Low Energy? Look At Your Fingernail Moons

I raised a bit of a ruckus last week at a women’s business network meeting when I asked a panel of health experts if having no fingernail moons meant you were low in iodine, and hence, more likely to develop early breast cancer.  No one really knew the answer to my admittedly obscure question, but everyone became interested in looking at their fingernails and comparing them to their neighbors.  Because people found this topic so fascinating, I decided to hunt down the answer.  I have since updated this post and created a new post about self medicating with iodine – bad idea!

What do moons on your fingernails mean?

Moons on your fingernails are located at the base of your fingernails, closest to your fingers.  They are the lighter half moon shaped growth under your nails.  In palmistry, overly large moons can mean an overactive thyroid and high blood pressure.  Small or no moons are thought to predict an underactive thyroid and low blood pressure.  Scientists have found that a lack of a fingernail moon may indicated you are low in Vitamin B-12 or in iodine which feeds the thyroid.  Vitamin B-12 deficiency has been linked with lack of energy, depression, and loss of coordination and memory, among other things.  Iodine deficiency has been linked with breast cancer.  One palmistry specialist determined there is a link between small moons and carbon monoxide exposure.

An article on Fingernail Analysis in Natural Health Techniques tells us what to look for regarding your moons.  “There should be 8 of these. The lunulae on the little fingers should be missing according to Eastern Medicine Philosophy. The one on the thumb nail should be 25% or less than the total length of the nail from base to flesh line at the top”.

What You Can Do:

Small or No Moons:  There is very little research on this topic; however, one study has shown that missing moons are associated with various systemic disorders including issues with your thyroid or pituitary gland, iron deficiency, chronic renal failure, depression and possible B-12 deficiency.  Have your iodine and Vitamin B-12 levels checked.  Have your thyroid function and blood pressure checked.  Vitamin B-12 Deficiency Can Be Sneaky, Harmful by Harvard Health details the symptoms and risks of B-12 deficiency which is somewhat rare but debilitating.  Reduce your carbon monoxide exposure by staying more than 20 feet from the car in front of you, not idling your vehicle, and when in traffic using the “internal air circulation” setting on your heater, vent and air conditioner.

(A side note on B-12 deficiency:  I’m updating this post to include a note on MTHFR genetic testing.  One of our commenters pointed out that she had that test and discovered that due to the MTHFR gene mutation she could only absorb vitamin B-12 and folic acid in its methylated form.  I had the same test done recently and discovered the same thing.  If you plan to have children, its crucial to get tested for this because if you’re body isn’t absorbing folic acid that can be very detrimental to your fetus’ development and can lead to chronic miscarriage).

Large Moons:  have your blood pressure and thyroid checked.  It’s a little more difficult to tell if your moons are overly large, so if your blood pressure and thyroid have been normal, there is no need to panic.

One of my excellent readers commented that she hoped for a post of what “normal” lunulae look like.  Everyone is different so it’s hard to pinpoint normal, but I’m posting a couple of pictures thanks to Laws Dystopia Blog who wrote about a study linking the lack of fingernail moons with depression.

Missing Lunula

Missing Lunulae


Normal Lunula

Normal to Large Lunulae (Shouldn’t Be Any on the Pinkie Though)




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68 Responses to Low Energy? Look At Your Fingernail Moons

  1. shirley mattox says:

    i was listening to health show on tv they said that arsenic poison can be told partly by moons under fingernails is this correct>? they say this leads to low function of thyroid is this correct?

