Nails and what they say about your health

12/05/2019 by Craig Stellpflug

What can your nails tell about your health? What happens in your nails is often a symptom of something happening elsewhere. Here are a few clues and pictures:

If you have white spots in your nail beds this is a classic symptom of zinc deficiency! Taking 30-50mg of zinc gluconate daily will resolve these spots in a few weeks. (Never take zinc oxide internally!)

Nail flecks

Severe dips or “Beau’s lines” indicates a severe health crisis has occurred. By noting their location on the nail, the approximate date of the illness associated with it can be determined. Moreover, the depth of the line provides a clue to the severity of the illness.

Beau’s lines

Splinter hemorrhages look like small blue or black splinters under the nails and are caused by hemorrhage of the distal capillary loop in the cardial circulatory system and can also be associated with subacute bacterial endocarditis.

Nail splinters

Clubbing is a sure indicator of chronic high blood pressure possibly due to lung disease.

Nail clubbing

White nails can be caused by anemia, diabetes mellitus, chemotherapy, and/or edema.

White nails

White arcing lines are called Muehrcke’s lines and are a symptom of hypoalbuminemia indicating decreased protein synthesis, metabolic stress or dietary protein deficiency.

White nail arcing

Nail dents and pits often indicate a critical vitamin D deficiency and/or iodine deficiency when accompanied by hair loss. They can also be a sign of connective tissue disease or rheumatoid arthritis.

Nail dents

Brown-gray nails may indicate cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, vitamin B12 deficiency or even breast cancer. See pic 8 for brown nails

With Terry’s half and half nails the proximal portion of the nail is white and the distal portion is dark. The white relates to pic 5 anemia but overall these nails indicate renal or liver disease. See pic 9 for Terry’s nails

Spoon nails almost always indicate either too little or too much iron. Spoon nails

Longitudinal ridging is common to aging with lowered digestive capacity, low HCL in the stomach.

Nail ridging

Dry, brittle, cracking, splitting nails can often be linked to thyroid disease or repeated chemical/water exposure. (Cracking or splitting combined with a yellowish hue is more likely a fungal infection.) Brittle nails

Nails that split from top to bottom could be caused by external trauma, repeated wetting, Sjogren syndrome, tuberculosis or malnutrition.

Split nail

Ask your good Doctor of Oriental Medicine or trusted Naturopath if they have been trained in the healing arts involving nail disorder causes.

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