What's up with fingernails??

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by tonakay, Aug 2, 2005.

  1. tonakay

    tonakay New Member

    I used to have long nails. Now they constantly break off and my thumbnails feel like wash boards with all the ridges in them. Anyone else? What causes this?

    Hopefully someone has some ideas on this?

  2. getfitat40

    getfitat40 New Member

    Have you had your thyroid checked lately? I know that with my underactive thyroid, if I need an adjustment in levels, my nails break and peel. Also my hair and skin is dry and lifeless. The other thing I have noticed, if I forget to take my Vitamin B supplements regularly my nails suffer. Just an idea...Nancy
  3. tonakay

    tonakay New Member

    doc checked thyroid last year but what I didn't understand on my report it said no sign of menopause. What does that have to do with thyroid?? Jeez I had a total hyster 4 years ago and wear a patch so there shouldn't be any sign of menopause... duh never made sense to me.

    Thanks for the reply,
  4. Rosiebud

    Rosiebud New Member

    I just took it as another symptom of ill health but will be interested to see the other replies to your post.

  5. CFIDSNicole

    CFIDSNicole New Member

    Yes, I used to get lots of complements on my nails, and I never did a thing with them. They just grew beautifully. When I started getting sick, they changed. I have vertical ridges, some deep wavy horizontal ridges, some nails with no moons, some nails with HUGE moons, white spots on them. Ugly, ugly, ugly.

    So you are not alone, but I haven't a clue what caused it.

  6. tonakay

    tonakay New Member

    for all the replies!
  7. fibromaster

    fibromaster New Member

    Black, splinter like bits under the nails may indicate infectious endocarditis, a serious heart infection, other cardiovascular or heart disease, or a bleeding disorder.

    Brittle nails may indicate a thyroid problems, impaired kidney function, and/or circulation problems. Brittle, soft, shiny nails without a moon may indicate an overactive thyroid known as hyperthyroidism.

    Bumps on Nails Person may have rheumatoid arthritis

    Dark nails (thin, flat, spoon-shaped nails) normally indicate a vitamin B12 deficiency or anemia. Nails can also turn gray or dark if the hands are placed in chemicals such as cleaning supplies (like bleach) or something you are allergic to.

    Deep blue nail beds indicate possible pulmonary health problem such as asthma or emphysema.

    Downward curving nail ends may denote heart, liver, or lung / respiratory problems.

    Flat nails can indicate person has Raynaud's disease

    Greenish nails normally a fungal infection, can also indicate an internal bacterial infection.

    Half-white nail with dark spots at the tip points person may have kidney disease

    Nails that break easy (chip, peel, crack) indicate a poor nutrition, insufficient hydrochloric acid, and protein in the diet. As well as deficiency in minerals.

    Nails raised at the base, with small, white ends may indicate a respiratory disorder like emphysema or bronchitis. This type of nail problem can be inherited as well.

    Pitted Red-brownish spots and split ends indicate psoriasis and the person probably needs vitamin C, folic acid, and protein.

    Red skin around the cuticles can be indicate poor metabolism of essential fatty acids or may indicate the person has Lupus.

    Vertical ridges on nails indicate poor general health, poor nutrient absorption, and the ridges may also indicate a kidney disorder.

    Horizontal ridges on nails can indicate severe stress (both psychological or physical). Person is also more vulnerable to arthritis.

    Thick nails indicate that the person's cardiovascular system is weakening and the blood is not circulating good. May also indicate thyroid disease.

    White nails indicate possible liver disease or kidney disease, anemia. If the white nails have pink near the tips then cirrhosis of the liver may be indicated.

    Yellow nails indicate internal health problems such as: lymphatic system, respiratory disorders, diabetes, and liver disease.

