Sunday, May 24, 2009

Why Is My Hair Falling Out?

I have been on the cookie diet (non medical)c on and off since January. I stuck with it religiously for the first 20 weeks. Since then I have "cheated" and added other foods back into my diet and cut down on the cookies. I am happy with my weight loss but lately I have noticed that I have been losing clumps of hair? Why is this? I have been taking a vitamin supplement daily. --Lucy

Dear Lucy,

I'm not sure exactly what form of the cookie diet you have been on. There is one written by a physician (Dr. Siegal's Cookie Diet) that consists of eating certain 'prescription" cookies several times a day whenever you get hungry and they provide some nutrition; then you add a dinner meal to it consisting of lean protein and vegetables. Critics point out that the total of 800 calories you receive on this diet is an extremely unhealthy level for any length of time.

After more than five months of eating cookies ("healthy" ones or not) and virtually nothing else, you may very well have a protein deficiency. Of course, protein deficiency is not the only reason for hair loss. You should see your physician as soon as possible as this is an indication that something is not right with your body's normal functioning. I am glad to hear you've been taking a vitamin supplement during this time and hope it also contained essential minerals such as zinc, iron, calcium, and magnesium (among others). If not, a mineral deficiency could explain the hair loss. You will need to get back to a balanced diet and your physician may prescribe certain supplements to restore the balance of nutrients in your body for good health.

Let this be a lesson to all who are tempted to follow the latest fad diet; eliminating food groups or nutrient groups is hazardous to your health and not worth whatever weight you lose!
Learn new and healthy habits on a balanced diet--lose the weight slowly and never have to go on another diet again!

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