Diabetes is a serious health condition that affects millions of people around the world. It can be caused by a variety of internal and external factors and can have a range of symptoms that can be difficult to detect. Although some of the most common signs of diabetes, such as excessive thirst and constantly feeling tired, are relatively well-known, there are a number of more subtle signs that someone may have diabetes, but many people don’t even realize they exist. One of the most surprising and least talked-about indicators of diabetes is abnormal changes to the nails. In this article, we look at the nail signs that could indicate the onset of diabetes and what you should do if you notice them.

What is Diabetes?
Before examining the nail signs associated with diabetes, it’s important to understand what diabetes is and how it can manifest itself. Diabetes is a common metabolic disorder in which the body either resists or is unable to properly produce enough insulin. Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, is responsible for helping the body break down and use dietary carbohydrates for energy. When someone has diabetes, it means that their body is not able to produce enough insulin or is unable to use it correctly. As a result of this, blood sugar levels can be too high or too low, posing serious health risks. There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. In type 1 diabetes, the body doesn’t produce any insulin at all, while type 2 diabetes is usually caused by the body failing to produce enough of it.

The Impact of Diabetes on the Nails
Diabetes is a serious health condition that can have both short- and long-term impacts on a person’s physical and mental health. One of the impacts of diabetes is changes to the appearance and condition of fingernails and toenails. As diabetes affects the body’s ability to process and use carbohydrates, it can also have marked effects on the appearance of nails. There are a number of different nail signs that could be indicative of diabetes in both adults and children.

Potential Nail Signs of Diabetes
• Nails become thicker and more brittle: As diabetes affects the body’s ability to produce and use carbohydrates, it can lead to a change in the appearance of nails. One of the most common signs of diabetes is for nails to become thicker and more brittle than usual. This is caused by an increase in sugar levels in the body, resulting in an abnormal growth of cells around the bases of the nails. The thickness of the nails can be more apparent on the fingernails and toenails, and they may be more prone to splitting.

• Nails become more curved or inwardly curved: Nails that have become more curved or curling inwardly can be a possible indicator of diabetes. This is caused by an increased sugar level in the body and an abnormal growth of tissue at the base of the nail, which can cause the nail to curl or bend inward. This condition can often be accompanied by other signs of diabetes, such as excessive thirst or weight gain.

• White spots or discoloration on the nails: Diabetes can cause changes to the colors and markings of the nails, such as white spots or discoloration. These can be an indication of a change in the internal balance of the body, which can be caused by diabetes. In some cases, these spots can be accompanied by a burning sensation, which is another potential indicator of diabetes.

• Fungal infections: Diabetes can cause increased levels of sugar in the body, which can create the ideal environment for fungus to thrive. As a result, diabetics may be more prone to developing fungal infections in their toenails. These infections can take the form of yellow or white spots under the nail, thickening of the nail, and flaking and discoloration of the nail.

• Deformed or malformed nails: Diabetes can also cause changes to the morphology of the nails, such as deformation or malformation. This can be caused by the abnormal growth of cells due to the increase in sugar levels in the body. In some cases, the nails can become overly curved or thickened, or they may even become malformed.

Diagnosis and Treatment
If you have noticed any of the above nail symptoms, it is important to speak to a doctor as soon as possible. They will be able to carry out a physical examination and blood test to determine whether you have diabetes. If your doctor does diagnose you with diabetes, there are a number of treatment options available. These can include oral medications, insulin injections, and lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise. It is important to follow your doctor’s advice to ensure that you can manage your diabetes effectively.

Diabetes is a common health disorder that can have serious implications if it is left untreated. It is important to be aware of the potential signs and symptoms of diabetes, even if they are subtle, such as changes to the nails. If you think you may have diabetes or notice any of the changes to your nails listed above, it is important to speak to your doctor as soon as possible. Early detection and treatment of diabetes can help to reduce the risk of associated health conditions and ensure that you can live a long and healthy life.