It goes without saying that drinking more than moderate drinking guidelines on a regular basis is detrimental to one’s health.
However, although we are aware that the side effects of alcoholism are many and varied, few of us are aware of the specifics
It is not, for example, commonly known that alcohol, and more specifically alcoholism, can cause hair loss.
A multitude of reasons have been cited by researchers, along with an equally large amount of solutions as to why we lose our hair. However, it is generally agreed that the two major causes of hair loss are:
There are 3 reasons as to why alcohol causes hair loss:
The fact that alcoholics rarely have a balanced diet can also add to vitamin deficiencies which contributes to weakened hair.
Our hair is made up of 2 main components.
These are the shaft and the root. Apart from that, it is vital to know that cells are formed at the root and will die out as time goes by, stimulating hair growth.
In addition, our hair is like a tissue that requires constant nourishment in order to stay healthy and grow well.
Losing small amounts of hair is not something that you should concern yourself with and it is in fact, a very normal occurrence.
Research and studies have shown that 10% of our hair is in a state of constant rest and has a possibility of falling off. The remaining 90% is kept in constant growth at an average rate of about 1 cm a month.
The lifespan of each particular strand of hair is usually between 5 and 7 years.
Nonetheless, it is possible that external factors such as aging, malnutrition and consumption of alcohol can shorten the lifespan of hair and result in hair loss.
The time to start worrying about hair loss is when your normal pattern of hair loss changes and it is only you who can determine what normal is.
If you are worried about losing hair, then it is time to visit your physician/doctor.
Much easier said than done I know, but if your hair loss is from excessive drinking and it bothers you enough to come to this page, then what better incentive do you need?
If you wish to stop or moderate your alcohol consumption, then Deborah Morrow, our addictions counselor, can give you a free online consultation in which she will assess your drinking problem and give advice as to possible treatment options.
Only attempt withdrawing from alcohol under medical supervision, alcohol withdrawals can be fatal.
If you can't stop or cut down on your drinking, or don't want to, then you can try to take zinc/folic acid supplements and improve your diet. This may improve the situation.
It is not common for someone who drinks moderately to suffer from hair loss. If you do, it is more than likely caused by something other than alcohol.
Another thing: hair loss is a relatively minor side effect of alcoholism, there are other, far more serious, physical effects of alcoholism not to mention the effects of alcoholism on those living with an alcoholic.
Deborah Morrow, M.S. Addiction Psychology, is the director of treatment programs for The Alcoholism Guide website. In her practice Deborah provides on-line coaching and support for those dependent on alcohol or who require other services such as relapse prevention or court mandated services. (Read More)
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