Shellac out of whack?

December 18, 2021
 Do you feel like you are always getting your nails done? Are you changing polish or even nail salons? Has your manicurist started using the word “dry” a lot and you’re always breaking a nail? If you’re menopausal, your manicure woes may not be your imagination. Brittle nails are one of the more surprising symptoms that can come along with menopause. What causes brittle nails? Nails can become brittle for many of reasons and doctors know that appearance of your fingernails can give a lot of information about your general health. Fingernails and toenails both grow from the thin white semicircle at the base of the nail known as the lunula. When the nail is healthy, this group of cells produces a protein called keratin, that forms the nails and protects the nail beds. Estrogen affects how keratin and nails grow and when estrogen levels drop during menopause, the keratin layer of the nails becomes weaker and can break easily. As a nail’s matrix builds up with keratin, hormones like estrogen diffuse into the nail from capillaries in the blood. Blood flow increases nail growth, which is why the hand you use most normally has the faster growing nails than your other hand. When estrogen levels decline, circulation is affected, hydration is affected and many women experiencing menopause have brittle nails due to more than one imbalance or deficiency. Another common cause of brittle nails is low thyroid function. The thyroid gland also affects circulation to the extremities and when it is impaired, the blood flow may not be enough to maintain healthy nails. Nail beds can also look pale in color due to this lack of blood flow. The parathyroid gland regulates calcium and vitamin D in the body and when the gland are not producing adequate parathyroid hormone, brittle nails can happen. Calcium and vitamin D levels should be monitored to ensure optimum blood levels. Mental health plays a role in the health of our nails and stress and anxiety can slow nail growth and cause brittle or weak nails. Stressful events can stop the body from making new nails. Indentations in the nails called Beau’s lines, are horizontal lines that run across the nail plate. Stress disrupts the regrowth of the nail plate, and these horizontal lines are markers.  Both physical and mental stress can cause depressions in the nails. Stressful events can have an effect on your nails. White spots on nails can be an indicator of a stressful event. Because a fingernail takes approximately 6 months to grow out, if you see a white spot on your fingernail, you may be able trace it back to a stressful event, around six months prior.  The white spot indicates a drop in blood levels of zinc. Osteoporosis can also cause brittle fingernails Your nails are a good indicator of the condition of your bone health. If your nails are chipping and breaking easily, you should check to see if it could be related to osteoporosis. Dietary issues and certain diseases can have a profound effect on nail health and growth. Vitamin C, calcium, folic acid, protein, iron, and essential fats, all help nails to grow strong. Estrogen also helps regulate our body’s water retention, and declining blood levels can cause dehydration and make nails dry and flaky. Brittle nails are made worse by dehydration. Tips & Handy Advice To help your hands and nails look and feel more youthful, keep hands moisturized and protect your hands from the elements. Stay hydrated, avoid harsh chemicals and water. Cut back on caffeine and carbonation and avoid acetone. Lastly, check calcium and vitamin D levels with the vitamin therapy experts at MedStudio ™ private medical clinic. They can ensure your body is getting the nutrients it needs to grow strong, healthy hair and nails. To naturally balance estrogen levels and restore hydration and health to your hands and nails, schedule your free 30 min consult at MedStudio ™ private medical clinic today.