Did you know that nails can tell a lot about the state of your health?

It takes approx. 3 minutes to read this article

Vitamin deficiencies, thyroid or heart problems – among other things, we can find out by observing our nails. Don’t you usually pay attention to their condition? Read the following article and you will see that you can really read a lot from your nails. Check it out!

Healthy nails, that is, what kind of nails?

Before we move on to discuss potential deviations from the norm, we need to establish what the norm is, that is, what healthy nails look like. First of all, they are smooth and strong, adhere to the nail bed, are relatively hard, and are uniform in color, with no visible discoloration or distortion on either the plate or the crescentic cloud.

Nails are composed mainly of hard keratin, sulfur, calcium, phosphorus and arsenic. On average, fingernails grow twice as fast as toenails. In addition, the rate of growth depends on a person’s age and health. Interestingly, fingernails also grow at different speeds.

Nail condition and our health – how to read it?

We already know how to tell if we have healthy nails, then now we can move on to the answer to the title question. Below are the most common nail problems, which are a reflection of the deterioration of our health.

Change in the color of the nails

The most common is that the nails change color or strange spots appear on them. For example, on the one hand, these spots can be the result of micro-injuries, while on the other hand, this happens with liver, kidney or lung diseases, infectious diseases, ringworm, diabetes and in the case of zinc deficiency.

Greenish nails, yellowish and brownish nails usually indicate a bacterial infection, bluish nails – too low oxygen saturation in the blood or the presence of a toxic substance in the body, white nails – anemia, hormonal changes or hepatitis, pale nails – vitamin deficiency and poor blood circulation, and red streaks – infection of heart valves. In contrast, dark streaks at the top of the nail often appear with aging or in cases of congestive heart failure.

Nail shape change

Nail shape is genetically determined. So, if it suddenly curves upward, it can indicate respiratory problems or anemia, and when downward – B vitamin deficiencies. And when it becomes convex, it is most likely related to cardiovascular, respiratory or digestive diseases, and when too flat – to hormonal disorders.

Unevenness on the surface of the nails

Changes often affect not only the shape, but also the surface. Sometimes unevenness appears in seniors and people who work physically. If you do not use your hands heavily, and you see transverse grooves, they are a sign of diabetes, psoriasis, nutritional disorders, stomach diseases, vitamin deficiencies or inflammation. Longitudinal grooves, on the other hand, appear with high blood pressure and inflammatory bowel disease, among other conditions.

Brittle nails

Finally, there are still fragile, brittle and cracking nails. Here the problem may lie in thyroid disorders, anemia or ringworm. Weakening of the plate can also occur from frequently putting the nails in the mouth, for example, to bite them, and from frequently immersing the hands in water and taking them out. This type of nail problem also means a deficiency of folic acid, vitamin C and protein.

main photo: unsplash.com/Ellie Eshaghi

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