Many women can be taken by surprise when their once healthy and strong nails suddenly begin to grow yellow, weak, and brittle. The first step in dealing with this condition is learning and understanding the reasons behind its development. Some of the causes can be less obvious than others. Continue reading to discover five hidden reasons for developing brittle nails during menopause.
Maintaining a good overall diet is essential to nail health, and iron is one of the minerals that have been proven to be most closely linked to nail health. Spoon-shaped nails can easily develop as a result of iron deficiency, so it is vital that you make sure that you are consuming enough iron-rich foods, such as chicken or beef liver and mussels.
There are some bad habits that you can unwillingly and unknowingly get into that can be behind the mysterious development of brittle nails. Doing things like using your nails as tools - such as when opening cans, finding the end of sticky tape rolls, or scratching dry stains off the carpet - can cause nails more trauma than most people realize. Biting your nails or cutting your cuticles can also cause the type of nail trauma that can be behind the development of brittle nails.
It is important for you to drink enough liquids throughout the day to stop you from becoming dehydrated. Dehydration can have a negative impact on your nails in the same way it can damage the rest of your body. You should try to make sure to drink enough glasses of water each day to minimize the risk of dehydration becoming one of the causes of brittle nails.
There are several underlying conditions that may account for brittle nails. These conditions include liver disease, thyroid problems, anemia, infection, and poor circulation. If you notice any other symptoms occurring alongside brittle nails which cause you worry, then it would be wisest for you to make an appointment with your doctor.
Hormonal imbalance is usually the most likely cause for abrupt brittle nails, especially if this occurs at the same time as you are undergoing menopause. When your hormones, particularly estrogen and progesterone, are in flux, they can have a significant impact on water levels in your body. When water levels become low, as they are prone to do during menopause, your nails can grow brittle and weak.
The realization that you are suffering from brittle nails can come as a surprise to women who have always enjoyed strong and healthy fingernails. Additionally to the reasons, learning about the best foods to help with brittle nails, can arm you with the knowledge to begin to restore your nails back to their previous health.
- Dimitris, R., Ralph, D. (2012). Management of simple brittle nails. Dermatologic Therapy, 25(6), 569-573. doi: 10.1111/j.1529-8019.2012.01518.x.
- National Health Service UK. (2013). Nail abnormalities. Retrieved November 5, 2013, from http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/nail-abnormalities/Pages/Introduction.aspx