10 things your nails say about your health

Did you know your nails could predict if you are suffering from diabetes or iron deficiency and much more?

What does discolouration, pinkish hue and white patches on your nails mean? No, they don t always indicate a need for a manicure. Instead, they could be warning signs regarding a health crisis. In fact, your nails give you the clues well ahead of time, only if you can pick them up at the right instant.

Here Apratim Goel, Cutis Skin Studio, Mumbai tells you how your nails point out what s wrong with your body and why you need to pay attention to them:

1. Brittle nails: If you have brittle nails, your nails might break due to light trauma, bend, peel off or split easily. However, you may not have to worry on the onset. If you have been decorating your nails too often with multiple coats of nail paint, frequenting the nail spa or using too many products on them, just give it a break. Here are nine kitchen ingredients that help strengthen brittle nails.

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But if you haven t subjected your nails to any such trauma and still face this problem, better get checked with a dermatologist. Brittle nails could be a sign of iron deficiency that could lead to anemia and its complications. It could also be a sign of vitamin deficiency like A, C or B. Else, it could be a hidden sign of hypothyroidism, which would need medical intervention to save you from its consequences. Read how almond oil can strengthen your brittle nails.

2. Yellow nails: This is the most common health alert sent out by your nails and most ignored too. Yellowing nails, point out to many problems that you might suffer from and would need an expert s opinion to decode it. Here is what you need to know about how to keep your nails healthy.

It could indicate fungal infections due to overuse and misuse of beauty products or could indicate a condition called lymphoedema. This condition indicates a problem with the lymphatic system, a network of blood vessels and glands responsible for fighting infections and draining excess fluids from the body. It s a long-term chronic condition that leads to swelling in the tissues of the body and usually in the arms and legs. If this doesn t scare you enough, remember yellow nails could also mean pleural effusion. A condition where excess fluid builds up in the lungs and yellowing of the nail is just a subtle sign of it. So get checked before it s too late. Here are 11 expert tips for healthy nails.

3. White nails: Your nails are supposed to be of neutral colour. In case they change colour all of a sudden, it is worrisome. If your nails change from neutral to white with a dark pinkish tinge on the rim, then it could indicate a liver problem or first stage of hepatitis. Here are 13 causes of hepatitis that you may have not heard about.

4. Bluish nails: The colour blue anywhere in your body indicates danger and in a big way. This indicates that your body isn t able to get adequate oxygen pointing towards a lung function problem or a heart problem. Rush to a doctor.

5. Pitted nails: With this condition the appearance of your nails changes drastically. You might find pits on your nails that look like dots pricked by a pin. Though this condition isn t painful, it can be indicative of early signs of psoriasis, a skin disease with red, scaly itchy patches. If you look closely, the skin under your nails might turn to be reddish in colour. On the other hand, severely pitted nails could indicate Ritter s disease, a scalded skin syndrome, due to an infection of Staph (Staphylococcus) bacteria that produces a specific protein that loosens the nails from its skin beneath.

6. Dark lines or depression: If you see deep lines running horizontally across the nail bed without getting hurt or subjecting your nails to any trauma don t try to hide it by applying a coat of nail paint over it. Chances are it is an indication of something serious like diabetes, circulatory problems or even sign of pneumonia. Here are nine symptoms of pneumonia that you should know about.

7. White patches: Leukonychia is the term used to describe white vertical lines that appear on the nails. The most common cause of this condition is an injury to the base of the nail from where it grows. Else it could be a probable sign of an unknown allergy, zinc deficiency, calcium deficiency, protein deficiency or fungal infection, which can be ascertained only after a complete diagnosis done by a dermatologist.

8. Spooned nails: This can make your nails look weird and rob the aesthetic value of your manicured nails. But that s not what you should worry about. In this condition, your nails appear to be scooped out like a spoon. In fact, it may be a sign of either dysfunction of the thyroid gland or signal the onset of a heart disease. However, it may also be due to iron deficiency, which also needs attention to prevent further complications. Here are 10 other symptoms of iron deficiency that you should know about.

9. Puffed nails: If the skin around your nails appears red and puffy, this is known as inflammation of the nail fold. It could be a sign of lupus or other connective tissue disorder. Infection can also cause redness and inflammation of the nail fold.

10. Nail ridges: Sometimes your nails might have vertical ridges that are usually painless. Don t be tempted to use a nail file and smooth them out. Ridges sometimes indicate that you may be suffering from hormonal imbalances, thyroid issues, diabetes or just stress.

It is always worth your while to go to a doctor to investigate any of these changes in the appearance of your nails.

Did you know even homemade food can cause food poisoning? Click here to find out how!

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