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6 External Symptoms that Indicate Internal Troubles

Guest : Michelle King Robson and Pam Peeke, MD
From the Show: HER
Summary: Something that's showing up on the outside of your body (like a rash) could be a sign of something more serious going on inside your body.
Air Date: 6/18/15
Duration: 10
Host: Michelle King Robson and Pam Peeke, MD
6 External Symptoms that Indicate Internal Troubles
If you've been noticing several dry skin patches on your body, an increased amount of acne on your face, or if your hair is falling out at an abnormal rate, this could be a sign something more severe is going on with your health.

According to an article on Fox News Health, here are six things that your looks are trying to tell you about your health:
  • Thick, dark facial or body hair
  • A brittle nail
  • A scaly red patch
  • Persistent acne
  • Dry, blotchy skin
  • Thinning hair

Listen in as Pam and Michelle share the six things that your external looks are trying to tell you about your internal health.
Transcription:

RadioMD Presents:HER Radio | Original Air Date: June 18, 2015
Host: Michelle King Robson and Pam Peeke, MD

RadioMD. RadioMD.com. Dr. Pam Peeke, New York Times best-selling author and founder of the Peeke Performance Center and Michelle King Robson, leading women's advocate, entrepreneur and founder of EmpowHer.com host the show everyone is talking about. It's time for HER Radio on RadioMD.

DR. PAM: Hey Michelle, it's you and me.

MICHELLE: I know.

DR. PAM: And we're going to be talking about six ways your looks are trying to tell you about your health. Six of them for, crying out loud. We chose six. So, let's just see how this works. For women out there. How many of you, raise your hand, have thick, dark facial or body hair? What's going on with that one, Michelle?

MICHELLE: It's called polycystic ovarian syndrome. Better known as PCOS and they suspect about 10 million women suffer from it and they don't know it. It's the androgens in the body; the hormones are out of balance. You just continue to gain weight – most women gain weight – and they have acne problems. There are all kinds of things associated with it and it goes undiagnosed. It is something to be very careful about and there are treatments for you. There are treatment options, medication and lifestyle changes that will help you significantly.

DR. PAM: Absolutely and a lot of these things are the use of birth control pills, actually. That all has to be customized and it's really important to be dropping excess body weight. Because guess what? When you have PCOS or polycystic ovarian syndrome, you tend to pack on a lot of weight, deep inside your belly just like a guy does. And that's not good at all.

It affects everything from fertility to getting diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Not a good thing. This is when you need to get in and have your hormonal levels all drawn by your primary care provider and then get with a customized program. Incredibly important here. Okay, so that's the hairy body and the hairy face issue and that's what that could potentially be. What about brittle nails? We're talking about fungus.

MICHELLE: There is fungus among us.

DR. PAM: It's fungus among us. It is so true. It's like these little fungi like having a warm, moist layer of skin to feed off. And guess what? That happens to be your nails. It could be your finger nails and your toenails especially with all those creepy crawlers in the gym and other places that you can pick this up. You kind of notice that your nail bed is starting to split or crumble at the edges. Eww.

MICHELLE: Not good. Not good.

DR. PAM: Get yourself right into a dermatologist, like there is no tomorrow. Because it is important to make certain that you get the appropriate diagnosis as soon as possible. Sometimes even if your nails are brittle, just because they are brittle, you're not getting enough vitamins, for instance, or vitamins that contain carotin, that improve nail strength.

It is really important to be able to get the appropriate diagnosis right off the bat. Also, if you're not getting enough protein in your diet. Hello, ladies, who do nothing but eat little flakes of lettuce all day.

MICHELLE: Uh oh.

DR. PAM: Protein is important. Yeah, that's you, girlfriend. Put down the lettuce right now, Michelle, I saw that. But seriously, protein for parts of your body - that's your hair, your teeth and your nails - come on, man, you've got to have protein to support all of this. There is your brittle nail. Let's go to number three. What about that scaly, red patch, Michelle?

MICHELLE: Oh, psoriasis. The rash isn't just a skin problem, right? It is actually an autoimmune disorder that can crop up at any age. It's inflammation that happens throughout the body. If you have legions, typically it happens on the scalp, the elbows and the knees. Those are the most common areas. Moderate to severe psoriasis is also connected to cardiovascular disease. Who would have thought, Pam, right?

