Hair loss possible from Medifast?

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I have been losing hair for about 2 months (maybe longer) and it's been traumatic for me. I have been using Nioxin for probably the last 2 months and also have been taking Super Biotin, Fish Oil caps, and Vitamin D. None of these things has helped. Finally, after being on Medifast for over 6 months and being down 99.5 lbs, I broke down and went to see my doctor (I really only went b/c of my hair loss).

This is what she told me. I am in telogen effluvian. The definition of this is "a form of nonscarring alopecia characterized by diffuse hair shedding, often with an acute onset. A chronic form with a more insidious onset and a longer duration also exists.1,2 Telogen effluvium is a reactive process caused by a metabolic or hormonal stress or by medications. Generally, recovery is spontaneous and occurs within 6 months." This is a good link

She said this loss will most likely continue to occur for a while yet and within one year (!) of it starting to fall out, it will return to normal (as in be like it was before it started falling out). Maybe for some it will not take that long...maybe for others it'll take longer. She also said that there is no shampoo, treatment or supplement that will help. Nioxin is for the kind of hair loss that occurs b/c of an excess of DHT. No supplement will help this either, eventhough I asked her multiple times hoping for a quick fix. When I asked her if coloring my hair will make a difference (damage the follicle and make it fall out even more), she said "color away" will not affect it.

I just got home from getting my color done and a trim. It feels good to not have ashy, mousy roots!.

Eventhough it is telogen effluvian, since I haven't been to see my doctor in about a year and a half, she asked if I wanted to have blood work done anyway. I said sure and so she did everything she could think of just to have a baseline. I should get the results by the end of the week. I'll let you know, but it's just a relief to get a real "diagnosis" from my doctor about my hair. I don't want to wait a year to have a healthy head of hair again, but if that's what it takes, I'll suck it up..

Oh, she was thrilled with my weight loss...she actually applauded my loss TWICE. Of course she wanted to know about my weight loss goal and we talked a little about that. My blood pressure was perfect (it was a little elevated before) and I didn't even have to use the XL cuff! How about that for a NSV?!..

Comments (14)

Congratulations on all of your success and thanks for posting this info...

Comment #1

Thanks for posting this. So, super biotin doesn't help with hair loss?..

Comment #2

No. She's saying that it's not going to help her. I have used super biotin for years and have seen tremendous results...

Comment #3


I'm glad you got the answers you needed to relieve your anxiety about the situation. I hope your blood work has great things to say as well. Keep up the great work...

Comment #4

Well, glad you have an answer but ugh on the hair loss. As you said, if that is what it takes, you almost have to suck it up. But again, ugh!!! I don't know about you, but my hair was/is really the only physical thing I was/am proud of on my body. It would be traumatic for me, too, if it happened. I am glad you got a pick me up hair cut/color and YAY on the NSV with the BP and cuff!..

Comment #5

Thanks for posting this Daisy - I have tried all the things you mentioned and none of them have helped me either. I didn't try to Rogaine mentioned in the article because of the possible side effects including weight gain.

If anyone has any other suggestions, I surely would be interested in them but I am a little comforted to know there is a name for this...

Comment #6


I bought the super biotin last year when my hair was falling out more, and I wondered if I was overloading my body with too much biotin? Anway, so far this year I haven't had that problem but was kinda scared to start up the super biotin and just take hair & skin vitamins and they have quite a bit of biotin in them too but not as much as the super biotin...

Comment #7

Last year when I was on Medifast my hair was falling out very quickly. Biotin did help me. I took a extra supplement a day of it. This time around on Medifast my hair is falling out less and I just use One A Day For Women. I have found out when it comes to diet and things that happen to our body because of it, it is better to ask a Registered Dietitian than a doctor. So like Dhersgberg has said it does help just not in some situations...

Comment #8

I just want to thank you for posting this intelligent post about hair loss..

Seems everyone wants a quick fix for everything. Hair loss is triggered by many many factors and all are different for all.

Good for you to seek out the right answer for you.

Good luck on your blood test..

Wow before you know it you will be having a -100 lb party at your house.

Way to go!..

Comment #9

That's some interesting information. Thanks for sharing..

Reading the post made me think about something someone said to me this weekend. A friend at church asked me if I was OK. I assured him I was fine, but I'm sure I had a confused look on my face because he went on to explain that he noticed I had looked a little tired the last few times he had seen me..

Then it clicked...he had noticed my weight loss (now 80 lbs, which is significant) and in his mind (is this the way men think????) I was possibly sick. So, I guess when he asked me that, he was thinking maybe I had been enduring chemo or something.

So, I said, "Oh, you've noticed that I've lost 80 pounds in a fairly short amount of time (7 months) and you are wondering if I'm battling some disease or something! No, I actually planned this weight loss and in fact have worked very hard for it.".

At that point, he congratulated me and told me he was so relieved that I wasn't thinning down because of illness. Is that weird?.

But, reading your post on the hair loss...can you imagine if I was losing my hair for 7 months also? I suppose it would have been harder to convince him I wasn't sick. Hmmm...

Comment #10

My hair stopped falling out by the handfuls and has regained quite a bit of thickness to it. I also have thyroid issues which can contribute to hair loss, so for me to be able to regrow hair and have it get thicker is great for me. The only thing I've done differently is the Super Biotin...

Comment #11

Thanks. That is great news. I'm glad it is helping you...

Comment #12

TO: dherschberg.

Can you tell us the brand name of the super biotin you use?..

Comment #13

My sister has this syndrome as well. She had it prior to going on MF. She has noticed more thinning (we've both been on Medifast over a year...lost over 120 lbs each) on MF...but still in the ballpark of before..

She's ok with it...glad you got your answers!.

Peace & good health....


Comment #14

This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.


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