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Listen to What Your Nails Tell You

Updated on June 16, 2018
Schatzie Speaks profile image

Schatzie has two bachelor's degrees, one in science and the other in English. She is working on her master's degree.

Source

Think Again

Think twice the next time you are tempted to scoff at an alarmed individual who breaks a nail. The event may signal much more than the need for another manicure. Unhealthy and readily breakable nails indicate a variety of health compromising conditions including chronic bronchitis, thyroid disorders, and vitamin and mineral imbalances (Editors of Rodale Health Books Healing With Vitamins).

Read on for a list of nail abnormalities and the different diseases and/or disorders associated with them.

____________STRUCTURAL NAIL ABNORMALITIES____________

Source

BRITTLE NAILS

  • Chronic Hepatitis (2)
  • Fungal Infection (17)
  • Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism (2, 4, 8)
  • Kidney Disorders (18)
  • Low Stomach Acid (13)
  • Malnutrition (2)
  • Omega 3 Oil Deficiency (14, 18)
  • Poor Circulation (18)
  • Vitamin A Toxicity (12)


BUMPY/BEADING NAILS {picture}

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis (1)

Source

CLUBBING/CURLED NAILS AROUND FINGER

  • Abnormal Heart Anatomy (4, 8, 24)
  • Cancer (3, 4, 8, 24)
  • Cardiovascular Disease (3, 5)
  • Chronic Bronchitis (24)
  • Fistulas (24)
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (5, 24)
  • Liver Disease (5, 24)
  • Lung Disease: Asbestosis, Cystic Fibrosis, Emphysema, Tuberculosis (3, 4, 5, 8, 22, 24)

FLAT NAILS {picture}

  • Raynaud's Disease (1)

HORIZONTAL DEPRESSIONS (BEAU'S LINES) {picture}

  • Autoimmune Disease: Pemphigus (24)
  • Cardiac Problems (15)
  • Circulatory Disease: Raynaud's Disease (5, 24)
  • Malnutrition (4, 5, 8)
  • Severe Illness: Measles, Mumps, Pneumonia, Scarlet fever (2, 4, 5, 8)
  • Uncontrolled Diabetes (5)


HORIZONTAL RIDGES {picture}

  • Arsenic Poisoning (4, 8)


NAIL PITTING/DEPRESSIONS {picture}

  • Autoimmune Disease: Alopecia Areata, Reiter's Syndrome (5, 24)
  • Chronic Dermatitis: Ichen Planus, Incontinentia Pigmenti, Psoriasis (4, 5, 8, 21, 24)

SEPARATION NAIL FROM NAIL BED (ONYCHOLYSIS)

  • Acidosis (24)
  • Amyloidosis (24)
  • Connective Tissue Disorders (24)
  • Hyperthyroidism (2, 4, 8, 24)
  • Hypothyroidism (2,4,8)
  • Inflammatory disease: Lichen Planus, Psoriasis (5, 8, 20, 24)
  • Infection (5, 24)
  • Thyroid Disease (5)


SPOON SHAPED/CONCAVE NAILS (KOILONYCHIA) {picture}

  • Hemochromatoisis (19)
  • Iron Deficiency Anemia (1, 3, 4, 5)
  • Nail Patella Syndrome (24)
  • Raynaud’s Disease (24)
  • System Lupus Erythematosus (24)


VERTICAL RIDGES {picture}

  • Iron deficiency (1, 18)
  • Poor digestion and absorption of food (10, 18)
  • Poor protein metabolism (18)


____________NAIL COLORATION ABNORMALITIES____________


BLACK/BLACKISH BLUE NAILS {picture}

  • Malignant Melanoma (9)


BLUE NAILS (AZURE LUNULA) {picture}

  • Silver Intake (4, 8)
  • Wilson’s Disease (24)


GREEN NAILS {picture}

  • Bacterial Infection (1, 16)
  • Fungal Infection (1)
  • Lactobacilli Deficiency (1)


HALF WHITE/HALF PINK NAILS (LINDSAY'S NAILS) {picture}

  • Chronic Kidney Disease (1)

Source

RED/REDDISH BROWN STREAKS IN NAIL BED (SPLINTER HEMORRHAGES)

  • Antiphospholipid Syndrome (24)
  • Heart Valve Infection (4)
  • Malignancies (24)
  • Microemboli (7)
  • Peptic Ulcer Disease (24)
  • Psoriasis (3)
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis (24)
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (24)
  • Vessel Damage (7)

WHITE NAILS WITH BROWN BAND AT TIPS (TERRY'S NAILS) {picture}

  • Cogenitive Heart Failure (5)
  • Diabetes (5)
  • Hyperthyroidism (24)
  • Liver Disease (3, 5)
  • Malnutrition (5)

