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.