Nailing Down Common Health Concerns

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Happy nails equal healthy YOU!

I recall having coffee with a coworker senior to me, when she looked down at my hands around my mug and said, “no moons.” Excuse me?  Up to that point, I didn’t know that you could tell a person’s B-12 levels by whether or not they had half moons on their nail beds. Go ahead; take a look at your nails… I’ll wait…

I was surprised that my coworker looked past my uneven fresh-out-of-acrylics short nails to observe my half moons, but we were discussing my lack of energy, chronic fatigue, and loss of memory that had transpired that year. I was a historically active, fit, energetic person about three years into my corporate career when I started feeling less energetic, and becoming frequently fatigued throughout my day. I couldn’t put my finger on the issue, but she did!

ImageLooking back it makes perfect sense. In college, although I was committed to my running and indoor cycling workouts, a proud regular of Bodyworks gym in Lubbock, Texas where I got my body in competitive shape for both Miss San Antonio USA and Miss Lubbock USA, I did not eat well. I shiver looking back at the mounds of canned fruit and vegetables I ate. Hey, I was on a college-kid’s budget, and canned food kept well for a long time. (That should have been a hint it wasn’t nourishing.) I cringe when I think about the bowls of cereal I ate for dinner. After all, whole grain cereal promised sweet dreams at the end of a long day, and milk warms the soul right? It was the perfect “go-to, readily-available” meal. Reek! I’m certain that four years of college and three years of making a name for myself in the corporate world (and in the Dallas, Texas social scene) didn’t leave me nourished, and the lack of vitamins and minerals probably started taking its toll on my body.

This same coworker directed me past the inadequate and “cheaper” supplements on store shelves toward Advocare nutritional company, headquartered north of town. High-quality supplementation and a nutritionist that I still credit to this day for my healthy relationship with food have allowed me to reverse any past damage and to propel my health and wellness into a place where I can flourish. We should all set ourselves up to flourish in life!

So, how do your nails look? For my acrylic nail-wearing glamour sisters, don’t despair. Simply take a look the next time you’re in for your “soak off.” If you don’t see half moons, let’s chat about how to get that B-12. Healthy levels of vitamins and minerals exude beauty through your skin, hair, nails, and attitude. You’ll have folks stopping and gasping in no time saying, “WOW—look at the vitamins and minerals on that girl!”

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Internal beauty shines brightly!

What are your nails trying to tell you?

Pale Nails: This could be a sign of impending anemia, congestive heart failure, liver disease, or malnutrition

White Nails: If the nails are mostly white with darker rims, this can indicate liver problems, such as hepatitis.

Yellow Nails: Hello, fungal infection! This can also be an alert to a more serious condition such as severe thyroid disease, lung disease, diabetes or psoriasis.

Blue Nails: Breathe, my friend! This is a sign that the body isn’t getting enough oxygen. This could also indicate an infection in the lungs, such as pneumonia.

Rippled or Pitted Nails: This may be an early sign of psoriasis or inflammatory arthritis.

Dry, Brittle Nails: Check out your thyroid if you have nails that frequently crack or split; However, cracking or splitting combined with a yellowish hue is more likely due to a fungal infection.

Finally… one close to my heart as a former nail biter: Biting your nails could be a sign of persistent anxiety or obsessive-compulsive disorder. Alas, good things can come out of the not so good, and I learned about ways to relax and create calmness through guided meditation and breathing exercises. I hope to visit with you more about ways to nourish your mental and emotional wellness with future posts. If you simply cannot stop biting your nails (or cuticle skin), it’s worth discussing with your doctor or wellness practitioner.

Since low Vitamin B-12 levels are common these days, here are other ways you can tell you may be low on this important vitamin:

Tingling hands and feet

Numbness

Memory problems

Feeling exhausted

Depression

Sensitivity to noise

Lots of brown spots

Bleeding gums

Burning sensation (possibly on thighs)

Legs hurt and “jump” at night

Pain, including bone pain in legs

Balance problems

Heavy menstrual bleeding or nose bleeds

P.S.: If you’re wondering why it was important that I mention my coffee shop friend was older than me, it’s because lately I’ve found those senior to me fascinating! I encourage everyone to get to know the senior citizens around them. They have the best stories and you could learn a thing or two from someone who’s been around the block a few times.

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My Grandma Lucy and I. She’s a hoot!

Joyfully and in health, Lacey

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