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What causes halted growth of nails with brittleness and splintering along with hair fall problems?

Dec 2013
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Practicing since : 2002
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My fingernails ceased growing, and have been breaking off clear back beyond the nail bed, 7 months ago. Even the nail remaining on the nail bed is splintering & breaking off. About 4 months ago, my hair also, began breaking off half-way up the shaft. Knowing that nail & hair condition may indicate specific health problems, I would like to know what might cause this. Thank-you.
Posted Tue, 14 Jan 2014 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Sanjay Kumar Kanodia 43 minutes later
Brief Answer: combined deficiency-vitamins/minerals with protein Detailed Answer: Hi, Welcome and thanks for posting your query to healthcare magic. I can understand your concern for the halted growth of nails with brittleness and splintering along with hair fall problems. After thoroughly analyzing the complete query and correlating with other of your health problems along with your age, all of these condition are resultant of combined deficiency of vitamins- minerals with proteins which are required for both hair and nails. To tell you medically- Both our hair and nails are basically made up of proteins along with multiple of minerals and vitamins are necessary as an co-factor in normal maintenance of both these structures. Many time after the age of 50 years there is less absorption of all these vitamins, minerals and proteins due to less absorptive capacity by our intestine due to aging process. As I can see you are 64 years so it appears to be simple age related event only along with contributing other health problems form which you are suffering.. Even then I suggest you to kindly go for complete blood counts including Hb, TLC, DLC, ESR, serum ferritin, total proteins and other relevant investigations. This will tell us the exact status of your health condition. A well-balanced diet will correct and prevent the deficiency; You start with multivitamin tablets once or twice per day after meals. Additionally take iron supplementation daily to replenish iron reserve. Improve your diet with following: 1. Eat at least 3-4 different fruits saplings per day. Every fruit is good but you can make a combination of sour with sweet fruits such as oranges, papaya and other of seasonal fruits. 2. Pulses are good source of proteins. So everyday have a small bowel full of mixed pulses. Add green leafy vegetables additionally in the pulses which contain lot of iron and vitamins in it. 3. Sprouts are the best source of fibers, minerals especially iron, vitamins and proteins too. so add it at-least alternate day if you can not make in every-day's part of meal. 4. Over night soaked and peeled almonds will give you good vitamin E which is good for the hair growth. 5. Milk and milk products should be included in every-day's schedule. 6.Do light exercises, reduce your work stress as all these have bit impact on skin so also on scalp skin. 7.Stop any substance abuse such as smoking and alcohol if any!! Your condition will take few months to improve to its best. So have patience and go for best diet. Ask your treating doctor to add one of the best nutrient supplement for daily basis. I hope these informations will help you. If you have further queries I will be happy to help. "Wish you early recovery" Regards, Dr Sanjay Kumar Kanodia MD (Dermatology)
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