Brittle Nails Could Be a Sign of a Deeper Issue

Are your fingernails slow-growing and brittle? This could be a sign of an underactive thyroid.

Hypothyroidism is a condition where the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough of certain hormones. Symptoms range from fatigue, dry skin, thinning hair, slowed heart rate, and brittle nails. In its early stages, symptoms may not be noticeable.

An underactive thyroid may not only cause your nails to become brittle. This condition could also make them thin and break or peel easily. Nails could become softer, shinier, and contain deep ridges. Hypothyroidism slows down the sweating function that helps moisturize the body. Without this vital moisture, hair and nails will become noticeably dryer.

Other Symptoms of a Slow Thyroid

Other symptoms of hypothyroidism are shown below.

  • Weight gain
  • Intolerance to cold
  • Hair loss
  • Constipation
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Fatigue
  • Dry skin and hair
  • Depression

Treatment for Hypothyroidism

If you are experiencing brittle nails or any of the other symptoms of an underactive thyroid, see your primary care physician. Only a doctor can diagnose hypothyroidism. This is achieved with a thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) blood test.

Once properly diagnosed, treatment is fairly straightforward. The TSH test can help your doctor determine the proper dosage of medication needed. Typically, treatment involves taking a hormone replacement medication called levothyroxine.

Brittle Nails Could Point Toward an Underactive Thyroid

Your fingernails could be pointing at a thyroid issue. Your healthcare professional can run a simple blood test to check your thyroid levels.

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