Flaking Nails

Evening all

I am just wondering if this is a common problem with anyone. I know it can be a symptom of an Underactive thyroid. My nails are constantly flaking and catching on things and I keep having to cut them until I can't cut anymore. I am slightly low in vitamin D so I have been taking extra now by way of supplement for the last couple of weeks. Has anyone else got anymore tips for me? Thank you for reading.

11 Replies

  • How's your iron? Low iron can cause nail problems, too.

  • Hi greygoose thank you for your response. My iron levels are on the low side Ferritin reading 17.7 but I am not sure how to go about supplementing this. My GP said that I am not anemic so didn't recommend anything!

  • Most GPs have tunnel vision, they just can't see the big picture!

    17.7 sounds awfully low. You don't say what the range is, but the level should be at least mid-range. So, that won't be doing your nails any good!

    You can just buy some ferrous fumerate, or other iron pills, and take them with 1000 mg vit C, to help absorption. But, make sure you take it 4 hours away from your levo! :)

  • My nails were absolutely dreadful while I was being treated for Graves Disease a few years ago. They flaked and peeled to the extent that they became so short that my fingers were so painful that I could barely use them.

    In the end I read something about soaking them in almond oil. While I was trying to find that an assistant in John Lewis recommended OPI Nail Envy Nail Strengthener. Think there are a few types of Nail Envy so have a look at them all, I think I used the one for flaking nails. I also ended up using Bio Oil instead of almond oil because I never managed to find almond oil.

    I also forced myself to use hand and nail cream every time I washed my hands and also started to use rubber gloves when washing up.

    My nails eventually improved and it was probably getting my thyroid sorted out that did it but the Nail Envy really helped in the short term.

  • Good suggestions have you tried moisturizing from the outside? You can buy nail oil but coconut oil would probably work just as well. I always smother my hands last thing at night I have noticed my nails are better although I've used a 990/0 natural eczema cream

  • If you get your vitamin D and iron levels up as already advised plus are on the correct level of thyroid hormone replacement then your nails will stop flaking.

    It will take anything from 3 to 6 months once this has been achieved before you notice improvements.

    Make sure you are taking a decent dose of vitamin D and not the minimum amount prescribed by some GPs. If you don't know what that is start a new thread with your result and prescribed doseage. There are plenty of knowledgable people on here who can point you in the right direction.

    (Again if you have issues on the iron tablets or want more info just start a new thread for answers. There are no stupid questions just questions which there is no research done for it.)

    While all the external oil soaking will help stop your skin being dry it won't stop your nails from flaking completely as it is a nutrition problem effecting the growth of your nails. (Almond oil can be found in ethnic hair supply shops, a large Asda with an ethnic food section, random independent pharmacies and random cheap chemists. I've brought bottles from Savers before but the ethnic hair supply shops are the easiest to find it in. An alternative oil to use which is far easier to find would be olive oil as coconut oil is heavier. I should add I sometimes use them on my skin and hair as well. )

    Also if your levels of vitamin D and iron are that low taking a nail and hair vitamin is a waste of time as it doesn't contain enough iron and vitamin D to increase your levels. A few of them also contain dangerously high levels of vitamin A.

    Every time I have a vitamin/mineral deficiency or hormone problem the first part of my body to suffer is my nails if it persists then my hair follows then it's followed by worse symptoms. This is normal because nails and hair aren't essential to core body function. So take your nail problems as a sign something isn't right.

  • Hi JewelsP. My nails were very weak and flaky and I mentioned this to my hairdresser a couple of years ago. She recommended Nailtiques formula 2. It is no substitute for optimising our vitamin and medication levels but it really helps in the meantime. I no longer have to use it all the time but revert to it if my nails seem to be struggling. It is quick to use and it very effective. All the best x

  • Yes - I'm the same. nails and hair are my first signs of an imbalance. Interesting about the vitamin D and Iron (I'm on D supplement currently). I find its an issue when my Free T3 is too low, so doesn't matter how much T4 I'm on its my T3 that needs to be optimal. My nails are terrible at the moment - exactly the same as you're describing. I'm working with GP and endo to get back to optimal meds but going through the process is hard work and body is suffering...

  • Thank you so much everyone for your helpful tips and advice. When I have chance I will post my results as I am unsure what vitamins and minerals I can safely takex

  • My nails are atrocious both fingers and toes. They were beautiful before overt hypothyrodism wreaked its havock. There has been a slight improvement on NDT with vit d and vItamin supplementation but they are still pretty grim and this is over several years. I don't know if anything can be done now to get them back to their former glory ☹️️ Act now as advised above!

  • My nails split half way down the nail and it drives me mad. I have 7 sides like that right now. I have normocytic anaemia.

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