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Are Your Nail Problems Related Your Health? Find Out In 1 Minute!

Are Your Nail Problems Related Your Health? Find Out In 1 Minute!

Your fingernails and toenails aren’t just for decoration and the focus of relaxing mani-pedi spa sessions. Viewing the following 20 conditions can show you how nail problems can warn you about potential health conditions:

1. Dark Bands on Nail Tips: Possibly Diabetes or Another Ailment

dark-bands

    If the tips of your nails display dark bands on each one, it might simply be a sign of getting older. However, according to the above photo and information from the Mayo Clinic, it could also be “Terry’s nails,” liver disease, congestive heart failure or diabetes. If it is a diagnosis of diabetes, experts say you should have a podiatrist cut your toenails as well as teach you how to do so yourself to prevent harm.

    2. White Nails: Liver Problem

    white-nail

      If your nails are white like in the above photo from WebMD, the website cautions that it could be a sign of hepatitis or another liver problem.

      3. Clubbed Nails: Lung Problems

      clubbed-nails

        Jerry Nick, M.D. / Wikimedia Commons

        According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, “clubbed” or rounded nails could point to lung problems.

        4. Yellow Nails: An Infection or More Serious Disease

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        yellow-nails

          WebMD also warns that yellow nails could be the sign of a fungal infection – or something much more serious, like thyroid or lung disease.

          5. Spoon Nails: Anemia, Liver or Heart Problems

          spoon-nails

            Nails that are curved upward and soft to the touch are called “spoon nails” and could point to anemia, liver ailments, heart disease or hypothyroidism, reports the Mayo Clinic.

            6. Weak Nails: Too Many Acrylic Manicures

            weak-nails

              If your nails chip and split quite a bit or feel weak overall, Prevention states that it’s probably time to give them a chance to breathe and take a break from any constant acrylic nail wearing or hard-hitting manicure styles.

              7. Bitten Nails: Anxiety

              bitten-nails

                WebMD calls nail-biting a stress-related condition, something you might engage in when you’re bored, anxious or nervous. Polishing your nails or using bad-tasting products like Mavala Stop can help break the harmful habit.

                8. Nail Dents: Skin Disorders, Arthritis or Alopecia

                nail-dents

                  According to the NHS, dents in the nails may mean you also suffer from conditions like psoriasis, eczema or even unexpected ailments such as reactive arthritis or alopecia areata, which involves hair loss.

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                  9. Loose Nails: Hyperthyroidism or Too-Tight Shoes

                  loose-nails

                    Nails that tend to come away from the nail bed could be an indication of hyperthyroidism, says Cedars-Sinai. Runners and athletes might discover their toenails fall off over time if they wear improper fitting shoes.

                    10. Blue Nails: A Lack of Oxygen

                    blue-nails

                      There’s a reason physicians ask patients to remove their nail polish prior to being put under anesthesia during surgery: They want to make sure your nails don’t turn a bluish color, which can be a sign of not getting enough oxygen or other lung problems, says WebMD.

                      11. Ingrown Toenails: Bad Shoes, Grooming or Injury

                      ingrown-toenails

                        Credit: Dr. P. Marazzi / Photo Researchers, Inc

                        If your toenails tend to grow and curl into your skin, you might be one of those folks who have thick nails. WebMD also cautions that your nail-cutting habits might be the source of the problem, along with shoes that don’t fit properly or some type of injury to the foot.

                        12. Dark Nails: Might Be Melanoma

                        dark-nails

                          According to American Family Physician, although dark stripes in nails can be common to certain darker-skinned people, if they show up in conjunction with a discoloring of the skin beneath, it means that a biopsy should be undergone to make sure it’s not melanoma.

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                          13. Nail Ridges: No Worries

                          nail-ridges

                            Vertical ridges in your nails might look a little worrisome, but experts like the Mayo Clinic say they are common and nothing to worry about. Pundits claim they sometimes simply come with age.

                            14. Blood Under the Nail: Injury

                            blood-under-the-nail

                              Chances are if you see a darker spot under your nail, representing a pool of blood, you know how you got the injury. Maybe you hit your thumb with a hammer and the wound is painful to the touch. The American Osteopathic College of Dermatology says that treatment can include icing and elevation.

                              15. Horizontal Lines: Zinc Deficiency, Diabetes or Other Diseases

                              beaus-lines

                                While vertical lines are harmless, horizontal lines across the nails might not be. Called “Beau’s lines,” these types of ridges or indentations could mean there has been some type of sickness that has caused elevated fevers, or they are due to diabetes or zinc deficiencies, says the Mayo Clinic.

