What Are Your Nails Telling You?

Did you know that nails can tell you if there are any health concerns going on with your overall wellness? Our bodies can tell us so much about our nails, but it is important to learn when and how to pay attention to those pieces of information. Our nails can tell us about our liver, lungs, heart, and other specific issues that may be going on. Here are some of the signs to look out for:

Brittle Nails:

Rough and splitting nails can be caused by continuous wetting and drying of hands. Make sure to dry your hands when you get them wet, and incorporating gloved into your washing routine can help, too! However, in some cases, brittle nails can be s sign of hypothyroidism or iron deficiency.

Soft/Weak Nails:

One of the most common causes of soft and weak nails is the continuous exposure to chemicals and/or moisture. So, staying away from these substances can be a big help. However, soft and weak nails may be a sign of deficiencies in B vitamins, calcium, iron, or fatty acids.

Horizontal Ridges:

Horizontal ridges, also called Beau’s lines, are commonly due to zinc deficiencies. Beau’s lines may also indicate uncontrolled diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, and illnesses associated with high fever, measles, and pneumonia.


Nail clubbing starts at the tips of the finger and enlarges the bail curve around the fingertips. However, this can take years to occur. This may be due to low oxygen in the body or a sign of lung disease. However, nail clubbing has also been observed in individuals with IBS, cardiovascular disease, liver disease, and AIDS.

Spoon Nails:

If your nails look like a spoon (scooped out), you have koilonychia. The major reason why this may develop is due to iron deficiency anemia or hemochromatosis, which occurs when your body absorbs too much iron.

Missing Moons:

The half-moon at the start of your nails is called the lunula. If your lunula is missing, this may indicate anemia, malnutrition, or depression.

Dark Lines:

Dark lines beneath the nails may be an indication of melanoma. However, it may also be a sign of trauma to the nails.

Yellow Nails:

One of the most common causes of yellow pigmentation on the nails is due to fungal infections. Yellow nails may also be a sign of respiratory issues and/or be related to lymphedema and swelling of the hands.

Nail health is just a frame of the entire picture. Remember, these indications are just signs to look for, take precautions and become aware of what your body may be showing you. If you have any concerns, it is always best to consult a physician or certified health professional before treatment.


About Kay Spears

Known for her successful treatment of mystery illnesses, Kay Spears and her team at Kay Spears combine an integrative, functional medicine approach with the appropriate lab testing.

Our unique approach to diagnosing and treating diseases and disorders recognizes that lasting health depends on resolution of the root causes of your disease. Click here to learn more »

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