From your hair, nails, to your skin – your body can speak to you. Any changes in them can often be early warning signs of vitamin and mineral deficiencies and health issues. Learn to listen to your body, all those unsightly and sometime even embarrassing marks and changes can be a clue to your health. The following are some common signs from head-to-toe what your body could be trying to alert you about.
All about Nails
Pale Colored Nails– can be a sign of anemia, a condition where your body does not have enough healthy red blood cells. Often nutritional deficiencies such as iron, folate and vitamin B12 can result in anemia.
Yellow Nails – especially if they are thickening can be a sign of a fungal infection but yellow nails can also be a sign of a diabetes. As high sugar in the body will attach to collagen proteins in the nail turning them yellow.
Brittle Nails/Splitting Nails – could mean a deficiency in the B vitamin biotin but could also indicate a thyroid issue.
White Spots – often occur after you have banged or stubbed your nails, but if they pop up for no reason and you find you’re also getting sick often it can signal a zinc deficiency.
All about Skin
Dry Skin – if your skin is dry and flaky it can mean you’re just dehydrated, or it can also mean you may need to increase your EFA (essential fatty acid), or Vitamin A. Cold water fishes such as mackerels, sardines, and anchovies are a great source of EFA.
Tiny Raised Bumps – on the back of your arms can be a sign of essential fatty acid, vitamin A or E deficiency.
Excessive Bruising – does not mean you are clumsy. It can be due to low Vitamin C or could indicate a bleeding disorder.
Excessive Facial Hair Growth – might be ok if you are a guy but if you are a female and you develop facial hair growth this can signal a hormonal imbalance and a condition called PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). Don’t be alarm if you only have a few hair on your lip or chin, as that can be normal. But if you starting having coarse hair growth and also experience irregular periods than you should speak with your healthcare provider regarding these issues.
Skin Tags – are small, hanging, excess skin growth. Skin tags are often benign and are most commonly found on eyelids, underarms, neck and groin areas. It can be a sign that you have blood sugar imbalances.
All about Hair
Hair Thinning and Hair Loss – can be a common sign of iron deficiency or thyroid disease
Dry Scalp/Dandruff – can be a indication of EFA deficiency, Vitamin A, Biotin and even Zinc.
All About Eyes
Thinning Eyebrows – especially at the outer corner of your eyebrow could be a sign of thyroid issues.
Bulging Eyes – unless you were born with them, bulging eyes can be a sign of an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroid).
White Ring Around the Iris – can signal cholesterol issues.
Dark Circles – can indicate a food sensitivity.
All About the Mouth
Canker Sores – Vitamin B12 and folic acid deficiency is often associated with canker sores. Stress and acidic foods (such as tomatoes and pineapples) can also precipitate canker sores. However, if you experience sores/ulcers else where on body you should speak with your healthcare provider to rule out Bechet’s disease.
Cracking at the Corner of the Mouth – often indicates B2 (riboflavin deficiency)
Signs and symptoms are our bodies way of communicating to us. This information is in no way meant to be a substitute for seeing your doctor. Rather it is to help you to be alert and on guard so you can address things before they become a serious problem.