                                16. Thin Nails: Gel Nails, UV Light and Chemical Removal Reactions

                                gel-nails

                                  The so-called “gel nails” may look great and are beloved because of how shiny and long-lasting the manicures can be, however, the American Academy of Dermatology cautions that the process of using UV lights and other chemicals during the procedure can cause thin nails.

                                  17. Cracked and Missing Nails: Fungal Infection

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                                  Onychomycosis

                                    If any parts of your nails resemble the discolored, cracked and partially missing toenail in the photo above, the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health reports that this is a condition called onychomycosis, a fungal infection.

                                    18. Pincer Nails: Hereditary, Bad Shoes or Too Much Trimming

                                    Screen Shot 2014-10-18 at 8.19.05 PM

                                      Pincer nails can appear as curved nails with many varying formats. They can be due to too much trimming – or, as the Annals of Dermatology reports, pincer nails might be hereditary, caused by bad-fitting shoes or tumors.

                                      19. White Spot on Nails: Trauma or Harsh Manicures

                                      mh_capd_fig26-6.tif

                                        Though children may joke that white spots on your nails represent the number of boyfriends or girlfriends you have, in actuality, WebMD says they are due to heredity, an injury, hard manicures or some other unknown cause.

                                        20. Painful Nails: Any of the Above

                                        nails

                                          Maybe it’s not a matter of just how your nails look, but how they feel – and if that feeling is pain, it could be due to any of the above-described issues or something else. Thin or weak nails can be painful because there are fewer layers atop the nail that may have been stripped by harsh treatments. Therefore, it’s best to pay a visit to your doctor if you’ve encountered any of these nail issues and help restore yourself to optimal nail health.

                                          Featured photo credit: Woman_Fingers_1686 (1).JPG by Alvimann via mrg.bz

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                                          Last Updated on November 9, 2020

                                          10 Real Reasons Why Breaking Bad Habits Is So Difficult

                                          10 Real Reasons Why Breaking Bad Habits Is So Difficult

                                          Bad habits expose us to suffering that is entirely avoidable. Unfortunately, breaking bad habits is difficult because they are 100% dependent on our mental and emotional state.

                                          Anything we do that can prove harmful to us is a bad habit – drinking, drugs, smoking, procrastination, poor communication are all examples of bad habits. These habits have negative effects on our physical, mental, and emotional health.

                                          Humans are hardwired to respond to stimuli and to expect a consequence of any action. This is how habits are acquired: the brain expects to be rewarded a certain way under certain circumstances. How you initially responded to certain stimuli is how your brain will always remind you to behave when the same stimuli are experienced.

                                          If you visited the bar close to your office with colleagues every Friday, your brain will learn to send you a signal to stop there even when you are alone and eventually not just on Fridays. It will expect the reward of a drink after work every day, which can potentially lead to a drinking problem.

                                          Kicking negative behavior patterns and steering clear of them requires a lot of willpower, and there are many reasons why breaking bad habits is so difficult.

                                          1. Lack of Awareness or Acceptance

                                          Breaking a bad habit is not possible if the person who has it is not aware that it is a bad one.

                                          Many people will not realize that their communication skills are poor or that their procrastination is affecting them negatively, or even that the drink they had as a nightcap has now increased to three.

                                          Awareness brings acceptance. Unless a person realizes on their own that a habit is bad, or someone manages to convince them of the same, there is very little chance of the habit being kicked.

                                          2. No Motivation

                                          Going through a divorce, not being able to cope with academic pressure, and falling into debt are instances that can bring a profound sense of failure with them. A person going through these times can fall into a cycle of negative thinking where the world is against them and nothing they can do will ever help, so they stop trying altogether.

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                                          This give-up attitude is a bad habit that just keeps coming around. Being in debt could make you feel like you are failing at maintaining your home, family, and life in general.

                                          If you are looking to get out of a rut and feel motivated, take a look at this article: Why Is Internal Motivation So Powerful (And How to Find It)

                                          3. Underlying Psychological Conditions

                                          Psychological conditions such as depression and ADD can make it difficult to start breaking bad habits.

                                          A depressed person may find it difficult to summon the energy to cook a healthy meal, resulting in food being ordered in or consumption of packaged foods. This could lead to a habit that adversely affects health and is difficult to overcome.

                                          A person with ADD may start to clean their house but get distracted soon after, leaving the task incomplete, eventually leading to a state where it is acceptable to live in a house that is untidy and dirty.

