Detect iron deficiency on the fingernail


Iron deficiency can manifest itself through brittle and brittle nails. Especially in connection with other symptoms such as

  • fatigue
  • paleness
  • Exhaustion or
  • dizziness

The changes in the nail can be a crucial indicator of the lack of iron in the body. However, those affected should be cautious about jumping to conclusions, as there are also a number of other deficiency symptoms and diseases that can lead to changes in the nail. Iron anemia can be detected quickly and reliably by checking the iron blood.

Read more on the subject here: Causes of Iron Deficiency

These changes make iron deficiency on the fingernails

Like other tissues, the nails are dependent on a supply of nutrients. In iron deficiency anemia, the supply is inadequate and changes in the nail occur due to the nutrients. Indications of the presence of an iron deficiency can be grooves in the nails or brittle or peeling nails. Arched nails can also show up as part of anemia.

Furthermore, sunken nails, the so-called spoon nails, are a sign of an insufficient supply of iron to the organism. Like the skin, I can present a pale bed of nails as part of the iron deficiency. If those affected notice the changes in their nails described above, it may be worth visiting a doctor. He can use a blood test to determine the iron levels in the body of the person affected and then use the values ​​to conclude that iron deficiency anemia is present.

Read more on the topic: Consequences of iron deficiency

Grooves in the nails

Long grooves in the nails do not have to have a health cause. In many people they occur naturally, especially in the process of aging they are more common. The grooves can also be an indication of an insufficient supply of iron. However, this is a non-specific symptom.

However, if those affected are affected by grooves on their nails and also experience other symptoms that are typical of iron deficiency anemia, a visit to the doctor is advisable. This can then determine an iron deficiency based on blood values. Those affected often find the nail change annoying and wish for an improvement. If an iron deficiency anemia is diagnosed by the doctor, balancing the iron can also have a positive effect on the appearance of the nail. Once the iron deficiency has been compensated for, the nail can literally grow back and the grooves are no longer a problem.

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Other accompanying symptoms of iron deficiency

There are a variety of symptoms that can indicate iron deficiency anemia. Usually it is not one symptom, but rather the interplay of several symptoms that is typical of iron deficiency. Possible complaints include:

  • chronic fatigue and exhaustion
  • Difficulty concentrating and learning difficulties
  • sleep disorders
  • Dizziness and headache
  • Shortness of breath or even shortness of breath

The hair and nails can change in their appearance. The hair can appear brittle or even fall out. The skin often appears noticeably pale in those affected. Furthermore, the iron deficiency can lead to cracked corners of the mouth, which doctors speak of so-called angular mouth irritation in this context. The appearance of the tongue can also be changed. This then appears conspicuously smooth and there is a loss of tissue. Mood swings can also occur in the context of iron deficiency anemia, since the iron deficiency can also affect the human hormone balance. In this context, a loss of libido can also appear.

Read more here: You can recognize iron deficiency by these symptoms

Are the nail changes reversible?

An iron deficiency can usually be treated well with medication. The symptoms, which include changes to the nails, then regress over time. In the case of the nail, the grooves or brittle areas then simply grow out. Since the growth of the nail is limited, it can take a few months before the nail appears again in its old shine.

Disturbing grooves can be polished out with a file if necessary. However, so that the nail is not damaged, those affected should seek advice from an expert, preferably in advance. The other symptoms of iron deficiency anemia, such as tiredness or paleness, should also decrease or become reversible over the course of therapy.

How long does it take until the iron stores are filled again?

The duration of iron deficiency anemia and the changes associated with it, such as the appearance of brittle nails, depend on when iron therapy is started. With the increase in body iron, the symptoms tend to decrease. If the iron stores are full or there is enough iron in the blood again, the symptoms should also subside.

With the fingernails, it can take some time before they appear flawless again. After a few months of growth, the old brittle nail should have been replaced by a solid and healthy-looking nail. As part of the therapy, a blood test is carried out by the doctor after a few months. If the iron values ​​are back in the normal range and the iron deficiency anemia is eliminated, the therapy can be ended.

Treatment for iron deficiency anemia usually takes about 6 months on average. Of course, this is only an average value that can be prolonged by existing other underlying diseases or in severe cases of iron deficiency anemia.

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Treatment of iron deficiency

The treatment of iron deficiency anemia is mostly medication. The iron sulfate can be taken as juice or in tablet form. Iron deficiency anemia should of course be diagnosed by a doctor before taking it, as iron can certainly lead to side effects or interactions with other drugs. In many cases, iron sulphate is only taken temporarily, i.e. over a certain period of time, and is ended when the iron value is back in the normal range. For this purpose, blood tests are carried out by the doctor, which are usually carried out every few weeks to months.

If the iron deficiency is very severe, the iron can also be applied through a vein. The doctor then speaks of parenteral iron substitution. Although this causes the values ​​to rise quickly, it also harbors risks, which is why this is a procedure that is only used in the event of a very severe iron deficiency or a disruption of iron absorption in the stomach and intestines.

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