Fingernails, Part 2 – More of What Your Fingernails Say About You

by Judith G. Cobb, MH, CI, NCP

This article is not meant to diagnose or prescribe. It is meant for educational purposes only. Judith Cobb, Cobblestone Health, and Nature’s Sunshine Products accept no responsibility for results you get, whether good or bad, from using this information. Always seek the guidance of a qualified health professional.

Note: More information about the products mentioned can be found at the end of the article.

Fingernails, Part 1, introduced the concept of using fingernails as indicators of health and health issues. Part 1 dealt fingernails, diseasedmainly with discolorations of the fingernails. This article continues on with other types of symptoms. I would love to have included photos, and I hope the descriptions are thorough enough that you can visualize the conditions in your mind’s eye.

When the nails separate painlessly from the bed, it is called onycholysis. This, again, is a broad symptom that can be indicative of any one or more of several potential problems. Injury, psoriasis, drug reactions, fungal infections, reactions to nail hardeners or acrylic nails, and thyroid disorders are on the list.

When nailbeds bulge and the nails curve down around the fingertips, this is a potential indication of oxygen deprivation, lung disease (including lung cancer), heart disease or liver disease.

Beau’s lines
Nail growth is susceptible to stress. When a body undergoes severe illness or trauma, including major surgery, general anaesthetic, or even a serious flu, the nails may stop growing. The result is a crosswise indentation in the nails. This generally will grow out with time.

Spoon nails
When nails create upward spoons as they grow out, an iron deficiency can be suspected. Good sources of iron include green leafy vegetables, egg yolk, red meat, and poultry.

Flat nails
Raynaud’s disease can cause flat nails. As mentioned in a previous article, Raynaud’s can be controlled/corrected with strong adrenal gland support.

Dark, thin, flat, or spoon-shaped
These symptoms can indicate a Vitamin B12 deficiency. Hawthorn Berries and spirulina are great sources of B12. Of course, B12 can also be found in beef, chicken, and egg yolk.

Thick, discoloring nails
This is often an indication of psoriasis. Doing cleanses alternated with building programs, and focusing on reducing the acid levels of the blood and body through diet, are usually very helpful in correcting psoriasis.

Thick nails
This is a cardiovascular indicator. It indicates a weakening of the vascular system and poor circulation. Using MC (mega-chel), HSII, CoQ10 and other cardiovascular supporting supplements would be wise.

Lengthwise grooves
Kidney disorders, aging, and iron deficiency can all contribute to lengthwise grooves. For aging concerns, use IGF-1 or colostrum.

Lengthwise ridges
This is a strong indication of arthritis. Lowering the acid levels in the diet and supporting the kidneys and adrenals are very helpful in controlling arthritic symptoms.

This is a strong indication of rheumatoid arthritis. This is apparent when lengthwise ridges look like rows of tiny beads. Rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune disorder that creates inflammation throughout the body. Omega 3 is a well-documented anti-inflammatory.1 Vitamin D has also been shown to be anti-inflammatory and may be helpful here.2

Pitted and dented
Nails that resemble hammered brass portend of total or partial hair loss, or may be the result of having your hands in detergent frequently or for long periods of time.

Chipping, cracking, peeling, breaking easily
Nails that are this fragile indicate general nutritional deficiency, insufficient hydrochloric acid in the stomach, and deficient minerals and protein in the diet. Poor digestion has a major impact on total body wellness. Improve the digestion and you’ll often fix many other symptoms.

Brittle, soft, shiny, no moons
These symptoms point to an overactive thyroid. Since the thyroid is controlled by the pituitary, working with the pituitary is often helpful. Parsley and alfalfa are good choices here.

Thinning nails accompanied by itching skin
These are symptoms of lichen planus, a skin condition with itchy, purple, angular bumps. Medical science reports that causes can include drug reactions, color film developers, polymyositis, malabsorption syndromes and lymphoma. Cleansing and general nutrition support are indicated. Liver support is also important.

Raised at base with small white tip
This can simply be hereditary, or it can be an indication of respiratory disorders.

Red skin at base of nail
While this is not really a fingernail symptom, red skin around the base of a nail can indicate connective tissue disorders. Collatrim and colostrum are key therapies here.

Fingernails are more than just jewels or tools. They are indicators of physical well-being.

What do your nails say about your health?

If the list of possible supplements and dietary recommendations seems daunting, or if you are concerned about your nails or your overall health and would like some wellness coaching, please contact me, Judith Cobb, for a personal wellness-coaching appointment. Skype, phone, webinar, and face-to-face appointments are available.

I also invite you to Like us on Facebook (Cobblestone Health Ltd) and to visit my other websites:


Products referred to in this article:

SymptomCategory of supportNature’s Sunshine Products CANADANature’s Sunshine Products USA
Onycholysisyeast/fungal issuesYF DTXYeast/Fungal Detox
Tea Tree OilTea Tree Oil
Olive Leaf ExtractOlive Leaf Extract
Silver Shield Gel - topicalSilver Shield Gel - topical
low thyroid functionTS IIThyroid Support
Clubbinglow oxygenVitamin E with SeleniumVitamin E with Selenium
lung supportLH-CLung Support Chinese
heart/circulation supportHS-CNervous Fatigue TCM Conc.
liver supportLIV-JLIV-J
Spoon nailslow ironThree Combination HerbHerbal Trace Minerals
GreenZoneUltimate GreenZone
digestionDigestive EnzymesFood Enzymes
absorptionUC3-JIntestinal Soothe & Build
Flat nailsadrenalsAdrenal SupportAdrenal Support
AD-CMood Elevator, Chinese
Stress FormulaNutri-Calm
Dark, thin, flat, or spoon-shapedlow B12Vitamin B12 LiquidVitamin B12 Complete, Liquid
HawthornHawthorn Berries
Thick nailscardiovascular supportMCMega-Chel
Arginine PlusSolstic Cardio
Lengthwise grooveskidney support
low iron
Lengthwise ridgeskidneysKB-CKB-C Chinese
adrenalsAdrenal SupportAdrenal Support
AD-CMood Elevator Chinese
Stress FormulaNutri-Calm
Beadingomega 3Krill is available through the
Sunshine Direct program (contact Nature’s Sunshine
Canada at 1-800-265-9163 for instructions)
or by special order from Cobblestone Health or 403-850-5503)
Krill Oil w/K2 (stronger than other omega 3)
Vitamin DVitamin D3Vitamin D3
Pitted and dentedhair lossHSN-WHSN-W
Protein Digestive AidPDA
household/dishwashing cleanser that won’t eat your fingernailsNSP ConcentrateSunshine Concentrate Cleaner
Chipping, cracking, peeling, breaking easilygeneral nutritional support, mineral support, protein supportGreenZoneGreenZone, Ultimate
low stomach acidProtein Digestive AidPDA
Brittle, soft, shiny, no moonshyperthyroidUC3-JIntestinal Soothe & Build
Thinning nails accompanied by itching skingeneral nutrition supportGreenZoneGreenZone, Ultimate
gut supportCLT-XCLT-X
Garden Essence enzymesProactazyme
liver supportLIV-JLIV-J
Raised at base with small white tiprespiratory supportLH-CLung Support Chinese
Red skin at base of nailconnective tissue supportCollatrim PlusCollatrim Plus

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