  2. Alexis says:

    I’m confused. All of my moons are do small u can’t see them,but my thumb on my right hand is so big! What does it mean

    • Anthony says:

      Alexis, the article herein is partially correct; enhanced moons on all the fingers, including the thumb, indicates an overactive thyroid. I would have to see your fingernails — but if your moons (technically, they are called, orbs) are low, very low or non-existent, this indicates an under-active thyroid. an over-active thyroid usually portends that one’s sleep patterns are not deep enough; that is, they do not go into the “lower” levels of sleep: delta wave patterns progressing to REM sleep. They usually only reach the alpha stage (very light sleep), whereby they need much more sleep than a person who reaches REM sleep. If your thyroid is under-active, your body is probably not absorbing all of the nutrients that you need. I haven’t seen you but I would guess that you are not overweight; that you do not gain weight very quickly. If I am wrong about your weight issue, then I would really have to see your entire hand; that is, I combine several different features before coming to a conclusion; for example, I look at the features of the nails, fingers, mounts, hand shape, lines in the hand, texture of the hand, dermaglyphs, which includes the fingerprints and combine two, maybe three features that all mean the same thing, then I make a determination and form a conclusion. This is only a preliminary response, based upon your description of your orbs. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to give a definite response without actually seeing one’s hands.
      The web sites below have nothing to do with my knowledge of chirology.

      • Scottye says:

        Hello Anthony,
        I have three very small orbs on the left thumb, and index and middle fingers of my right hand. Also, my right thumb has a moderate orb, but that thumb was smashed in a car door when I was 7. The nail came off, over time and regrew. The nail itself has ridges, and the opposing thumb does not. None of my other fingers have orbs. Do you think the orb on the thumb is larger because of that injury?

      • Renee says:

        Even if you are taking daily b12 you can show high in labs but.. not so.

        I cant forget I just found out last March I have the MTHFR gene which means no matter who much B12 I take my body wont recognize it unless its Methyl B12 my b12 was high cuz I was taking cyno b12 the WRONG one for my body so it just sat there. Also my body cant recognize folic acid such a shame too cuz I had a baby thinking all the folic acid I was taking was helping her and I both WRONG! Due to my MTHFR gene mutation I Needed to take methyl folate. I THANK GOD MY daughter was born ok but what other women with MTHFR gene mutations don’t take the correct methyl folate I pray for their babies. ONE Genetic Dr I went to years later didn’t even know anything about MTHFR he was in practice 35 yrs!! UGH so frustrating when I know more than my Dr I had to ask my GP to take the mthfr gene test after having it test positive I had a DNA test ran at a place called 23andme to see my other mutations that I can treat correctly for my body.. this is the wave of the future hope all Dr realize this soon and save a lot of health issues and babies health!!

      • Marion says:

        l have no moons on my fingers but l do have moons on my thumbs, so what would that mean Anthony ?

      • Irene says:

        What about children? My 2 yo daughter just has orbs on her thumbs. I’m worried as I have Hashimotos. Will get test for mthfr gene in December as practitioner is booked out till then. (Not many functionalist round here). Maybe you have some idea?

  3. Cathy says:

    My thumbs have large moons, my fingers have small or no moons.

  4. Annie says:

    I was recently diagnosed with underactive thyroid. As I was reading a book to learn more, it mentioned lack of fingernail moons. So quick, I look at my fingers and sure enough, I had no moons on my fingers, but did on my thumbs. I know I used to have good moons.

  5. palomino72 says:

    Great information, thanks !

  6. Pingback: Low Energy? Look At Your Fingernail Moons | Out of the Crab Bucket

  7. katrina says:

    same here..my thumbs have moons, but not visible on my fingers and its always been that way…
    i just looked at my sons hands and they are the same, and we’re all healthy so i’m inclined to wonder if that’s just how ours are!!
    we don’t have long nail beds either, and people with longer nail beds usually have more visible moons…

  8. recoveringme says:

    Reblogged this on Recovering me and commented:
    Have you got half moons at the base of your nails? No! Then read this, yet another sign of thyroid problems as well as low B12.

  9. Jacqueline Agboglah says:

    What of having no moons but instead, you have white nails?

  10. Mimi says:

    I’m a young vegan, and I have no moon on my left ring finger… probably a Vitamin B-12 deficiency. Thanks a lot for this interesting article!

  11. squirrelysally says:

    AWWWW!!! On my left hand my ring & pinky fingers have none. On my right hand my middle, ring & pinky have very little while all other fingers are fine. I am overweight & do take B12 2 X’s a day. Which goes against ALL what I have read!!

