Nails not only add to the beauty of your hands but you’d be surprised to know that they can also tell you about many health conditions. The color, texture, shape of your nails may indicate symptoms of minor and sometimes even major health issues such as cancer, kidney and liver diseases, lung and heart conditions. The rate at which your nail grows can give you clues about your health. On an average, nails grow 3.5mm in a month, but vary depending on the health conditions. Read on to find out the signs and secrets your nails can reveal about your body:
Dry, brittle or cracked nails
Dry or brittle and cracked nails may be caused by thyroid disease, especially hypothyroidism, or fungal infections. It could also mean that you are vitamin A, C or biotin (vitamin B) deficient.
Brittle nails could be caused by lifestyle factors such as exposing your nails to excessive water due to swimming, washing dishes and so on. Using remover frequently, over exposure to chemicals like cleaning products, or low humidity can cause your nails to become cracked and dry.
Yellow nails are usually assumed to be caused due to nail polish, but of your nails are naturally yellowish or greenish and a little crumbly, they could be telling you that you might be suffering from a fungal infection. Psoriasis, diabetes, or chronic bronchitis could cause your nails to become yellow. Along with yellow nails, frequent urination and tiredness could mean your sugar level is high, so it would be best to get a test done. Smoking too can cause yellow nails.
White spots or leukonychia and scrape-like may be caused by scuffs and scrapes during manicuring or accidentally hitting your nails against something. But sometimes, white spots can be due to allergic reactions or infections in the body. Vitamin B12 or calcium deficiency also causes white spots. More serious conditions could be liver or kidney disease.
Aging is the main cause of vertical ridges, so you need not be alarmed. They become more prominent with age. Nutrient deficiencies, such as magnesium and vitamin 12 can sometimes cause vertical ridges.
Unlike vertical ridges, horizontal ridges reveal darker secrets about your body. They could be due to some serious illness with symptoms like high fever, such as pneumonia or scarlet fever. Horizontal ridges are also caused by uncontrolled diabetes, psoriasis, circulatory disease or zinc deficiency (severe), Hodgkin’s disease, leprosy, malaria, poisoning due to arsenic or carbon monoxide poisoning. Therefore, your nails maybe telling you about very serious issues, and you definitely should not ignore horizontal ridges.
If your nail/s become curved downwards along with enlarged fingertips, it can be a sign of low oxygen in the blood and may be a symptom of lung, inflammatory bowel, kidney or liver disease or even AIDS.
If your nail is caught in a door or you hit it with something heavy, a blackish or purplish color can be seen. But if your nails have become black or darkened otherwise, you must consider other reasons why, such as your body producing large amounts of melanin, or a fungal infection. Darkened, blackish nails can be a symptom of a disease such as melanoma, a skin cancer which is quite serious, or psoriasis or infections. You should visit your GP and find out why your nails have suddenly changed color.
Nails are supposed to be pink or pinkish in color, to indicate that all is well within your body. If your nails are white in color, and your skin is a little yellowish in color, it might mean that you have some form of liver disease and should get yourself checked, especially if you feel lethargic and tired all the time.
Nails which have grooves resembling pits may be one of the signs of aging. But sometimes, if portions of the nail peel away, then it could be due to extreme psoriasis.
We don’t usually pay attention to the natural color, ridges, etc of our nails, when we actually should pay attention to these as our nails could be revealing secrets about our health. Timely action can help to diagnose medical conditions and set us on the path of recovery.