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Can Thyroid Problems Cause Nail Problems

What Causes Brittle Nails

A Major Cause of Hypothyroidism and Thyroid Problems with Dr. Rob

According to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology , brittle nails fall into two categories: dry and brittle or soft and brittle.

Dry and brittle nails are the result of too little moisture. Theyre most commonly caused by the repeated washing and drying of fingernails.

On the other hand, soft and brittle nails are caused by too much moisture, often a result of overexposure to detergents, household cleaners, and nail polish remover.

Other causes of brittle nails include:

  • Age. Nails commonly change as people age, often becoming dull and brittle. While toenails commonly get thicker and harder, fingernails often become thinner and more brittle.
  • Iron deficiency. This condition occurs when the body doesnt get enough iron, which leads to low red blood cell levels. Your doctor may measure your ferritin level and provide supplementation if its found to be low.
  • Hypothyroidism. Along with brittle nails, symptoms of low thyroid levels may include hair loss, fatigue, weight gain, constipation, and depression. Your doctor can treat hypothyroidism with the synthetic thyroid hormone levothyroxine, which can be taken orally.
  • Raynauds syndrome. Characterized by circulation problems in the extremities, this condition can affect nail health. Your doctor may prescribe calcium channel blockers, such as amlodipine or nifedipine, or alternatives, such as losartan, fluoxetine, or sildenafil.

Hot Flashes: Is Your Thyroid Causing This Symptom

Hot flashes are symptoms often associated with menopause1.

It is often one of the very first symptoms that a woman experience when she is starting to go through menopause.

Hot flashes tend to become uncomfortable and inconvenient, not only causing embarrassing moments for a woman in public, but also leading to interruptions in her sleeping schedule.

Even though usually associated with menopause, often thought to be brought on by the fluctuations in estrogen levels among women who are going through this phase in life, it should be noted that there are other health concerns that may also lead to similar physiological effects that cause hot flashes as a symptom.

Additionally, it is important to note that some men have also reported experiencing hot flashes, which can obviously not be brought on as a menopausal symptom. For this reason, investigating additional causes for hot flashes may yield appropriate methods for implementing more effective treatment measures among patients suffering these symptoms.

The main purpose of this post is to examine how the thyroid is connected to hot flashes as a symptom.

Hot flashes are considered an official symptom of certain problems that may develop with the thyroid, and may occur in both men and women.

We will also consider additional factors that may influence the risk of the development of hot flashes.

When Your Thyroid Acts Up

You may know the classic signs of trouble with your thyroid — a butterfly-shaped gland on the front of your neck. An overactive thyroid makes you sweat more, feel hot, lose weight, or makes your heart beat faster. An underactive thyroid does the opposite. You might feel cold, gain weight, and get a slower heartbeat. But there are other less obvious signs that you need to learn about.

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Are Ridges In Nails A Sign Of Hypothyroidism

  • The difference between vertical and horizontal ridges innails
  • What does the thyroid have to do with nail growth?
  • Treating ridges in the nails caused by hypothyroidism

Just like your skin and hair, your nails can offer insight into your overall health. Changes to your nail thickness, appearance, strength, and color can be a sign of a health condition that may need your attention. But we often ignore these changes because nails are a seemingly uneventful part of the body. Indeed, we usually only pay attention to them when we cause damage to them or need to perform maintenance. But if you have ridges in your nails, it may be time to pay a little closer attention to what your nails are telling you about your thyroid and overall health.

How Many Of These Signs And Symptoms Do You Have

Brown Line On Fingernail Vitamin Deficiency ~ Ethel Bailey ...


Dry, pale, and cool skin Moist, velvety, and warm skin like a babys Dry skin with deep cracks and scale Deep, noticeable lines on your palms and soles Yellowish-orange color on your palms and soles Doughy and swollen face, especially on your eyelids, lips, and tongue Widening nose Sweating less than before Goiter Protruding eyes Flushing on your face and red palms Darker skin in the creases of your palms, on your gums, or elsewhere in your mouth Rashes, especially in the creases of your skin Painless lumps and patches of scaly, discolored skin, and the affected skin feels hard and waxy Reddish spots on the skin that come and go

Protruding eyes

When eyes protrude, its often a sign of thyroid disease.

