The beauty industry is full of suggestions to change every aspect of your appearance – how your skin looks, the silky texture or color of your hair, and long, sparkly nails. But the truth is – there’s more to having strong nails than you think. The appearance of your nails can give you insight into what’s going on inside your body. We’re going to break down three functional nail issues and what they mean. Plus, we’ll include a few remedies to help you grow healthy, strong nails.
Brittle nails are one of the most frequent nail complaints and fall within two categories:
- Dry and brittle. This is often the result of deficiencies in the fat soluble vitamins A and F, calcium, or essential fatty acids. Cover your bases with a great fish oil like Optimal EFAs – good for the whole family!
- Soft and brittle. This condition may be caused by exposing your nails to excessive moisture, chemicals such as nail polish or remover, household cleaners, or detergents.
Brittle nails can also occur from:
- The normal aging process. This can cause the keratin filaments within the nails to weaken.
- Iron deficiency. If your body doesn’t utilize iron well, it can lead to low levels of red blood cells or anemia. Anemia can show itself through spoon-shaped or brittle nails.
- Hypothyroidism. Low thyroid levels can bring on a host of symptoms, including fatigue, weight gain, and hair loss. Thyrostim is such a great product! It covers a lot of bases with the minerals and hormonal support the thyroid needs.
2. Splitting or Peeling
When you have dry hair, you see split ends. When your skin is dry, you may notice tiny cracks. And your nails can also show separation of the protein layers that make up the nail. Give your body the foundational amino acids it needs for growth and repair in Amino Sport.
If your nails are peeling, consider the following:
- Everyday wear and tear
- Exposure to chemicals, detergent, or water
- Thyroid conditions (ask us to help you with testing!)
- Nutrient deficiencies, like low calcium, iron, or vitamin B. You can fend off deficiencies like these with a broad spectrum product like Prenatal Packs.
Two types of ridges, or furrows, can form on your nails:
- Horizontal ridges. These dents go from one side of your nail to the other
- Vertical ridges. These run from your cuticle to the tip of your nail.
Vertical ridges are more common than horizontal. For many, it’s a normal part of the aging process (weak adrenals) or from improper digestion. For others, it could indicate a deficiency of fat-soluble nutrients or vitamin B.
Horizontal ridges often crop up after you experience physical or emotional stress. These ridges could be from an illness, medication, surgery, or malnutrition. It could also be a sign of a more severe condition. If you notice horizontal ridges on your nails, it’s best to get a tune up on your nutrition and stress support.
4. White Spots
If you have noticed persistent white spots on your nails that don’t go away, you could have a functional zinc deficiency. Try a bottle of Zn-Zyme, and see if that helps your nails. It’s also really great for the immune system!
The Do’s and Don’ts for Growing Strong Nails
Are your nails showing any of the signs above? If so, here’s what you can do:
- Rule out any underlying health concerns. Give our office a call, and we’ll be happy to help you get to the bottom of what’s going on.
- Check for deficiencies in your diet. You are what you eat, and the results can show in your nails. Let us set you up for blood work, and we’ll take a look at your iron, calcium, B vitamin, and Omega 3 fatty acid levels.
- Take a nail supplement. Biotin or collagen are fantastic options and a quality source of essential fatty acids. You could also make your own homemade bone broth and drink 2 cups every day!
- Give your nails some TLC. Keep your nails trimmed and filed. Rehydrate your cuticles with jojoba or olive oil. Consider giving them a break from toxic nail polish, which can dehydrate and stain your nails.
- Fully digest your proteins with some digestive insurance like Hydro-Zyme.
What Are Your Nails Telling You?
How your nails look and feel can give you valuable insight into what’s going on in your body. Whatever your nail issues may be, keep an eye out and consider supporting them with one of the above tips. Your nails – and whole body – will thank you.