If you’re like most people, you want your nails to look decent most of the time. You may not get them done regularly or be overzealous about caring for them, but you likely don’t want them to look gross or unkempt.
But did you know that the overall appearance of your nails can give you a great deal of insight into your overall health and wellness? Certain attributes of your nails can indicate disease, nutrient deficiency, or even a developing illness. While some things are related to aging or injury to the finger or nail, some nail abnormalities may be cause for concern. While a doctor likely won’t diagnose something based solely on the appearance of your nails, it can be a good starting point for getting to the root cause of an issue.
In addition to seeking a proper diagnosis if you suspect a health problem, also be sure to stay on top of your chiropractic adjustments. Getting adjusted regularly can improve the overall health and function of your body and can stop illnesses and health conditions in their tracks. Visit Dr. Lisetor at Greater Life Chiropractic in Charlotte to learn more about how chiropractic can improve your health, and check out this list of your nails’ top indicators that something may be amiss.
This is when the nail lifts up from the nail bed, and it often includes a slight change in color of the nail. It can be caused by medication or a consumer product that touches your nails, but it can also be caused by psoriasis, trauma to the nail, infection, or a thyroid condition.
A horizontal indentation across your nail is most commonly caused by injury to the nail. It can also be the result of an illness that caused a high fever, such as pneumonia, measles, mumps, or scarlet fever. Beau’s lines may also be related to peripheral vascular disease, diabetes, or a zinc deficiency.
Indentations or depressions in the nails are called pitting, and they can be caused by trauma to the nail, psoriasis, and some systemic conditions, such as an autoimmune disease.
When your nails seem to scoop upward like a spoon, it is known as koilonychia. This condition may be caused by anemia, heart disease, lupus, hypothyroidism, or Raynaud’s disease.
This condition is characterized by a darker band at the tip of each nail. The most common reason for Terry’s nails is aging, in which case it is normal and completely harmless. However, this may also occur because of congestive heart failure, liver disease, kidney failure, or diabetes.
Yellow Nail Syndrome
When the nails get thicker, turn yellow, don’t grow as quickly as normal, and begin to separate from the nail bed, it’s easy to determine that yellow nail syndrome is the diagnosis. But figuring out the true culprit of this condition is more difficult. Yellow nail syndrome can be caused by rheumatoid arthritis, respiratory illness, lymphedema, or pleural effusions (a buildup of fluid between the chest cavity and lungs).
Also called leukonychia, white spots on the nails are typically harmless. They are usually caused by a minor injury to the nail, but they can also be an indication of nutritional deficiencies.
Be sure to get in touch with Dr. Grant Lisetor at Greater Life Chiropractic to learn about how you can maximize your wellness through neurologically-based chiropractic care in Charlotte.
Singal, A., Arora, R. “Nail as a Window of Systemic Diseases.” Indian Dermatology Online Journal, 2015 Mar-Apr; 6(2): 67-74. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4375768/.