You can learn so much by being more connected to your body. Listening to the clues and signals your body sends is essential to staying healthy. Here are a few key warning body signs and changes that may signal something more serious is going on, according to Dr. Taz Bahtia, contributing editor for Prevention.
1. Balding at the crown of your head
In Chinese medicine the crown of your head is believed to be the hormone command center. Any heat or stress to this area may affect the hormones and cause hair loss, which Chinese medicine recommends you treat with herbs and lifestyle changes.
Hair loss at the crown of the head can also be a sign of male pattern baldness or androgenetic alopecia, and the high androgens or male hormones are symptoms that are believed to be consistent with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
What you can do: Pay attention to changes in your hair and don't ignore them. Follow a clean diet (no sugar or refined carbohydrates) and try to get eight hours of sleep a night. If your hair loss at the crown of your head is severe, schedule an appointment with your doctor.
If it's balding at the temples, your estrogen or progesterone levels could be involved. A lot of women go through this after childbirth and many times the hair will regrow.
2. Brittle nails
If your nails break easily or crumble, you may be lacking calcium, iron, zinc or vitamin B.
What you can do: Add high calcium and iron foods your diet, like more dairy and greens like broccoli or kale, which are loaded with calcium and iron. Red meat in moderation can also help. Sunflower seeds are a good source of calcium.
3. Breakouts on your forehead or cheeks
This could signal a food allergy or intolerance, according to the beliefs of Ayurveda. Small pimples on your cheeks or forehead could be a sign of digestive issues.
What you can do: Clean up your diet by adding good bacteria through foods like kefir, yogurt and fermented bread. Track what you eat and how your skin reacts by using a food journal.
4. Dry lips
This is a sign of dehydration. The lack of water can lead to cracking of the lips and skin surrounding them. This could also be a sign that you're lacking essential fats, like linolenic acid, omega 3 fats and omega 9 fats.
What you can do: Eat more healthy fats like olive oil, coconut oil, ghee or grass-fed butter. Stay hydrated throughout the day, especially in the heat or when you're exercising.
5. Dry or brittle hair
If you find that your hair is getting thin, brittle and breaking easily it could be a sign of a thyroid issue.
What you can do: Get your thyroid and other hormones checked, but in the meantime, try a thyroid balancing diet. Eat more foods rich in iron and iodine like red meat, greens, nori, kep and seaweed.