                                          The fear of missing out (FOMO) is very real to some people. Obsessively checking their social media and news sources, they may believe that not knowing of something as soon as it is published can be catastrophic to their social standing.

                                          4. Bad Habits Make Us Feel Good

                                          One of the reasons it is difficult to break habits is that a lot of them make us feel good.[1]

                                          We’ve all been there – the craving for a tub of ice cream after a breakup or a casual drag on a joint, never to be repeated until we miss how good it made us feel. We succumb to the craving for the pleasure felt while indulging in it, cementing it as a habit even while we are aware it isn’t good for us.

                                          Overeating is a very common bad habit. Just another pack of chips, a couple of candies, a large soda… none of these are necessary for survival. We want them because they give us comfort. They’re familiar, they taste good, and we don’t even notice when we progress from just one extra slice of pizza to four.

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                                          You can read this article to learn more: We Do What We Know Is Bad for Us, Why?

                                          5. Upward Comparisons

                                          Comparisons are a bad habit that many of us have been exposed to since we were children. Parents might have compared us to siblings, teachers may have compared us to classmates, and bosses could compare us to past and present employees.

                                          The people who have developed the bad habit of comparing themselves to others have been given incorrect yardsticks for measurement from the start.

                                          These people will always find it difficult to break out of this bad habit because there will always be someone who has it better than they do: a better house, better car, better job, higher income and so on.

                                          Research shows that in the age of social media, social comparisons are much easier and can ultimately harm self-esteem if scrolling becomes a bad habit[2].

                                          6. No Alternative

                                          This is a real and valid reason why breaking bad habits is difficult. These habits could fulfill a need that may not be met any other way.

                                          Someone who has physical or psychological limitations, such as a disability or social anxiety, may find it hard to quit obsessive content consumption for better habits.

                                          Alternately, a perfectly healthy person may be unable to quit smoking because alternates are just not working out.

                                          Similarly, a person who bites their nails when anxious may be unable to relieve stress in any other socially accepted manner.

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                                          7. Stress

                                          As mentioned above, anything that stresses us out can lead to adopting and cementing an unhealthy habit.

                                          When a person is stressed about something, it is easy for bad habits to form because the mental resources required to fight them are not available[3].

                                          We often see a person who had previously managed to kick a bad habit fall back into the old ways because they felt their stress couldn’t be managed any other way.

                                          If you need some help reducing stress, check out the following video for some healthy ways to get started:

                                          8. Sense of Failure

                                          People looking to kick bad habits may feel a strong sense of failure because it’s just that difficult.

                                          Dropping a bad habit usually means changes in lifestyle that people may be unwilling to make, or these changes might not be easy to make in spite of the will to make them.

                                          Overeaters need to empty their house of unhealthy food, resist the urge to order in, and not pick up their standard grocery items from the store. Those who drink too much need to avoid the bars or even people who drink often.

                                          If such people slip even once with a glass of wine, or a smoke, or a bag of chips, they tend to be excessively harsh on themselves and feel like failures.

                                          9. The Need to Be All-New

                                          People who are looking to break bad habits feel they need to re-create themselves in order to break themselves of their bad habits, while the truth is the complete opposite.

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                                          These people actually need to go back to who they were before they developed the bad habit and try to create good habits from there.

                                          10. Force of Habit

                                          Humans are creatures of habit, and having familiar, comforting outcomes for daily triggers helps us maintain a sense of balance in our lives.

                                          Consider people who are used to lighting up a cigarette every time they talk on the phone or eating junk food when watching TV. They will always associate a phone call with a puff on the cigarette and screen time with eating.

                                          These habits, though bad, are a source of comfort to them, as is meeting with those people they indulge in these bad habits with.

                                          Final Thoughts

                                          These are the main reasons why breaking bad habits is difficult, but the good news is that the task is not impossible. Breaking habits takes time, and you’ll need to put long-term goals in place to replace a bad habit with a good one.

                                          There are many compassionate, positive and self-loving techniques to kick bad habits. The internet is rich in information regarding bad habits, their effects and how to overcome them, while professional help is always available for those who feel they need it.

                                          More on Breaking Bad Habits

                                          Featured photo credit: NORTHFOLK via unsplash.com

                                          Reference

                                          [1] After Skool: Why Do Bad Habits Feel SO GOOD?
                                          [2] Psychology of Popular Media Culture: Social comparison, social media, and self-esteem.
                                          [3] Stanford Medicine: Examining how stress affects good and bad habits

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