Millions of Americans have found themselves swept away in the current of a culture where Xanax, Ativan, and other extremely addictive benzodiazepines are being prescribed by the medical community for everything from backaches to test anxiety. But what they don’t know, is that benzodiazepines are among the most addictive substances on Earth. After years of debilitating side effects, and still suffering from the symptoms they originally started out with, many are trying to conquer those addictions but they don’t have the resources.
Today we will be talking about solutions for one scary and embarrassing side effect: Benzodiazepine withdrawal hair loss.
Your hair forms from proteins located in the follicle or root of the skin. Blood vessels feed the skin and enable the cells to divide and your hair to push up through the skin and grow. Nearby oil glands lubricate the hair to keep it healthy and strong. Interestingly, we are all born with a set point of about 5 million hair follicles and do not develop any more throughout our lives.
Hair follicles go through periods of resting and growing at different intervals and some of these follicles stop growing hair as a person ages. During the resting phase, the follicle releases the strand of hair. Once it resumes the growing phase, it will grow new hair.
The average person loses between 50 to 100 hairs every day. Many things can cause you to lose more hair, here is a list from the American Academy of Dermatology Association.
Cause of hair loss:
Let’s talk about how to prevent benzodiazepine withdrawal hair loss and how to counteract the hair loss side effects of your benzo. We have some pretty fabulous tips to help you keep your hair and even possibly grow your hair back.
In this section, I am going to share with you the two main steps you need to take in order to address benzodiazepine withdrawal hair loss and prevent benzodiazepine induced hair loss. If you love the information in this article please share because there are so many people out there that need to hear this information.
Okay! Let’s jump in:
Step 1: The first step is to know which benzodiazepines are the most common culprits of benzo caused hair loss.
Here is the shortlist on the benzo class of drugs:
High probability of hair loss/ alopecia (Lexi-Comp, 2016) (McEvoy GK, 2016)
Other benzodiazepines associated with hair loss/ alopecia
As you can see, if you are taking lorazepam or clonazepam you are at a higher risk of hair loss, and these two medications are also more difficult to taper off of than some of the others. Diazepam has a lower incidence of hair loss and is my go-to in terms of a safer and easier tapering process.
Step 2: Support GABA
Benzos can cause hair loss, and tapering down on your medication will help you get on the right track to reducing unwanted side effects. However, as you taper down on your benzo because the body develops a physical dependence on these drugs, you may begin to experience symptoms of low GABA. Benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms may include panic attacks, insomnia, high blood pressure, anxiety, seizures, and other symptoms related to nervous system dysregulation. Remember, never go cold turkey, take your time. Slow and steady wins the race.
You can also support GABA with safe and powerful natural solutions:
Here Are My Top-3-Tips to Support GABA Production:
Step 3: Support your hair follicles and hair health
We want to address the cause of your hair loss as well as improve the health of your hair and promote growth.
Here Are My Top-3-Tips for healing Your Hair Follicles and Promoting Hair Health and Growth
The topmost important nutrients for hair growth:
In this article, we discussed how benzos can cause hair loss, and that benzo withdrawal can cause benzodiazepine withdrawal hair loss. I gave you some of my exclusive tips on preventing hair loss while you’re tapering off of your benzodiazepines. Believe it or not, this is just the beginning. If you loved the information in this article, check out our course on Medication Tapering. It is jam-packed full of information on how to taper off benzos, how to support GABA, and so much more.
You can get off of your benzodiazepines. Find a doctor that you trust and who is an expert in helping people safely and slowly taper down on these medications. Give yourself time to heal, and be patient with your taper. The slower the taper, often the better the taper. There are thousands of integrative treatments for helping reduce anxiety naturally, improve sleep naturally, and help you taper off of meds under your doctor’s supervision. If you’d like to learn more, check out this article about the top 6 nutrients you need to help you get off of your benzodiazepine.
Lexi-Comp I, ed Drug Information Handbook. 21st ed. Hudson, OH: Lexi-Comp; 2016.
McEvoy GK, Snow EK, Kester L, Litvak K, Miller J, Welsh OH, eds. AHFS2016 Drug Information.Bethesda, MD: American Society of Health-System Pharmacists; 2016.
Archer, M., Frydrych, V., & Lafleur, J. Benzodiazepines in the Treatment of Anxiety Disorder. University of Utah College of Pharmacy. Copyright © 2016 by University of Utah College of Pharmacy. Retrieved from Utah Department of Health Medicaid on November 2019.
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