Thyroid UK
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Fingernail health

Hello everyone!

I changed from Levo to Thiroyd in early Oct 15. I am now on 3.75 grains...I am due to have a blood test before Easter to see how well this dose suits me. My docs do not know that I have dropped Levo.

My question is about fingernail health. I can't remember ever having had "half moons" on the outer fingernails of both hands. Tonight I saw them for the first time!

Sorry if this seems insignificant, but to me it feels like progress...

Any thoughts would be welcome...


17 Replies

Before I was treated for hypothyroidism I frequently had to push back my cuticles because they would quickly overgrow and spread up my fingernails. They would also separate from my nails and I got lots of hangnails as a result which would catch on clothes. That only happens to a tiny extent now. My fingernails have improved immensely in quite a lot of ways. My only annoyance now is that I still consider them to be too soft and bendy, although even that isn't so pronounced as it used to be.

Congrats on seeing your half moons. I can't see mine on my ring fingers and my pinkies, but I can see them on the other fingers and my thumbs.


You may need more magnesium, hb. My nails always improve when I take it.


Michelle, the most important thing when on NDT, is how you 'feel' i.e. improved, good, etc.

Because T3 is in NDT your blood test for thyroid hormones will

probably be skewed in comparison to the the normal test which is for levothyroxine only. The blood tests were introduced along with levothyroxine.

Your doctor will only do the routine test and might want to adjust your hormones to bring them in range and wonder why they're 'skewed'.

If he does a T3 blood test it will be higher or near the top of the range and T4 low due to being on NDT.

If on NDT the best way to judge is how you 'feel' i.e. good, bad, not so good.


Shaws, do you test your TSH ever? I found my TSH rising to 4 while on T3 only but I felt the best of all. It was rather alarming but now I'm thinking perhaps it doesn't matter. My thought is that TSH may not be as affected by taking T3 only although I thought it would be suppressed on a high enough dose.

I haven't read anything to that affect but except for Dr. Lowe, not much is written about a high TSH and yet no real symptoms of hypo while on T3 only.


I had a blood test a couple of months ago but TSH is fine, around 1. I am not at home so cannot give accurate result.

My dose has been stable for sometime now.

As long as I feel well I wont bother having a test at all. GP might insist on a yearly one.

If doctors adjust doses according to the TSH the patient might well never recover as a lot of members have been on a treadmill with dose up/down according to the TSH. I think if you have a high T3 you might feel overstimulated and reduce it yourself. However, this is an excerpt and don't know if it answers for you:-

Dr. Lowe: With most patients, I use thyroid function tests (TSH, free T3, and free T4) and thyroid antibodies only for a patient’s initial diagnosis. Afterward, I follow the practice, in principal, of Dr. Broda Barnes—that is, measuring tissue effects of particular dosages of thyroid hormone rather than remeasuring TSH, free T3, and free T4 levels.

My reason for this different protocol is simple: the TSH, free T3, and free T4 tell us only how the pituitary and thyroid glands are interacting. Of course, the test levels may also tell us something of the influence of thyroid hormone over the hypothalamus in its secretion of TRH, another hormone that influences the pituitary gland's secretion of TSH.

Tissue measures of thyroid hormone tell us what is most important, that is, how the patient's tissues other than the pituitary and hypothalamus are responding to a particular dosage of thyroid hormone.

Also from the above::

TSH levels don’t significantly correlate day-to-day[1] or week-to-week.[2] One research group measured the TSH and free T3 and free T4 levels of ten normal young men.[3] When they measured the levels every 30 minutes for 24 hours, they found that the hormone levels were lower during the day and higher at night. During the day, the free T3 was 15% lower, the free T4 was 7% lower, and the TSH was 140% lower. When the researchers measured the hormone levels every five minutes for six to seven hours (7 PM-to-11 PM), the levels varied every thirty minutes. The TSH level varied 13%, the free T3 15%, and the free T4 11%.


Thanks, Shaws, I do agree about the fluctuation and it doesn't matter how low TSH goes BUT when it goes high, it seems to matter. I was not well when my TSH was 2 (years ago) and yet when it was 4 recently, I felt no unusual symptoms. In fact, the only reason I tested was that I was having a problem getting T3 and needed a prescription so had to see the doctor who discovered it was 4. I think I'm doing as well on NDT as I really had no problem when I switched to T3 in the first place. I'll be curious to see what my TSH does on NDT.

1 like

Remember to stop your ndt before you have the test!

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Remember to not take your Thiroyd for 12 hours before your blood test for it to be accurate. If you take it in the morning and your blood test is in the morning take it after your blood test.


my fingers nail also human bean does, but probably are worse they randomly grow, are bendy and weak, the colour becomes translucent, my cuticles overgrow and become exactly hanger like!!!! my toes are worse they are extremely weird with their growth, they have become very nobly and have lifted from my skin, look as if part of it has died :( I'm on levy 100mg

the hope is still alive


Try 400 mgs of good magnesium, Stormx




Hi Michellebelfast

Congratulations on such a big improvement. It's not insignificant at all. Even small gains have to be celebrated. I too had ugly nails but have found since being on NDT they've grown back. In fact, last week as a pickmeup I treated myself to a manicure - 1st time in 3 years, due to the fact I now have nails yay. Hopefully things just keep improving for you x


I am on Levo, and my nails are not good. I only have half moons on my thumbnails and first finger nails. The nails are ridged and liable to split.


This post is so timely. I have bitten my nails all my life and this past 8 months that I have been on NDT my nails have grown faster than I can bite them down. I am now a person with decent finger nails. Now, having said that, they are very soft and bendy, does that mean I am lacking calcium or I have an excess (I do eat a lot of yogurt and milk)? And, Heloise, did your reference to Magnesium relate to finger nails? Does Mg make them stronger and/or grow faster?


I stopped biting my nails about 5 or 6 years ago. I read about a supplement that helped reduce the compulsion and thought it was worth a try. It was called NAC or N-Acetylcysteine or N-Acetyl Cysteine. I took 600mg twice a day, then after a month or two I reduced it to 600mg once a day. It wasn't a guaranteed cure but it helped just enough for me to break the habit.

I used Swanson brand from Amazon. NAC is rather smelly and is sold in a capsule to try and hide it. The brand I used was less smelly and much cheaper than the Holland & Barrett ones.


Thank you so much hb, I will definitely go get some or get it from Amazon. Probably the latter since the three/four year Californian drought seems to have finished this weekend! It has rained cats and dogs for three days and I am just sitting here waiting for just a slight let up so that I can go and take out yesterday's garbage!

Also, I just found this interesting link about what your nails say about your health:

Hope that link works, it's interesting.


I also moved over from Levo to NDT on 1st October last year without telling my doctor I t certainly was a good move for me , I have felt so much better The test taken before NDT T4 only was 3.5 normal, 5 months later 0.11 abnormal. Does anyone think this is something to be concerned about. Ifeel good at present


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