How Our Hair Reflects Our Health

Dean From Florida Writes:

Recently I have seen many changes in my hair. It has started turning gray, receding, and becoming very brittle. I have noticed that my energy has been lower and I’ve gained some extra weight. What do you think could be the issue?

Dear Dean,

Our hair actually can tell us quite a bit about what is going on with our health. Many times we are nutritionally deficient in key areas that may cause a variety of health issues. Here are some key factors to look for when you see changes in your hair.

1.Your Hair Becomes Dry and Thin
If you see these types of hair changes you might be looking at a potential thyroid condition called hypothyroidism. Look for symptoms such as excessive fatigue, cold intolerance, and joint pain. Blood testing will also help determine if there are any issues. 

2.Hair Breaks Easily
If the hair becomes brittle and tends to break, have your physician do some testing for some adrenal issues. Cushing’s Syndrome could be the issue at hand especially if you see high blood pressure and back pain with it.

3.Your Shedding Like A Dog
We all shed hair daily as part of the natural process. However, if you see there are clumps in the shower, it might mean that you have low iron stores. There are some tests your doctor can do to check and see if you have low iron which is called anemia. See if they will do a TIBC test and ferritin to check all areas. Sometimes B12 or key minerals could be the culprits as well.

4.Turning Gray 
Welcome to life. Stress can turn the healthiest hair gray due to the oxidation and breakdown due to tough life factors. Just watch a political campaign and an elected official through the years. Much research now says that it could b e the genes. Low zinc levels are shown to potentially allow for early graying.

5.Dandruff and Flaking 
Known as inflammation of the skin, many theories lean toward nutritional areas to help. The shampoos and lotions may provide relief as well. This could be due to an omega-3 fatty acid deficiency as well as not enough probiotics in the gut.