Diabetes is a growing problem with higher prevalence than ever.  There are a couple of ways to diagnose diabetes with the most common being to check a fasting blood sugar level.  However, diabetes could be difficult to diagnose when other conditions, such as pregnancy, is involved.

Normal, healthy nails appear smooth and have consistent coloring.  As you age, you may develop vertical ridges, or your nails may be a bit more brittle.  This is harmless.  Spots due to injury should grow out with the nail.  Abnormalities—such as spots, discoloration, and nail separation—can result from injuries to the fingers and hands, viral warts (periungual warts), infections (onychomycosis), and some medications, such as those used for chemotherapy.

Certain medical conditions can also change the appearance of your fingernails. However, these changes can be difficult to interpret, and your fingernails’ appearance alone is not enough to diagnose a specific illness.  A physician will use this information, along with your other symptoms and a physical exam, to make a diagnosis.

? Results + Conclusions

Two new potential methods for diagnosing diabetes – one from a biomarker and one from fingernail clippings – could lead to easier, timelier, and more affordable options for identifying and treating diabetes in its standard and gestational forms.  Research findings on both new tests were presented at the 2015 AACC Annual Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo in Atlanta.

Nail clippings from 25 patients with diabetes and 25 patients without diabetes to analyze if there were any differences.  Patients with diabetes had a much higher amount of protein in the nails that had bonded with sugar molecules.

Conclusions: New interesting and perhaps more easy ways to diagnose this disease may be emerging.  This study suggests that this could be a simple and inexpensive method of diagnosing diabetes.

? Reference