How Toenail Health Is an Indicator of Heart Health

How Toenail Health Is an Indicator of Heart Health

Your toenails might be far from your heart, but you might be astonished by what they can reveal. Your body uses valuable resources to grow toenails, and discoloration or fragility can be telltale signs of something amiss. The heart’s inability to pump blood to all your extremities will also affect your toenail growth and wellness, showing another visible indicator.

We invite you to look at your toes with your body’s functions in mind. Learning what your toenail health can reveal about your heart health may surprise you.

Understanding the Significance of Outward Symptoms

Being in tune with your body and regularly checking for outward signs of illness is crucial for maintaining your overall health and well-being.

  1. Early detection: You can identify potential health issues early and get timely medical intervention by paying attention to changes or symptoms, increasing your chances of successful treatment and recovery.
  2. Prevention: Regular self-examination and awareness of your body’s signals can help you identify risk factors and take preventive measures. You can prevent severe health problems by promptly addressing minor symptoms or changes.
  3. Empowerment: Listening to your body puts you in control of your health. It allows you to participate in your well-being and make informed decisions about your lifestyle, diet and medical care.
  4. Health maintenance: Checking for outward signs of illness helps you monitor your overall health and detect any potential imbalances or abnormalities. You can be proactive about maintaining good health, such as adopting healthier habits, seeking medical advice and getting preventive scans and screenings.

Heart Infection Symptoms

The most common type of heart infection is infective endocarditis. Bacteria enter the bloodstream, inflaming the inner lining and valves. Contact a health care professional immediately if you notice any of these signs.

  • Fever and chills: Fever helps your body fight infections by stimulating your immune system and increasing your temperature. The bacteria and viruses that make you sick do not survive long at temperatures above 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Heart murmur: A heart murmur is when your natural beat sounds choppy or swishy. It can result from your heart beating irregularly and too fast in a short time space.
  • Fatigue and weakness: If your energy levels are lower than usual or you generally feel unwell, visit a health care professional. You could feel weak for many reasons, but if other symptoms accompany this, have a doctor give you a checkup.

Toenail Infection

Toenail infections can be stubborn, so prevention is often better than the challenge of trying to treat them. Maintaining good hygiene will help you avoid this problem. However, if you suspect anything, see a podiatry expert, as early treatment can shorten the infection.

  • Thickening and discoloration: Infected nails will turn yellow, gradually becoming brown or white. Seek advice at the first signs of yellowing.
  • Brittleness and crumbling: A fungal infection may make your toenails brittle. Your doctor can prescribe antibiotics to clear this up.
  • Pain and discomfort: An infection can cause inflammation and discomfort, which your socks and shoes can aggravate. Talk to a podiatrist about getting footwear to accommodate your feet while you attend to the infection.
  • Foul odor: If your foot or nail smells bad, you could have a fungal infection caused by sweat and bacteria, like athlete’s foot. A pungent smell could also signify something more severe.

Toenail infection treatments come in different forms, depending on the infection’s degree and type. Antibiotics can clear up most issues, but more extreme cases may need laser therapy or removal of the infected nail.

Toenail and Heart Health

Toenail and Heart Health

Recent studies have highlighted an intriguing connection between your heart and your toenail health. Your toes may subtly hint at what is happening further up your body. Here are a few symptoms to look for and ask a podiatry team about.

  • Nail changes: Discoloration or thickening of toenails can indicate an underlying health issue. Watch for coloring that appears more yellow or orange than usual.
  • Splinter hemorrhages: Tiny blood clots run vertically under your nails and are almost invisible to the naked eye. If you notice small, reddish-brown lines, they may warn you of a heart infection. The most common is endocarditis, a bacterial infection that moves from the mouth into the bloodstream, eventually leading to the heart’s lining.
  • Clubbing: Clubbing is a physical condition characterized by changes in the area under and around the nails. Often, health care professionals link clubbing to conditions associated with the heart and lungs. Because of the clubbing, your fingers will appear swollen, your nails will become more curved and rounded and the skin around them will be unusually shiny. Heart diseases that cause low oxygen levels could be the reason.
  • Onycholysis: This condition occurs when the nail detaches from the nail bed. Usually, this injury results from trauma. If it reoccurs, you may have a heart condition or other systemic associations such as anemia, lung conditions and thyroid disorders.
  • Cold or blue toes: If your heart struggles to pump, it will cause a ripple effect on your circulation. Atherosclerosis, or a plaque buildup inside your arteries, can cause bad foot circulation.

Diagnosing Underlying Disease From Your Feet

You can notice multiple health conditions by looking at your toes. For example, anemia is when your blood has low iron levels due to insufficient protein or a lack of specific nutrients, like vitamin C, which helps break down foods into iron. An iron deficiency can cause indented toenails.

Diabetes leads to numbness or tingling in your feet, while kidney and liver disease expresses itself in nail beds that are partly white and partly reddish-brown, also known as half and half.

Expert Podiatry Services for Everyone

Expert Podiatry Services for Everyone

If you stub your toe or drop something on your foot, your nail beds can become bruised and discolored. But if any markings, discoloration or textures seem abnormal to you, contact us at Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates.

Our diagnostic team is here to treat all your concerns regarding your feet. Sometimes, issues with your toes might be a localized problem, but your toenail health could be symptomatic of a widespread issue. Chat with our team about your feet’s condition and schedule an appointment at 360-754-3338. We can assess and diagnose the issue.


More Posts

Send Us A Message

Now Accepting New Patients!



patient portal

Having trouble? Click the link below for step by step instructions.