What Are Your Nails Trying to Tell You About Your Health?

Updated on March 12th, 2020
haealthy nails

No matter how small and unworthy nails might seem to be, but they have lots to say about your health. If there is a problem with your liver, stomach, heart or lungs, your nails have a way of telling you about this. We need to watch out for symptoms, and signs nails show because nails say about your health.

Be it a lump, bump, ripple, a white speck, or pink tinge, all these signs on your nails are an alert system of the body. A way of telling you to look out for distress it is under. So never ignore this small tissue. It may be dead, but it has a lot to say about your health. Read on through this article to know more about these signs on your nails and what they signify.

Interesting Facts About Nails

Nails Say About Your Health

Speaking about fingernails the first thing that comes to mind is nail polish or something you chew on when you are nervous. Nails are always taken for granted and never cared for. They are just another passing thought in your mind and or something you gaze at when you are thinking. This is not the way to treat an essential body part.

Nails are quite fascinating and exciting actually; you need an eye for it. They tell you more about your body than any other part possible can. Here are some interesting facts about nails; you might not know even existed.

  • Every month your nails grow about 3.5mm on an average(1)
  • The speed at which they grow on your dominant hand is faster than the other hand
  • Your hair and fingernails are made of the same stuff called keratin. A protein consists of dead cells, and that’s the reason why a haircut and cutting your nails does not hurt.
  • Nails is the distinction between mammals and primates.
  • Male fingernails grow faster than females, except during pregnancy, they grow faster because of the hormones.
  • Nails have no feelings.
  • The cuticle of the nails is just for show; they help in preserving moisture and keep out germs.
  • If you are feeling stressed, your fingernails will show that. Fewer nutrients will reach your nails as they will be utilized elsewhere.
  • Fingernails serve a purpose; they are not just for show. They protect the soft tissue of the fingers from damage and distress.
  • Their growth slows down with age.
  • Increasing water intake can help improve your nail health.
  • Fingernails do not sweat.
  • There is a name for a person who bits nails; it is known as Onychophagia.
  • The thumbnail of your hands and legs grow the slowest compared to other nails.

[Read: Side Effects of Nail Polish]

What Do Your Nails Say About Your Health?

Nails are purely aesthetic part of your body. But that’s not right, they are as crucial as the heartbeat. The shape, color, texture, and structure of your nails, act as a natural door to the body’s insides. While some of the signs that the nails tell you are harmless, most of the time they indicate a chronic disorder or disease, or cancer also.

Dermatologists often say nails reflect the body’s inner state. Changes in the nails like thickening, discoloration or coloration, are an indication to the health problems of the liver, lungs, kidney diseases, anemia, and even diabetes.

1. Yellowing of Nails

Nails may change color due to many reasons, yellowing of the nails can take place over time, and age. This can also happen due to excessive use of nail color or acrylic nails. Nails suffering from a fungal infection can also become crumbly, thick and yellow. Only in a few cases, these nail symptoms can mean a disease related to thyroid, psoriasis, diabetes or any respiratory disease.

[Read: Get Rid of Yellow Nails]

2. Brittle, Cracked or Dry Nails

Cracked or Dry Nails

In this case, your daily lifestyle can play a significant role. If you have your hands in water for a long time, for washing dishes or clothes can lead to brittle and dry nails. Living in a region with very low humidity or using a lot of nail products with high quantities of chemicals can lead to cracked nails.

This can be an indication of Thyroid disease, specifically hypothyroidism. It can also indicate that you have a deficiency of Vitamins A, B, or C in your body.

3. White Spots

Very often white spots on nails are due to the trauma they have faced. You do not need to concern yourself; these will automatically fade out or grow out when your fingernails grow. Sometimes it can also mean you are suffering from some fungal infection.

[Read: Natural Remedies for Removing White Fingernail Spots]

4. Horizontal Ridges Across Your nail

These look like horizontal white lines on the nails; they are an indication of a high fever or a severe illness your body is going through. Pneumonia, scarlet fevers are some of the possibilities this type of sign might indicate. These horizontal lines are also known as Beau’s lines. These can also be an indication of severe zinc deficiency or heart disease.

Another type of horizontal line caused on the nails is the Mee’s lines; these are the indication that the person is under the effect of Arsenic poisoning, malaria, leprosy, or carbon monoxide. This sign and its symptoms should be taken seriously, and you need to consult a physician if you see these signs.

5. Vertical Ridges on Nails

Vertical Ridges on Nails

This is a typical sign of aging and is no cause for concern. But in some rare cases it can also mean that you are suffering from, some Nutrient deficiency, like Vitamin B12 or Magnesium.

[ Read: Make Your Nails Grow Faster ]

6. Dark Coloration on Nails

Black streaks or patches that are painful should need immediate attention from you. It requires a very quick consult from your physician. This may be due to a blood clot or even a melanoma. Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer.

7. Pitting of Nails

Psoriasis can cause dents and pits on your nails. Pitting can also indicate that the person is suffering from Reiter’s Syndrome or alopecia, areata or any autoimmune disorder that causes severe hair loss.

8. Spooned Nails

Nails that get curled upwards towards the edges of the figure, to form a spoon-like shape, maybe the indicator that your body is suffering from some iron-deficiency, Hemochromatosis, hypothyroidism, or heart disease.

[ Read: Vitamins for Strong Nails ]

9. Pale Nails

Having pale nails is an indication of serious ailments. Diseases like anemia, congestive heart failure, malnutrition or even liver disease.

10. Blue nails Coloring

Blue nails are the sign that your body is not receiving enough oxygen. On the other hand, bluing of nails can also indicate lung disease or emphysema. Many heart ailments can be the cause of blue nails.

A Diet to Help You Maintain Healthy Nails

To maintain healthy nails, you need to include enough amounts of proteins, like whey, eggs, red meat. These are an excellent source of protein. Antioxidants, mineral, and vitamins are also essential components that need to be included in the diet to keep good body and nail health.

Green foods, berries, whole grains, sprouts, are also a good source of vitamins and minerals. Biotin and Vitamin B7 are essential for body and nail health. The body utilizes biotin during the metabolism of fats, amino acids, and carbohydrates. It is very well known for its exceptional ability to strengthening nails and hair.

Do not ignore what your nails are trying to tell you. Despite all these indications that are evident through your nails, this might not be the first sign that your body is giving you. Most of the nail abnormalities might be harmless.

But, some of them surely need your attention to avoid any severe consequences. Not everyone with white nails is a hepatitis patient. If you have the slightest concern regarding your abnormal nails, you should not ignore it and consult a physician.

However, to avoid all the hustle, always maintain and balanced diet and make sure you include a lot of vitamins and minerals. Majority of the US population is in dire need of this caution.

If your nails are showing distress, which means your body is lacking some of the essential nutrients it requires. Not including all the necessary in your diet can lead to severe diseases and will also make your nail health suffer.

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