Is it true that bad looks can equal bad health? When your body is healthy, you tend to look attractive and more youthful.
But oddly, people tend to point their fingers at things like aging when it comes to less attractive things, like hair loss, unsightly nails and skin problems, according to Health.com.
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In fact, these flaws can actually be signaling underlying health issues, says integrative medicine specialist Molly M. Roberts, M.D., of the Institute for Health & Healing, in San Francisco, and president of the American Holistic Medical Association.
“It’ll start by whispering, then it’ll start talking, and, if you don’t pay attention, it’ll start yelling and shouting, and then you’ve got an illness,” she says.
Here are just a few of the noticeable signs of potential health problems beneath your skin’s surface.
The Problem: Thyroid disorder
Pregnancy, stress, disease, medications and changes in hormones all can contribute to hair loss. But among women in particular, dry, thinning hair may be a sign of an underactive or overactive thyroid. A simple blood test can check whether the body is making normal amounts of thyroid hormone.
The Problem: Sjögren’s syndrome
Severely cracked, dry lips may be a reaction to medication, an occupational hazard (if you’re a brass musician), or a symptom of allergy, infection or other conditions. Cracking at the corners of the mouth may also be a symptom of Sjögren’s (pronounced SHOW-grens) syndrome, an immune system disorder. Sjögren’s causes dry eyes and dry mouth, as well as joint pain and dry skin. As many as 4 million Americans — mostly women — have this condition.
Dark Skin Patches.
The Problem: Diabetes/Cancer