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winnifred18

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hi all,


My daughter is in constant despair...she was underweight for four years. As a result, her hair has become very thin (each strand has become a lot finer) to the point where it has half the density it used to, and her eyebrows have become very sparse. She is devastated about all of this. She has been at a normal weight now for about 7 months now and has been eating healthy and regular meals but we have not seen any improvement in her hair. I am wondering if anyone has had a similar experience and knows how long it will take for her hair to grow back as thick as it used to? She is very worried that she has ruined her hair forever and it will not go back to how it used to be. 
Mamaroo

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Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Winnifred18

Welcome to this forum and sorry you need to find yourself here. You have done a great job already getting your d to WR.

My d used to have long, thick hair until ED came. She started to loose her hair when she was at a very low weight and again when she started to gain weight. Her dr explained it by imaging her thick hair strand is connected to a thin one. At that discontinuity it breaks more easily. The same happened when the hair starts to grow thick again and more hair loss is experienced. I'm saying this to prepare you in case you notice more hair loss, it is actually a good sign. 

She is now WR for over a year (when I say WR it means she is back on her original weight percentile, in her case 90%) and is still gaining at a steady rate. My d loves her hair and actually looked up what to eat for hair (protein, nuts, meat, salmon, eggs, milk, coconut oil etc). Hair gets these nutrients when the rest of the body had its fill. You d will get her hair back, provided she is eating a lot of protein and fat. If she is following a vegetarian diet, it would be more difficult. The new hair growing out will be thicker when she eats enough to provide thicker hair growth. Her already thin hair won't become thicker unfortunately.

Just a quick question about her weight. Is it back to her weight before ED or back to her original historical weight percentile curve? It could be that your d needs to gain more weight before her hair will grow thick again.

I cut my d's hair short when it became so thin and she has been growing it now for nearly 9 months and it is starting to look better.

__________________
D became obsessed with exercise at age 9. Started eating 'healthy' at age 9.5. Restricting couple of months later. IP for 2 weeks at age 10. Slowly refed for months on Ensures alone, followed by swap over with food at a snails pace. WR after a year at age 11 in March 2017. She is back to her old happy self and can eat anything put in front of her. Now working on intuitive eating.
tina72

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Reply with quote  #3 
Hi winnifred18,

my d lost nearly half of her wonderful long blond hair during recovery and refeeding. It stopped with WR but did not grow again up to now (one year after WR). The hair grow is determined to a state about 9-12 month before so for her hair recovery starts slowly now. It is in a better state now and I hope it will grow soon again (although she will look a bit funny then with half the hair long and the other half growing).

Did you have her blood checked for minerals and vitamins? My d had very low B vitamins and we had to add calcium, zinc and magnesium for a long time (still doing that). Te damage malnutrition has on blood is big.

Try to calm her down a bit. Her hair will grow again, but it needs a long time and full nurtrition. Hair is something "unimportant" for the body, organs and bones are coming first in re-nutritioning. If she keeps eating and her blood is o.k. that will come again.

Tina72

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d off to University now 22 months after diagnose, still doing FBT and relapse prevention 
winnifred18

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Posts: 4
Reply with quote  #4 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamaroo
Hi Winnifred18

Welcome to this forum and sorry you need to find yourself here. You have done a great job already getting your d to WR.

My d used to have long, thick hair until ED came. She started to loose her hair when she was at a very low weight and again when she started to gain weight. Her dr explained it by imaging her thick hair strand is connected to a thin one. At that discontinuity it breaks more easily. The same happened when the hair starts to grow thick again and more hair loss is experienced. I'm saying this to prepare you in case you notice more hair loss, it is actually a good sign. 

She is now WR for over a year (when I say WR it means she is back on her original weight percentile, in her case 90%) and is still gaining at a steady rate. My d loves her hair and actually looked up what to eat for hair (protein, nuts, meat, salmon, eggs, milk, coconut oil etc). Hair gets these nutrients when the rest of the body had its fill. You d will get her hair back, provided she is eating a lot of protein and fat. If she is following a vegetarian diet, it would be more difficult. The new hair growing out will be thicker when she eats enough to provide thicker hair growth. Her already thin hair won't become thicker unfortunately.

