Are Your Nails Trying to Tell You Something?

Did you know that your fingernails can tell you a lot about your health? Nutritional deficiencies as well as disease can change your nails over time and are good indicators that something may be wrong. Below are the top 5 nail problems that I see and what they can mean to you:

 

1. Nail pitting:
Ice pick-like depressions in the nails, although common in those suffering with psoriasis, can be related to connective tissue disorders and alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss. If you have thinning or loss of hair along with these, see your doctor immediately.

 

2. Nail clubbing:
When the tips of your nails enlarge and curve around your fingertips, this can be related to various lung, liver and cardiovascular disease. It can also be related to inflammatory bowel disease. This usually happens over time, but can be a sign that you have low oxygen in the blood.

 

3. Beau’s Lines:
Indentations that run across the nails can be a sign of uncontrolled diabetes, as well as peripheral vascular disease and illnesses associated with high fever such as measles, mumps and pneumonia. These lines can also be a sign of a zinc deficiency.


4. Brittle, cracked or split nails:
While this often happens to your nails when you expose your hands to a lot of soap, cleansers and detergents, it can also be an indication of thyroid disease as well a nutritional deficiencies.

 

5. Nail ridges:
Ridges in your nails can be caused by nutritional absorption issues and you may not be getting the proper nutrition that you need. Horizontal ridges are associated with diabetes and other chronic disease, but ridges in either direction can also be caused by injury or damage to your nails. If you haven’t hurt yourself, see a doctor immediately.

 

If you are wearing artificial acrylic or gel nails, how long has it been since you have seen your natural nails? I spoke a few weeks ago on the blog about how filling in your eyebrows can hide signs of a thyroid issue, but wearing false nails can hide a lot more. Along with health problems, your nail can be hiding a bacterial problem if your manicurist isn’t disinfecting her tools properly and this issue may be hidden from you. If any of the problems above is something that you are dealing with, call your doctor and get checked out. Most problems can be reversed in a diet change or the control of a chronic disease or illness. Get the care that you need.

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