1. Reducing or Stopping Wine or Alcohol Consumption

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I have been a heavy wine drinker for the past 20 years, consuming at least a bottle of wine every day. I had never considered that quitting drinking wine would have any effect on my fingernails, but when I did stop drinking I was amazed to see what happened to my nails.

At first the tips turned white and then after about 6 months they started to turn pink again. Now, almost a year later, I have pink nails that are strong and shiny for the first time in 20 years.

A few months ago I got a manicure for the first time in many years. The manicurist was amazed at how healthy my nails were. She commented that she had never seen such healthy nails before. Of course, I told her what had happened since I quit drinking wine everyday.

I am not suggesting that everyone should stop drinking alcohol to get healthy nails because this is not true. However, if you drink too much alcohol and you don’t want white or pink nails then perhaps it would be wise to reduce or stop your drinking habit.

It’s not easy to stop drinking, or to reduce alcohol consumption. Why? Because it has become part of your life and lifestyle. You need to recognize that you have a problem and then find the right way to stop or reduce your drinking. This is not easy because alcohol is everywhere, in the shops, supermarkets, bars, clubs, restaurants and pubs. It’s even present when you go for a meal with friends and family. Alcohol is a big part of our social lives. To not drink at all can be difficult to explain to others around us.

If you stop drinking completely, you will experience some withdrawal symptoms. These can be mild to moderate depending on how much you used to drink. Some symptoms can be nausea, headache and shakes. These will pass after a few days but may last up to several weeks if you were a heavy drinker.

After that you will notice other changes such as weight loss (alcohol contains lots of sugar!), better sleep and improved memory recall. Your skin will improve greatly and your nails will no longer have the white spots on them which are caused by small calcium deposits under the nail.*

The first week of my journey to goodbye wine, I was craving a drink like you wouldn’t believe. So I googled for some tips on how to stop drinking alcohol. Among the hundreds of links that came up, I found one that really resonated with me. It said that when you crave a drink, just imagine yourself in the future looking back at this moment. And as you think about your future self, ask yourself what you think your future self would want you to do right now.

I realized my future self would want me to avoid alcohol so that she could live a happier and healthier life. That she would want me to go to bed early so that she wouldn’t have to deal with fatigue and lack of focus the next day. That she would definitely NOT want me to drink because it would mean her having less energy, less focus and feeling grumpy the next day.

And it worked! I’m halfway through my second week now and I haven’t had a single drop of wine or vodka or beer. And I don’t feel like drinking at all anymore!

When I stopped drinking, I was a bit concerned that I would miss out on some of the wonderful experiences that wine and other alcoholic drinks can bring. Yes, there are many wonderful experiences in life that do not involve alcohol, but I do like to share a bottle of wine with my partner when we go out for a meal. Our weekly date night has always involved a few drinks – usually wine – and we enjoy trying new wines and sharing our opinions on them.

When I first stayed alcohol-free, we considered whether to continue going out for meals once a week or whether to stick to something less extravagant, so that we could still have wine (or beer) with our meal.

After about three weeks without any alcohol, however, I realised that it didn’t really matter whether we went out for dinner or had something simpler at home. What mattered was the quality time spent together and the fact that the routine gave us a chance to talk about things beyond the usual work/life balance concerns!

I think this is one of the best things about giving up booze – it really doesn’t matter what you’re doing or where you’re doing it as long as you’re happy!

If you are a wine drinker, here is yet another reason to consider cutting back. As if the calories, potential liver damage and morning-after hangovers weren’t enough, a new study shows that drinking wine could be damaging your nails.

Researchers at the University of Texas found that prolonged exposure to the UV light used in manicure dryers can cause the collagen fibers in fingernails to break down. If you have a glass or two of white or pink wine before bed, then stick your hand under the dryer for 10 minutes, this effect is amplified by up to 12 times its normal rate.

So what does this mean for your nails? A weakened nail matrix (the material from which fingernails are made) causes the nail plate to become thinner. This can also make it more susceptible to breakage and splitting.

To protect their nails from UV damage, researchers recommend using sunscreen on hands before using a dryer. They also suggest wearing gloves while driving and applying moisturizer daily.

White Nails

You may think that white spots and nails are caused by calcium deficiency but it is not so. The real cause of this condition is zinc deficiency.

Zinc helps to maintain the health of the nails, bones, and skin. It is found in legumes like soybeans, peanuts, seeds, nuts, grains, and mushrooms.

If you suffer from zinc deficiency then you may have white spots on your fingernails and also a tendency for having dry skin. In case you have these symptoms then try to consume more zinc-rich foods.

The daily recommended dose of zinc is 8 mg for women and 11 mg for men.

Pink Nails

If your nails are pink rather than white then it means that they lack iron. This condition is called anemia or iron deficiency. Anemia can be very serious because it affects all parts of the body including the heart and brain. So if you have pink nails then make sure that your diet contains enough iron-rich foods such as meat, fish, eggs, beans and lentils.

White and pink nails – the health of your fingernails is a good indicator of your general health.

White or pale coloured nails can be caused by a range of factors including:

* Pernicious anaemia (lack of vitamin B12)

* Malnutrition

* Heart disease

* Liver disease, for example Cirrhosis (scarring of the liver).

Pink and shiny nails can be caused by:

* Circulation problems, for example Raynaud’s disease.

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