Yes that is a true statement as problem toenails are a side-effect of serious kidney or liver disease. There will be some people reading who have disfigured toenails. They could be yellow or perhaps have ridges. You may notice that the big toenail seems to be not growing.
Are you one of these people? If you have a concern or are asking yourself Why is my big toenail not growing’? Then you had better read on as it could save your life.
The fact that toenails are unsightly can make people self-conscious at the beach, the swimming pool or any point where you show bare feet. I myself have awful toenails that are yellow and thick with honeycomb.
I decided to find out more about the problem after being embarrassed taking my boys to the pool. My unsightly toenails were so obvious I was very self-conscious about it. I went to the doctor but discovered treatment with pharma products was unpleasant.
I only have one kidney and a potential side effect is kidney damage so I did the research about natural treatment.
The Toenail Matrix
The humble toenail is made through a complex and very clever process in fact so clever it has been called The Matrix.
Most of us are aware of the Hollywood blockbuster film series called The Matrix, it is complex and intricate. The process used by your body to produce your toenails is just as sophisticated.
The body produces cells that are contained in a small pocket under the skin on the top of your toe (or fingers for fingernails). But these cells die before they reach the outside world.
As cells die new cells form, the clever part is that the new cells push the old cells out. They are however compacted first but as you see your toenail grow it is already dead. This is why it does not hurt to cut them but also means that as dead cells they do not react to disease and self-heal.
Kidney and Liver Disease
For somebody who is developing chronic kidney or liver disease toenails can be a valuable early warning sign. If your toenails are yellow or ridged or perhaps growing slowly because they are breaking off then a blood test is essential.
This can rule out or identify some critical problems and provides a red flag to ensure you contact your doctor. If you have been thinking is there a reason for my big toenail not growing then do not ignore it.
The reason this is an indicator is because kidney and liver disease causes Nitrogen to build up in the blood and this often leads to damaged or problematic toenails. Other visual signs on your toenails include –
- Uneven nail surface often with ridges
- Your nails may be breaking off hence the question
- Yellow coloring or a browning of the side of the nail
- A thickening or honeycomb effect
- Smell – your toenails may smell when they are damp
- Linear depressions along the length of the toenail.
A few simple tests can either put your mind at rest or may alert you to a serious illness that may need urgent treatment.
If it is not serious then it is likely that your toenail has an infection with the likely suspect a bacterialinfection called Onychomycosis. Again though this should not be left and can be notoriously difficult to treat. If left the infection could spread to other places such as the genitals. However pharmacy treatments are quite brutal and can themselves cause additional issues.
It is estimated that at least 10% of people suffer with toenail fungus, and it is worse in humid states.
There is one treatment which is more natural and said to be very successful. This is a treatment using Copper Sulfate which can easily be purchased on Amazon here
This is easy to use and can provide good results, it takes about 7 days to kill the bacteria with copper sulphate. Your foot will turn blue and your nails will go black which is normal. The full process is described here and is well worth reading if you have toenail fungus.
A video on natural nail fungus remedies can be seen here
One thing that is worth remembering is that fingernails grow three times quicker than toenails. It is quite common for people to get worried about lack of toenail growth. This is especially so on the big toe which is the one most often damaged.
If you damage the toe matrix then this in itself might well slow down the growth. Considering how slow they grow to start with it therefore may seem like an age before you can visibly see progress.
Helping Toenails To Grow
Asking Why is my big toenail not growing’ might be just a sign of not understanding that it is a very slow process. So if you need your nails to grow faster there are a number of natural products that can both encourage growth and strengthen nails. Natural products to enhance growth are –
- Olive oil – This has vitamin E so can improve blood circulation. It is poor blood circulation that makes toenails grow more slowly that fingernails. Also it will keep your nails moist and help against brittleness available here
- Coconut Oil – Massage in morning and night for healthy supple nails. You can get this here
- Orange juice – yes believe it or not orange juice is great as the vitamin C boosts collagen growth. Bath nails for at least 10 minutes in pure orange juice and then moisturize with Olive Oil.
- Biotin – This is essentially Vitamin H and will boost nail growth. You can get it naturally from cucumber, milk, walnut, strawberries and a number of natural foods. It can also be obtained as a supplements from sources such as
So What Should You Do?
The body is clever as it gives people who know what they are looking for signals to critical health. For example an Optometrist can spot brain tumors looking into an eye. So remember if you have to ask Why is my big toenail not growing’?
It could be serious or even very serious and there are some great online references that make credible reading.
As chemical remedies seem to have some harsh side=effects it would seem the popular choice would be to try a natural remedy. These are relatively cheap and easily available so there is no barrier to this treatment. Certainly Copper Sulfate (also known as Pentahydrate) sounds a really safe bet see more here What should be remembered is how slowly toenails grow and so you may not have an issue at all other than impatience.
The natural treatment seems to be the way forward and of course extra information in the form of YouTube videos such as
Should be watched too.
These were great resources for additional information –
If you have questions or comments or even alternative natural treatments then feel free to post your thoughts.
The common theme here is that for most people there isn’t a problem, your big toenail is just a slow starter and a slow finisher too. For those who have a problem then it is well worth looking at with a doctor but remember to try natural treatments for lesser problems.