Nutritional Deficiency Red Flags as Indicated by Your Nails!

What do your Nails Say about your Health

With this fast-paced life that we lead, it’s hard to focus on yourself. In a bid to chase our dreams we often forget to start neglecting our bodies. So to remind you to take care of yourself, your body starts issuing some warning signs.

Your nails are more than just a canvas for you to paint on. They indicate some vital health issues you might be suffering from. Let us talk about 7 health warning signs your nails have been giving you red flags about:

1. Spoon Shaped Nails

What do your Nails Say about your Health

Spoon shaped nails are also known as ‘Koilonychias’. What happens in this condition is that your nails turn concave in shape. Your nails start to crack and are able to hold drops of water in them.

What Causes it?

The leading cause of this condition is iron deficiency. Overuse of cleaning agents, detergents, and cancer therapy can also chemically damage your nail health, leading to this condition.

If your body is deficient in iron, then you might notice the following symptoms too:-

  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Pale skin
  • Shortness of breath
How to Fix it?

Iron deficiency is pretty easy to fix. You can do it by incorporating certain foods such as pork, beans, red beans, meat, raisins, apricots, and green leafy vegetables. So treat yourself to a quick green smoothie or go much on that juicy steak!

However, if you’re a vegan, you might need to ask your doctor to prescribe you some iron supplements along with vitamin B12 depending on your blood levels of iron.

2. Beau’s Lines

What do your Nails Say about your Health

Have you ever noticed horizontal depressions on your nails that just keep growing along with your nails? These depressions are nothing but signs of Zinc deficiency.

What Causes it?

This condition is primarily caused by Zinc deficiency. However other conditions can be an underlying cause of it too:-

  • Chemotherapy agents
  • Illnesses with high fever
  • Male plate infection
  • Psoriasis
  • Nail injury
How to Fix it?

Beau’s lines usually go away on their own if you eat food enriched with Zinc. Try to include red meat, oyster and shellfish, chickpeas, cashews, and seeds in your everyday diet and see the results for yourself!

If beau’s lines are caused due to any other underlying conditions, then the treatment of the underlying condition will help get rid of beau’s lines.

3. White Spots on Nail Bed

What do your Nails Say about your Health

We’ve all noticed small white spots on our nail beds, one time or the other in our lifetime. These spots could also appear as horizontal or longitudinal lines. This condition is typically known as ‘leukonychia’.

What Causes it?

White spots on nail beds are typically a manifestation of calcium, zinc or iron deficiencies. It can also be caused by the following conditions:-

  • Excessive nail biting
  • Nail trauma
  • Manicures
  • Side effect of chemotherapy and sulphonamide drugs
  • Hereditary
  • Illnesses such as anemia, diabetes and eczema
How to Fix it?

If the cause of white spots appearing on your nails is nutritional deficiency, then including certain foods such as eggs, legumes, seeds, meat, green leafy vegetables, dairy products, and whole grains can help you combat it. These foods are enriched with calcium, zinc, and Vitamin B which are essential for healthy nails!

However if the cause is any other underlying medical condition, then you need to get yourself treated for the same.

4. Soft Nails

What do Your Nails Say About Your Health

Have you recently started noticing that your nails have become soft and brittle? If yes, then you’re suffering from a condition named Hapalonychia.

What Causes it?

Hapalonychia is a nutritional deficiency disorder. Deficiency of vitamins such as A, B6, C and D can cause your nails to become soft and break off quite easily.

How to Fix it?

Thankfully, nutritional deficiencies are an easy fix. Foods such as fresh vegetables, fish liver oil, dairy products, fresh fruits, cereals, and saltwater fish are enriched with essential vitamins and minerals. Consuming these foods daily will help you combat your nutritional deficiencies!

Also if you have soft nails then avoid getting manicures and exposing your nails to harmful chemicals.

5. Clubbing

What do Your Nails Say About Your Health

If you’re noticing that your nail does not stick to your nail bed and the tip of your finger is bulging, then you’re suffering from a condition called ‘clubbing’. Clubbing softens your nail bed and causes your nails to look like an upside-down spoon.

What Causes it?

Iodine deficiency is the main culprit of clubbing. Other causes of it could be the following conditions:-

  • Lung diseases
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Liver diseases
  • Low oxygen levels
  • Inflammatory Bowel syndrome
How to Fix it?

Foods such as tuna, shrimp, prunes, seaweed, dairy products, lima beans, eggs and iodized salt are excellent natural sources of iodine. Including them in your everyday diet will definitely amp up your iodine levels.

Nail clubbing may also be an indicative of serious ailments such as heart, lung, and liver diseases. So if you start noticing these changes in your nails, then consult your doctor as soon as possible.

6. Discolored Nails

What do your Nails Say about your Health

If your nails have become pale or discolored, then chances are that you’re probably suffering from an iron deficiency.

What Causes it?

Anemia is the leading cause of discolored nails. Low levels of iron in blood, lead to discolored nails.

How to Fix it?

The best way to treat iron deficiency is via changing your diet. Consuming foods such as green leafy vegetables, fresh seafood, beans, nuts, dairy products, seeds, and fresh meat can help you build your body’s iron armor. In case your iron levels are too low, as indicated by your blood test, then your doctor might prescribe you some supplements.

7. Onychorrhexis

What do your Nails Say about your Health

If longitudinal ridges start appearing on your nail bed and your nails start splitting from the ends, then you’re suffering from a condition known as onychorrhexis.

What Causes it?

People with psychological disorders such as anorexia nervosa and people who pay less attention to their nutritional needs, often end up suffering from this condition. Deficiency of iron, calcium, and zinc are the most popular causes for this condition. Other causes could be:-

  • Eczema
  • Psoriasis
  • Nail trauma
  • Prolonged exposure to chemical agents such as detergents
  • Excessive use of nail polish remover.
How to Fix it?

Following the right diet enriched with vitamins and minerals is your best solution to this problem. Foods such as almonds, green leafy vegetables, dairy products, chia seeds, sesame seeds, and fish such as sardines and salmon are enriched with iron, calcium, and zinc. Including them in your daily diet can effectively help fulfill your daily vitamin and mineral requirements.

If your condition is still not resolved, then your doctor might prescribe you some retinoid drugs for oral intake.

It’s no secret that a healthy body, mind, and soul are essential for our daily functioning. Neglecting your body’s nutritional needs can definitely lead to bigger health issues. So guys don’t ignore the red flags your body has been issuing and make changes in your diet and lifestyle to lead an even better and healthier life!

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