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Hypothyroidism and Brittle Nails

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.

  1. Trim and file regularly

Even if you fancy growing your nails long, you must trim or file the ends regularly. Your nails get exposed to a lot of oils and germs that make their tips weak and blunt. Trimming helps maintain healthy nails and also helps get rid of the dirt that accumulates underneath.

  1. Skip the acetone

A huge mistake many women make is that they buy acetone from the pharmacy to erase nail polish. Acetone dries out your nails terribly. Ever notice the white powdery layer that forms after you use acetone? Throw out those acetone bottles immediately, and invest in a good quality nail polish remover instead.

  1. Use rubber gloves for housework

Washing dirty dishes three times a day can have an impact on nail health. Try to get in the habit of wearing rubber gloves while you wash plates or even clothes. This will protect your soft skin and nail cells from the many harsh effects of detergent. Keep at this habit of wearing gloves and you will notice a huge difference in your hands and nails within two weeks.

  1. Moisture is a must

Yes, even your nails require good moisturising. While a body moisturiser would work just fine, the best moisturiser for your nails is oil. Coconut oil works great but you can use any other option such as almond oil or olive oil. Rub some oil onto your fingernails and toenails before bedtime. Your nails will soak up the moisture and have a healthy shine the next morning.

  1. Never cut your cuticles

Many beauticians might tell you to trim your cuticles. This is a huge mistake. Your cuticles are the base of your nail and trimming them can expose your nails to germs and infection. If you have very large or hard cuticles, you can manage them buy massaging in some moisturiser and gently pushing them back with a wooden orange stick.

  1. Let your nails breathe

Having brittle nails might not always mean you have thyroid problems. It might be that you always keep your nails covered in polish and never allow them some bare time to breathe. Nail polish and nail art glue block your pores. In the long run, this can lead to brittle and yellowing nails. Keep your nails bare of polish a few days of the week so they can breathe, heal, and grow beautifully.

  1. Eat the right foods

Thyroid problems and resulting brittle nails often stem from bad dietary habits. Your nails are made up primarily of a protein called keratin. For healthy nails, you need a diet rich in protein, zinc, magnesium, and calcium. Make sure you stay hydrated with sufficient water through the day. You can also drink fresh fruit juice and coconut water.

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