Menopause is a natural biological process that marks the end of a woman’s reproductive years, typically occurring between the ages of 45 and 55.
During menopause, a woman’s body undergoes significant hormonal changes, including a decrease in estrogen production. These hormonal changes can lead to a range of physical and emotional symptoms, including hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and changes in the skin, hair, and nails.
One common symptom that women may experience during menopause is brittle nails. Brittle nails are characterised by dryness, thinning, and splitting of the nails, and they can be caused by a variety of factors, including nutritional deficiencies, dehydration, hormonal changes, and exposure to harsh chemicals or environmental factors.
The decrease in estrogen production during menopause can contribute to brittle nails by affecting the skin’s ability to retain moisture. Estrogen helps to maintain the skin’s elasticity and hydration, and a decrease in estrogen levels can lead to dryness and thinning of the nails. Additionally, hormonal changes can affect the body’s ability to absorb and utilise key nutrients, such as calcium and vitamin D, which are essential for nail health.
To help prevent or alleviate brittle nails during menopause, women can take several steps to support their nail health. These include:
1. Maintaining a balanced and nutrient-rich diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
2. Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water and avoiding excessive consumption of caffeine and alcohol.
3. Taking supplements, such as biotin or collagen, that can help to support nail health and growth.
4. Using gentle, moisturizing hand and nail care products that are free of harsh chemicals or irritants.
5. Wearing gloves when working with harsh chemicals or engaging in activities that may damage the nails, such as gardening or cleaning.
Overall, while brittle nails can be a frustrating symptom of menopause, there are several steps that women can take to support their nail health and minimise their impact on daily life.