Do you know that your nails can say a lot about your health. My friend didn't believe, when I told her this. Well, I am sure, there are many out there who would have got equally surprised by my opening statement. So this article is dedicated to all of you there who think otherwise.

The color, texture and shape of your natural nails are all indicative of how healthy or unhealthy you are. Though some nail symptoms are harmless, other point out towards chronic diseases. Some even regard the speed with which your nails grow as a measure of a healthy, you.

Now a look at the various fingernail conditions that you may not be acknowledging hitherto:

Split Fingernails
Washing hands frequently or your nail polish isn't always the culprit, as is often believed to be. It is the deficiency of vitamin C, proteins or folic acid, which causes it, even malnutrition is the reason sometimes. And if the nail beds have pits, this symptom is of psoriasis skin infection.

Thick Fingernails
In some people, nails turn thick. If a normal nail turns thick, it is a signal of a lung disease taking shape in the body and will surface soon. But if it is coarse too, then it is a fungal skin infection symptom. Now if they are thick and divided, the risk of psoriasis or thyroid is indicated. Well, you may have to check in with your doctor, if you have been put on medication lately, they can cause it too.

Horizontal Ridges
These may be a result of some serious illness accompanied by high fever or trauma. It is also known by the name of Beau's lines and could form due to uncontrolled diabetes, circulatory disease, extreme zinc deficiency or psoriasis. There is still another type, namely, Mees Lines. These are horizontal discolorations caused due to arsenic poisoning, leprosy, malaria, carbon monoxide poisoning or malaria.

Spoon Nails
Nails turning upwards at the edges looking like a spoon are actually due to anemia (iron deficiency) hemochromatosis (too much iron absorption), hypothyroidism or an underlying heart disease.

Dark Nails
Is the color of your nails changing lately? It could be due to the deficiency of Vitamin B12. In some people, the body doesn't produce much of this vitamin and hence the issue. Vegetarians and vegans are more prone to developing this deficiency, though non-vegetarians can't be ruled out completely.

It happens when your fingertips enlarge and bend downwards. Well, this is an indication of low levels of oxygen in the blood and can be associated with lung disease. Well association with kidney disease, inflammatory bowel disease, heart disease and AIDS too is possible. Get in touch with a medical practitioner immediately.

Dry And Brittle Nails
When your nails remain drenched in water for a long time such as while washing dishes or swimming or you use a nail polish remover more often, your nails can turn dry and brittle. Even when you expose your nails to harsh chemicals like detergents or you live in a place with low humidity, dry and brittle nails become commonplace. This can also happen due to hypothyroidism or fungal infection of the nail. Other reasons include Vitamin A and C or Biotin deficiency.

Yellow Nails
There are plenty of things that can be related to yellowing of nails, smoking is one of them. When the nails become thick and crusty along with being yellow, this is a clear indication of a fungal infection. Though even with age, they turn yellow and in women who use acrylic nail polish or nails. Remotely associated issues include diabetes, psoriasis, respiratory disease or thyroid disease.

Now that you know what the underlying problem is, see your doctor immediately.

Author's Bio: 

Eve Dawson is a health and skin expert by profession. She loves to share her knowledge and experience with people. She regularly contributes her write ups to fitness,health or skin care related websites and blogs with most of her writings based on tips for best anti aging skin care. In her free time she loves to travel, fashion shows and music.