Do you know that your nails reflect your health condition?

As I scroll through my old photos from my pilgrimage in Mount Kailash, Tibet. An overwhelming memory took over me. Just thinking about the enormous hard work to prepare my physique alongside my mind, six months before the difficult trek in Himalayas, demanded a total surrender and commitment.

During my training, our trek coach Machiko Matsuda, a Japanese mountaineer, asked every day about my nails. She said, on the top part of my nails near the ridge of skin, a small half-moon like space in white color should be present. It is an indication of my systems oxygen level. Every morning our nails were checked during our life changing walk. Our nails served as our tool to see the condition of our body and kept us safe, as we navigate the magnificent Himalayan region.

Here’s how to check your body’s state of being through your nails, and how to make it right: Rugged dry nails with a single or multiple horizontal splits between the layers of the nail plate at the growing end, called onychoschizia. This common nail concern could be a sign of hypothyroidism and mineral deficiency such as iron, selenium and zinc.

White nails or “leukonychia”, a partial or full white color nail or in the nail bed, that could appear in also white small dots. A sight that reveal a possible anemia, liver disease, presence of fungus, eczema, chemical exposure, nail injury, heavy metal poisoning due to chemotherapy  and poor dietary lifestyle. Supplement with iron, vitamin E, B-complex, aloe vera juice, assisted by a sufficient sleep and hydration brings excellent outcome.

Melanonychia, a condition whereas the nails appear with dark or brown discoloration underneath. This is due to melanocytes or pigment cells, that releases a brown-colored pigment called melanin. Cancerous or non-cancerous  skin cancer, underlying infection, trauma or an injury result, are the common cause of melanonychia. Adapting to a healthier diet and a mindful healthy habits, avoids recurrence of this condition.

Paronychia or a painful, red, bacterial or fungal infection of the skin around the fingernails. This case can be extremely bring discomfort, which affects your overall state. Soaking the infected fingers in warm water with salt for at least 15 minutes, alleviates the condition. Make sure you dry it well after. Petroleum jelly to protect the skin after the soak is suggested. Supplement with vitamins and minerals for fast relief.

Bluish nails an indication of hypoxemia – a mark of insufficient oxygen circulating in the bloodstream. Those who are suffering from a condition called emphysema – a severe lung disorder commonly have bluish nails. Pranayama or breath work techniques, light exercises and staying away from toxic substances addresses this condition.

Yellow thick nails, usually caused by fungus called onychomycosis, could be a sign of a more serious illness such as diabetes, psoriasis, thyroid and heart concerns. Take probiotics, magnesium, zinc, selenium, B-complex and eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. Stop refined sugar, flour, grains, dairy products intake to correct it.

Hygiene plays a major part in your wellness and un-wellness. Care for your nails as you care for  the other parts of your body. After all, your nails reflects you.


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