    • Laurie Noble says:

      Except that small or no moons may mean an underactive thyroid – which can lead to weight gain. Sometimes iodine deficiency is the culprit in underactive thyroid, sometimes it’s a whole host of other things. It’s important to have your iodine levels checked because iodine deficiency and being overweight are, according to some theories, contributors to breast cancer. Also, it makes sense to get your thyroid checked regardless.

  12. Sheri says:

    I only have small orbs on my thumbs.. Blood pressure is always low but docs never seem to be concerned… I show many of the other signs of b12 deficiency… 2nd thing is I’m allergic to iodine…so what so I do?

  13. I know that I was deficient in Iodine. I am now on the Iodine Protocol, which includes taking more than Iodine, just so you know. Thus, the Protocol term. Anyway, I am now taking half the thyroid medication that I was. Also, I take natural thyroid, NP thyroid for me. I won’t take that other fake crap. It made me much sicker.

    To test for thyroid, you must include the Free T3 and Free T4 test. TSH is a test that tells you how the pituitary gland is functioning in relation to the thyroid and has no bearing on whether you need thyroid medication at all. So, if your doc doesn’t want to test with the real tests that are needed, fire them and move on to someone who knows what they are doing.

    Additionally, Iodine is needed by EVERY CELL OF THE BODY, not just the thyroid. So, even if your thyroid is OK, you may still need it, especially in this day and age of our chemical world!

    You need a 24 hour urine test to tell what your thyroid levels are. Contact Dr. Bernstein’s office to get tested. He is the best, in Michigan. Great pioneer in Iodine treatment and research. http://www.drbrownstein.com/‎ He has written a book about Iodine as well. Iodine, Why You Need It and Why You Can’t Live Without It.

    Another great website is http://www.BreastCancerChoices.org. Lynne Farrow wrote a book too. The Iodine Crisis. Excellent reference!

    I found most of my information initially from the Iodine@yahoogroups.com group. The owner is awesome, an ND, and was healed by working with Dr. Brownstein. She had thyroid cancer 3 times, using conventional treatment. Then, decided that she wanted to try a healthier way to get well because she wanted to be around her children for a long time! Her name is Stephanie Buist, ND.

  14. Barbara says:

    My mother (b. 1902) made sure we kept our “moons” showing because that’s where our nails “breathed,” and that kept them healthy. So we dutifully pushed back our cuticles to keep the moons showing.
    Recently, my children questioned me about this practice.

  15. Laura says:

    I have no moons on my fingers but do on my thumbs. i too have MTHFR defects which mean my B12 levels are normal but I cannot use the inactive form. I have to take the bio active forms: methyl-B12 and methylfolate. Unfortunately I have been ill so long that every time I take the B12 it causes horrible detox systems as B12 is needed to make glutathione which is essential for detox. My thyroid panel is normal and I take iodine (kelp) daily.

    • brandy avila says:

      Laura I have the same thing, even a little methyl b-12 makes me so tired and flu like. I’ve tried a tiny amount and I still have that problem. I know I need it, but I hate the reactions to it. I wonder how long it would take to finally stop… days, weeks, months. I’m to scared to try and find out.

  16. Beverly says:

    Moons on thumbs only; should have been diagnosed with congenital hypothyroidism 57 years ago, but we all know how lame the “practicing” medical profession can be at times, not started on NDT until age 55 after years of thyroid being on the “low side of normal”, whatever that was…..last serum B12 showed high, but still with many symptoms of pernicious anemia, although never diagnosed by a medical professional as such – go figure. Increase in energy levels after starting hydroxycobalamin along with methylfolate after watching some of Dr. Rick Van K’s videos and watching The Pernicious Anemia Society videos. Also just recently found out about many, many MTHFR mutations, along with A1298 hetero, but so many other mutations. It is no wonder so many things got out of whack, even thyroid, even though I only have a heterozygous mutation in 25% of the thyroid genes tested. All Hail to Mark Zukerberg. May his FB land many incompetent medical professionals on their proverbial ear…….

