Menopause Brittle Nails

Menopause Brittle Nails

Nails that crack, peel or split don't pose much of a threat to your health, but let's face it: there are enough changes to our appearance as we age. Losing the pretty, graceful nails we were once proud of is just one more of those aesthetic changes we don't need. If your once-lovely nails have become unsightly during the cessation of your menstrual cycle, there are ways to bring them back to their former beauty.

Definition of Menopause Brittler Nails
Nails either if we are talking about fingernails or toenails, are formed of a hard substance called keratin, which is produced by specialized cells at the root of the nail bed. When a woman is in good health and her hormones are in balance, nails provide a sturdy protective layer for the sensitive nail bed. However, nutritional deficiencies, stress, or the hormonal changes of menopause can weaken the keratin layer, resulting in nails that tear easily, split lengthwise, or peel off along the tip - brittle nails

Though the primary result of brittle nails is aesthetic, there are health risks that may appear. Severely split or broken nails can expose the nail bed, which is painful in itself and can allow bacteria to enter the unprotected area, resulting in infection.

Symptoms of Menopause Brittle Nails
- Changes in nail color
- Ridges on nails
- Splitting nails
- Frequent nail breaks
- Peeling nails
- Sunken appearance
- Feeling of dryness
- Nails curled over fingertip
- White spots on nails
- Dry cuticles and hangnails

Causes of Menopause Brittle Nails
The health of the keratin layer is linked to the level of hormones in the body, particularly estrogen. Estrogen serves many functions, one of which is to regulate water retention. Low levels of estrogen can lead to general dehydration, including dry, brittle nails.

In addition to dehydration, dietary deficiencies can cause brittle nails. Such nutrients as calcium, protein, iron, Vitamin C, folic acid and fat are necessary for the health of your nails. Weak or brittle nails can also be caused by certain diseases or disorders, including anemia, thyroid problems and poor circulation.

Menopause Brittle Nails Treatments
Your medical professional can tell you whether a disorder such as anemia is a primary cause of your brittle Nails, and if so, can prescribe supplements to treat it. Eating a nutritious, balanced diet and using stress-reduction techniques such as meditation or yoga might also help.

Most often, however, the underlying cause in women who are menopausal is the lack of estrogen. Therefore, restoring that hormonal balance is the best approach to treatment. While conventional hormone replacement therapy involves a level of risk that makes it an undesirable approach for many women, there are natural ways to support the body's hormone production. Amberen, for example, helps the organs of the endocrine system, particularly the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland and the ovaries, to restore cells to a pre-menopausal level of hormone production.

Menopause Brittle Nails FAQ

Q: Are there foods that are particularly helpful in improving the strength of nails?
A: Almonds contain essential fatty acids that help the body in a variety of ways, including strengthening the keratin layer of weak or brittle nails.

Q: I have been in menopause for about one year. Everything seems to be going well except my nails have become weak and brittle. What is causing my brittle nails?
A: The usual cause of brittle nails in women going through menopause is a hormone imbalance with her estrogen levels. When they are low it affects the way keratin is produced. A lack of estrogen means the body is easily dehydrated, thus leading to the nails to grow out brittle.

Q: Are there any foods that can help with my brittle nails? I have noticed a change once I started going through menopause. This and hot flushes seem to be the two constant headaches for me. I do not want to have to start a HRT because of all the dangers associated with them. I want that to be my last resort.
A: Women should indeed keep HRT as their very last resort for treating menopause symptoms. Not having hot flushes or brittle nails is not trade off for the higher risk of cancer. However, there are foods that women can consume that will help with their brittle nails. Women should eat foods high in Omega-3s as they will help the nails grow out stronger. These foods include: almonds, coconut oil and salmon. If needed, there are also Omega-3 supplements available.

Q: I heard that those over the counter nail strengtheners that can be painted on will help with my brittle nails? If so, it this still true for women in menopause?
A: For women going through menopause it is more of an issue of getting her estrogen at the proper levels. This can be done with proper nutrition and if needed, supplements. As for the OTC nail strengtheners, they may be a better option for women with brittle nails due to other causes. However, women who use these products are merely treating the nails and not the cause.

Q: Could my hand lotion be causing my brittle nails? I was told by a friend that menopause can cause brittle nails and some hand lotions. However, I have not quite hit menopause, but I have begun to notice some changes.
A: It is true, certain hand lotions and menopause both contribute to brittle nails. Women need to read their lotion ingredients to be certain it does not contain alcohol. If it does, then it should not be used as the alcohol will dry out the nail beds causing the nails to become brittle. Also, some women may experience brittle nails during perimenopause. This is due to the fluctuation in hormone levels.

Q: My doctor told me that getting a non-polish manicure once every other week will help me with my brittle nail issue I have been having since hitting menopause. Why should I not get polish, isn't that the point of a manicure?
A: The doctor was correct in suggesting a non-polish manicure. This is because the chemicals in nail polish are harsh and dry out the nails, the nail bed and even the cuticles. This alone can make any woman's nails brittle, but in combination with her hormone imbalance, the situation becomes worse. Therefore, a nourishing polish-free with mineral oils is a better option.


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