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Nutrient Deficiency and Hair, Skin, & Nails


We have all heard “beauty is just skin deep”, but nothing could be further from the truth. Our skin is a reflection of our health. You have seen the radiant beautiful skin of a healthy infant or a child. The eyes sparkle and the skin glows.

You know the pale face of someone ill, the wrinkles and the dry skin of someone who smokes, or has a body filled with toxins and poor nutrition. You have seen the face of someone who is stressed, tired or depressed.

Are you experiencing:

  • hair loss
  • chipped nails
  • dark circles under your eyes
  • acne
  • psoriasis?

Do you notice bumps on the back of your upper arms, loss of hair on your arms or rosacea? If so, it is likely you have a nutrient deficiency.

Hair Loss

A normal cycle of hair growth is two to three years and it grows about ½ inch per month. About 90% of the hair is growing, while 10% is resting and after about two or three months, the resting hair falls out.

Women experiencing hair loss likely have low stomach acid naturally or are using antacids. Incomplete protein digestion with low stomach acid levels results in decreased amino acids and essential minerals. Supplementation with hydrochloric acid and pepsin capsules can correct the low stomach acid for better digestion. People with low stomach acid may experience burping or bloating after eating.

If you have noticed much less hair on your arms and legs than you once did, have your DHEA blood level checked. Thinning hair can be due to low DHEA, low thyroid, medications, illness, lack of B vitamins, hormonal imbalance or gluten sensitivity.

Dry Skin

Do you have dry skin and hair, eczema or psoriasis? This could be due to low vitamin E. It is important to also eat an adequate amount of excellent quality fish oil, omega-3 and omega-6, olive and avocado oil, nuts and seeds for your brain, body and beauty.

If your hair is painful to brush, you probably need more vitamin D. Based on your blood levels of vitamin D, the amount of vitamin D you need can be determined. Do you have small, red, dilated veins on your nose or cheeks? This might be due to low stomach acid, too much alcohol or both!

Dark circles under the eyes may be from a lack of sleep but often are a sign of hidden IgG food allergies.

Nutrient Deficiency: More than Skin Deep

People today go to extreme lengths to cover up tired, dull, lifeless skin, nails and hair, while not understanding that outward appearance of skin wrinkles, brittle nails and dry hair are more than superficial cosmetic issues. They are indicators of nutrient deficiencies and aging of connective tissue throughout the body. Connective tissue provides support to the hair, skin, and nails.

“Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me; I want people to know ‘why’ I look this way. I have traveled a long way, and some of the roads weren’t paved,” Will Rogers once said. While appreciative of Rogers’ sentiments, most people want fewer wrinkles. Wrinkles and photo-aging may be from age, sun, smoking, nutrient deficiencies, low stomach acid or toxic skin care products.

The only way we get healthy, stay well and look good is through the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat.

So, What Can We Do?

In a 2014 clinical trial, soluble bioavailable keratin improved hair appearance by 47.1%, increased hair follicle growth by 9.2% and improved nail hardness by 50%. Oral supplementation with certain high-quality peptides not only increases skin elasticity but improves wrinkles! Specific natural bioavailable lipids have shown critical importance in preserving skin’s youthful appearance and texture, while also helping to prevent skin diseases. Ensuring sex hormone balance is also useful, as estrogen, in particular, is supportive of skin hydration and health. This becomes more critical as we add years to our lives and more life to our years.

The bottom line is to find out how to look and feel your best, and that means ! You deserve it.

Clinical Contributor

[starbox id=”snorlingmd”]

Sharon Norling, MD, MBA

Sharon Norling, MD, MBA

Dr. Sharon Norling is a nationally known and highly respected medical doctor specializing in integrative medicine and practicing advanced functional medicine in Hendersonville, NC. Dr. Norling graduated from Case Western Reserve School of Medicine and has trained at USC and UCLA. She received her MBA from St. Thomas University.

Dr. Norling’s expertise is based on her years of clinical experiences, former Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota Medical School, and her research. She is national board-certified in OB/GYN, Integrative Medicine and Medical Acupuncture. Dr. Norling combines a credible and responsible academic knowledge with years of experience and a caring nature.

Recognized for her expertise, she has testified before the White House Commission on Complementary Alternative Medicine Policy. She has served in multiple leadership roles as Medical Director and senior management in two large healthcare organizations.During her years in health care she has been nurse, medical doctor, hospital administrator, advocate and a dismissed and misdiagnosed patient.

Her passion is finding the root cause of illnesses instead of just using a pharmaceutical drug to treat the tip of the iceberg. Hormonal and neurotransmitter balancing is one of her specialties.

Dr. Norling is an international speaker and the author of Your Doctor is Wrong. As a presenter, she is engaging, articulate, humorous, and insightful, making learning a dynamic professional and personal growth experience. Whether you have heard her on the radio, seen her on TV or sharing the stage with celebrities, Dr. Norling is the expert.

Dr. Norling is a medical authority, a visionary and an extraordinary leader who provides real solutions for patients who have been dismissed or misdiagnosed.

Disclaimer: The information provided is only intended to be general educational information to the public. It does not constitute medical advice. If you have specific questions about any medical matter or if you are suffering from any medical condition, you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.

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