An article in today’s edition of the Daily Mail warns of the effects of alcohol on the waistline, especially for women. Regular consumption of a bottle of wine, 5 pints or 10 shots of vodka can add 4 inches to a woman’s waist, resulting in a ‘muffin top’ – a roll of fat that bulges over waistbands. For men consuming that amount, the result will be at least an extra 2 inches around the waist.
Researchers believe they have identified the link between drinking and abdominal obesity which can trigger diabetes and heart disease. Diabetes can often lead to hair loss as it is a hormone-related disease that affects the hair growth cycle. In addition, alcohol consumption can itself cause hair loss.
Alcohol is a diuretic so it causes dehydration in the body which in turn cause dry and brittle hair that is more prone to breakage. Drinking too much alcohol can deplete iron levels in the body; a lack of iron is often connected to hair loss in women.
Women are particularly vulnerable to low iron levels. Pre-menopausal women between the ages of 35 and 50 with heavy menstruation will often have depleted iron levels. Iron deficiency can trigger hair loss in large quantities or it can result in slow thinning over a number of months or even years.
If you think you may have low iron levels, it is important to get a diagnosis from a doctor. Excessive iron consumption via supplements can be harmful and has been linked to an increased risk of coronary heart disease and some cancers. The simplest way to increase iron levels safely is to check your diet includes iron-rich foods such as dried fruits, leafy green vegetables, beans, lentils, red meat, oysters, chicken, tuna, wholegrains and enriched cereals. Consuming food rich in vitamin C, while eating iron-rich foods, aids the absorption of the iron.
Once alcohol intake is moderated and these foods included in the diet, the hair may return to its normal growth cycle. If the hair follicles have been badly damaged, then proven hair loss treatments may help restore the hair to its former state. There are also a range of hair growth boosters that can be used alongside medications to create an individual treatment programme.
If you are noticing thinning hair or hair loss, the Belgravia Centre offers free consultations with specialists. To book an appointment, please call 020 7730 6666 or message the clinic. Alternatively, complete the online diagnostic form for a consultation via the website.