    • There’s a really great support group on fb called Pernicious Anaemia/B12 Deficiency – Support Group. I also thank Mr. Zukerberg for fb, it has improved my life in so many ways, including discovering my pernicious anaemia.

  17. April says:

    I am/celiac and hashimoto’s. But before I was diagnosed I always believed my B12 was off and that I had an iodine deficiency which all doctor’s laughed at. Because they are ignorant. I’m on my 8th endocrinologist now and I still don’t think they know enough about autoimmune diseases. After 10 grand in medical bills I am taking matters into my own hands. I started an elimination diet of foods which might hinder healing and added PROTEIN at every meal (cuz my hair was falling out) and I started to eat fish (sardines or salmon) almost every day. Guess what? It looks like my white nails (I have had all my life…never had moons) are trying to come back. And oh yeah…I pray every waking moment that God will give me the wisdom to heal myself because the doctors obviously can’t. I will end by telling you that I also had 12 mercury fillings removed from my mouth in October 2013 by a holistic dentist. So between being poisoned (since age 8 I had the fillings) up to now …age 52…I have never had moons. I know I am doing something right because I can see my nails are starting to turn pink and it looks like a white band which might turn into a moon on my right thumb nail. PRAISE GOD! NEVER FORGET HE CREATED YOU HE CAN FIX YOU!WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE!

  18. suzanne marr says:

    can I send you a picture of my hands ? I am looking for any possible direction of help . five years of extreme fatigue, eat only healthy foods , gain weight easy , high blood pressure under control with meds and I just need help :( btw had thryoid tests done , glucose levels, lyme disease. Apparently all negative . thankyou for your time .

    • Traxy says:

      Just because your thyroid results are within the established limits doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t have an underactive thyroid. For some people it fails to show up on blood tests, despite them having all the symptoms of it. Look at http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com for instance. You are definitely not alone!

  19. Deborah says:

    I have no moons and on a hair analysis I tested high in arsenic… I have no idea why that is or what to do about it.

    • April says:

      Deborah…..rice..both white and brown is high in arsenic. Also commercial chickens may have arsenic in their feed. Google this for info.

  20. Irene says:

    Just looked at my 2 yr old and she has no moons on her finger nails. Should I get her tested for b12 and low blood pressure/thyroid problems?

  21. April says:

    If you have the MTHFR defect can you still derive the b12 and folate from eating liver. It is loaded with these vitamins. Will the defect prevent you from getting the nutrients from food or just supplements?

  22. Alicia says:

    Ok to say that b12 deficiency.is rare is laughable at best it’s not rare at all the doctor will tell you that your levels a’re fine even if there just in the low range of of normal and you are having debilitating.symptoms just like when they check your thyroid you feel like death you go in have your thyroid checked your in the low range of normal your fine it’s sick!!!!

    • Wendy says:

      I hear you. My b12 is 242, it is supposed to be upwards of 800 from what I heard. But every single doctor tells me that I am fine. My D is 24. But when you have every doctor in the area saying you are fine, what are we to do? I am taking organic b12 spray 2 times a day, and liquid vitamin d, but the numbers don’t budge. I have MTHFR as well, and my TSH is suppressed due to being on NDT. I guess I just have to cope. :/ It IS sick, Alicia! :(

      • Wendy I also have low D- or I did, it’s improving now that I learned the key. I took D supplements for over a year and my levels dropped, then I learned you MUST have magnesium in order to manufacture or absorb D. Once I started taking magnesium, my D level rose from 14 to 26 in 2 months! (after dropping for a year on 50,000 iu a week) That was from ONLY taking magnesium, I didn’t even take D supplements at that time, and level rose anyway! Important you get a bio-available, easily absorbed mag (pills won’t work). I used a powdered magnesium called Calm, and take frequent Epsom Salt baths. The skin is a great way to get your mag, the internet is loaded with recipes to make your own magnesium deodorant, lotion, and more. Please try some, I promise you mag makes a World of difference <3

  23. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    An interesting article on moons on your fingernails.. from This Green Earth…

  24. Why Nano Ionic Magnesium?
    A major problem with Magnesium is the body is not readily able to absorb it. There is a lot of misunderstanding about minerals and how they are assimilated. Most products on the market are very difficult to assimilate. That is because they are in the wrong form to get absorbed, not the ionic form.

