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[March 2018] Fingernails: The Record Keeper of Your Health
Date 03-13-2018 11:41 Hit205
Fingernails: The Record Keeper of Your Health

Many people erroneously think that fingernails are bones on account of them being translucent and hard. Fingernails are hardened skin or muscle; they are made up of a type of protein called keratin. A fingernail grows 0.15 mm a day and 3–4 mm a month. It grows from the white crescent area at its base called lunula. People often associate changes in fingernails with health issues. You cannot pinpoint the conditions you have solely based on how your nails look, but you know you have something when your fingernails change.

What fingernails tell you about your blood

Why do fingernails look pink? Blood flows underneath them, giving them that color. Therefore, the color of your fingernails hints at the status of your blood. If your fingernails look pink and glossy, it means that your blood is clean and contains sufficient nutrients.

Fingernails turning red
If your fingernails turn deep red, you are likely experiencing polycythemia, which, in turn, may cause cerebral thrombosis (brain blood vessels are clogged because of a hardened artery or blood clot) or myocardial infarction.

Fingernails turning white
It means you do not have sufficient blood flowing underneath your fingernails. Sometimes, when you are exposed to a low temperature for a prolonged time, your fingernails go white because the temperature causes the capillaries to contract, thereby lowering blood supply.

Fingernails turning purple
Your fingernails are purple when your blood is too thick and does not circulate smoothly, and your heart is too weak to pump blood to your extremities.

What fingernails tell you about your health

A healthy nail not only looks pleasing but also signals that the owner’s health is in good condition. When we are in poor health, our fingernails are affected in various ways. If you notice any of the following changes on your fingernails, you may as well consult a physician about your health condition.

1. Fingernails with vertical ridges
The vertical ridges on the fingernails are like the facial wrinkles that appear when the skin loses its elasticity. It can be a symptom of aging or the result of malnutrition caused by sudden weight loss, etc.

2. Fragile fingernails
When your blood does not circulate smoothly, it disrupts the nutrient flow in your system and ultimately weakens your fingernails. If your nails get chipped too often, it is likely that you are experiencing anemia. Fragile fingernails may also be caused by poor liver function, that is, when the liver does not properly detoxify and regenerate the blood.

3. Concaved and spoon-shaped fingernails
When fingernails grow too weak, they look like the concaved side of a spoon. The symptom may be the result of a serious case of anemia. This symptom also manifests in patients with endometriosis or excessive menstrual bleeding. If your fingernails are concave, have them checked by a healthcare professional immediately.