Sudden changes in your hair could reflect your physical wellness, according to a Self magazine article published online. Experts say these questions might link your particular hair issues to overall health concerns.

What drugs do you take?
If you’re losing more hair than normal (that’s about 100 strands each day) and not experiencing massive stress in your life, a new medication could be the culprit. Are you on birth control pills, or using acne medications? Sometimes these meds can shut down hair follicles and trigger hair loss. In addition, depression and heartburn drugs can also affect hair. The solution? Ask your doctor for another kind of contraceptive, and have your thyroid tested for possible problems.

What are your hormone levels?
In your 20s and 30s, high levels of estrogen maintain soft skin and shiny hair. During this time, hair is in its growth phase 70 to 90 percent of the time, according to Self. But in your 40s, estrogen levels decline and hair is not in its growth phase as often. The result? Thinner hair. The solution? Use hair care products with fullness-enhancing polymers that can pump up the volume of your tresses at any age.

How much stress are you under?
Dealing with life’s stresses can drive you and your hair crazy. When you are stressed, so are the stress-hormone receptors found in and around hair follicles. When that happens, the neurochemicals adrenaline and cortisol can wreak havoc on your tresses. Stress increases shedding, which causes thinning. The solution? Relax for a few minutes each day. After about four months, you’ll notice a hair follicle revival.

What’s your hair’s family history?
DNA controls how thick your hair is, when (and if) you go gray and how vulnerable your hair is to pollution and stress. One study found that oxidative damage (cellular DNA damage) may cause hair to go gray by triggering hydrogen peroxide buildup in the hair follicle. (Peroxide blocks pigment formation, whitening hair strands.) The solution? Treat hair to the more gentle effects of a semi-permanent dye to return color to hair without stripping its outer layer. And when touching up hair, only do the roots.

How healthy is your diet?
It’s true. Not getting the proper nutrients can result in fine, dull hair prone to thinning and breakage. The solution? Eat foods rich in protein to build the hair. And include other nutrients, such as zinc, in your diet. This mineral helps produce the natural oils that give hair shine. In addition, vitamin B promotes new cell growth in the hair follicles, and iron stimulates the enzymes needed for hair growth.

Click here to learn how to achieve beautiful hair from the inside out.