This is What Your Fingernails Are Warning You About: Organ failure, Inflammation, or Worse

We almost never think about what is the connection between fingernails and disease, but we definitely should! This is because the fingernails give significant warnings and signal the presence of various diseases.

Take a look at your nails really close and scrutinize each of them. Carefully inspect any curve, dip, ridge, and groove. Then, look how thin or thick they are, are they broken or chipped.  Check the color of the nails, the skin surrounding it, and the skin underneath the nail.

Fingernails Warning Signs:

Discolored nails

A healthy fingernail has pink color with a touch of white moons near the base. If your nails have some other colors, it is possible that you have a hidden health issue.

  • Green nails show that you have some kind of bacterial infection
  • Red streaks in the nail bed show that you have a heart valve infection
  • Blueish nails indicate low oxygen levels in the blood
  • Dull nails are a sign of a vitamin deficiency
  • White nails indicate liver disease such as hepatitis
  • Dark stripes at the top (Terry’s nails) are indicators of aging and congestive heart failure

Scrub your nails clean and take a look at the color once again. Taking into consideration the wide plethora of potential health issues, you want to know what your nails are telling you.

Thick nails

Having thick nails is anything but normal. It is good for the nails to be strong, but in case they resemble claws or talons, be careful!

  • Thickened nails which are otherwise normal indicate lung disease;
  • Thick and rough-textured nails often are a sign of a fungal infection;

These kind of nails separated form may indicate a thyroid disease or psoriasis;
Unusual thickness may also be a warning sign of circulation problem.

If you have thick nails, watch out for allergic reactions to new drugs.

Split nails

Split nails often flake away in layers and what’s worse, most people blame nail polish for most problems, particularly as:

Split nails often can be caused by folic acid, Vitamin C, and protein deficiencies;
These type of nails and pitted nail are indicators of psoriasis, which starts in nails 10 percent of the cases;
Split nails are also caused by chronic malnutrition.

Watch your diet and check the psoriasis relationship in order to be able to fight back.

Concave (Spoon) nails

To be classified as full spoons, your nails should be curved up, forming a dip. There are many issues they can be indicators for, including the following:

  • Iron deficiency (usually from anemia);
  • Hemachromatosis, this is a liver disorder where your body absorbs too much iron;
  • Heart disease;
  • Hypothyroidism

The connection between the fingernails and health challenges is very strong, so all you need to do is treat the health issue that typically causes the spoon nails and they will go back to normal.

Pitted nails

Small dips in the nails can be caused by banging up the hands or could be indicators of an underlying health problem, such as:

  • Psoriasis
  • Connective tissue disorder
  • Alopecia areata, which is an autoimmune disorder that causes hair loss
  • Zinc deficiency

If they are just natural dents, they will clear up very quickly while pits associated with disease tend to linger.


Healthy nails are smooth on the surface and have invisible lines, but if you have ridge lines it can be a warning sign of conditions like:

  • Iron deficiency
  • Inflammatory arthritis
  • Lupus

So don’t buff away the ridges, instead, look for the cause that is creating them.

Dry, brittle nails

Nails and brittle nails are closely connected to bacterial infections and hormone imbalance.

Thyroid disease can be manifested with brittle and dry fingernails;
Fungus can make nails dry or even crumbly.
Both thyroid and fungal issues take a lot of time to treat, so don’t expect to see any significant difference for a full growth cycle.

Clubbed nail

You can recognize clubbed nails by the way they are puffed around the fingers and the skin surrounding them is swollen.  They can indicate:

  • Lung disease, especially in the case you already have trouble breathing;
  • AIDS;
  • Inflammatory bowel disease;
  • Liver disease.