Health at Your Fingertips

Nails

The human body is no doubt an amazing thing. Our outer bodies often hold the key to issues occurring internally, it is just a matter of knowing where to look. One place on our outer bodies that display signs of internal issues are on our finger nails. Not all spots or growths on our nails are indicators of a larger issue, however there are five specific irregularities that denote severe health issues. 

Spoon Nails

The first is koilonychia, or “spoon nails”. Spoon nails look thin, dingy, and flat. They may even appear severely concave. Spoon nails are indicative of exposure to dangerous chemicals, or extreme iron deficiency. 

Beau’s Lines

Second are nails known as Beau’s lines, which are horizontal indentations in the nail. These lines show up in chemotherapy patients, as well as diabetics, and those with high fever. Beau’s lines are also evidence of a zinc deficiency or peripheral vascular disease. Less seriously, these indents can also be a result of injury to the nail. 

Terry’s Nails

Another indicator of severe issues such as congestive heart failure, HIV, diabetes, and liver disease are white nail plates, also known as Terry’s nails. The nail appears white with a dark band at the tip. It is important to note, however, that white nail plates can also occur as a normal part of aging. 

Clubbed Nails

Nail clubbing, the upward curvature of the nail at the base of the nail bed, could very well be evidence of issues such as, an inflamed bowel, HIV, liver disease, and cardiovascular disease. Some individuals do have a natural upward curvature of the nail, and it should be noted when there is a significant change in the shape of the nail. 

Muehrchke’s Nails

Lastly, Muehrcke’s nails, which are a pair of white horizontal bands are another symptom chemotherapy patients might display. They are also indicators of possible kidney or liver diesease. 

Changes to hair, skin, and nails are usually solid indicators of major changes or issues in the body. Although we do not want to overreact to every small change to our body, as a lot of changes are normal with growth and aging, we do want to make it a point to remain in tune with our bodies; that way, we are able to notice true abnormalities when they do occur. It sometimes feels as though we are blindsided with certain health issues when we go to the doctor, that these problems really just appear out of the blue. It is my belief, however, that if we are in tune with the subtle changes in our bodies, we will be met with less surprise, and might even be able to catch health issues in their earliest stages. 

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Image used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of iris

This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.