You are probably familiar with the saying “Our eyes are the window to our soul”, but were you aware that our nails are essentially doors to our bodies? Lisa Petty, a Canadian nutritionist and aging expert, as well as the author of the 2005 book, Living Beauty (Fitzhenry and Whiteside) wrote, “Nails endure the most when we don’t treat our body well.
At the point when supplements go into our bodies, the skin, hair, and nails get them last. So a nail issue can flag an issue in our bodies.”
Your nails are much more than a cosmetic issue. Yellow, brittle, or ridged fingernails and toenails often indicate health problems and/ or nutritional deficiencies, such as thyroid disease or anemia. Made of keratin protein, fingernails and toenails make certain our nail beds, or the exceptionally touchy piece of skin at the end of our fingers and toes, are protected.
The nail is shaped by nail grids, or collections of veins, nerves, and lymph vessels.
While nails vary in shape due to genetics, everyone’s nails share some of the same qualities. This includes the fact that they are translucent (the pink coloring is the result of the tiny veins beneath the nail plate), feel smooth, and are not particularly fragile.
Unfortunately, when our nails are unable to get enough supplements, they can become stained, hard, or just plain ugly.
Fortunately, it is pretty easy to clear up most nail problems by making changes in your diet, taking supplements and vitamins, and supporting them.
7 Common Nail Conditions
Now, let’s look at 7 of the most common nail conditions, as well as how to treat them.
1. Soft nails that curl upward
Cause: Too little iron
Solution: if an iron test verifies that your iron levels are low, your doctor will usually suggest that you take 325 mg of iron sulfate three times a day.
2. White spots
Cause: An injury to the nail or insufficient zinc levels in the body.
Solution: According to Ms. Petty, you need 50 mg of zinc each day. Good sources of zinc include peas, pumpkin seeds, red meat, and sesame seeds.
3. Split or brittle nails
Cause: Too little biotin, a B vitamin, in the body, or lack of moisture
Solution: Approximately 1/3 of people with brittle nails benefit from taking Biotin Ultra 1mg, a nutritional supplement, two or three times a day. However, it does take a minimum of 6 months to really start working. Biotin should NOT be taken by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, unless instructed to do so by their physician. Gelatin, colloid minerals, and calcium supplements may also help with this condition, though they aren’t as reliable as Biotin.
4. Yellow nails
Cause: Too little vitamin E or not allowing the nails enough time to breathe free of nail polish.
Solutions: 400 IU of vitamin E twice a day will usually clear up this condition. You can also add plenty of wheat germ oil, hazelnuts, peanuts, sweet potatoes, and almonds to your diet, as they are all good sources of vitamin E.
5. Horizontal dents or ridges
Causes: Dents are usually a sign that a medical condition, such as psoriasis, nutritional deficiencies, a high fever, or trauma from undergoing surgery, has impacted your nail’s ability to grow. (Nutritional deficits may also cause your fingernails to become brittle, discolored, or misshapen). Ridges are often the result of a trauma, such as frequently hitting the front edge of your nail on something hard or picking at your cuticles.
Solutions: According to Petty, getting enough protein (the recommended ADA is 55 grams), as well as taking a supplement of vitamin A (up to 10,000 IU a day) to help your nails metabolize the protein in effective. You can also take 3 mg of dietary silicon (choline-stabilized orthosilicic acid) a day to help strengthen your nails.
6. Vertical ridges
Causes: While horizontal ridges often indicate a vitamin or mineral deficiency, as well as general malnutrition, vertical ridges tend to be benign.
Solutions: To smooth out ridges, use a few drops of almond oil and a chamois buffer to polish your nails. Do not do buff your nails more than 3 or 4 times a week because buffing removes a thin layer of your nail. Also stay away from traditional ridge fillers which are known for using synthetic chemicals, such as polyester resin, to fill in a groove.
Causes: A fungus is the result of the nail framework and fingernail skin being constantly exposed to dampness and warmth. This causes a microorganism or yeast to develop. This is usually identified by nail thickness, part of nail breaking away from the nail bed, and yellowish, greenish, messy looking nails.
Solutions: For 15 minutes a day, soak your nails in antibacterial immaculate tea tree oil until the fungus is completely gone. According to Norma Pasekoff Weinberg, author of 1998’s Natural Hand Care (Storey Publishing), you can also take a 200 mg case of myrrh, an antifungal herb, three times per day.
When there is Cause for Concern
The following conditions companied with other indications of illness, such as extreme fatigue or shortness of break could be caused by some of these more serious conditions. You should see a doctor as soon as possible.
- Fragile nails: hypo- or hyperthyroidism
- Blue nail beds: issues with blood flow
- Upward-bending nails: thyroid infection
- White nail beds: liver infection
- Yellow nails: Chronic bronchitis
- Red nail beds: coronary illness