Fingernails point way to diagnosis
Everyone knows that dirty fingernails hold bacteria and can cause illness but what do our fingernails themselves tell us about our overall state of health?
From heart disease to lung cancer our nails can tell a skilled observer what underlying illnesses we may be suffering from or coming down with. And this is not just some alternative medicine tool mainstream doctors have been using it for years to help diagnosis which is why the doctor often asks to see our hands and fingernails when maybe we went in with a back pain.
The appearance of your nails can be an indication of what is happening within your body. “Clubbing”, a painless buildup of tissue around the ends of the fingers, is a classic finding in chronic lung disease. Pale nail beds are seen in a person with significant anemia (low red blood cell count) because there is not enough blood circulating to that part of the body. Dark lines beneath the nail may represent melanoma, a skin cancer. White nails are often seen in chronic liver disease. Red nail beds can be a sign of heart disease. A thickened and yellow appearance is easily recognizable as a fungal infection. Beau’s Line is a horizontal groove in your nails, which may be a sign of diabetes, circulatory ailments, malnutrition or severe dieting, or high fevers. A single groove may represent a single traumatic event or injury to the nail. (Refer to WebMD.com for more details.)