Painless lumps and patches of scaly skin feel hard and waxy

Lumps on discolored skin that feel hard and waxy can be a sign of thyroid disease.


Thinning eyebrows on the outer edge Coarse, dull, dry, and brittle hair that breaks easily Soft and fine hair with lots of shedding Thinning hair or balding patches Growing more slowly Dry, itchy scalp and dandruff Less hair on your legs, arms, and other areas


Thick, dry, and brittle with visible ridges Soft, shiny, and easily crumble Growing more slowly Peel, crumble, or break easily Lift up Curved with swollen fingertip and thickening skin above the nail

Curved nails with swollen fingertip


Itchy skin without a rash Untreatable and itchy hives

Existing skin disease

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Can Thyroid Test Be Done During Periods

Even if youre cramping, bloated and feel miserable during your period or have a bad case of PMS, feel free to have your blood drawn for a thyroid test if that has been already scheduled. Just make sure that youre plenty hydrated so that its easier for the technician to find a vein from which to draw the blood.

Too Much Adrenaline And Fight/flight

For some people, the thyroid is overactive, which means the metabolism is too high. One conceivable reason for this is excessive stress as well as high levels of adrenaline for an extended period of time.

Masses of studies show how increased levels of adrenaline, over time, negatively affect the hypothalamus and the pituitary. Since the pituitary gland controls the thyroid, a domino effect is created, as the stress has a negative effect on the thyroid which once again gets faulty information from the brain.

From a breathing perspective, this is interesting. In one study, the participants hyperventilated for 20 minutes, which meant that the carbon dioxide pressure was halved. This led to the adrenaline levels increasing by a massive 360%.

When they repeated the same exercise, but instead had the participants hyperventilate air which contained 5% carbon dioxide, approximately 100 times more than ordinary air, the carbon dioxide pressure remained unchanged. The interesting bit was that the adrenaline levels ALSO remained unchanged. The conclusion is that when carbon dioxide pressure drops, adrenaline levels go the opposite direction. This indicates that a low carbon dioxide pressure activates our stress system.

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Thyroid Nodule Symptom # : A Cough That Just Wont Go Away Frequent Coughing And A Need To Keep Clearing Your Throat

  • What to do about it?
  • Thyroid nodules that cause the patient to cough should always be evaluated with an ultrasound scan. Occasionally a CAT scan is required because it is better at looking at big thyroid goiters than ultrasound is . Sometimes it just canĂ¢t be known for sure if the thyroid nodule is actually causing the coughing. Often these patients undergo a laryngoscopy . If the thyroid nodule is causing the coughing, or there is a high liklihood it is the cause, then surgery is indicated. Of course, it is now very important for you to chose your surgeon wisely. The nerves to the vocal cords are occasionally damaged by a surgeon removing a thyroid and this will cause severe horseness and a loss of voice for months or even forever. We have an entire page dedicated to helping you chose a surgeon wisely!

If You See White Discoloration On Your Nails It Could Be A Sign Of Onycholysis

Can hair loss occur due to thyroid issues? Will it grow back? – Dr. Rasya Dixit

Dearbhaile Collins, PhD, a medical doctor at Cork University Hospital, says onycholysis, also referred to as Plummer’s nails, is a common medical condition that “occurs when the nails pull away from the nail bed beneath it.”

This separation typically results in a white discoloration. While your nail most commonly turns white “due to the presence of air,” Collins notes that your nail may also turn brown or green if infected because of onycholysis. And for more on your nails, find out Everything Your Nails Can Tell You About Your Health.

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The Bottom Line For Stronger Nails:

Avoid washing dishes with bare hands. Always use rubber gloves. Stay away from solvents. If you avoid nail polish you wont need a solvent to remove it. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.

