Nail facts and your health

  • Once emerged the nail itself is dead tissue
  • Nails consist of 3-4 layers held together by a oil and moisture
  • It takes about 3-6months for the new nail to reach the free edge (white bit on the end). This will depend on age, season and climate (nails grow slower in cold weather)
  • Toenails grow slower and are often thicker. They are not used as much and so the circulation is not as efficient.  Feet also spend a great deal of time covered up.
  • Nail features generally occur when the new nail is forming and grow through. So in health terms we look back in time.
  • A problem with one nail shows damage to that nail. A problem with all nails shows an overall health issue.
  • The nails are the last to be nourished, as your body will make sure your internal organs and your brain receive their share of nutrients first. So if you are stressed or your digestion is compromised, a problem will start to show in your nails 3 or more weeks later. Make sure you are eating the good stuff (for YOU) and leaving out things that do not serving you well.
  • Operations, certain drugs, major illnesses and hormone fluctuations affect on the absorption of nutrients . (If you have an illness or are on medication consult your GP first and using Kinesiology testing along side can help investigate food sensitivities, nutrient deficiencies and improve digestion)
  • Your nails should be strong, flexible, smooth and pink with a white edge on the end

Problem Nail features: 

Horizontal ridges– damage to the new nail forming and/or the skin around the nail (cuticle) can be a sign of prolonged stress, illness and nutrient deficiency. The body may be using more nutrients to support the immune system and to keep the organs going.

Keep eating a good variety of food and this should grow out. 

Check with kinesiology testing for deficiency in Zinc (or other minerals)

Flakey free edges and dull nails– when insufficient moisture and oil is getting into the new nail as it is formed the nails will look dull and flake when they reach the end.  This is accelerated when in contact with oil stripping detergents like household products and swimming pool or Jacuzzi chemicals.  Cold weather will impair circulation in the hands and feet. When the new nail gets to the edge there is insufficient oil to hold the layers together, so they flake.

Wear warm gloves on cold days, eat or take more good fats especially in the evening when oil absorption is at its best. Shower off and remove chemicals with water and vigorously rub in good quality oil to the cuticle every evening 

Check with kinesiology testing for deficiency in essential fatty acids, vitamin C, D, B6, B7 and Silica

White spots  – on one nail this air pocket is usually a bruise or damage to that nail. However if appearing on several of all nails this is a Zinc deficiency.

Try eating more Eggs, Leafy green vegetables: watercress, asparagus, Meat: lambs liver, beef, Nuts: Pine nuts Seafood: Oysters, whelks, anchovy Seeds: Pumpkin, Whole grains 

Check with kinesiology testing for deficiency in Zinc (and possibly B vitamins)

Vertical ridges and Brittle– can be an indicator of slow circulation and hormonal changes especially pre and post menopause. Other conditions to think about are fungal infection, thyroid changes and osteoporosis.

Try to move your hand (and feet) to improve the circulation flow getting to the ends of your fingers      

Check with kinesiology testing for deficiency in Iron, Magnesium, B Vits, Vit C, Folic acid, EFA’s, For Thyroid (Tyrosine, Iodine, Selenium), For Osteoporosis (Vit D3/K2) Silica

Nails that curve down – curving can be genetic and are often accompanied with arthritic hands and wrists. However there are other things to consider like impaired function or inflammation in kidneys, liver, heart, lungs and bowels. Also if oxygen levels are low the nail can grow differently.

Check the cause with your GP and kinesiologist and for inflammation and swelling ask about Reflexology especially the lymph drainage variety (RLD).

Spoon nails– that curve up at the edges may be a sign of excess or deficient iron or a slow thyroid.

Check these with your GP and either after or at the same time have a chat with a kinesiologist.

Bitten nails– can be a habit due to boredom, concentration or frustration. So thinking about why and when you bite your nails is a must in order to make changes and stop.  

It can also be an indicator of an underlying mineral deficiency. Here kinesiology testing can help to identify the mineral type and form to improve the balance in the body.