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What Your Nails Say About Your Health

What Your Nails Say About Your Health

If eyes are the windows to the soul, then fingernails are the windows to your health. From simply looking at changes in the compressed keratin that sits atop our fingertips, doctors can sometimes identify the first signs of rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, lung disorders, liver and kidney problems, as well as certain vitamin deficiencies. Watch for changes in previously healthy fingernails, and bring up any concerns to your health care provider.

Pale, white nail beds can be an indicator of anemia or liver problems.

Horizontal ridges (sometimes called Beau’s lines) can indicate circulatory problems (like Raynaud’s disease), diabetes. Can also be caused by a severe illness, like a high fever or pneumonia.

Vertical ridges are not usually a cause for concern, but could be an iron deficiency.

Dry or brittle nails may indicate a vitamin A or iron deficiency.

Hang nails can be a sign of a lack of protein, folic acid, or vitamin C.

White bands may indicate protein deficiency.

Splitting nails may indicate hydrochloric acid deficiency.

Pits or depression in the nails are a possible sign of psoriasis.

Darkening of nails may indicate insufficient vitamin B12.

White spots can indicate zinc deficiency.

Yellow, thick, slow-growing nails are a possible indicator of lung problems.

Yellow-tinted nails with blue color at the base may be a sign of diabetes.

Half white, half pink nails can indicate kidney problems.

Red beds are a possible indicator of heart disease.

Rippling of the nail surface may indicate psoriasis or arthritis.

Inversion of the nail can indicate lung problems.

Red lines at the base of the nail fold can be a possible indicator of lupus or connective tissue disease.

Dark lines under the nail may indicate melanoma.

A nail coming off the nail bed can be an indication of thyroid disease, psoriasis, or an allergic reaction to nail products.

Read more: Health, Arthritis, General Health

From Natural Solutions magazine

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2:36PM PDT on Oct 5, 2014

I have vertical ridges and my iron levels are always on the low side.
@ Carole R. - lack of moisture i.e. dehydration isn't really harmless. It can cause the beginning of many health issues, as our body needs to be hydrated for the cells to function properly.

3:30AM PDT on Sep 5, 2014

Thank you :)

2:54AM PDT on Aug 14, 2014

What about anteaters' claws? They are vital for us, as we destroy termite hills with them.

2:33AM PDT on Aug 14, 2014


9:55PM PDT on Apr 8, 2014

great article

11:22PM PST on Jan 29, 2014

I found out what causes vertical nail ridges. Aging and lack of moisture. It is very common and harmless.

12:43PM PST on Dec 19, 2013


6:07AM PST on Dec 16, 2013

thank you for sharing.

6:07AM PST on Nov 25, 2013

This is a nice list of symptoms.

11:36PM PST on Nov 3, 2013

Shared, thanks.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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