Hair and tension... What is the relationship between them?

5 August, 2022
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Hair and tension... What is the relationship between them?

Scientists may now be able to discover how much stress you're really under by examining hair.

The researchers found that they could accurately detect the levels of cortisol - the body's main stress hormone - in your hair. So far, scientists have only been able to detect the stress hormone in blood, urine or saliva.

The team said the findings suggest that measuring the hormone in the hair could be a good way to identify chronic stress.

Over time, this condition can cause anxiety, insomnia, high blood pressure, and even a weakened immune system The study, published in PLOS Global Public Health, analyzed hair samples from 881 women in Mexico and 398 women in Iceland.

The researchers took the hair from the root and analyzed the 3cm section closest to the scalp.

Then the same women were given a 10-item questionnaire, asking them how stressed they were.

They answered on a five-point scale and the researchers divided the respondents into five groups based on their overall score, indicating how stressed they were.

The results showed that women who scored in the highest quintile in terms of stress levels had 24.3% higher cortisol levels than those in the lowest quintile. Study author Dr Rebecca Lynch, from Reykjavik University, said the study suggests that measuring cortisol in hair could hold promise in diagnosing chronic stress.

"An association between observed stress and hair cortisol concentration was found in a sample of women from diverse geographic and cultural backgrounds. It supports the hypothesis that hair cortisol concentration is a viable biomarker in studies of chronic psychological stress," the researchers wrote.

Cortisol is a built-in warning system in nature. Although stress is not the only reason for its production, it has been called the "stress hormone" because it is released when the body is in a "fight or flight" mode.

Normally, the body produces higher levels in the morning and lower at night. "Daily Mail"

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