problems refer to changes in the appearance of the finger-
and/or toenails, such as thickening or curving, as well
as fungus or bacterial overgrowth in and around the
nails(often associated with acrylic nails for cosmetic
purposes), or bacteria (tinea and candidiasis), Such
changes are usually indications of an underlying metabolic
or nutritional dysfunction within the body, or a sign
of skin disease or general illness.
Thickened and curved nails most often affect the big
toes of older people and are often due to poor circulation,
cardiovascular problems, and/or thyroid disease. Pitting
in the nails can be a sign of anemia. Pitting and thickening
together can be a sign of psoriasis. Brittle, ridged,
and curved nails can signify anemia and iron deficiency,
while brittle nails alone can indicate thyroid problems,
iron deficiency, kidney disorders, poor circulation,
and/or omega-3 fatty acid deficiency. Vertical lines
in nails usually signify poor nutrient absorption, iron
deficiency, decreased overall health, or poor protein
metabolism, while horizontal lines can indicate severe
stress caused by unresolved emotional issues or from
disease and/or infection. Flat nails can be due to poor
circulation from Raynaud's disease, while nail beading
(bumps) may suggest arthritis. Nails that easily chip,
crack, peel, and break are usually due to food allergies,
mineral deficiencies and/or and need for digestive enzymes.
or bacterial overgrowth around the nails suggests a
yeast infection (candidiasis) and in women can also
be due to the use of acrylic nail polish.
skin around the cuticles can be a sign of poor essential
fatty acid metabolism, while darkening of the overall
nail bed may be due to vitamin B12 deficiency, and white
spots can signify zinc deficiency.
Despite the above indications, medical diagnosis
should never be based on a person's nail condition alone.
Drinking fresh carrot juice on a daily basis is an excellent
way to strengthen nails because the juice provides calcium
and phosphorus. In addition, eat foods that are high
in iron, include quality sources of protein at each
meal, and add whole grains, seeds, and nuts to your
The following nutrients are important for healthy nails
silicon (silica), calcium, iron, vitamin B complex,
biotin, free form amino acids, and zinc. Nail problems
can also be due to a lack of stomach acid. This problem
can be rectified by taking hydrochloric acid (HCl) and
digestive enzymes with each meal.
To improve the appearance of nails and to
reverse fungal or bacterial over growth, topically apply
tea tree oil. Lemon essential oil is also very useful
in this regard.
Drink an infusion made from equal parts of
nettle and horsetail three times a day. For fungal infections,
apply a mixture of aloe vera gel and tumeric to the
Useful homeopathic remedies include Calc
phos., Graphites, Sulfur, Nat mur., and Ferrum
Carrot, beet, and celery is an excellent juice
for nail health.
If your symptoms persist despite the above measures,
seek the help of a qualified health professional.
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