10 Nail Symptoms and What They Mean for Your Health

Did you know that the form, shape, color and texture of your nail can show you and signal you a lot of things that are happening inside your body? Some nail signs can be not very dangerous, but some others may be signaling you if you are having some chronic issue or disease, even cancer! All of this is concluded by the American Academy of Dermatology,

“The state of our health in general, can often be seen through our nails. Some unpleasant and quick changes in your nails, like thickening or discoloration, these signals may be sent due to some diseases like, diabetes, liver or kidney diseases, and lung and heart conditions as well.”

Also how much your nails grow, can show your health condition as well. If your health is good, your nails should grow about 3 to 3.5 millimeters every month, but many factors may reduce their growth, such as nutritional status, trauma, medications, etc. Also as the years go by, and we grow older, this factor also affects our nail growth.

If you have noticed any changes in your nails, like thickening, change in their shape, swelling, or discoloration, you must go and see a dermatologist right away. Don’t panic too much, that change may not be that dangerous and harmful, but sometimes that may signal a chronic disease, such as diabetes or some more serious issue.

10 Symptoms That your Nails are Trying to Signal you Through, and What they Mean for Your Health

1. Cracked, Brittle or Dry Nails

Many everyday environments are affecting your nails and cause these symptoms, like living in a low humidity area, constantly exposed to chemicals, using nail polish remover too often, or having your hands in water more often.

The cracking or splitting of your nails may also be caused, due thyroid disease, fungal infections, mostly hypothyroidism. Also brittle nails may occur, in the case of biotin deficiency, or vitamin C and A deficiency.

2. Yellow Nails

Many reasons can be responsible for yellow nails, like smoking, aging and using nail polish too often, or it can be due to acrylic nails. If they are looking crumbly, yellow, and thick, 90% you have a simple fungal infection which you didn’t know about. Some other reasons can be also blamed for the yellow nails appearance, such as respiratory diseases, diabetes, thyroid diseases or even psoriasis.

3. White Spots

If you are stressing very often, or you constantly are going through trauma, you are very likely to develop white spots. Usually this condition is not that serious and you don’t need to stress about it, they will surely grow out. But you should see a dermatologist, because sometimes they may be signaling fungal infection.

4. Clubbing

Clubbing is a condition where your nails are growing downwards, and also your fingertips are enlarging too. This mostly is caused by low oxygen supplies in your lungs and in your blood, therefore this symptom can be caused by a lot of heart disease, kidney disease, inflammatory bowel disease, or even AIDS.

5. Spoon Nails

If you see your nails, are becoming curved upwards on the edges, just like a spoon, this is a strong signal that you are in lack of iron or you are suffering from hypothyroidism or a heart disease.

6. Horizontal Ridges

According to a dermatologist at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, John Anthony M.D., “This mostly occurs, if you are stressing out a lot, or you are constantly experiencing trauma, but sometimes this symptom can be due to some more dangerous and serious illness, and you can see that if the symptom is on more nails than one. And your body sends you a message, that it has better things to do than make your nails beautiful, which leads to reduced growth of your nails.”

Horizontal ridges are also known as Beau’s lines, and they mostly are caused by zinc deficiency, psoriasis, diabetes or a circulatory disease. Also there is another type of horizontal lines that is known as Mee’s Lines. and they mostly are caused from leprosy, arsenic poisoning, carbon monoxide poisoning, Hodgkin’s disease, or malaria.

7. Dark Discolorations

If you are seeing some black streaks on your nails, or it is painful while they are growing, go consult with your doctor, do not wait because this may be caused from melanoma.

8. Vertical Ridges

Mostly this symptom occurs in more elderly individuals, and it is nothing something to panic about, it is a result of aging. But in some cases, in younger individuals, this may mean that they are in lack of vitamin B12 or magnesium, or sometimes some other nutrients as well.

9. White Nails With a Strip of Pink

If your nails have pink strips and they are white, this can often be a symptom of diabetes, a heart failure, liver disease or a kidney failure.

10. Pitting

Your nails may be sending you a signal of psoriasis, by the appearance of multiple pits on them. “Mostly this situation so called “pitting” occurs in people that are dealing with psoriasis or in 80% of the people that are having psoriatic arthritis,” – Chen said. This condition, can also be caused from connective tissue disorders, or sometimes even alopecia areata, which is a disease that causes your hair to fall off.

Some simple Nail Care tips:

  • Keep your nails trimmed, and short
  • Don’t use nail polish that much, and artificial nails
  • Protect your nails from exposure to chemicals, or too much water
  • Eat a balanced and nutrient-full diet (a diet high in vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and proteins)

To keep your nails moisturized, rub some organic coconut oil, it is simple as that.

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Source: globaliving.org