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Nutritional Detective Work

Do you eat a balanced diet, but feel that you are showing signs of nutritional deficiencies? Believe it or not, our hair, skin and nails can give us very important clues about our overall health.

Maybe your hair isn’t as thick and shiny as it used to be? Do your nails chip and peel?

Perhaps you have an increased demand for certain vitamins/minerals due to lifestyle/stress/genetics?

Wouldn’t you like to have a Nutritional Program designed to meet your individual needs?

At the Nutritional Wellness Center we work with several labs to perform advanced nutritional assessments, but an integral part of our nutritional workup involves our Nutrition Physical Exam. We look closely at your fingernails, lips, mouth, tongue, skin, hair, and eyes, to gain important insight as to your overall health and nutritional status.

Nutrition detectiveHere are some of the signs we look for to help us tailor your diet and supplement recommendations:

Fingernail exam: White spots on multiple fingers/toes can often be linked to a zinc deficiency. If this is suspected, we ask about cuts that take long to heal, reduced sense of taste and/or acne. Then we perform a simple, in-office taste test to confirm our suspicions.

If your nails are thin and brittle, we consider inadequate protein status or biotin, insufficient levels of healthy fatty acids, low stomach acid, calcium deficiency (may be a sign of low bone density that appears before changes on the DEXA scans).

Do you have bumps on the back of your arms? A combination of factors including low zinc, vitamin A and essential fatty acid (healthy fats) deficiencies may be related.

Have you noticed that your sense of smell isn’t as keen as it used to be? There are a long list of potential causes such as diabetes (70% of diabetics have some smell/taste dysfunction that may correlate with peripheral neuropathy (nerve pain/numbness/tingling in the extremities)), many medications, allergy, hypothyroidism, toxin exposure, and certain vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

Has your hair become dry and brittle, even thinner than usual? This can be a sign of low protein, as well as a lack of healthy essential fatty acids in your diet. Sluggish thyroid function can contribute, as can high stress or certain medications. If abnormal thyroid function is suspected, we examine the eyebrows since thinning of the outer eyebrows is a fairly common sign of low thyroid function.

Does the outer rim of your tongue appear scalloped? This can be a dental alignment problem, but also a sign of sleep apnea, food allergy, or thyroid dysfunction.

Do you get cracks or sores in the corner of your mouth? That can be from several vitamin/mineral deficiencies such as B vitamins, folic acid, niacin, zinc or iron and can be related to yeast overgrowth as well. If you’re prone to canker sores, we will check for gluten intolerance, and for signs of low B12, A, E, C or the amino acid lysine.

This type of nutritional insight provides valuable clues that can help us to personalize your meal recommendations and supplement regimen.

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