You might be surprised to find out that your fingernails paint a pretty good picture of what your health status is. How can you tell? Well, you have to know what signs you need to be looking for first. Doctors are aware of what issues can lead to changes in your fingernails, but you don’t see your doctor all the time so knowing what to look for yourself can be pretty valuable. Check out how your fingernails are alerting you to possible health problems.
1. Nail Pitting Can Indicate an Autoimmune Condition
You might not give pitted nails a second thought, but you totally should. Those pits may point to a variety of conditions. That includes psoriasis, but the autoimmune condition called alopecia areata is something else it can indicate. Your connective tissue might also be to blame since Reiter’s syndrome also leads to pitting of the nails. Often, treating the disease can help take care of the nail issue so see your doctor right away if you have pitted fingernails.
2. Clubbed Nails Can Indicate Lung or Heart Problems
When doctors say that a nail is clubbed, they are referring to nails that are enlarged at the tips and that curve downward over the tips for your fingers. When this happens, it can indicate a problem with oxygen in the blood, which can often be blamed on lung diseases. Clubbed nails can also be linked to heart disease, digestive problems and liver disease.
3. Spoon Nails Are Never Something to Ignore
Spoon nails are those that lift around the edges and curl upward, making them look like spoons. In the worst cases, your nails may make enough of a spoon that they will actually hold liquid. Spoon nails are linked to an iron deficiency as well as liver conditions and heart problems. In many cases, making dietary changes can help with the problem. Talk to your doctor about your best course of treatment.
4. White Nails Can Definitely Be an Issue
Your nails should never be all white. They should be more of a pinkish color from the cuticles to the tips. This condition is often called Terry’s disease and can be associated with heart disease, liver disease, kidney failure or diabetes. Any of these health problems require immediate care by a doctor so be sure you make an appointment right away.
5. Indentations on Your Nails Might Be Due to Diabetes or Fever
These indentations are called Beau’s lines and can arise due to diabetes that is not being treated. Because diabetes can be deadly, it’s important to get it under control as soon as possible. Nail indentations can also be caused by diseases that cause a high fever, such as scarlet fever, pneumonia, measles or mumps. These dents can also be indicative of a zinc deficiency.
6. Loose Nails Are Nothing to Mess around with
If your nails become loose and start to lift from the nail bed, you know there’s something going on. Experts say that this condition is often caused by an injury or infection that needs attention. Certain medications can also cause the condition. Thyroid disease is one other thing that might cause your nails to lift.
7. Yellow Nails Are Usually Due to Breathing Problems
When you have a breathing issue, such as bronchitis or another respiratory disease, it messes with your blood flow. That reduced blood flow can often lead to a yellow discoloration on your nails. Again, treating the underlying condition can often help get rid of the problem.
Do you have any of these nail troubles? What do you do about them?