Woman dyes her hair every month for 10 years, suffers chronic liver disease


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A woman from Harbin, China was diagnosed with liver cirrhosis after she had been dyeing her hair every month for ten years.

Woman dyes her hair every month for 10 years, suffers chronic liver disease
Hair dyes have been linked to liver damage | Photo Courtesy: Pixabay

The woman, whose last name was Chen was surprised one day when her husband noticed her skin turning yellow. Even the insides of her eyes were also yellowish.

Chen panicked and rushed immediately to the hospital. Series of tests where done on her until they found out that the woman had more than 10 times the normal level of bilirubin in her body.

Bilirubin is waste that is created by the breakdown of red blood cells in the body. It travels to the liver, is secreted to the bile duct, and is ultimately excreted from the body in the stool. When one has too much Bilirubin in the body, it becomes noticeable as an orange-yellow pigment that is common in cases of jaundice, anemia and liver diseases.

The doctors diagnosed Chen with liver cirrhosis. It is a late stage of scarring (fibrosis) of the liver. The liver damage done by cirrhosis generally can't be undone. But if diagnosed early and the cause is treated, further damage can be limited.

Doctors tried to find out the cause of Chen’s cirrhosis but the woman lived a healthy lifestyle. Her only vice is going to the salon every month to treat herself for a hair dye. She hated white hairs so for ten years, Chen had been consistently dyeing her hair.

Alas, doctors found out the cause of her liver damage. They informed Chen of the studies linking chemicals of hair dye to liver damage. The doctors explained that the chemicals in most hair dyes are absorbed by the skin and metabolised by the liver.

The more frequent Chen dyed her hair, the more her liver was working overtime to break down the chemicals.

In the end, the doctors gave a stern warning against frequent use of hair dyes and that intervals should be at least six months. Plant or organic hair dyes should also be used to avoid harmful chemicals.

Do hair dyes cause liver disease?

Several studies have been published about the connection of chemicals in hair dye and liver diseases. One of the most recent one is a study published in the BMJ-British Medical Journal entitled Hair dye and smoking linked to progressive liver disease.

The study revealed that “Hair dye and smoking both increase the risk of progressive liver disease, specifically primary biliary cirrhosis.”

It indicated an association between cirrhosis and chemicals particularly octynoic acid, commonly found in hair dye and nail polish.

Liver Responsible Coloring

Most natural healthcare experts suggest a few tips to minimize harmful chemicals when undergoing hair dye. Dyeing should be done at least every six months or occasionally. Always wear gloves when handling chemicals. Avoid the scalp to minimize absorption. Choose less toxic or plant-based hair dyes.

— Sally, The Summit Express


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