The state of your nails gives clues to your overall health. Sometimes, the problem may be minor such as weak or brittle nails which may be caused by a vitamin deficiency. Taking a vitamin supplement would sort this out and may help with related problems like hair loss prevention. Potentially serious problems such as with the heart, liver and lungs can be seen in your nails. For instance, nails that are very pale may be an indicator of conditions like malnutrition, liver disease, anaemia and congestive heart failure. Nails that are mostly white with a dark rim may be caused by liver problems such as hepatitis. Liver problems may also be indicated by jaundiced nails.
Other Health Problems Your Nails Can Show
Another condition that nails can point to is yellow nails that may be caused by a fungal infection. A serious case may cause the nail bed to retract and the nails to thicken and crumble. Yellow nails can also indicate that one has psoriasis, severe thyroid disease, lung disease and diabetes. Something else to watch out for is bluish nails. This colour may be caused by heart problems or a lung problem like emphysema that interferes with the circulation of oxygen in the body.
Rippled or pitted nails should also be taken seriously. They may be early signs of inflammatory arthritis or psoriasis. These conditions may also cause discolouration that turns the nails reddish-brown. A puffy nail fold is also to be taken seriously. It inflames the nail bed and be caused by lupus or another kind of connective tissue disorder. Dark lines under the nail should not be ignored either. They may be caused by melanoma which is a potentially fatal type of skin cancer.
Better Safe Than Sorry
Nail health is often taken for granted. It shouldn’t be. While other factors like poor nutrition and ageing can affect the nails, they can also be affected as a side-effect of medical treatment or medication. Generally speaking, persistent, serious or recurring problems with the nails should be looked into. It is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to health conditions.