    With Ionic Liquid Magnesium, absorption is high as it is what the body recognises and utilises. When something is ionised it can go right into the cells without any function of the body other than absorption.


  25. wahmco says:

    Reblogged this on Work at Home Mom’s Co. and commented:
    Low moons on your fingernails — get your iodine checked… Do you eat enough salt? Iodized salt is one of many ways to get iodine, and it’s a necessary nutrient.

  26. Stephanie says:

    I’m not fully sold on your concept. The “moon” on my left hand is smaller than the mooN on my right hand. So what does each moon mean and why would they be different sizes?

  27. Sandra says:

    Vitamin B12 deficiency is also quite common for alcoholics.

  28. Pat says:

    I have never had any moons. I have had my thyroid checked. It was normal. I’ve always thought I was just born this way.

  29. Salem says:

    Please don’t tell people that B12 deficiency is rare. It isn’t. Its actually way more common than you would think. Everyone should read the book “Could It Be B12?” Its about more than taking B12, which is often inadequate if the deficiency is severe enough (even if the serum tests show a “normal” level- which is really just based on hematological standards and not neurological standards) and doesn’t only happen in vegan children. If the children are B12 deficient, it is likely that their mothers (& possibly even fathers) are more deficient. Some people do okay with B12 in the gray zone and some people have symptoms of deficiency with a really high serum B12 level. Because there are several things that can cause a false high B12 test result. Just read the book. It’ll save a lot of pain, suffering and even some unnecessary deaths.

    • kaylee says:

      My NP is currently having my b12 levels checked. i’m still waiting on the results. However she is saying that if my levels come back high, that could mean that just because the b12 is floating around in my blood doesn’t mean my body is using it properly….

  30. yogi says:

    Hi I have hypothyroid.. and have very small moons on thumbs only..none on fingers.. pls advise.

  31. coolmommy123 says:

    I think photos showing what is “normal” and what is too large or too small would be helpful. Everyone’s will differ slightly, but photos could at least help us get an idea of what we are looking for!

  32. Diane says:

    I only have moons on my thumbs. Should I be concerned?

  33. Jane says:

    What does it mean if you have very small orbs or moons on all eight fingers and ever large orbs on both thumbs?

  34. Cheryl says:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunula_%28anatomy%29. Read the last part…..large moons or small or no moons are normal. Doesnt say anything about thyrooid issues or anything

  35. Dana says:

    People….please pay no serious attention in regards to your health as it pertains to your finger nails. I’m studying medicine, and none of the things stated in this article about a correlation between health problems and the “moons” on your finger nails have been scientifically proven and validated by empirical research. It is all based on no more than speculation and unproven theory.

  36. Allie Wright says:

    I have a very small moon on each thumb and no moons on any other nails. I have also recently been found to be Vitamin B12 deficient.

  37. victory50 says:

    It’s interesting to look back at the advertisements for adding Iodine to a persons diet. Everything from Cancer to limping as a person walked was blamed on Iodine by advertisements. It wasn’t until the early 1920s that iodine was added to salt. There is still some argument about natural additives vs. Natural Iodine. The best advice is to ask for a full blood test next time you see your preferred Doctor.

  38. Rachlle says:

    I have no moons at all. I am obese and tried to loose weight with no success. I have chronic fatigue syndrome and have low blood pressure. But my B 12 results are always good but insisted that the doctor inject some B12 I feel good for a couple of days after but does not last. The injection are not the methycobalabyn form. He says it does not exist. Could that be why?

