What Causes Brittle Nails During Menopause?

Menopause is a transition stage of women. You come from being fertile to getting naturally infertile not only in reproduction of offspring, but in all other aspects of life. This causes changes in your appearances, mood and even energy levels. As a result the appearance of your nails may not be the same as it used to be. These are caused by changes that can be managed or stopped completely.

  • Imbalance of estrogen levels: Oestrogen is a hormone that gives women the secondary characteristics. During menopause, the production of estrogen decreases. The decrease simultaneously causes dehydration. This contributes to dryness of the whole body and also the nails. Nails get brittle, cracks unnecessarily and may peel continuously. These happenings may continuously make the nails to get sore and the final effect is very painful.
  • Lack of iron and folic acid: Iron is a building block of the red blood cells in the body. A lack or deficiency will automatically lead to lower levels of oxygen being transported in the body. Folic acid is important in increasing the amount of blood in the body leading to optimum level of oxygen being transported throughout the body.

Deficiency of oxygen or blood may lead to a decrease in nutrients reaching different parts of the body including the nails which need them. The starvation of nutrients on the nails leads to a decreased growth and can make them dry. The nail tips may even peel off and appear rugged.

  • Lack of calcium: Calcium is an important building block in a person’s structure of nails. Nails that are deficient of calcium are usually faulty, splitting breaking and peeling off. This breaking is evident at the tip. Peeling is horizontal and sometimes can split lengthwise.  Weak nails often grow much slower and are very thin.

Due to the thinness they usually don’t withstand impact, hence keep on breaking during everyday activities. Nails that have been weak for a very long time can separate from the nail bed causing pain and even bacterial infections.

  • Deficiency of fats: As people age, there is a decreased rate of metabolism in the body. When one nears or reaches menopause, the normal body functions have to be boosted in various ways including fiber intake. This allows efficient digestion preventing constipation. However, many people tend to have an increased deposition of fats especially on the belly part leading to weight gain during menopause.

This makes it impossible for fats to get assimilated in the body to assist in various body functions including water resistance. Fats maintain an optimum hydration of the nail plate preventing breakage and its deficiency will cause the opposite to happen.

  • Stress and anxiety: As women age, they tend to get more and more anxious about the body changes they are going to experience. This may amount to stress at times as they don’t know how to deal with the inevitable.

Some people develop the nervous habit of biting their nails or picking at them when stressed. Others run their fingers over the thumb nail which may cause a ridge across the nail. Those who bite and pick at them cause them to start peeling and break over time.

  • Protein deficiency: Nails are made from a structural compound called keratin. This is a protein found in our bodies, which is responsible for keeping our nails healthy and polished. As a result of the function it plays in the body, getting enough protein intakes is important. This gives the body a building block to grow strong nails.

The older you get, the higher the protein intake should become for purposes of doubling or multiplying the amount of compound getting produced. This will automatically work for women during menopause in maintaining a healthy look.


Women undergoing menopause should not get stressed for appearances of nails. Instead be fully informed and utilize the simple facts above to deal with the condition. You can begin treatments of menopause based on such facts instead of trying to deal with the situation blindly.