Source


WHITE SPOTS (LEUKONYCHIA)

  • Low Thyroid Function (3)
  • Pyroluria (23)
  • Zinc Deficiency (1, 3)


WIDE SQUARE NAILS

  • Hormonal Disorders (1, 16)
  • Thyroid Disease (3)


YELLOW NAILS {picture}

  • AIDS (25)
  • Chronic Bronchitis (5)
  • Immunodeficiency (24)
  • Jaundice (25)
  • Lymphedema (5)
  • Nephrotic Syndrome (24)
  • Raynaud’s Disease (24)
  • Respiratory Illness (3, 5)
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis (24)
  • Sinusitis (24)
  • Thyroid Gland Inflammation (24)

SOURCES

1. Phyllis A. Balch, CNC,

Prescription for Nutritional Healing, 4th Edition: A Practical A-to-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies Using Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs & Food

Supplements

2. Phyllis A. Balch, CNC,

Prescription for Herbal Healing: An Easy-to-Use A-Z Reference to Hundreds of Common Disorders and Their Herbal Remedies

3. Joseph E. Mario,

Anti-Aging Manual: The Encyclopedia of Natural

Health

4. Medline Plus accessed at

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003247.htm

5. Mayo Clinic accessed at

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/nails/WO00055

6. American Osteopathic College of Dermatology accessed at

http://www.aocd.org/skin/dermatologic_diseases/onycholysis.html

7. Medline Plus accessed at

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003283.htm

8. University of Maryland Medical System accessed at

http://www.umm.edu/ency/article/003247.htm

9. Medline Plus accessed at

http://m.medlineplus.gov/ency/imagepages/2439.htm

10. Andreas Moritz,

The Liver and Gallbladder Miracle Cleanse: An All-Natural, At-Home Flush to Purify and Rejuvenate Your Body

11. Phyllis A. Balch, CNC,

Prescription for Dietary Wellness: Using Foods to Heal

12. Abram Hoffer, PhD, MD, FRCP(C) and Dr. Jonathan Prousjy, DPHE, DSC, ND, FRSH,

Naturopathic Nutrition: A Guide to Nutrient-rich Food & Nutritional Supplements for Optimum Health

13. Abram Hoffer, PhD, MD, FRCP(C) and Dr. Jonathan Prousjy, DPHE, DSC, ND, FRSH,

Naturopathic Nutrition: A Guide to Nutrient-rich Food & Nutritional Supplements for Optimum Health

14. Sidney MacDonald Baker, Karen Baar,

The Circadian Prescription: Get in Step with Your Body's Natural Rhythms to Maximize Energy, Vitality, Longevity

15. Sydney Walker III, M.D.,

A Dose of Sanity: Mind, Medicine, and Misdiagnosis

16. Larry Trivieri, Jr.

Alternative Medicine the Definitive Guide, Second Edition

17. Earl Mindell, R.Ph., Ph.D.,

Earl Mindell's Secret Remedies

18. Larry Trivieri, Jr.,

Alternative Medicine the Definitive Guide, Second Edition

19. Marshall Editions,

1000 Cures for 200 Ailments: Integrated Alternative and Conventional Treatments for the Most Common Illnesses

20. Joan Liebmann-Smith, Ph. D., and Jacqueline Nardi Egan,

Body Signs: From Warning Signs to False Alarms...How to Be Your Own Diagnostic Detective

21. Dermatlas.org accessed at

http://dermatlas.med.jhmi.edu/derm/result.cfm?Diagnosis=-946037564

22. Joan Liebmann-Smith, Ph. D., and Jacqueline Nardi Egan,

Body Signs: From Warning Signs to False Alarms...How to Be Your Own Diagnostic Detective

23. Jack Challem,

Feed Your Genes Right: Eat to Turn Off Disease-Causing Genes and Slow Down Aging

24. American Family Physician accessed at

http://www.aafp.org/afp/2004/0315/p1417.html

25. Joan Liebmann-Smith, Ph. D., and Jacqueline Nardi Egan,

Body Signs: From Warning Signs to False Alarms...How to Be Your Own Diagnostic Detective

Comments

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    • Rebeccasutton profile image

      Rebecca Sutton 

      3 years ago from Rock Hill, SC

      Oh, my God! This was an amazing article! I suffer from various problems and have vertical ridges and blackish reddish stripes in one of my nails that keeps splitting down the middle. I am so glad I finally found so info on this and can ask my doctor without sounding crazy. You have done a great service, thanks!

    • profile image

      avinash Malhotra 

      3 years ago

      Thanks a lot for information with pictures of nails. Would u please tell me my left thumb is brown,black with vertical line in the centre of my thumb.Is there any remedy? I am taking Zocon 150 from Dec. 2013. Please reply.

