Take a Closer Look

Besides your hair and nails complementing your look, they have specialized functions that can reveal a lot about your overall health.

A change in your hair’s thickness — or more lost strands in the brush and shower drain — could be a sign of hormone deficiencies, overactive or underactive thyroid, diabetes, lupus, and other conditions.

Fingernails may also indicate something is wrong. Take a few minutes to inspect your nails for these signs:

Enlarged fingertips and curved nails — called “clubbing” — could point to lung or liver disorders

“Spoon nails” look scooped out and are associated with iron deficiency anemia

“Beau’s lines” are horizontal indentations in the fingernail that may occur when severe illness disrupts growth; they could indicate uncontrolled diabetes, malnutrition, or high fever from pneumonia, measles, and other ailments.

Be sure to see your doctor if you note changes in your hair or nails.

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