Just a quick question about her weight. Is it back to her weight before ED or back to her original historical weight percentile curve? It could be that your d needs to gain more weight before her hair will grow thick again.

I cut my d's hair short when it became so thin and she has been growing it now for nearly 9 months and it is starting to look better.


She is back to her weight before the ED. At 5'4" she weighs 110 lbs. Is that a good weight?
winnifred18

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Posts: 4
Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamaroo
Hi Winnifred18

Welcome to this forum and sorry you need to find yourself here. You have done a great job already getting your d to WR.

My d used to have long, thick hair until ED came. She started to loose her hair when she was at a very low weight and again when she started to gain weight. Her dr explained it by imaging her thick hair strand is connected to a thin one. At that discontinuity it breaks more easily. The same happened when the hair starts to grow thick again and more hair loss is experienced. I'm saying this to prepare you in case you notice more hair loss, it is actually a good sign. 

She is now WR for over a year (when I say WR it means she is back on her original weight percentile, in her case 90%) and is still gaining at a steady rate. My d loves her hair and actually looked up what to eat for hair (protein, nuts, meat, salmon, eggs, milk, coconut oil etc). Hair gets these nutrients when the rest of the body had its fill. You d will get her hair back, provided she is eating a lot of protein and fat. If she is following a vegetarian diet, it would be more difficult. The new hair growing out will be thicker when she eats enough to provide thicker hair growth. Her already thin hair won't become thicker unfortunately.

Just a quick question about her weight. Is it back to her weight before ED or back to her original historical weight percentile curve? It could be that your d needs to gain more weight before her hair will grow thick again.

I cut my d's hair short when it became so thin and she has been growing it now for nearly 9 months and it is starting to look better.


Did the doctor say that the strands usually become thicker again for most people?
Mamaroo

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Posts: 682
Reply with quote  #6 
Hi Winnefred18

Quote:
Originally Posted by winnefred18
Did the doctor say that the strands usually become thicker again for most people? 


I don't remember, but her dr wasn't very concerned about the hair loss, he considered it as normal. That told me that hair will grow back. If she had thick hair, her hair will grow back. again. The body is very resilient. A couple of carers here have reported that their children have grown well pass the age their dr thought would be possible. I see with myself that while growing up with thin hair, in the last couple of years I've gained some weight and with it my hair grew thicker and I'm not so cold any more (I use to dread winters). Hair does grow slowly and she won't notice it at first. I would most definitely include lots of fat (avo, nuts, dairy) daily into her diet as well as protein (I include meat, chicken, tuna etc in my diet as least twice a day). I have to say drink vitamins especially for nails and hair made absolutely no difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by winnefred18
She is back to her weight before the ED. At 5'4" she weighs 110 lbs. Is that a good weight?


That depends. Say she is 14 years old (you didn't mention her age), then at 5'4" that would put her on the 50% on the weight for age chart (see attached). However it does concern me that you said she weigh the same as before ED. So if she had ED for a year at 13years, it would put her weight at the 60% percentile, which means she should weight 120 lb today. If she had ED for 2 years then her weight percentile curve is +-78%, and then her weight today should be 128 lb and so on. You can use the attached chart to see what she needs to weigh, but it is important to have a healthy weight for her before she became underweight. 

Her body will only have nutrients for her hair when all her organs and bones are back to good health. It might be that your d's body is still repairing damage due to her being underweight and that takes a massive amount of calories.

From Ancel Keys (supervisor on the Minnesota semi starvation experiment) in 1945:

"Enough food must be supplied to allow tissues destroyed during starvation to be rebuilt . . . our experiments have shown that in an adult man no appreciable rehabilitation can take place on a diet of 2000 calories [actually 2000 kcal (8368 kJ)] a day. The proper level is more like 4000 [4000 kcal (16,736 kJ)] daily for some months. The character of the rehabilitation diet is important also, but unless calories are abundant, then extra proteins, vitamins and minerals are of little value."