DR. PAM: Uh huh.

MICHELLE: So you need to – your risk of heart attack goes down when you treat a more severe case of psoriasis, which I didn't know. Did you know that? Of course you did.

DR. PAM: Yes, because I'm a smarty pants and I've got the big DR in front of my name, girlfriend.

MICHELLE: Exactly.

DR. PAM: That's right, man. You've seen Phil Nicolson on those advertisements and he has this woman who is a blonde model, who says she has her psoriasis treated now she can continue doing the skiing and all that stuff. Phototherapy and oral and topical meds, but you've got to sit down with your primary care provider and get the appropriate diagnosis so you can get rocking on it immediately. Let's move to the next one. Persistent acne. Smells like a hormonal imbalance to me. This especially.

MICHELLE: It does.

DR. PAM: We're talking estrogen and progesterone levels drop during perimenopause. This is when breakouts start popping up all over again. Just when you thought you were in the clear – literally – there you are in your 40s and 50s and say what?

MICHELLE: It happened to me.

DR. PAM: It happened to me, too. It happens to the grand majority of women because their hormonal balance then tips towards testosterone and that's what triggers the surge in the production of those pore clogging oils. That's what it is. Again, get yourself into a dermatologist, already. The next one, Michelle, dry blotching skin. What is that indicative of?

MICHELLE: That's age and we produce less oil, that lubricates our skin.

DR. PAM: We need Omega-3 fatty acids. Right?

MICHELLE: We definitely need them. We need - The Clear Skin Diet is a book that you can read about this deficiency. Your skin becomes itchy and blotchy. You need to eat plenty of rich Omega-3 foods like walnuts, flaxseed, cold water fish. If you're still worried that you're not getting enough, consider taking a fish oil supplement. Right, Pam?

DR. PAM: There's no question about it, Omega 3's are where it's at. There's no question about it. They are good for everything, let alone for dry, blotchy skin. They are also good for your heart, anti-inflammatory. They even help with depression, for crying out loud. Here's a quick little thing, you know why walnuts are great brain food? Well they look like brains, look at them.

MICHELLE: They do. It looks like my brain.

DR. PAM: Seriously, little half brain there.

MICHELLE: It's that big.

DR. PAM: Stop it. They look like a brain, so that always reminds you to stick those little walnuts in your Greek yogurt or whatever you're eating because they are so good for you. The final one is thinning hair. Michelle, what's that about?

MICHELLE: That's a big, big issue for a lot of people, but particularly women. It's hypothyroidism. So, it's your thyroid. Your thyroid is out of whack and your gland is underactive. Too many of your hair follicles are going into the resting mode. Again, this is an issue where you have to go to a physician and have your bloodwork done. They need to check what your overall TSH is – which is your thyroid number - and your T3 and T4. Your hair can return to normal by the time you get this in check. It takes about six months.

DR. PAM: No question. You know, low estrogen can do this in women. If you're getting thin hair, biotin, which is a B vitamin, is incredible.

MICHELLE: Yes.

DR. PAM: It is incredibly helpful for hair and nails.

MICHELLE: Hair, skin and nails.

DR. PAM: Absolutely, it's fabulous. Because you want to keep up your hair volume, for crying out loud. Things get ugly otherwise. Then again, another thing, too, if you're not eating enough protein and if you're under a lot of stress – stress at any age will cause your hair to fall out. Certainly during the perimenopause and menopause, things are looking ugly anyway. So, there you are with the thinning hair.

MICHELLE: Too much testosterone, too, Pam. Too much testosterone can cause that.

DR. PAM: No question. That is that hormonal imbalance during perimenopause. Thinning hair, a scaly red patch, persistent acne, dry blotchy skin, brittle nails, thick dark facial or body hair – we've dealt with all six of them. I think we did pretty well. What do you think, Michelle?

MICHELLE: I think we did great. This is a great segment and we look forward to doing more. Another six.

DR. PAM: You better believe it. And more six. We've educated you out there in HER Radio land. I'm Dr. Pam Peeke with Michelle King Robson.

MICHELLE: You're listening to HER Radio on RadioMD. Follow us on Twitter. Like us on Facebook. Stay well.
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