3 Signs & Tips to Help You Have Stronger, Healthier Nails

The beauty industry is full of suggestions on improving every aspect of your appearance – the way your skin looks, the silky texture or color of your hair, and your nails. But the truth is – there's more to your nails than you think.

The actual appearance of your nails can give you insight into what's going on inside your body. We're going to break down three common nail signs and what they mean. Plus, we'll include a few remedies to help you grow strong, healthy nails.

1. Brittleness

Brittle nails are one of the most frequent nail complaints and fall within two categories:

  • Dry and brittle. This is often the result of deficiencies in vitamins A and F, calcium, or essential fatty acids. These nutrients are vital for healthy nails.  
  • Soft and brittle. This condition may be caused by exposing your nails to excessive moisture, chemicals such as nail polish or remover, household cleaners, or detergents.

Brittle nails can also occur from:

  • The normal aging process. This can cause the keratin filaments within the nails to weaken.
  • Iron deficiency. If your body doesn't have enough iron, it can lead to low levels of red blood cells or anemia. Anemia can show itself through spoon-shaped or brittle nails.
  • Hypothyroidism. Low thyroid levels can bring on a host of symptoms, including fatigue, weight gain, and hair loss. It can also take a toll on your nails.

2. Splitting or Peeling

When you have dry hair, you see split ends. When your skin is dry, you may notice tiny cracks. And your nails are no different.

If your nails are peeling, consider the following:

  • Separation of the protein layers that make up the nail
  • Everyday wear and tear
  • Exposure to chemicals, detergent, or water
  • Thyroid conditions
  • Nutrient deficiencies, like low calcium, iron, or vitamin B

3. Ridges

Two types of ridges, or furrows, can form on your nails:

  • Horizontal ridges. These dents go from one side of your nail to the other
  • Vertical ridges. These run from your cuticle to the tip of your nail.

Vertical ridges are more common than horizontal. For many, it's a normal part of the aging process or from improper digestion. For others, it could indicate a deficiency of fat-soluble nutrients or vitamin B.

Horizontal ridges often crop up after you experience physical stress. These ridges could be from an illness, medication, surgery, or malnutrition. It could also be a sign of a more severe condition. If you notice horizontal ridges on your nails, it's best to get them checked out.

The Do's and Don'ts for Optimal Nail Care

Are your nails showing any of the signs above? If so, here's what you can do:

  • Rule out any underlying health concerns. Give our office a call, and we'll be happy to help you get to the bottom of what's going on.
  • Check for deficiencies in your diet. You are what you eat, and the results can show in your nails. Come in for blood work, and we'll take a look at your iron, calcium, biotin, B vitamin, and fatty acid levels.
  • Take a nail supplement. Biotin or collagen are fantastic options and a quality source of essential fatty acids. Supplements are an effective way to support firmer, thicker nails. If you'd like to add those to your regimen, let us know, and we'll help.
  • Give your nails some TLC. Keep your nails trimmed and filed. Rehydrate your cuticles with jojoba or olive oil. Consider giving them a break from toxic nail polish, which can dehydrate and stain your nails.

What Are Your Nails Telling You?

How your nails look and feel can give you valuable insight into what's going on in your body. Whatever your nail issues may be, keep an eye out and consider supporting them with one of the above tips. Your nails – and body – will thank you.

Patient Testimonials

Dr Don Sharnowski is a doctor who is above and beyond all other doctors! Probably his most outstanding quality is that he LISTENS to what his patients say. He is willing to explain things to his patients in terms they can understand. Dr Don treats his patients with wisdom, understanding, gentleness, care, encouragement and he is willing to "go the extra mile" to give his patients the proper treatment they need. He does not treat patients like they were on an assembly line or like he is rushing them out the door. Dr Don has fixed many of the problems I had at my first visit, one of which I had endured for 3 years. Dr Don was able to fix that problem in 2 weeks when others had not. Dr Don has also helped me loose 40 lbs so far. My total recovery is still an ongoing process, but should be a cinch with Dr Don's expert help! Thank you, Dr Don! You are an awesome answer to prayers!

Karen G.

Super Awesome Doctor in Overland Park, Kansas!! He really knows his stuff love his Holistic approach. Wish I lived closer so I could see him on the regular, at least we can chat on the regular! Very informative in all aspects of health! Five years ago this man took our health and turned it around 360 degrees. My son got ear infections very often. Both my boys have respiratory issues. My husband asthma and overweight. Myself aches and pains, specifically on my left side and joints. Well needless to say no more ear infections respiratory not nearly as often my husband is 80lbs less and never uses his inhaler . My sons ear infections...What ear infections...They are no longer! Thanks Dr. Don for all you do and have done!!

Lots of Love from The Stevens

Dr Don Sharnowski is truly an amazing Doctor. He listens to his patients and treats in a very complete way. He is very knowledgeable because he never stops learning. He is a great communicator and will help you learn better ways to be healthy if you will actually do what he teaches.

Cassie N.

Don (Dr Sharnowski) is truly one of a kind. He is warm, inviting and incredibly generous with his time, but also really knowledgeable about the body and everything within. You won't find crystal balls here. You'll find a super nice guy in sneakers who also sells farm fresh eggs at the counter. I went in expecting to get adjusted (and was scared, because I'd never seen a chiro before). Instead, what I experienced was someone who actually sat down and listened to my history, connected the dots between several ailments (instead of jumping to prescribe one drug apiece to treat each one), and explained things that no one had ever taken the time to do. I was there about my back specifically, but we talked about my whole health. Instead of just prescribing an anti inflammatory (which is what my other doc did), he explained why we get inflammation in our bodies, and how to help reduce it with what we eat. I've also been on thyroid medication for over 10 years, and he actually explained what the thyroid is, and what the drug I take is, and what it does. But not in a defensive or overly crunchy way. He just openly explained in a way that I could understand it. I highly recommend Don to anyone with a body who wants to feel better. His approach is approachably holistic. Just common sense, whole body-centered treatment.

Megh K.

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