 

Sending you lots of best wishes!

 

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__________________
D became obsessed with exercise at age 9. Started eating 'healthy' at age 9.5. Restricting couple of months later. IP for 2 weeks at age 10. Slowly refed for months on Ensures alone, followed by swap over with food at a snails pace. WR after a year at age 11 in March 2017. She is back to her old happy self and can eat anything put in front of her. Now working on intuitive eating.

winnifred17

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Posts: 4
Reply with quote  #7 
Hi all, it has been 9 months now and still we see no improvement. Is it still too soon to see her hair strands growing thick again?
Mamaroo

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Posts: 682
Reply with quote  #8 
It takes about a year for all the organs to repair, and then only does the nutrients go to the hair. Can you give us more information? How old is your d? What was her weight (and age) before ED and what is is now? Your d probably needs to gain more.
__________________
D became obsessed with exercise at age 9. Started eating 'healthy' at age 9.5. Restricting couple of months later. IP for 2 weeks at age 10. Slowly refed for months on Ensures alone, followed by swap over with food at a snails pace. WR after a year at age 11 in March 2017. She is back to her old happy self and can eat anything put in front of her. Now working on intuitive eating.
winnifred17

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Posts: 4
Reply with quote  #9 
My daughter is 24 now. She was underweight from 20-23/24. Before she was 112 lbs and now recovered she is 116 lbs.
scaredmom

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Reply with quote  #10 

Just a question,
I see winnifred17 and winnifred18? are you the same person?

thanks for clarifying.

winnifred17

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Posts: 4
Reply with quote  #11 
Yes! I made the wrong account type the first time around so I have two accounts...
Mamaroo

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Posts: 682
Reply with quote  #12 
Hi, I'll have a look at the adult charts, do you know her height?
__________________
D became obsessed with exercise at age 9. Started eating 'healthy' at age 9.5. Restricting couple of months later. IP for 2 weeks at age 10. Slowly refed for months on Ensures alone, followed by swap over with food at a snails pace. WR after a year at age 11 in March 2017. She is back to her old happy self and can eat anything put in front of her. Now working on intuitive eating.
Hibiscus

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Posts: 140
Reply with quote  #13 
Hi Winnifred,
just a comment about the hair from conversations with hairdresser about my D’s hair. I was told to remember that when someone has long hair, the hair at the end could be 10 years old, so maybe the longer hair was damaged when your daughter was low weight. Hopefully this means she is currently growing a new crop of healthy hair . Just a thought


winnifred17

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Reply with quote  #14 
She is 5'4"
Mamaroo

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Posts: 682
Reply with quote  #15 
I used to be 5'4" (163cm), but sadly I'm shrinking now. When I was your d's age my weight was the same: 116 lbs (52.5kg), but it was very hard to maintain. My nails were in such a bad shape, they broke constantly. After I got married, my weight increased (h likes a fuller woman, so didn't mind) and my nails grew like weeds! My weight went up to about 123 lb (56 kg). Here is a link to a site with adult weights:
https://www.disabled-world.com/calculators-charts/height-weight.php

For your d her weight range is 108-132 lb (49-59.9 kg), the mid range being 120 lb, so I would suggest that your d would need a couple more pounds, say between 4 and 6 lb. Also take into account what Hibiscus said, it takes a while for the hair to grow out, so she won't see the results immediately after the weight gain.

__________________
D became obsessed with exercise at age 9. Started eating 'healthy' at age 9.5. Restricting couple of months later. IP for 2 weeks at age 10. Slowly refed for months on Ensures alone, followed by swap over with food at a snails pace. WR after a year at age 11 in March 2017. She is back to her old happy self and can eat anything put in front of her. Now working on intuitive eating.
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