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Do you have Hypothyroidism? Look At Your Hands!

Jun 14, 2023 | Blog, Thyroid Health

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Do You Have Hypothyroidism, Look At Your Hands

Understanding Hypothyroidism and Nail Abnormalities

THYROID HORMONES are essential for regulating many bodily functions, including metabolism, growth, and development. HYPOTHYROIDISM (sluggish thyroid) is a common condition where the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough of these essential hormones. This can lead to a variety of symptoms, including fatigue, weight gain, hair loss, and dry skin.

While most people are aware of the common symptoms associated with hypothyroidism, many are surprised to learn that nail abnormalities can also be a sign of a weak, or UNDERACTIVE THYROID. Since the health of our fingernails is a reflection of our overall health, the nail bed and fingernails can show a variety of physical abnormalities that can be associated with hypothyroidism.

 

Common Nail Abnormalities

Abnormal conditions linked to hypothyroidism include ALULUNA (absence of the Lunula, the little white moons of the bed of the nails), , KOILONYCHIAK (spoon-shaped nail plates), ONYUCHOLYSIS (separation of the nail from the nail bed), BEAU’S LINES (transverse grooves or depressions of the nail plate), PTERYGIUM UNGUIS (thinning of the nail fold and spreading of the cuticle over the nail plate), ONYCHOMYCOSISO (fungal infection of the nail), ONYCHORRHEXIS (longitudinal ridging of the nails).

YELLOW NAIL SYNDROME, brittleness, slow growth, and thickening are also very common signs.

 

Paronychia & Hypothyroidism

One significant sign of hypothyroidism is PARONYCHIA, a condition where the cuticles are jagged and rough around the edges. This symptom is often linked to a PROTEIN DEFICIENCY, specifically TYROSINE deficiency, which is one of the major amino acids responsible for helping thyroid function. If you notice this symptom on your nails, it may indicate a low level of thyroid and the need for evaluation by your doctor.

 

Vertical White Ridges on Nail & Hypothyroidism

Another common example of a thyroid fingernail abnormality is the presence of WHITE VERTICAL RIDGES on the nail beds. This condition may indicate a nutritional deficiency of SELENIUM, a mineral that is essential for the CONVERSION of the INACTIVE thyroid hormone T4 to the ACTIVE T3 thyroid hormone.

While most of the hormone that is secreted from the thyroid gland is INACTIVE T4, it is the ACTIVE form that directly affects how you look, feel and function.

Without selenium, the conversion of T4 to T3 is not effective, and the fingernails may show white spots. This symptom also suggests the need for thyroid evaluation and treatment.

 

Nail Splitting & Hypothyroidism

SPLITTING AT THE TIPS of the nails is another common sign of hypothyroidism. This symptom can occur due to a LACK OF MOISTURE, which is a common symptom of hypothyroidism.

While some of these nail abnormalities can occur due to other underlying conditions, if they occur along with other symptoms such as fatigue, hair loss (especially thinning of the outside 1/3 of the eyebrows), low libido, dry skin, and unexplainable weight gain, it may be time to see your doctor for a thyroid evaluation to be certain that you are receiving the most appropriate, effective treatment.

It’s important to note that nail abnormalities alone cannot diagnose hypothyroidism, and a proper evaluation by a medical professional is necessary. However, understanding the link between hypothyroidism and nail abnormalities can help you identify the signs of this common condition and take action to manage your health.

 

Steps to Promote Healthy Nails

There are a few tips, other than assuring proper THYROID FUNCTION that you can take to promote healthy nails and prevent nail abnormalities. These include:

Eat a balanced diet:

A balanced diet that includes adequate amounts of PROTEIN, vitamins, and minerals can help promote healthy nail growth and prevent nail abnormalities.

Practice good nail hygiene:

Keep your nails CLEAN and DRY, and avoid biting or picking at your nails, as this can lead to infections and damage to the nail bed.

Moisturize your nails and cuticles:

Regularly MOISTURIZING your nails and cuticles can help prevent splitting and breakage, as well as keep your nails and cuticles healthy and nourished.

Protect your nails:

Wear GLOVES when doing household chores or working with harsh chemicals to protect your nails from damage.

Manage stress:

STRESS can have a negative impact on overall health, including nail health. Finding ways to manage stress, such as exercise, meditation, or yoga, can help promote healthy nails.

 

By taking these steps, you can promote healthy nail growth and prevent nail abnormalities.

 

In addition to these steps, it’s important to stay informed about the latest research and information regarding hypothyroidism and nail abnormalities. CONVENTIONAL MEDICINE rarely gets to the ROOT CAUSE of HYPOTHYROIDISM. It often fails to ask and address the question:

 

WHY IS MY THYROID GLAND NOT WORKING?

Consulting with your FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE healthcare professional and staying up-to-date with ADVANCED NUTRITION and DETOXIFICATION PROTOCOLS can help you better understand and manage your health. Addressing the ROOT CAUSES of hypothyroidism and other underlying conditions requires LIFESTYLE CHANGES, such as regular exercise, stress management, and healthy eating habits.

 

Conclusion

Our nails say a lot about our overall health, and nail abnormalities can indicate a variety of underlying conditions, including hypothyroidism. If you notice nail abnormalities along with other symptoms such as fatigue, hair loss, and unexplainable weight gain, it may be time to see your doctor for a thyroid evaluation.

Understanding the link between hypothyroidism and nail abnormalities can help you identify the signs of this common condition and take action to manage your health. By taking proactive, LIFESTYLE steps to promote healthy nail growth and manage underlying conditions, you can maintain optimal health and well-being. You FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE provider is trained to get to the ROOT CAUSE of most thyroid DEFICIENCIES and TOXICITIES.

 

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