That your nails could reveal vitamin deficiencies
Think back to your last physical with your primary care doctor. More than likely, they took blood samples, had you take several deep breaths in while they listened to your lungs and chest, and asked you a bunch of questions. But did they ask you about what’s going on underneath your manicure? Likely, not. However, certified culinary health educator, Ken Immer says our nail beds can be very telling. “Your nails are a window into your bone health, and is closely related to diet,” he explains. “Brittle, flaky nails can be an indication of a deficiency in vitamins A, C, or biotin. When it comes to the relationship to bones—in women especially—this could also be an early indication of osteoporosis, as both nails and bones require similar protein chemical reactions to maintain structural integrity.” These are the secrets hospitals don’t want to tell you (but every patient should know).
That you might not be eating enough
Have a big event coming up? Or have you been super-stressed and keep forgetting to grab lunch? Jennifer Bowers, RD, PhD, says that oftentimes lack of nutrition—and calories—starts to show in symptoms that a primary care doctor might not attribute to food intake. “Headaches and fatigue may be a result of not eating enough. Women tend to cut back dramatically on their food intake in order to lose weight, with detrimental side effects. Feeding your metabolism to jump-start it is important, and many women need to eat more regularly,” she shares.