Fingernails – An Indicator of Health

fingernail=1Your fingernails can provide clues to your overall health — but do you know how to read the signs? Nail pitting are small depressions in the nails. Nail pitting is most common in people who have psoriasis — a condition characterized by scaly patches on the skin. Nail pitting can also be related to connective tissue disorders and hair loss.

With yellow nail syndrome, nails thicken and new growth slows. This results in a yellowish discoloration of the nails. Nails affected by yellow nail syndrome might lack a cuticle and detach from the nail bed. It is often a sign of respiratory disease, but can also be related to the swelling of the hands.

 

Nail clubbing occurs when the tips of the fingers enlarge and the nails curve around the fingertips, usually over the course of years. Nail clubbing is sometimes the result of low oxygen in the blood and could be a sign of various types of lung disease and with inflammatory bowel disease.

Spoon nails are soft nails that look scooped out. The depression usually is large enough to hold a drop of liquid. This could be a sign of iron deficiency  or a liver condition known as hemochromatosis, in which your body absorbs too much iron from the food you eat. Spoon nails can also be associated with heart disease and hypothyroidism.

Terry’s nails is associated with the tip of each nail having a dark band. Sometimes this can be attributed to aging. In other cases, it can be a sign of a serious underlying condition, such as liver disease, congestive heart failure or diabetes.

Beau’s lines are indentations that run across the nails. The indentations can appear when growth at the area under the cuticle is interrupted by injury or severe illness. Conditions associated with Beau’s lines include diabetes and peripheral vascular disease, as well as illnesses associated with a high fever’s and can also be a sign of zinc deficiency.

Onycholysis is associated with the fingernails becoming loose and separating from the nail bed. Sometimes detached nails are associated with injury or infection. In other cases nail separation is a reaction to a particular drug or consumer product, such as nail hardeners or adhesives. Thyroid disease and psoriasis — a condition characterized by scaly patches on the skin — also can cause nail separation.

The information on this website is not intended to replace a consultation with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice and was provided by www.FunctionalMedicineUniversity.com