Did you know that your fingernails can give you some seriously solid clues to your overall health? Turns out that having healthy, strong fingernails are not just great news for your manicure. Fingernail problems could indicate some big health problems.
Conditions and diseases that affect your whole body can alter fingernail growth patterns, blood flow or shape. It’s important to understand what different fingernail problems mean for your health.
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Checking for any of these fingernail problems can help you spot early warning signs that something may be up with your body.
Fingernail Problems: The Warning Signs
Yellowing or Thickening
Not only do yellow nails not look pretty, but what causes the yellow hue is pretty scary. Yellow and thickened nails are a characteristic of fungal infections. Other possible causes are due to not taking a break from wearing acrylic nails or nail polish or smoking, which can cause stains and give your fingernails a yellowish hue.
If your nails are breaking easily, it can be a sign of dryness or hypothyroidism. This is a condition in which the body lacks enough thyroid hormone. The thyroid hormone’s main purpose is to run the body’s metabolism.
If your fingernails have a concave shape and could hold a drop of liquid inside them, you may have koilonychias or “spoon nails”. These fingernail problems could indicate that you have an iron deficiency and low blood oxygen levels from not taking in or absorbing enough iron.
One of the most common of fingernail problems, white spots on your nails can indicate several health problems including an allergic reaction, zinc deficiency, protein deficiency or calcium deficiency. Some serious diseases indicated by white spots on your fingernails may include liver disease, kidney disease and anemia.
If your nail beds are blue, your fingertips may not be receiving enough oxygenated blood. This could be a sign of poor circulation in your hands, or indicating that your lungs are not properly oxygenating the blood in your whole body due to heart or lung disease.
If you spy fingernail problems that seem new or unusual, consult a medical professional to treat the underlying condition in order to save your nails and possibly your life.