7 health issues your hair is trying to tell you

Posted 12:00 p.m. Tuesday

You can detect multiple health problems just by looking at the state of your hair. (Deseret Photo)

The human body is an amazing and beautiful creation, but what is even more amazing is the ability for the body to communicate when something is not functioning properly. Your hair, for instance, is more than just for looks. The state of your hair can actually reveal many underlying health problems you may not know about.

Here are seven health concerns that can be detected just by looking at your hair:

1. Dental problems

You read that correctly. If you've been prone to cavities and tooth trouble for most of your life, you could have a hair disorder involving keratin production. Keratin is a protein essential for healthy hair growth and for developing tooth enamel. Without the protein, your teeth can become soft and be more at risk for tooth decay. Be sure to be extra vigilant when taking care of your teeth if you have been diagnosed with a hair growth disorder.

2. Thyroid disease

One sure sign of hypothyroidism is dry, brittle hair and extensive hair loss. If you are noticing clumps of hair in your brush or your hair seems to be breaking off at the slightest movement, you may want your thyroid levels tested. Hypothyroidism is also accompanied by chronic fatigue, cold intolerance and weight gain among other symptoms.

3. Excessive stress

If your mom ever told you that you were making her hair fall out, she was on to something. Every day, humans lose up to 100 strands of hair naturally. But if your hair is falling out frequently by even an effortless tug on a strand, you could be experiencing symptoms of telogen effluvium, which, according to Web MD, is a condition caused by psychological and physical stressors, such as depression or a serious illness. The symptoms typically don’t show up until three to six months after the initial time of stress.

4. Arthritis

If your joints are swelling, you feel more fatigued than normal, or you’re noticing scaly red patches on your scalp along with thinning hair, you could be experiencing symptoms of psoriatic arthritis. This type of arthritis affects both the joints and the skin. Paying attention to your scalp’s condition is vital to preventing hair loss. If your scalp goes untreated, it could potentially cause permanent damage to hair follicles.

5. Protein deficiency

We all have that point in our lives when our hair just seems to quit growing, and no matter what different remedies for hair growth we try, nothing changes. Well, it could be what’s on the inside that is affecting your hair’s ability to grow. Your hair needs protein to grow thicker and stronger and even longer. Incorporating more lean meats and nuts into your diet could make a world of difference for your hair.

6. Autoimmune disorders

If you have sudden circular bald spots on your head, and no other known health concerns, your body could be trying to tell you that you have an autoimmune disease. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune skin disease that causes the body to attack hair follicles, which results in hair loss from all areas of the body, including eyelashes and eyebrows.

7. Iron deficiency anemia

Being iron deficient already causes extreme fatigue, restless legs and extreme intolerance to cold temperatures, but to make matters worse, it can also make your hair fall out. When your blood doesn’t have enough oxygen, your body cells begin to struggle to repair themselves, and the cells that make up hair follicles are among the victims.

8. Hormone issues

A sudden change in hormone levels after pregnancy can cause a lot of the hair you grew during those nine months to suddenly shed. Also, if you are noticing balding patterns on your head, or consistent thinning, you may have low levels of testosterone in your body. As women grow older, their hormones can sometimes plummet during menopause, which can cause your hair to thin.


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