Our fingernails can offer up many clues about our health and lifestyle. That’s because, just like our skin and hair, our fingernails are always growing. And when our bodies are under stress, there may be signs of it in our nails. There are a lot of things that can cause changes in the nail. Fingernails can develop ridges, spots, thickness, splitting and pitting. While some of these changes are nothing to be concerned about, other abnormalities can suggest underlying health problems.
Here is what your fingernails might be telling your about your health :
- White Bands – This condition is characterised by a pair of horizontal white lines running parallel to the nail base. It may occur because of chemotherapy associated with liver & kidney disease.
- Nail Clubbing – Nails normally curve at a slight upward angle from in the nail bed. Nails that curve downward may indicate lung disease, cardiovascular disease, liver disease, inflammatory bowel disease & HIV infection.
- Horizontal Indentations – These lines may be a sign of injury to the nail and can occur as a result of a high fever and in people being treated with chemotherapy. They may also be associated with peripheral vascular disease, diabetes & zinc deficiency.
- Spoon Nails – Spoon nails may be abnormally thin and flat, or even concave enough to hold a drop of water. This condition is associated with severe iron deficiency anaemia & repeated exposure to chemicals or trauma.
- White Nail Plates – These are characterised by white nails with a dark band at the tip, seen on all fingers and are common in people with liver disease. Though they may also occur as part of normal aging, they are also associated with congestive heart failure, diabetes and HIV infection.
So what are your fingernails telling you about your health?