Health of Your Nails + Your Own Body Health
…how your nails act as a window to the health of your body!
By Kevin DiDonato MS, CES—Level 1 Certified Precision Nutrition and Certified Personal Trainer
I want you to take a good, hard look at your hands. Do you see anything strange?
I bet you don’t. To the untrained eye, looking at your hands reveals nothing more than spotty wrinkles…dry skin…and your fingers.
But to the TRAINED eye, your hands—especially the tips of your fingers—can alert someone to health issues that may be occurring inside your body.
I am talking specifically about your FINGERNAILS.
What could your fingernails tell you about your health? The simple answer is:
Quite a bit! You see, most people think fingernails are a completely aesthetic feature—something to paint and decorate every day.
In fact, I bet you didn’t know:
The Nail-Care Industry (in the US alone) is a multi-million dollar industry, grossing 768 million dollars per year!
But here’s the thing…
Your nails are so much more than just a device to paint and decorate. Surprisingly, your finger nails—the shape, color, and texture of them—could alert you to serious health issues that may be occurring in your body right now.
And as much as you color and polish them to get rid of discoloration…
…you’re really ignoring the problem that could be manifesting itself deep inside your body.
Let’s take a closer look…
Why Finger Nails Aren’t Just For Decorating
Discolored, flaky, and cracked nails may be very good indicators that something wrong could be going on inside your body. Even though some of the symptoms may be harmless and there is no danger, others may show serious diseases that may be going on inside your body.
And as funny as it may sound, if your nails grow at an accelerated rate, this could signal that there could be 1) disruptions or underlying issues in your body, or 2) that you’re not quite where you need to be in terms of nutrition.
It could also just be a normal sign of aging or even trauma that has occurred to your nail.
The bottom line is:
If You Notice Any Discoloration or Changes in your Nails, Then You May Want to See a Dermatologist as Soon as Possible to Rule out any Potential Health Conditions!
With that in mind, here are FIVE of the most common nail changes that people may see and the conditions that they may be associated with:
1. Yellow Nails
Do you have yellowish nails? Are they thick, crumbly, and hard to cut?
Yellowing of the nails could be due to a number of different health issues. Normally, yellowing occurs due to smoking and possibly diet.
However, if they are thick and crumbly, you may have a serious fungal infection going on that should be treated accordingly.
Yellow nails may also be caused by thyroid issues, diabetes, or respiratory issues as well.
2. Spoon-like Nails
Do your nails curve upwards? If so, you have spooning of your nails.
This condition is usually a great indicator of anemia—or an iron deficiency. It could also indicate that there is something wrong with your heart or even thyroid disease (hypothyroidism).
3. Dark Discolorations of the Nail
I shouldn’t have to tell you this…
But dark discolorations, black streaks on your nail, or painful growths should immediately be seen by a doctor.
The reason: These black streaks or painful growths may be linked to melanoma—one of the deadliest forms of skin cancer.
4. Pitting or denting
Pitting or dents in your nails are usually a tell-tale sign that you have psoriasis. However, pitting and denting could also signal other things going on inside your body.
People who have pitting may also be at a higher risk for connective tissue disorders or even autoimmune disease (your immune system starts to attack health tissue and destroys it).
5. Vertical Ridges
If you have vertical ridges on your nail, don’t worry, you’re probably safe.
Vertical ridges occur as the natural aging process takes hold (click here to REVERSE aging by 5 to 10 years).
And as you get older, the ridges may become more prominent. Vertical ridges may also be a sign of nutritional deficiencies—especially in Vitamin B12 or magnesium.
A Healthy Diet Leads to Less Nail Issues
Your nails are much more than just something to decorate. Your nails could be a window to your health—and any underlying issues that may be impacting it.
If you notice any changes in your nail health—discoloration, hard or flaky nails, or black streaks—you may want to seek medical attention as these conditions may need attention.
In order to fix the health of your nails, maintaining a healthy diet could go a long way to not only improving your nail health, but to also improving your overall health.
And finally, if you ever notice any dramatic changes to your nails, discolorations that alarm you, or any other issues that make you nervous, be sure to seek medical attention as it may signify health issues that you may not know about.
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