    • profile image

      Skip 

      4 years ago

      How enlightening, in a format that's effortlessly understandable, and universally relevant, since the appearance of nails can apparently be a window into physical health. Thanks and kudos to the creator!

    • profile image

      Jorge 

      4 years ago

      it saddens me that it resulted me either having Rheumatoid Arthritis and/or Psoriasis. *sighs* It's time to go see the doctor soon.

      http://repetidorwifi.blogspot.com.es/p/antena-wifi...

    • carrie Lee Night profile image

      Carrie Lee Night 

      4 years ago from Northeast United States

      Neat hub :) !!! I was looking at the pictures and my nails after each one. I am in the medical field and knew about a few of these. I did find the one that I have. It is very common to have a few little white spots in the nail from time to time and I get those, but they go away. Zinc or vitamin defiency is the most probable cause like in your hub. However, I did not know low thyroid function could be the culprit either. Thank you so much on taking the time to write such an interesting and engaging hub. Have a wonderful week ! :)

    • krazzyK profile image

      krazzyK 

      4 years ago from silicon city

      A very informative hub... Thanks for posting. Keep up the work..

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      You've presented a comprehensive list of possible ailments that might be revealed by our fingernails. This makes complete sense. Our appendages can tell so much about our health. We studied about diseases and fungus that nails could develop in Cosmetology school but not to this extent.

    • TOPTENWATCHES profile image

      JC Heppler 

      4 years ago from USA

      Some of those pictures creeped me out. I don't have any problems with my nails, I just thought it would be a good read.

    • profile image

      Sadness 

      4 years ago

      It is quite disturbing looking at some of these photos and the possible diagnosis. I have dot dents and what appears to look like dot dents leading to horizontal ridges. I am a single mother, it saddens me that it resulted me either having Rheumatoid Arthritis and/or Psoriasis. *sighs* It's time to go see the doctor soon.

    • profile image

      William 

      4 years ago

      It would be nice if a picture would be given for each specific problem

    • raguett profile image

      raguett 

      4 years ago

      Wow i had no idea nails. revealed so much. i recently stopped bitting ny nails after 30 years so far they are healthy but now i have the information if they show signs of anything unusual . thank you so much for this info

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      4 years ago from USA

      Fascinating information here. When my grandmother went to her doctor, he told her he did not want her wearing colored nail polish on her toes or fingers because she has multiple health problems and when she comes in for a visit, it precludes him from noticing important health signs. With all the health conditions you present here, I imagine so!

    • Hendrika profile image

      Hendrika 

      4 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

      I know from experience that the ridges are malnutrition as I have experienced in in my life when I was not eating well. The poor protein absorption is one I did not know about, thanks for all the handy info.

    • iguidenetwork profile image

      iguidenetwork 

      4 years ago from Austin, TX

      This is really an informative article. We may be able to "diagnose" ourselves by just looking at our nails. Thanks for sharing. Up, useful, sharing

    • BNadyn profile image

      Bernadyn 

      5 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida

      Very useful hub, I've been told that nails could signal health deficiencies before and this is an informative way to show that. I'll be pinning and sharing this, voted up!

    • idigwebsites profile image

      idigwebsites 

      5 years ago from United States

      Wow, this is really amazing... I look at my own nails. The vertical ridges (although not as obvious as pictured here) might suggest of my low blood pressure.

      I was a bit shocked to see some of the nails... like the clubbing/curled nails. They're like talons.

      Thanks for posting. Voted up, useful... passing this on, so that many more people will be informed about this. :)

    • Schatzie Speaks profile imageAUTHOR

      Schatzie Speaks 

      5 years ago from US

      Hi Ginjill,

      Thanks for reading and commenting. I'm glad you found the hub helpful but I'm sorry to hear about the final diagnosis. I hope you are getting any treatment you need and I wish you the best.

      Schatzie

    • ginjill ashberry profile image

      Ashley TKL 

      5 years ago

      Hi Schatzie Speaks,

      This is a very helpful hub. Thank you. You hit 'bingo' about my nails, heart failure:)

    • Schatzie Speaks profile imageAUTHOR

      Schatzie Speaks 

      6 years ago from US

      Thanks for stopping by, daviddwarren22! Just remember that daily nail check and you should be good to go! ;)

    • Schatzie Speaks profile imageAUTHOR

      Schatzie Speaks 

      6 years ago from US

      Thank you so much, Lenore. It was quite a project, but the results are more than worth it.