Our Guide to Hair and Nail Care will provide tips on overcoming nail fungus. And our Guide to Thyroid Hormones provides details on symptoms, lab test interpretation and various treatment options for hypothyroidism. If, as our initial reader suggested, the problem is linked to a sluggish thyroid gland, then the most appropriate solution would be to get the thyroid function back to normal.

What Does The Thyroid Have To Do With Nail Growth

The thyroid gland produces thyroid hormones that affect every cell in your body. Thus, every organ system can suffer when thyroid hormone levels are out of balance, including the integumentary system, including your skin, hair, and nails.

People with too little thyroid hormone often struggle with symptoms of dry skin, brittle nails, and hair thinning. Perhaps the primary reason this occurs is that every system in your body slows down when there is not enough thyroid hormone. Therefore, the skin does not renew as quickly, the hair growth cycle is suppressed, and nail growth is slowed and compromised.

In regards to nail growth, ridges can form when cellular turnover slows down, allowing keratin cells to build up before they have a chance to grow out.

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Could Your Thyroid Be Causing Your Sleep Issues

Thyroid conditions are linked to many other symptoms besides trouble with sleep. If you have any of these other signs, it can mean that a thyroid problem is behind your sleep problem.

Besides joint or muscle pain, daytime sleepiness or fatigue, and feeling cold, hypothyroidism can also cause:

  • Changes in bowel habits or menstrual periods

How Hypothyroidism Affects Your Hair Skin And Nails

These 6 Nail Conditions Can Discover A Lot About Your ...

Hypothyroidism may be the cause of hair, skin, and nail problems. Everyone likes to look their best, and in many cases, how you feel about your appearance relies on your hair, skin, and nails. Many lotions, supplements, and ointments promise better hair, skin, and nails, but true health starts from within.

Ahead, learn how your thyroid affects your hair, skin, and nails and what to do if you still experience related symptoms no matter how many times you condition or lather.

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How Can The Thyroid Affect Skin Hydration

  • Lipolysis is aided by thyroid hormone.
  • Thyroid dysfunction causes lipogenesis which contributes to sluggish bile production.
  • Bile is responsible for emulsifying and absorbing lipids and fat-soluble vitamins.
  • When that cascade is disrupted, it has a direct impact on skin hydration, resulting in dry skin and brittle nails.

If youre suffering from unexplained dry skin accompanied by brittle nails and/or hair loss, then be sure to have your thyroid hormone levels checked!

When To Contact Your Doctor

If youve checked off signs and are not feeling yourself, discuss this with your primary care doctor. These signs dont necessarily mean that you have thyroid disease. By asking you about your symptoms, your doctor can decide whether you need a blood test to check for thyroid disease.

Have a skin, hair, or nail problem?

Discover the benefits of seeing a dermatologist.

ImagesImage 1: Getty ImagesImages 2, 3, 4: Used with permission of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology: J Am Acad Dermatol. 2003 Jun 48:970-2.

ReferencesAi J, Leonhardt JM, et al. Autoimmune thyroid diseases: etiology, pathogenesis, and dermatologic manifestations. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2003 48:641-59.

Anderson CK, Miller OF. Triad of exophthalmos, pretibial myxedema, and acropachy in a patient with Graves’ disease. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2003 48:970-2.

Bae JM, Lee JH, et al. Vitiligo and overt thyroid diseases: A nationwide population-based study in Korea. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2017 76:871-8.

Callen JP. Dermatologic manifestations in patients with systemic disease. In: Bolognia JL, et al. Dermatology. . Mosby Elsevier, Spain, 2008: 681-2.

Kalus AA, Chien AJ, et al. Diabetes mellitus and other endocrine diseases. In Wolff K et al. Fitzpatricks Dermatology in General Medicine . McGraw Hill, China, 2008:1470-4.

