During a typical day how often do you use your hands? Opening things, closing things, typing, etc. More importantly, how often do you take a good long look at your fingernails and think about how they might differ from the person’s next to you? A bit of anatomy and history: Hippocrates, father of clinical medicine, said fingernails reveal both outer and inner health conditions. Today’s doctors agree and say as a general rule “90% of all diseases will manifest in the nails at some point.” A typical person will grow a new fingernail every six months. Observing your nails often is a great way to stay updated on your health and may even reveal conditions that are otherwise showing no symptoms.
Do you see those Fading or Missing Moons in this photo? This is a very good indicator that you have a Vitamin B12 deficiancy. B12 deficiency can result in low energy, exhaustion, brain fog, moodiness, and difficulty sleeping. If you have been feeling fatigued, take a gander at your nails- do you have fading or missing moons? If so, you probably need to boost your B12 levels to get that bounce back in your step.
Bluish nails like these may signal lack of oxygen to the body and possibly a lung or breathing issue. Other symptoms of low oxygen levels may include coughing, wheezing, rapid heart rate and exhaustion. If you are experienced these issues you may want to seek a health care professional to have your oxygen levels tested.
If your nails are a yellow tone like this this picture, you may have an unwanted guest. Although it can appear in fingernails, foot fungus is the most common and is easily treatable. Also known as athletes foot it is an uncomfotable condition that can result in itchy, burning, blistery feet. If you see your nails turning yellow act fast, there are many treatments available in stores or through a health care professional. To avoid athletes foot in the first place keep your feet dry and cool, and wear shoes when at the gym or beach.
Thick horizontal white lines and significant ridging of the nail can indicate low iron or inflammatory arthritis. Symptoms of low iron levels include dizziness, weakness, cold hands and feet and sometimes strange cravings. It is very easy to get a blood test to determine if you have low iron levels. Inflammatory arthritis also known as rheumatoid arthritis typically affects the joints of hands and fingers. There are tests to determine this autoimmune condition, but there is no known cause for it.
A small white lateral mark is not of much concern and typically an indicator of bodily stress such as illness or trauma. Significant stress can effect the body in many ways including sleep issues, hair loss, random screaming out loud. If you are seeing many of these small white lines you may want to take a day to your self, get a mani-pedi, and just be. If your stress level is effecting other areas of your health do not hestiate to seek a medical professional.
Spoon shaped or scooped nails that angle up and divot down in the center can indicated abnormal iron levels, heart disease, or thyroid issues. Symptoms of low iron levels include dizzyness, weakness, cold hands and feet and sometimes strange cravings. It is very easy to get a blood test to determine if you have low iron levels.
A healthy nail has an angle of approximately 160 degrees. When this angle is abnormal the nails are referred to as clubbing nails. Significant clubbing of the nails is associated with a number of diseases most often heart or lung disease. If you notice a change in the angle of your nail growth refer to a health professional.
Darker nails and small dark lines are common, especially for those with darker skin and hair. If you hit your nail with a hammer or are accident prone you may have bruises under your nails that appear as dark splotches and is not a reason for concern. However, a thick black strip running down the nail is a more serious matter. If you have not had a serious trauma to your nail this may signify skin cancer- specifically Subungual Melenoma. Usually this type of melanoma only affects one nail and the stripe will change in appearance becoming darker or wider over time. See a medical health professional if you have this or are starting to see one appear.
This article is not meant to scare, but to inform and make you aware of potential health issues. Nails typically vary in shape, color, and texture. Most nail issues coincide with a poor diet rather than a serious underlying medical condition. Eating a healthy, balanced, whole food diet can help ward off disease and fuel your body with the appropriate nutrients for healthy nails and more.