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The appearance of your nails can often point to specific problems with your health. While low levels of magnesium can lead to changes in your nails, this mineral isn't the only reason for a change in nail appearance. Because nail changes and abnormalities can be caused by a wide variety of conditions, it's important to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis 3.
Your heart, kidneys, muscles and other important body organs depend on magnesium. This essential mineral also aids in energy production, activates enzymes and helps regulate calcium and other vital nutrients in your body. To ensure you have adequate levels of magnesium in your body, eat plenty of magnesium-rich foods, including leafy green vegetables, nuts and whole grains. While the University of Maryland Medical Center notes that magnesium deficiencies are fairly rare, most people still don't get quite enough of this essential mineral through their diet 1.
- Your heart, kidneys, muscles and other important body organs depend on magnesium.
- To ensure you have adequate levels of magnesium in your body, eat plenty of magnesium-rich foods, including leafy green vegetables, nuts and whole grains.
Magnesium and Nail Changes
What Causes Waves in Fingernails?
A magnesium deficiency can cause poor nail growth, in addition to more serious symptoms such as high blood pressure, anxiety, muscle spasms and vomiting. While injury to the parathyroid glands commonly causes hypoparathyroidism, this condition can also caused by low levels of magnesium in the blood 2.
Changes in nail beds may be caused by a wide variety of conditions. A nail bed with red streaks, for example, may point to an infection of the heart valve, while certain antibiotics can cause your nails to lift from your nail beds. Changes in the appearance of your nails may also be caused by diseases, tumors, infections, trauma to the nail, fungus, yeast or other vitamin deficiencies.
- Changes in nail beds may be caused by a wide variety of conditions.
- Changes in the appearance of your nails may also be caused by diseases, tumors, infections, trauma to the nail, fungus, yeast or other vitamin deficiencies.
If you're concerned about your magnesium intake, see a doctor for an evaluation of your magnesium levels. Also, because some nail disorders may be a sign of a more serious and possibly life-threatening condition, don't ignore the signals that your nails send. See a doctor if you notice changes in your nails such as horizontal ridges, white lines, clubbed nails, distorted nails, splinter hemorrhages or changes in the color of your nails.
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How to Correct Upward Toenails
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Magnesium
- MedlinePlus: Hypoparathyroidism
- MedlinePlus: Nail Abnormalities
- Singal A, Arora R. Nail as a window of systemic diseases. Indian Dermatol Online J. 2015;6(2):67-74. doi:10.4103/2229-5178.153002
- Yaemsiri S, Hou N, Slining MM, He K. Growth rate of human fingernails and toenails in healthy American young adults. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2010;24(4):420-3. doi:10.1111/j.1468-3083.2009.03426.x
- Schons KR, Knob CF, Murussi N, Beber AA, Neumaier W, Monticielo OA. Nail psoriasis: a review of the literature. An Bras Dermatol. 2014;89(2):312-7. doi:10.1590/abd1806-4841.20142633
- Abdullah L, Abbas O. Common nail changes and disorders in older people: Diagnosis and management. Can Fam Physician. 2011;57(2):173-81.
- Sarkar M, Mahesh DM, Madabhavi I. Digital clubbing. Lung India. 2012;29(4):354-62. doi:10.4103/0970-2113.102824
- Haneke E. Controversies in the treatment of ingrown nails. Dermatol Res Pract. 2012;2012:783924. doi:10.1155/2012/783924
- Jefferson J, Rich P. Melanonychia. Dermatol Res Pract. 2012;2012:952186. doi:10.1155/2012/952186
- Aging Changes in Hair and Nails. Medline. National Institutes of Health Public Information Sheet.
- Nails and Nail Problems. American Academy of Dermatology Public Information Sheet.
Jessica Taylor has been writing professionally since 2007. She has contributed a number of articles online on topics ranging from fashion to technology to travel. She has a bachelor's degree in English literature from the University of South Florida.