sure there are many other useful websites covering this issue).

Best wishes




Sep 03, 2022 1:58 pm

Hi Elle,

In the first week of February, I had surgery that resulted in a temporary colostomy. By May, it seemed like I had lost about 1/3-1/2 of my hair!

I searched around online and it is quite common (although quite alarming) for this to happen after major surgery. By July, it had quit falling out and baby hairs were already growing in. In late April, I began taking Biotin, B12plus, Zinc, and Vitamin C/Iron supplements. They are all pleasant-tasting quick-dissolve tablets that melt in your mouth. (I have bought online from both Barimelts and EZ Melts - I think they may even be owned by the same company.) I don't know if taking those is responsible for increasing the speed of my hair regrowth or not. The hair has definitely stopped falling out though.

Hang in there! It WILL come back!

Sep 03, 2022 2:50 pm

Yes, it's normal. Hair usually starts falling out 2-3 months after surgery. I always find that strange myself. You would think it would happen within days or weeks of surgery, but nope, it likes to hit us just as we're starting to get over surgery and back to living a normal life. Your hair will start growing back normally by itself within another month or two. I know it's no consolation for now and how it's making you feel right now.

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Sep 03, 2022 4:28 pm

I took iron supplements for a while and it did thicken my output but nowhere close to having a blockage.

Sep 03, 2022 8:02 pm

Yes, it is normal. It was my hairdresser who actually told me, after I mentioned it to him post-surgery. It only lasted a couple of months or so. Then again, it may be something more serious, as Bill said, so maybe good to get tested to be on the safe side. Stress can also cause hair loss, and having surgery and dealing with being a new ostomate can certainly cause that!


Sep 03, 2022 10:29 pm

Oh yes! 2-3 months after my colostomy surgery, my hair started to fall out at an alarming rate. It was ridiculously thick, and I was always having it thinned out, but I lost over half in the span of a few months. It was traumatic, to say the least. I was told it was from the shock to your body having such a major invasive surgery. The good news is it is growing back. However, I doubt it will ever be as thick again.

I am not even one month post-op complete bowel resection with an ileostomy now, and I'm praying the same thing doesn't happen or I'll be in trouble!
These are harsh surgeries we go through, so it's no wonder.