Can Thyroid Cause Hair, Nail Problems?

Tuesday, 01 Apr 2014 04:43 PM

By Peter Hibberd, M.D.

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Question: I have extreme hair loss and very brittle fingernails that split and crack. They also have deep ridges on the surface of them. Should I be tested for thyroid problems?

Dr. Hibberd's answer:
 
Yes, definitely. All these symptoms are associated with under active thyroid disorders, and you should have your thyroid evaluated. Deep horizontal nail ridges should be signals to your doctor that a disease may be the underlying cause. Vertical ridging is much less of a concern.
 
Horizontal ridges may be caused by trauma, infection, a skin disease, malnutrition, hypocalcemia, chemotherapy, infection, drugs, or other health problems. A single blood test and physical evaluation should provide all the information your doctor will need to diagnose you correctly. 
 

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