If you’re someone who has had to go into the hospital for a surgical procedure, you probably remember them checking your nails (and if you are a woman, having them remove your nail polish). This is because our nails tell us a lot about the condition of our health.
Nails are comprised mostly of a protein known as keratin. Not only is it found at the end of our fingers and toes, but also in our hair and skin as well. So, when our body is malnourished or fighting off an infection or even more serious disease, oftentimes our nails will be a clear indicator that something is not quite right.
So, what are some things that our nails say about our health? Here are five warning signs that nails give as it relates to our physical well-being:
Our nails let us know if we have heart issues
High cholesterol and high blood pressure are definitely two warning signs that you could be dealing with a cardiovascular problem, but another is that your nails have a bit of an abnormal appearance. If you begin to notice thin red or reddish brown lines under your nails, you may be experiencing a bit of a heart valve infection because what you are seeing are not red-like splinters, but actual lines of blood.
Our nails let us know if we have a thyroid problem
When a doctor suspects that one of his patients may be suffering from hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism, although things like drastic weight loss or weight gain are classic symptoms, another is a change in how the nail bed looks. When there is a presence of something known as onycholysis (which occurs with hyperthyroidism), sometimes the fingernail will start to detach itself from the nail bed. An indication of hypothyroidism is something known as “spoon nails” in which the nail looks concave and “scooped away” from the finger.
Our nails let us know if we are stressed out
While some people may think that they simply have a habit of biting their nails, what they may not realize is that there is usually an underlying cause for why they do it. For many individuals, it’s a way to deal with stress and anxiety. In extreme causes, it’s been connected to certain types of mental disorders.
Our nails let us know if we may have diabetes
If you are someone who paints your nails on a consistent basis, as you’re removing the polish to put on a different color, you may notice that your nails have a bit of a yellowish tint to them. That’s normal. However, if you leave your nails natural and the color remains after several days, that might be a sign that you have diabetes. That’s because yellow nails are sometimes the indication that the glucose within your body has mixed in with the protein that is in your nails.
Our nails let us know if we have potential pulmonary problems
When it comes to critical health issues, pulmonary ones are high on the list (for more information on critical health challenges, visit http://criticalillness.org.uk). Physical challenges that fall under the “pulmonary category” include asthma, pneumonia and emphysema. If your nails appear blue in color, this could be a sign that you are not getting enough oxygen and that you should definitely contact your physician as soon as possible.
All this from looking at your nails? Yes, as you can definitely see, nails may be nice to look at, but they can also be a life-saver too.