|Image: Film Fatale|
Our nails are more than just a waste product of the body, designed to protect fingertips and toes. They are also a database, telling us exactly what is going on with our health. Examining our nails can be a non-invasive way to find out more about deficiencies and our general physical condition.
But what are we looking for?
Very pale nails:
pale nails, paired with a darker rim can be a sign of severe conditions such as:
- heart failure
- liver disease
- congestive heart failure
White nails with darker rims can be a sign of liver problems, especially if they are accompanied by jaundiced fingers.
Yellow nails are most likely a sign of fungal infection, in this case, the nailbed retracts and nails may start to crumble. In some cases yellow nails can be a sign of more serious illness.
Bluish nails are a sign that the body isn't getting enough oxygen. The problem could lie in the lungs or it could be a sign of heart failure.
Rippled or pitted nails can be an early sign of psoriasis or inflammatory arthritis. Pitted nails can also be a symptom of a connective tissue disorder.
Dry, Brittle, Splitting nails can be a sign of a thyroid condition. If the nail is also yellowish, this is most lkely a fungal infection (see above).
Red, inflamed nail folds can be a sign of a connective tissue disorder or a sign of infection.
Dark lines under the nail are a serious cause of concern and should be checked by an MD immediately, as they might be a sign of melanoma.
Nail biting that can't be stopped can be a sign of anxiety or OCD that needs to be treated.
Grooves (overwidth) in the nail can be a sign of iron or zinc deficiency. They also occur after illnesses with high fever or injuries of the finger.
Nail clubbing: when the fingertip enlarges and the nail curves over the fingertip, this can be a sign of oxygen deprivation. This symptom is also linked to Inflammatroy bowel, AIDS and certain liver conditions.
Hollowed nails are most likely a sign of iron deficiency, but can also be a sign of hemochromatosis, a condition in which your body absorbs too much iron from the food. They are also called spoon nails and are often carved out enough to hold a drop of liquid. They can also be a sign of hypothyroidism or heart disease.
Many nail irregularities aren't a cause for concern. If your nail irregularities are paired with other symptoms, it is imperative to get a medical check-up!