Thirty four million Americans—or one in 10 people in the U.S.—are currently diagnosed with diabetes, according to CDC. But perhaps even more shocking is that an estimated one in three Americans has prediabetes—and only 15 percent of those with the condition know they have it.
That’s exactly why the Mayo Clinic suggests familiarizing yourself with the tell-tale signs of these conditions. They say that any number of symptoms may hint at a serious blood sugar imbalance, including fatigue, increased thirst or hunger, changes in skin, weight loss or gain, blurred vision, and more.
However, beyond these better known signs of diabetes, there’s one additional red flag experts want you to recognize. The answer, they say, can be right at your fingertips—especially if you know what to look for. Read on to find out how your fingernails may reveal a diabetes diagnosis.
1. A “slight blush” on the nail could indicate diabetes
Though often overlooked, your fingernails can offer a window into your health, says Elizabeth Salada, MD, via Diabetes.co.uk. For this reason, she routinely checks her patients’ nails as part of their medical examinations. “Lots of common diseases can present themselves through the appearance of your nails,” she shared.
Salada says that healthy nails are typically pink, flat and even in color, and any changes in shape, thickness, or consistency can help identify a problem. Specifically, she warns that “a slight blush at [the] bottom of the nail is sometimes a symptom of diabetes.”
2. Your nails may also turn yellow or more brittle
According to study, yellow or brittle fingernails or toenails can also be a sign of diabetes. That’s because diabetes makes you predisposed to a fungal infection called onychomycosis.