10 Nail Symptoms and What They Mean for Your Health
Many people are not aware of it, but the color, shape and texture of our nails can really say a lot about our health. Some symptoms may indicate minor and easily treatable problems, but other may indicate chronic diseases and even certain types of cancer.
Even the growth of the nails may indicate health problems. In general, our nails grow 3.5 mm. monthly, which can be affected by trauma, our diet and the aging process as well. If you notice any kind of change on your nails, you should consult with a dermatologist immediately. The changes may be harmless, but they could also indicate diabetes or cancer. Here are 10 nail symptoms you should always pay attention to:
There are plenty of reasons why your nails can turn yellow. Yellow nails are associated with smoking and frequent use of acrylic nails and nail polish. If your nails are suddenly thick, yellow and crumbly, you may be suffering from a fungal infection. Thyroid disease, respiratory diseases, diabetes and psoriasis can also make your nails yellow.
Dry and brittle nails
If your nails are dry, brittle and cracked, you may be overexposing yourself to chemicals. Living in areas with low humidity, washing your hands frequently and constant use of nail polish remover can also crack your nails and make them dry and brittle. Fungal infections and hypothyroidism are related to this problem as well, as is vitamin A and C deficiency.
Clubbing is a term which describes enlargement of the fingernails and curving of the nails downward. It is usually related to low oxygen levels, lung and heart disease, AIDS, kidney disease and inflammatory bowel disease.
If your nails have white spots on them, it is a sign of some kind of trauma. The white spots go away on their own after a while and are rarely a sign of fungal infections.
Horizontal ridges on the nails, also known as Beau’s lines are usually a result of diabetes, circulatory diseases, zinc deficiency or psoriasis. John Anthony, MD in a Cleveland clinic, says that this symptom indicates a bigger health problem. “This is typically the result of direct trauma to the nail or a more serious illness, in which case you’ll see it on more than one nail at a time … Your body is literally saying, ‘I’ve got better things to do than make nails’ and pauses their growth.” There’s also another type of horizontal ridges on the nails known as Mees’ lines which indicate malaria, leprosy, arsenic or carbon monoxide poisoning or Hodgkin’s disease.
If your nails have vertical ridges on them, you shouldn’t be worried. Vertical ridges are associated with aging or some kind of nutritional deficiency.
If your nails curve upward and resemble a spoon in shape, you’re probably suffering from iron deficiency. Furthermore, spoon-like nails may be caused by hypothyroidism or heart disease.
Pits on your nails usually indicate psoriasis or alopecia areata, the condition behind hair loss.
If your nails have dark streaks on them, you may be suffering from melanoma. In this case, you should visit a doctor as soon as possible.
White nails with pink stripes
This is usually an indication of diabetes, liver disease or kidney failure.
To keep your nails healthy, you should eat a healthy diet and reduce the use of nail polish. Keep the nails trimmed short and protect them from chemical exposure as much as you can. Finally, rub some coconut oil on your nails regularly to keep them hydrated and boost their growth.
Source ; www.healthylifestyleadvice.com