7 Things Your Body Hair Wants You to Know About Your Health
In modern times, many people view body hair as just an inconvenient feature that is quickly removed with razors or waxes. However, the growth of body hair is closely linked to a person’s overall health, so a sudden change in body hair can be a symptom of many different health factors. Here is what your body hair can tell you about health.
Potential Autoimmune Disorders
The immune system is supposed to protect the body, but sometimes it can become confused or overstimulated and turn on healthy cells. If the hair follicles of the body are attacked, you might lose all your hair at once or lose hair in unusual, circular spots. This can often be a warning sign of a severe autoimmune disease that could potentially attack the organs or other important parts of the body, so it is important to see a doctor if you notice this happening.
Your Ethnic Background
Genetically, different ethnicities have different amounts of terminal hairs, which are hairs in the eyebrow region, the scalp, the chin, the pubic area, the underarms, and the eyelashes. Keep this in mind when you are trying to figure out whether or not you have a “normal” amount of body hair. Typically, those with an Asian background will have the least amount of body hair, and people with a Hispanic or Middle Eastern ethnicity have the highest amount of body hair. Therefore, it is possible that your slightly atypical body hair amounts may just be due to your genetic makeup, not
Hormones related to sexual characteristics control the amount of bodily hair that a person grows. Women who suddenly experience an unusually increase in testosterone levels may develop hirsutism, a condition with unwanted hair on the chest, back, and stomach. This is particularly common around the time of menopause, when estrogen levels are lowering and testosterone is rising. Some women may even experience the growth of facial hair. Likewise, men with imbalanced estrogen and testosterone levels may experience hair loss.
Normally, testosterone and estrogen levels shift gradually, so hirsutism develops slowly. If you experience a sudden, drastic change in body hair over just a few months, this may be a sign that a tumor is affecting your hormone levels. This may happen because a tumor that is growing on the adrenal glands or one of the ovaries can cause the body to begin producing too much or too little of the $ex hormones. Though these types of tumors are rare, it is still important to talk to a doctor and have your symptoms checked.
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Polycystic ovary syndrome is a common issue among women that causes the ovaries to become enlarged. This can cause high levels of male sex hormones, which cause them to develop male pattern hair growth. This can lead to more hair on the breasts, abdomen, and upper lips. Polycystic ovary syndrome also causes abnormal menstruation that may result in absent periods or unusually heavy periods. This syndrome is linked to obesity, so polycystic ovary syndrome is the most common cause of excessive body hair in obese women.
Your hair does not just tell you about any health problems you might have, and it also keeps a record of your past activities. Certain drugs, both prescription medications and illegal drugs, leave trace amounts in hair for years. This has been used to drug test people or even reveal that ancient celebrities, like the poet John Keats from the 1800s, used morphine.
If you are losing hair all over your body and your head, you may be dealing with an iron deficiency. Women are particularly likely to suffer from iron deficiencies and face that type of problem. Another deficiency that can cause hair loss is iodine, because a lack of iodine causes thyroid problems. People with thyroid issues tend to lose hair along the outer third of their eyebrows, and they may also experience ridges in their finger nails.
In conclusion, the hair on your head and body tells a lot about your health. It can let you know about hormone imbalances, mineral deficiencies, and other issues that could effect your health. Therefore, it is important to see a doctor if you have sudden changes in your hair.