Thin and Brittle Nails

Thin and brittle nailsThin and brittle nails have been becoming a problem for me the past two to three months.  They rip and break very easily and I can’t figure out why.  Let’s see if we can come up with a reason for this to be happening.

I work in a restaurant and am constantly washing and drying my hands and only using lotion once or twice a day.  This in itself can cause thin and brittle nails after a time. If this is the cause I’m not going to worry too much.  I can’t wear gloves when I’m in water there but at least I’ll know that I don’t have an underlying illness connected to it.

Another cause of thin and brittle nails could be a lack of iron.  The name of the condition is koilonychia.  It’s when the nails are brittle, curve inward, and have raised edges.  There’s another name for this condition, iron deficiency anemia. Well now, I’ve had that off and on most of my life, Hmmmm. This condition can also cause extreme fatigue (oh yeah), crawling or tingling in the legs (like every night lately), sore and inflamed tongue (yup), and irritablilty (definitely).  These are the symptoms I’m feeling but it can also cause other things.

Hypothyroidism or an underactive thyroid is another cause for thin and brittle nails.  Hypothyroidism can also have symptoms of depression, fatigue, muscle aches, joint pain, unexplained weight gain and several other unpleasant symptoms.

Unfortunately these two conditions mimic several of the symptoms of fibromyalgia so what do I/you really have.  You can have fibromyalgia and these other wonderful things at the same time and there’s only one way to know for sure. A simple blood test can confirm if you have koilonychia or hypothyroidism.  If you have any of these symptoms please go to your doctor and get checked out.  There are medications and diet changes that can improve both conditions.

Thin and brittle nails are a symptom of SOMETHING.  Hopefully it’s just washing my hands too much.  No matter what I discover is behind it I’m going to fix it.  Sometimes when a nail breaks or rips it rips part way down the finger as well as just the nail end.  Darn but that can hurt especially if it gets caught on something.

As I mentioned in a previous article, your nails can indicate certain diseases.  Pay attention to them and then follow up with a visit to your doctor.


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