What Your Nails Reveal About Your Health

Fingernails, while seemingly useless, tell us a lot about what’s going on inside our bodies.

Discoloration and spots can be a veritable indication of health issues that we may not be aware of. What are some of the warning signs our fingernails are giving us.

1. White Spots and Stripes

Usually, when we see white spots and/or stripes on our nails, it is because we have bent our nail in a bad direction. It can be seen as a kind of “bruise.”

But if white spots and stripes show up on multiple fingernails when you haven’t had an incident, it can be a sign of an internal issue.

Luckily, this is usually just a sign of general malnutrition, namely a deficiency of zinc, calcium, and/or protein. This can be easily remedied by adjusting your diet to include more of these beneficial elements.

2. Dark Spots and Stripes

Dark spots, on the other hand, are signs of a more serious issue. While they could just be a bruise, if there is no pain associated with it, it could possibly be due to a contaminant under the nail.

Some other issues that dark spots and stripes could indicate are psoriasis or even melanoma.

Melanoma is a potentially deadly form of cancer so if you’ve had a dark spot or noticed dark striping on or under your nails that aren’t associated with a known injury, it is best to consult a physician as soon as possible.

3. Red Streaks

Small, vertical, red lines are often caused by small breaks or bleeds under the nail.

However, if you notice multiple red lines or notice that they appear more often, they could be signaling a heart condition called endocarditis, an infection of the heart valves.

Endocarditis can be easily remedied by a physician. Red streaks can also be an indication of Lupus, a chronic autoimmune disease that can affect different parts of the body, including your fingernails.

If you are noticing these streaks on more than a rare occasion, consult your physician.

4. Yellow Nails

Yellow nails are a telltale sign of lung issues and are commonly found on smokers or as an indication of lung issues such as bronchitis or lung disease.

They can also be a telltale sign of nail fungus which can be caused by many different elements. But don’t be immediately alarmed if you notice them on yourself.

They can also be a sign of a simple vitamin deficiency. If you notice yellow nails, you should be sure you are taking a good multivitamin.

If they don’t go away, however, be sure to contact your physician. Other issues that may be indicated by yellow nails include psoriasis, thyroid disease, even diabetes.

5. Fragile Nails

Fragile nails, or nails that break easily can be a sign that your body is lacking vitamin B7 (commonly known as biotin).

You can remedy this by taking a complete multivitamin and/or biotin supplement, which can easily be found in the supplement section of your grocery store.

If you are confident that you are not deficient in biotin, fragile nails may be indicating other health issues.

People with nail psoriasis or hyperthyroidism commonly have weak and fragile nails. Most people with hyperthyroidism also notice that the whites of their nails are also very thin or even non-existent.

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