    • Betsy says:

      Methyl cobalamin form of B12 is available thru a compounding pharmacy for injection. I know this because I took or for months this way. If your b12 numbers are good but you improve with injections you might want to research lithium orotate. Our cells can’t take up b12 if we are deficient in lithium orotate. I’m not a dr so please research for yourself. I just know what has helped me and I was able to stop injections and use sublingual b12 after learning about and taking LO.

    • Traxy says:

      You should be able to find methylcobalamin B12 supplements in health stores. The test ranges your doctor go by are not necessarily up-to-date with the latest research.

      • Rachelle says:

        I meant that methycobalabyn in an injection form does not exist. But I purchased a bottle of It and putting it under my tongue. I will see if it does make a difference by taking it everyday. Thanks Traxxy

  39. Pingback: My Fingernail Moon Journey – Do Not Try This At Home, Folks! | The Green Life

  40. Emma says:

    my moons are nearly non existent and I am lethargic. I am already on 12 weekly b12 injections for b12 deficiency, thyroxine tablets for thyroid dysfunction, I have a course of iron tablets and have just finished a course of folic acid… what else could it be? thanks

    • Emma come join us on facebook the group Pernicious Anaemia/B12 Deficiency – Support Group. 7,000 active members, can figure this out. I would suspect your potassium may be low; b12 supplementation lowers potassium. I drink coconut water for my potassium, 1/2 can a day (I hate bananas! LOL) Come check us out, it’s a truly remarkable, knowledgeable group.

  41. Pingback: What are your fingernails trying to tell you? | Naturally Speaking with Kimbra

  42. John says:

    Wow, this is stunningly inane nonsense. Borderline irresponsible.

  43. cormieas says:

    I have small or no moons and have underactive thyroid and B12 deficiency.

  44. Rachel Crump says:

    I have regular looking moons on my fingernails but my left thumb has a large moon on it and my pinky on my right hand has a tiny one on it. What does this mean and what should I do. I do have thyroid problems and a pituitary tumor along with blood pressure issues.

  45. Soo says:

    No moons whatsoever and i have fibromyalgia and a ‘borderline thyroid’ as well as erratic bilurubin production, my Doctor says they don’t yest for B12

  46. Jean says:

    Moons on most fingers but light. I, 2 have MTHFR and buy our vitamins & B12Methylcobalamin 5 mg. Sublingual every other day unless energy extra liw. Also have hypothyroid, adrenal insufficecy, bow diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. The list just keeps growing Just because I’m 68 doesn’t mean I’m ready 2 throw the towel yet. Be u r own advocate. If u can’t get answers from u r Dr, consider genetic testing done. U will know more than they do on this subject & doing something proactive 2 understand & improve u r quality of life. GOOGLE Dr. Ben Lynch 2 find out more about this gene mutation. Hang in there.

  47. Jeanette Frösslund says:

    All in my family have no moons on their fingernails. They have all children and they don’t have depressions. They control their b-12 etc and they have controls on that becose of me. I have normal moons on my fingers but I have ME/CFS, PCO-S and 7 other diagnoses. I wasn’t able to have children. I take b-12 injections every second day, well I have everything you wrote iron etc and some more to stay alive. I’m sorry if you don’t understand my English, I’m from Sweden. I don’t know the names on the other diagnoses in English. I’m the one with what you think is normal, my family don’t. I’m the one who is trying to save my lìfe. I have the normal moons on my fingers…for me you sounds like all those who sells vitamins.

  48. Join support groups on facebook. There’s several for magnesium, vitamin D, iodine, B12, thyroid, you name it. The groups have thousands of members, worldwide, who have been researching these issues for years and compile and share their findings in the group. These groups saved my life, no exaggeration. They’re free, always available, and give good sound advice.

    Groups I recommend: Pernicious Anaemia/B12 Deficiency – Support Group, Magnesium Advocacy Group, Diets for Epilepsy, Iodine, Parasite/Candida/SIBO Mania. (parasites and candida yeast overgrowth will deplete your vitamins and minerals, leading to these deficiencies)

    Be well my family <3

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