11 Nail Symptoms | That Shows The Nails Can Tell You Warning Signs About Your Health!
Eyes may be the windows to the soul, but nails can offer an important glimpse into your overall health. It turns out, having strong, healthy nails isn’t just good news for your manicure—unpleasant nail symptoms could also indicate bigger health problems. We spoke with John Anthony, MD, a dermatologist at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio and Debra Jaliman, MD, a New York City-based dermatologist and author of Skin Rulesabout the nail symptoms you shouldn’t ignore (and which are totally normal).The human body is quite astonishing. The body can give us signs for physical problems and nutritional deficiency on parts of the body you may not think of, like the human nails.
Now you can learn what your fingernails tell about your health with 10 warning signs you should not ignore.
1. Discolored Nails
Discolored nails can be used as a sign to indicate an infection, a nutritional deficiency and problems with your organs. Yellow fingernails may be caused by excessive use of nail polish, but it can also be caused with fungal nail infection, or psoriasis. Brown nails can be a sign of a thyroid disease or malnutrition. White nails can point to an iron deficiency. Bluish-gray tint nails can sign your body might not be getting enough oxygen. Make sure your nail color is normal.
2. Brittle, Crumbly Nails
Dry, brittle nails that frequently split or crack can be related to thyroid disease and fungal infections. They can also indicate lichen planus (itchy rashes on the skin and the mouth) Brittle nails can also happen when you age, and from long usage of nail polish.
3. Thickened Nails
Mostly this happens when you are infected with a fungal infection to your nail, yet it can also be caused when you have arthritis and lung diseases and diabetes Eczema and psoriasis can give you yellowish, slow-growing, and thickened nails.
4. Spoon-Shaped Nails
Nails that are curved inward can be a sign of koilonychia, a disease that can indicate hypochromic anemia. hemachromatosis, a liver condition can also be a sign when you have spoon like nails.
5. Denting In Nails
If you have pits or dents in your nail, don't be alarmed as it is quite normal as a genetic occurrence. Although we do need to mention that psoriasis and reactive arthritis and eczema are also related to the dents in your nail.
6. Grooves In Nails
Horizontal grooves can be caused from malfunctions during cell division, infections in the nail fold, or finger injuries. Also there are believed to be caused by nutritional deficiencies, chemotherapy, diabetes, and prolonged exposure to extreme temperatures.
7. Nail Clubbing
"Drumstick" fingers are when nails curve around the fingertip. Usually the Nail Clubbing is harmless as it is a genetic occurrence. If your nail begins to soften - it is a whole different story.Low oxygen levels in your blood causes the softening.
8. White Lines Across Nails
Mostly seen on your index finger. They sign low levels of protein in the blood, as it is a warning sign to liver diseases and malnutrition. Stress can also be related to these lines.
9. Dark Stripes Running Down Nails
Usually harmless, yet they could be a sign of subungual melanoma, a ferocious form of skin cancer that occurs on the toes or fingers. This usually happens one nail at a time, so be careful and see a doctor if you have it.
10. Red Or Brown Streaks Underneath Nails
AKA splinter hemorrhages are thin red/brown streaks under the nails. Usually there is nothing to be afraid when having these, as they are tiny clots or damaged capillaries. Sometimes though they are related to rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis.
Healthy Diet Leads to Healthy Nails
If you eat a balanced, whole-food diet like the one described in my nutrition plan, you're probably giving your body more-than-adequate amounts of the vitamins and minerals it needs to function. If not (and this applies to the majority of the U.S. population), there's a good chance your body is lacking in important nutrients. Not only can this lead to chronic diseases, but your nail (and hair and skin) health will also suffer.
Healthy sources of protein, like whey protein, free-range eggs, and grass-fed meat, are important (grass-fed beef is also a good source of zinc, which is necessary for making proteins like those found in your nails). Antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals found in leafy greens, berries, and other whole foods will also benefit your nail health. Biotin, vitamin B7, is one example.
Your body needs biotin for metabolizing fats, carbohydrates, and amino acids, but it's most well known for its role in strengthening your hair and nails.
Biotin may play a role in building keratin, which makes up your nails. Egg yolks from organic, free-range eggs are one of the best sources of biotin. Animal-based omega-3 fats are also important. Most Americans eat too many inflammatory omega-6 fats (think vegetables oils) and too few anti-inflammatory omega-3s, setting the stage for health problems like depression, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes, just to name a few. Inflammation may also interfere with nail development.
The ideal ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats is 1:1, but the typical Western diet is between 1:20 and 1:50. Brittle or soft nails are a common signs that your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio may be out of balance. Try cutting back on vegetable oils and eating more animal-based omega-3s from krill oil, sardines, or anchovies.