30 January, 2011

You ‘Nail’ed it

Beautiful nails are everyone’s envy. Just like hair and skin they are the barometer to your health. Let us find out the truth and secrets that your nails reveal about your health.

Dr Meha Mhatre, dermatologist and owner, Tressez Trichology and Advanced skin care says:

“Nails are made up of keratin, a hard, strong protein which is found in hair and skin as well. For healthy growth, your nails need proper nutrition. B-vitamins, calcium, folic acid and vitamin C are all very important.”

Take a good look at your nails. They look trimmed, perfectly filed and neat. But to a trained eye, your nails can reveal subtle variations in the texture or colour - a touch of white here, a rosy tinge there, perhaps some rippling or bumps in the surface. These signs provide enough cue to your health status. Nutritional deficiencies, your stress levels, undiagnosed diseases, all can show up on your nails, sending out warning signs.

True Blue: If your nails look bluish, it is a possibility that your lungs are not getting enough oxygen. This might mean that your lungs are not functioning properly and may have fluid in the lungs. Make sure that you are in normal room temperature to think on those lines. At times severe cold and high altitude can result in bluish tinge to the nails.

Pale,ffect: If your nails appear pale or White then it is quite likely that you have iron deficiency or Anemia. It reflects that you have low red blood cells count. The nail bed might become thin and concave. Half white and half pink nails might indicate kidney disease. Curled up nails also suggest lack of iron. Get a blood test done.

Snow White: Too white nails can reflect liver diseases like Hepatitis B, Cirrhosis and others. A weak liver will make your nail bed appear powdery white and flaky. Try to get a diagnosis done at the earliest.

Red alert: Red nail bed might indicate heart disease. Get your heart checked for any uneven symptoms.

Yellow fellow: At times yellow, thickened and slow growing nails reflect lung diseases like asthma, emphysema etc. If you have difficulty in breathing or get severely affected in dusty environments and also see that your nails look brittle and yellowish, get a check up done for any kind of lung ailments. Yellowish nails, with a slight blush at the base many indicate Diabetes.

Brown bit: If your nails are brown and if you are a vegetarian then it might indicate that you have vitamin B12 deficiency.

Nail it right: Usually signs on nails are accompanied by other symptoms, so it becomes easy for an individual and a doctor to ascertain the cause. Many a times nails suffer from various kinds of fungal infections which cause them to crack, peel and change colour and texture. So, check well before you conclude any health issues.

Nail care: Take care of your diet so that your nails look healthy and beautiful. Samreedhi Goel, Nutritionist & Personal Trainer, Proprietor of Size Wise the exercise studio, pune states, “Many lose vital minerals while going for weight loss. The deficiencies that occur during known or unknown deprivation of the body immidiately reflects on the nails. Nails become brittle, patchy and dull. Deficency of vitamin C, D3, B12 and low intake of calcium are one of the main causes of ubhealthy nails. Daily intake of citrus fruits, banana, pineapple etc takes care of vitamin C deficiency. Supplements of D3 and calcium help in good absorbption of the mineral by the body which results in healthy nails and bones. Biotin in dairy products is also helpful in dealing with these deficiencies."
Let your nails reflect a beautiful and healthy you.

Parimita Chakravorty

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