The fingernails tend to be overlooked when it comes to overall appearance, however, they do play an important role. While most women only pay attention to their fingernails when it comes to heading to the nail salon, there are many crucial factors that the health of our nails plays a role in. In most cases when something is wrong with us, we experience certain symptoms. You might be surprised to know that this includes the way your fingernails appear as well. By knowing what to look for, you can easily figure out whether the appearance of your nails calls for a visit to the doctor’s office or a simple appointment for a manicure.
In general, healthy fingernails appear transparent, pink or colorless. Pink nails signify the presence of healthy circulation of the blood cells. Brittle and yellow nails are the most common signs of damage that catches most people’s attention. If you are experiencing brittle nails, this could mean more than getting manicures regularly done. Health-wise, brittle fingernails could mean a number of things, such as circulatory problems, issues with the thyroid or kidneys or even a deficit in the amount of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A or calcium. Yellow nails could be a sign of problems with your lymphatic system, liver or symptoms of a respiratory problem or even diabetes.
In addition to brittleness and discoloration, there are other symptoms that you’ll want to be aware of. Do you find it difficult to grow strong and healthy nails? If your fingernails regularly chip, break, crack or peel - even if you maintain proper nail care - this could mean that your body is not receiving enough minerals. Poor mineral absorption can result in a negative affect on your health. However, taking special supplements is one solution to this problem. It is best to talk with your doctor and get approval before taking supplements.
Have you started to notice horizontal or vertical lines on the surface of your fingernails? There might be a legitimate reason for this. Horizontal lines could mean you are undergoing a lot of stress, either physically or emotionally. On the flip side, vertical lines on your nails may be a sign that you have an iron deficiency or not enough protein in your metabolism.
In addition to these symptoms, the shape of your nails could also be indicative of a potential health problem. For example, if your fingernails naturally curve down at the ends, this is usually a sign of a vitamin B12 deficiency - this is especially true if your downward curving nails also have a darkened nail bed. Nails that are wide and square naturally might mean a hormonal imbalance. Iron deficiencies often showcase themselves in nails that are shaped like spoons. Do you have fingernails that are unnaturally thick? It could be a symptom of a potential thyroid problem or vascular degeneration. Oftentimes, these symptoms are indicators of health problems that may not occur for months or years down the line.
If you are experiencing one or many of these symptoms, it is best to make an appointment at your doctor’s office right away.