In the vast majority of cases, gray hair appears naturally. For example, Caucasian people often start having gray hair in the middle of their 30s, Asians in their late 30s, and African Americans in the mid 40s. Getting gray in itself does not mean that you have A medical problem, except in rare cases.
It is considered premature for a white person to have gray hair at age 20. On the other hand, being gray before age 30 is also premature, but for black people. Using this measure, we can deduce that Asians are considered prematurely gray-haired in the middle of their twenties.
Surprisingly, scientists are not sure what causes premature gray hairs, although it is believed that genetics is a key determinant. David Bank, MD, director of the Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic Surgery and Laser, says: “Premature aging is largely genetically determined. Aging is natural. We all do it in the end. ”
Other theories have been presented but have gained no strength. Although the underlying health problems associated with gray hair are few, the fact that there is a link should be enough to justify some precaution. This is, therefore, the reason for this article.
5 reasons to never ignore gray hair
The following are links between the rapid or premature development of gray hair and five possible health problems that may be the cause, and symptoms related to each condition.
Hypothyroidism is a medical condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones. The first symptoms of the disorder include fatigue and weight gain. It is also common for patients to experience cognitive impairment and sensitivity to cold.
Patients diagnosed with hypothyroidism show the output of gray hair prematurely at a rate higher than the general population. This disorder is more common in women than in men, although the symptoms are similar.
It is recommended to consult a doctor if you experience a sudden onset of fatigue, excessive dry skin, pallor or swelling of the face, constipation or a hoarse voice.
The good news is that the condition can be diagnosed with a simple blood test. Treated early, the patient often experiences a sudden reduction in their symptoms.
Anemia is a condition that occurs when the blood lacks sufficient healthy blood cells or hemoglobin. The latter is what binds oxygen to compounds inside the blood – allowing for efficient oxygen delivery throughout the body.
Anemia often develops from an iron deficiency – a problem worsened when the trace element of the nutrient can not be delivered properly. This deficiency of iron, together with inadequate amounts of B12, can accelerate the output of gray hairs.
Fatigue and other symptoms of anemia occur because the organs are not receiving the necessary elements that allow them to function properly. Short heartbeats, shortness of breath, brain fog, dizziness, pale skin and insomnia are potential symptoms.
Anemia is a complex condition with many variations. It is recommended to consult the doctor if you experience a sudden onset of any of the symptoms mentioned above.
3. Risk of coronary heart disease
Coronary artery disease (CAD), also known as heart disease, is a serious medical condition that results from the buildup of plaque in the arteries. This plaque narrows the lining of the arteries, restricting blood flow to the heart and increasing the risk of heart attack or sudden cardiac death.
In a study published in the European Society of Cardiology, researchers administered a coronary computed tomography (CT) scan of 545 men on suspicion of CAD. Patients were divided into five groups according to their amount of gray or white hair.
Controlling for age and known cardiovascular risk factors, patients diagnosed with CAD had a significantly higher score for bleaching than those without coronary artery disease.
Chest pain, shortness of breath, palpitations, weakness or dizziness, nausea and sweating are common symptoms.
Vitiligo is a disease that causes loss of skin color that, similar to a B12 deficiency, results from an inadequate production of melanin. The disease can affect the hair, the inside of the mouth and the eyes.
Patients with vitiligo, often see in their hair color, quickly transition from gray to white. Other signs of vitiligo include loss of color in the tissues inside the mouth and nose, loss or change in color of the retina and discolored spots around the armpits, genitals, navel, and rectum.
5. Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Not having enough B12, may manifest in the premature or sudden growth of gray. The effect is systematic. B12 deficiency can lead to melanin deficiency – the pigment that gives hair (skin and eyes) its color. Folate deficiency can produce the same effect.
B12 is considered an essential vitamin for normal body function. Although gray hair is not considered a primary symptom of B12 deficiency, the premature or sudden growth of gray hair, should be considered.
Proper intake of vitamin B12 is vital for several reasons. It keeps blood cells healthy, helps to make DNA and prevents megaloblastic anemia, thereby preventing premature gray hair.
The body does not produce vitamin B12, we must acquire the vitamin through our diets. Good sources of vitamin B12 include: liver, mackerel, sardines, fortified cereals, red meat, salmon, fortified soy, low-fat dairy, cheese and eggs. B12 supplements are available for those who refrain from these foods.