How going grey could be an early warning sign of 4 health problems | The Sun

GOING grey is a natural part of the aging process.

As we get older, the pigment cells – which give our hair it's colour – slowly die.

This means when our hair grows, is will no longer contain as much colour, leaving it more transparent – like grey or white.

But in some cases, a sudden onset of grey hair can be a sign of an underlying health condition.

1. Vitamin B12 deficiency

Vitamin B12 deficiency is one of the most common causes of prematurely greying hair.

Studies have found taking B12 supplements reduces high homocysteine levels – which can lead to hair loss – and prevents premature hair greying.

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The vitamin, found in meat, fish and milk, also helps produce red blood cell, which are essential for hair growth and health.

2. Von Recklinghausen’s disease

Neurofibromatosis, sometimes known as Von Recklinghausen’s disease, is a condition that causes tumours to grow next to a person's nerves.

It is caused by a genetic mutation in certain genes, and can be either inherited from parents or occur in a patient’s early development.

Currently, there is no prevention or cure, but the tumours are normally non-cancerous.

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People with the disease have tan spots in different sizes and shapes all over their body.

But some also notice discolouration of their hair.

Researchers published a report in 2014 of a young boy who had NF-1 and developed white hair on his head.

They say this occurred because piebaldism is a symptom of neurofibromatosis.

Piebaldism is a condition with an absence of cells called melanin in the hair and skin.

Melanin is responsible for the colour of hair.

3. Thyroid disease

Hormonal changes caused by a thyroid problem — such as hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism — may also be responsible for premature white hair.

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland which is responsible for  bodily functions such as metabolism.

The health of your thyroid can also influence the colour of your hair.

An overactive or underactive thyroid can cause your body to produce less melanin.

4. Alopecia areata

Autoimmune disease – where the body attacks itself -can also cause premature white hair.

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In the case of alopecia, the immune system can attack hair and can cause loss of pigment.

Alopecia areata causes patches of baldness about the size of a large coin – both men and women are equally affected.

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