Dr. Friedman’s Health Blog

What Your Fingernails Say About Your Health

By: Dr. David Friedman

Your nails can reveal several clues about your health and even help you diagnose disease!  Everything from nutrition deficiencies, heart disease, autoimmune disease, clinical depression, toxic liver, thyroid disease, and heavy metal poisoning!  

Below are a few telltale health signs that you can learn from your nails.


 A fingernail moon is also called a lunula (Latin for "little moon.")  These half-moon-shaped white pigmentations appear by week 14 of gestation.  Lunular anomalies can be a very accurate indicator of your health (or lack thereof.)   This includes changes in form, structure, and color.



A normal size moon should take up less than 1/3 of your fingernail. If it’s occupying more space than that, this large moon could mean you are having cardiovascular trouble or an issue with low blood pressure. 

If the white moon occupies the entire nail, this can indicate liver problems such as hepatitis. 


If you can barely see the lunula near your cuticle or have no moons on your fingernails except your thumbs, this is a sign you may have a B12 or iron deficiency. Small moons can also be a sign that you have an autoimmune disease.  



If you do not have fingernail moons, it may be a sign of anemia, malnutrition, or clinical depression. 


BLUE MOON (Not the beer)


This can be a sign of  Wilson’s disease and indicate you have too much copper accumulating in the liver, brain, and other vital organs.



A red nail moon can indicate several health conditions including heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD,) 
rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus, cirrhosis, carbon-monoxide poisoning, or psoriasis. 


A black lunula means severe heavy metal poisoning (lead, mercury, arsenic, or cadmium.)



This is a serious issue and usually means severe nutrition malabsorption, most likely coming from a malfunctioning digestive system. Having a grey moon can also be a sign of chronic fatigue system. 



 An abnormal nail shape and nail surface can also be a sign of a health issue.



Nail pitting may show up as shallow or deep holes in your nails. It may give the appearance as if your white spots as if your nails have been hit with an ice pick. If your nails are dimpled or pitted, this can be a sign of psoriasis, eczema, or joint inflammation. 



Soft nails that look almost as if the center of the nail bed has been scooped out to resemble a spoon,  is a sign of an iron issue — either your body isn't getting enough (iron-deficiency anemia) or it's storing too much, a condition known as hemochromatosis.



Nail clubbing is when your nails appear wider, or swollen, like an upside-down spoon.  This is a common symptom of cardiovascular and pulmonary problems. 


The health and appearance of your nails are a great window into your overall health. See a healthcare provider if you have noticed any of the nail changes above. Getting treatment as early as possible can help improve the outcome and enable you to live the healthiest life possible.



About the Author

Dr. David Friedman is the author of the award-winning, #1 national best-selling book Food Sanity, How to Eat in a World of Fads and Fiction. He's a  Doctor of Naturopathy, Chiropractic Neurologist, Clinical Nutritionist, Board Certified Alternative Medical Practitioner, and Board Certified in Integrative Medicine.  Dr. Friedman is a syndicated television health expert and host of To Your Good Health Radio, which has changed the face of talk radio by incorporating entertainment, shock value, and solutions to everyday health and wellness issues.

Read more here

Food Sanity

Like Us on Facebook

Follow me on Twitter!