June 26

Redheads and Pain

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Original article HERE

This article is from the "Healthy Women" website.

https://www.healthywomen.org/media-library/pensive-woman-portrait-looking-away-and-thinking.jpg?id=52480594&width=980

This is a snippet from an article at the "Healthy Women" website.

Not sure if you knew it or not, but apparently pain tolerance for redheads is a problem.

As the article says...

Natural redheads are rare — less than 2% of the population. Was the nurse so taken by Sager’s firey mane that she had to know if it was real? Probably. But she also asked because, if Sager’s hair color was natural, it meant she may need more pain management during labor. 

Do redheads have a higher pain tolerance? 

As it turns out, "there’s a growing body of research that shows that people with red hair experience pain differently compared to people of other hair colors. The jury’s still out as to why this may be, but one theory has to do with the melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R) gene."

As the article says, "Overall, research on redheads supports the seeming contradiction that they have a higher tolerance for pain in general, but they have increased sensitivity to certain types of pain."

Differences in pain sensitivity and response between redheads and non-redheads:

  • redheads are more sensitive to temperature-related pain.
  • they are less sensitive to electric shocks.
  • they need relatively higher doses of non-opioid pain relievers.
  • they are more sensitive to opioids

Do redheads need more anesthesia?

Well, according to the original article,

The research on whether redheads need more anesthesia is limited, but if you talk to women with red hair, you may hear anecdotal evidence that they require more anesthesia. Why? The theory is back to the MC1R gene mutation, which leads to a reduced response to anesthesia, so more is needed. One study found that women with red hair required almost 20% more anesthesia for sedation compared to women with dark hair.

Click HERE for the full article.

This article https://www.healthywomen.org/your-health/redheads-and-pain was reprinted from the "Healthy Women" website.

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