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Is Your Hair Hiding Secrets About Your Health?

By Krista Elliott

What can take a lot of time to prepare in the morning, and is one of the things people tend to always notice about you? No, I'm not talking about your snazzy outfit, or how great your packed lunch is compared to everyone else's. I'm talking about hair!

Long, short, blonde, black, gray, red, unicorn-colored, or brown. Our hair affects our appearance and many of us spend a lot of time and money into making it look shiny, bouncy, and healthy. But is it really healthy from the inside? More importantly, does the condition of our hair give us any clues as to how healthy we are in general? 

Healthy looking hair is one indicator of good health. Aging or health problems may cause hair to become a little lackluster, dry, and brittle, or it may even fall out, even if you haven't abused your hair with constant chemical treatments or heat styling. If you otherwise take good care of your hair, and notice changes, it may reflect something that's happening with your health. 

Was Rapunzel Taking Hormone Supplements?

Although this list is not exhaustive, here are a few common hair conditions that may signal the presence of underlying health problems.

  • Dry, Limp, or Brittle Hair - Significant changes to your hair's texture could be an indicator of an underactive thyroid, Cushing's syndrome, or the result of alcoholism

  • Thinning Hair and Hair Loss - Some causes of this are stress, alcoholism, diabetes, protein deficiency, lupus, alopecia areata, smoking, and certain medications.

  • Gray or White Hair - Genetics and aging play a big part in when our hair becomes salt and pepper, but another culprit is having to deal with stress or trauma, as well as smoking.

  • Shedding Hair - This can be caused by sudden changes in hormone levels, malnutrition, anemia, and eating disorders.

  • Scaly Patches on the Scalp - Psoriasis can often be a symptom of lupus, Crohn's disease, or rheumatoid arthritis.

If you are concerned that the change in your hair is the result of a health problem, as opposed to aggressive styling and over-processing, your primary care physician can perform tests to see what might be causing the issue.

There are also some steps that you can take on your own to improve your own health, and thus the health of your hair:

  • Eat a healthy balanced diet, being sure to include protein and healthy fats.

  • Take a multi-vitamin if your diet is deficient.

  • Don't smoke. Ever.

  • Limit your intake of alcohol.

  • Drink lots of water.

  • Reduce the amount of stress in your life.

So, the next time you're looking in the mirror and doing your 'do, pay special attention to the condition of your hair. It might be so big because it's full of secrets ... secrets that hold important clues to your health. 

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.


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