We’re all aware that nutritional deficiencies can impact the complex machine that is the human body. Lack of certain nutrients and vitamins manifest in various weaknesses, illnesses and problems. However, the body also gives us signals when something is not right. By paying attention to what the body is telling us can make spotting nutritional deficiencies and, while less common, the over consumption of certain nutrients, and then rectifying those problems much easier!
Here are some common issues of the nails and skin that signal that nutritional deficiencies of one sort or another might be plaguing you. Check back with us next week for more signals that our bodies give when something isn’t quite right!
White spots: These are typically nothing to worry about, sometimes the result of trauma to the nail. If excessive, it could be an indicator of low zinc.
Ridged nails: This can also indicate a lack of zinc.
Weak or brittle nails: Lifestyle factors such as having your hands in water often or living in an environment with low humidity may be the culprit. With those factors taken into consideration, Weak and brittle nails could also be a signal of too little magnesium, vitamins A or C and the B vitamin biotin.
Spoon nails: If nails curve upward at the edges like a spoon it may be a sign of iron-deficiency anemia or excess iron absorption called hemochromatosis.
Dark discolorations: These are not a signal of a nutritional deficiency but warrant an immediate visit to the doctor as they can be caused by a form of melanoma, a deadly skin cancer.
Face: The face is a great indicator of vitamin B deficiencies. If you are plagued with greasy, red, scaly skin on the face (typically on the sides of the nose) this can be a signal of too little vitamin B2. Acne that appears like a rash on the forehead and sides of nose can indicate a vitamin B6 deficiency. If you notice that your skin seems paler than usual it can be a symptom of B12 deficiency. Take a look at your tongue as well, which should appear somewhat bumpy. If it’s completely smooth, this is another signal that you are lacking in B12.
Stretch Marks: It’s a popular misconception that these are hereditary. However it is a lack of zinc which impacts collagen formation in the body that could be the culprit. If you are prone to stretch marks, these slight tearings of the skin may be due to a zinc/collagen deficiency.
Yellow Palms: This is not caused by nutritional deficiencies, rather the opposite. Yellow palms are a signal that you are consuming too much beta carotene, found in foods with the same coloring such as carrots, peppers, sweet potatoes, etc.
“Chicken Skin”: Typically found on the backs of the arms, pimply rough skin signals that you are lacking essential fatty acids or vitamin A.