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8 Things Your Fingernails Are Telling You

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Eight Things Your Fingernails Are Trying to Tell You

Fingernail health, just like the health of your skin, can be a very effective diagnostic tool.

Did you know that you can tell a lot about your health from the appearance of your fingernails?

Fingernail health, just like the health of your skin, can be a very effective diagnostic tool.

Taking a good look at your fingernails doesn’t take the place of a qualified health professional’s opinion, of course, but it is a good way to see indications of potential health problems that may require a doctor visit.

So what are your fingernails trying to tell you?

Here are 8 fingernail anomalies and what they could mean:

1. Brittle Fingernails

Brittle fingernails split and beak easily, and usually they are pale in color. They may flake and chip, too. Here are some health issues that brittle nails may be trying to tell you.

* Osteoporosis or low bone density may show up as brittle fingernails. This is because your nails need calcium – a mineral that is lacking in osteoporosis patients – to be strong. A bone density test can clarify things.

* Vitamin and mineral deficiencies: low Vitamin D can cause brittle nails, and so can low levels of calcium, iron, and zinc.

2. White Lines

Eight Things Your Fingernails Are Trying to Tell YouWhite lines on the fingernails can be vertical or horizontal.

Vertical white lines may be caused by calcium deficiency, and possible deficiencies of other vitamins and minerals.

Horizontal white lines are considered more alarming health signals:

* Thyroid problems may cause white horizontal lines.
* Respiratory disease can be indicated by horizontal white lines on the nails.
* Heart disease is another possible underlying cause.
* Malnutrition and arthritis may cause these lines.

3. “Spoon” Nails

This refers to fingernails that look scooped or concave.

* Fingernails that curve down or inward can indicate thyroid deficiency, or hypothyroidism.
* Spoon nails can mean you are absorbing too much iron, but they can also indicate iron deficiency.
* Heart disease is another possibility.

4. Pitted Nails

Fingernails with multiple small pits can indicate several things.

* Psoriasis can cause pitted nails.
* Connective tissue disorders (such as Reiter’s syndrome) can be indicated by small pits in the nails.

5. Lifted Fingernails or Nail Separation

Also known as “Plummer’s nail,” lifted fingernails literally lift from the nail bed. They may indicate:

* Diabetes
* Lupus
* Pellagra (Vitamin B3 deficiency)
* Hypothyroidism
* An allergy to a fingernail product (such as an adhesive) or drug

6. Yellow Fingernails

Long before other symptoms become apparent, yellow fingernails may be a sign of the following:

* Liver disorders
* Respiratory disease or disorders, such as chronic bronchitis
* Problems with the lymphatic system
* Diabetes

7. Terry’s Nails

With this condition, the tip of the fingernails has a dark band across it. This can mean:

* Liver disease
* Congestive heart failure
* Diabetes
* Sometimes it is simply a sign of aging.

8. Beau’s Lines

Eight Things Your Fingernails Are Trying to Tell YouThese lines are like long indentations that occur in the middle of the nail, usually one line per nail. Here’s what Beau’s lines could mean:

* Diabetes that is not controlled
* Cardiovascular disease
* Past severe illness such as scarlet fever or pneumonia
* Zinc deficiency

These lists are certainly not meant to scare you! But hopefully, you’ll take a good look at your nails when you’re trimming or filing them, and see what they might be telling you.

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3 Responses to 8 Things Your Fingernails Are Telling You

  1. ka July 17, 2013 at 5:05 am #

    Excellent tips on fingernails, I think your body gives you a lot signs as when there is something wrong with it, so we should take these tips seriously.

  2. Helene Malmsio August 6, 2013 at 6:50 am #

    Love what you are doing on this site Dee! Some great health tips for people who prefer using natural remedies to stay healthy

    • Dee Braun August 6, 2013 at 9:17 am #

      Hi Helene!! Thank you so much! I’ve been working hard on the site 🙂 We need to talk – I would LOVE to feature some of your articles here. Will send you an email!

      Many blessings,

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