    • Schatzie Speaks profile imageAUTHOR

      Schatzie Speaks 

      6 years ago from US

      Thank you, jberens43! Yes, you should! I'm sure she would appreciate it! :D

    • Schatzie Speaks profile imageAUTHOR

      Schatzie Speaks 

      6 years ago from US

      Thats great to hear, Worldofwow1992! I'm glad you were able to identify the cause and that you are seeing improvements! :)

    • Schatzie Speaks profile imageAUTHOR

      Schatzie Speaks 

      6 years ago from US

      haha, yes! the day the body develops a voice is the day i will invest in a nice set of earplugs. especially as i just drank a sugar-and-fat-filled coffee and am contemplating eating a maple glazed donut!

    • Worldofwow1992 profile image

      Worldofwow1992 

      6 years ago from Michigan

      This hub is so useful! I've had both ridges and white spots on my nails. These show up in times where I am not following all my health rules up to par and I can tell. I began taking blackstrap molasses to help my iron levels and my nails have improved drastically. Thanks for this Schatzie!

    • profile image

      naturalsolutions 

      6 years ago

      If only our nails can speak even just few words. I think those nails will complain to the person who have them.LOL

      It is really a great info, i thought nails are not so important but i was wrong.

    • Glassy profile image

      Glassy 

      7 years ago from Aus

      Great info. I keep looking at my nails now. I have a white spec on one nail only and tiny indents on both thumbs and very small ridges which are only so slight.

    • jberens43 profile image

      jberens43 

      7 years ago from Cedar Rapids, Iowa

      wow this is interesting..Need to look into this for my lady:)

    • Lenore Robinson profile image

      Lenore Robinson 

      7 years ago from Delaware

      Excellent information, great presentation. Thanks for resourcing all this information into one place! Well done.

    • daviddwarren22 profile image

      daviddwarren22 

      7 years ago

      Excellent hub!It's new to my ears that nails'appearances have corresponding disorders or diseases. I must be careful.Thanks for sharing.

    • Schatzie Speaks profile imageAUTHOR

      Schatzie Speaks 

      7 years ago from US

      I'm glad you liked it, ICollier!

    • Schatzie Speaks profile imageAUTHOR

      Schatzie Speaks 

      7 years ago from US

      Thank you, SUSIE405. Those are truly great compliments, I really appreciate them. Thank you for reading and commenting.

    • Schatzie Speaks profile imageAUTHOR

      Schatzie Speaks 

      7 years ago from US

      Thank you so much, Fucsia!

      I'm glad the pictures help, I hoped they would! Thank you also for your vote and for stopping by. :)

    • ICollier profile image

      ICollier 

      7 years ago

      Great article...

    • SUSIE405 profile image

      SUSIE405 

      7 years ago from Delray Beach, Florida

      Very well researched and presented. Well written.

    • fucsia profile image

      fucsia 

      7 years ago

      Very useful Hub. Nails can tell us more than we think! The pictures are useful to understand better.

      Voted Up/Useful

      Thanks for sharing!

    • Schatzie Speaks profile imageAUTHOR

      Schatzie Speaks 

      7 years ago from US

      Thank you RTalloni. I do hope it helps people!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 

      7 years ago from the short journey

      Nicely done and important. Thanks for posting this information.

    • Schatzie Speaks profile imageAUTHOR

      Schatzie Speaks 

      7 years ago from US

      Thank you, Happyboomernurse.

      Organization was tricky with this one and took me awhile to figure out!

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 

      7 years ago from South Carolina

      Great article about an important health topic. Love the way you illustrated this article and kept the information clear and concise.

    • Schatzie Speaks profile imageAUTHOR

      Schatzie Speaks 

      7 years ago from US

      Thank you for your comment, Midnightbliss. I too found the information very useful. It was all much too interesting not to write a hub about!

    • midnightbliss profile image

      Haydee Anderson 

      7 years ago from Hermosa Beach

      bookmarked. I never thought nails could reveal so much information on our health.

    • Schatzie Speaks profile imageAUTHOR

      Schatzie Speaks 

      7 years ago from US

      I'm glad you liked it, Mrkterhune, and thanks for your comment. :)

    • mrkterhune profile image

      mrkterhune 

      7 years ago

      WOw. this is great, Thanks for information.

    • Schatzie Speaks profile imageAUTHOR

      Schatzie Speaks 

      7 years ago from US

      Thank you so much for your comment, Tsmog. Wow, and I'm sure glad you got that analysis done!

    • tsmog profile image

      Tim Mitchell 

      7 years ago from Escondido, CA

      wow, so much information. But, one caught my eye. BLUE NAILS (AZURE LUNULA) {picture} Silver Intake (4, 8). I have a big toe nail with that and been there for awhile. Recently I had a hair analysis completed by Dr. Janet Hull. It reveals that I was near toxic levels of silver. Now, I feel there is more proof to the pudding. Thanks!!! I am going to come back and bookmark this hub

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