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Can Thyroid Medicine Affect Your Kidneys

Because thyroid hormone has numerous effects on the kidney, heart, and vascular system, thyroid dysfunction can cause significant changes in renal and cardiovascular functions . In particular, hypothyroidism is known to be associated with reduced renal plasma flow and low glomerular filtration rate .

Can I Live A Normal Life With A Thyroid Disease


A thyroid disease is often a life-long medical condition that you will need to manage constantly. This often involves a daily medication. Your healthcare provider will monitor your treatments and make adjustments over time. However, you can usually live a normal life with a thyroid disease. It may take some time to find the right treatment option for you and control your hormone levels, but then people with these types of conditions can usually live life without many restrictions.

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Changes In Menstrual Periods

Because hyperthyroidism tells your body to move faster, the menstrual cycle can become lighter and faster. You may also notice longer periods of time in between your periods.

On their own, these symptoms may indicate other medical problems. However, when you or your doctor identify more than one of these symptoms at a time, there is a good chance its due to thyroid problems.

Thankfully, most thyroid disorders are treatable and are not life-threatening. However, if you notice a rapid heart rate and experience either a fever or deliriousness, you should call your doctor immediately. These are signs of a hyperthyroid complication called thyrotoxic crisis.

Weak And Splitting Nails And Hypothyroidism

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Our nails can perhaps surprisingly tell us quite a bit about our health . Weak, brittle nails which break, split and peel easily can be a common sign and symptom of hypothyroidism and or Hashimotos.

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When Should I Call The Doctor For Dizziness

Dizziness is a common complaint and often has resolved by the time the patient arrives to see a health care professional. Usually there is no rush to seek care. However, while the complaint of dizziness is not often an emergency, seek care immediately if it is accompanied by any of the following:

  • Chest pain, shortness of breath, or palpitations. These symptoms should not be ignored, as they suggest the heart may be the source of the dizziness.
  • Dehydration. Often there may be an associated illness including fever, vomiting, or diarrhea.
  • People with diabetes may have dizziness due to low blood sugar or high blood sugar , and may need emergent care to stabilize their insulin and medication requirements.
  • Bleeding from any source.
  • Altered mental status or thinking. This may include symptoms such as confusion, change in vision, change in speech, facial droop, weakness of one side of the body, or headache. These may be signs of stroke, bleeding in the brain, or tumor.
  • FAST warning signs of a stroke:
  • Face facial droop
  • Arm arm or leg weakness
  • Speech difficulty speaking or understanding speech
  • Time time is of the essence. Call 911.
  • Vertigo may cause significant problems with vomiting and may be debilitating. Often, medical care is needed to control symptoms even though the underlying problem is not necessarily serious.
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    Hypothyroidism And Brittle Nails

    Simple New Yorker: Medical Causes Of Peeling Fingernails

    Diana always longed to grow her nails but somehow, they seemed to keep breaking or chipping off. When she started to also experience constant fatigue, a colleague advised her to undergo a check-up for any thyroid problems or vitamin deficiencies.

    Diana was suffering from hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is marked by a slowed down thyroid gland. In this hypothyroidism, the main symptoms of thyroid disorder are a slow metabolism, constant fatigue, sudden weight gain, constipation, memory loss, irregular periods, and muscle cramps. Hypothyroidism also shows external signs in the form of brittle nails that break or bend easily.

    It is important to remember that having brittle nails does not always mean you have any thyroid problems. Weak nails might result from many factors such as nutritional deficiencies or overusing nail art glue. However, often brittle nails can indicate the beginning states of serious health issues. If you have noticed your nails peeling, chipping or bending inspite of taking good care of them, you would benefit from a medical check-up.

    Our nails like our hair are one of the most important features we groom on ourselves. Healthy and clean nails make a great first impression on people you meet. Here are some easy tips to help you care for your nails the right way.

  • Trim and file regularly
  • Skip the acetone
  • Use rubber gloves for housework
  • Moisture is a must
  • Never cut your cuticles
  • Let your nails breathe
  • Eat the right foods
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