    Some reported symptoms of hypothyroid--

    Chronic Fatigue
    Intolerance to cold
    Persistent low body temperature (less than 98 degrees during the day may be suspicious)
    Dry skin
    Dry, coarse, brittle hair
    Hair easily falls out
    Slow speech
    Slow pulse rate despite low physical fitness
    Cold skin
    Unexplained weight gain
    Brittle fingernails
    Mentally sluggish, memory problems, not focused
    Prone to adult acne or eczema
    Reduced sex drive
    Feelings of anxiety, often leading to panic
    Need to dress in layers so that you can frequently adjust to temperature changes

    Suspected triggers of autoimmune thyroiditis--

    Hormone fluctuations/menopause
    Severe, sudden changes in lifestyle
    Neck trauma, such as whiplash
    Intravenous iodine contrast tests
    Chemical exposures, such as fluoride, chlorine
    Food allergies that are moderate to severe

    Conditions that may co-exist include—

    Rheumatoid arthritis
    Chronic constipation/unhealthy, sluggish colon
    Sleep apnea/excessive snoring
    Edema (swelling)
    Adrenal fatigue/exhaustion
    Carpal tunnel/tendonitis
    Quotes from experts:

    “Despite increased awareness in the medical community about the issues and interventions surrounding menopause, tremendous numbers of women still suffer from menopausal difficulties…Frequently, the underlying hypothyroidism is such a controlling factor that simply correcting it returns the whole system to fairly normal functioning. Menopause continues, but it is a more mild, gradual, and comfortable process. If your thyroid is low, your hot flashes will be much more pronounced, much more frequent, and more disconcerting. This is because thyroid is your energy throttle, your gas pedal. You need energy to go through the change gracefully.”

    ~Richard Shames, M.D., (Thyroid Power, page 116)

    “Millions of Americans wake up each day with hypothyroidism, a disease you don’t even know you have. You’re fatigued, your hair is falling out, you’re gaining weight and depressed. You don’t even think to mention the symptoms to your doctor because you assume age, not enough sleep, or too little exercise are to blame. Unfortunately, you don’t recognize the symptoms of hypothyroidism, a condition that affects an estimated 13 million Americans. If you’re a woman, you’re up against a one-in-eight chance of developing a thyroid disorder during your lifetime. When you’re living with undiagnosed hypothyroidism, you’re not living well. "

    ~Mary Shoman (Living Well with Hypothyroidism: What Your Doctor Doesn’t Tell You, page 1)

  8. tonakay

    tonakay New Member

    My total hyster was for stage 3 endo. I was then put on an estragen patch. Would the patch cover up symptoms of thyroid? I have many symptoms except the weight gain.

    Nanna, I'd a liked your grandpa! Might have to use that one on my grandson, have to check out his nails next time I see him... LOL

    Thanks all,
  9. achy

    achy New Member

    I have the same problem, but it goes in cycles. My nails grow beautifully up to a point, then start to break and peel.

    After paying more attention to diet I can see its effects on my nails and hair. Since I started eating more veggies and fruit my nails and hair are getting better.

    Not to say I don't eat chcoclate...
  10. fibromaster

    fibromaster New Member

    It could be that you have too much estrogen compared to the amount of progesterone which will block thyroid hormone production.

    I would get your Estrogen, Progesterone, Testosterone, TSH,Free T3, Free T4, anti-TPO, anti-Tg test done. If all else fail have a TRH test done.

    A TRH test may be indicated if secondary hypothyroidism is suspected. Some patients may have low levels of circulating thyroid hormones and secondary hypothyroidism as a result of damage to the hypothalamic or pituitary control mechanisms that regulate thyroid function.

    Hormones, simply put, are the messengers that move through your bloodstream and enter tissues where they turn on your body's switches that regulate everything from reproduction to your emotions, as well as your general health and overall well being. You could look at hormones as the force in your physical body that animates you physically, mentally and emotionally.

    But it is hypothyroidism or low thyroid that is most common in women during the perimenopausal and postmenopausal years; in fact some 26 percent of women in or near menopause are diagnosed with hypothyroidism. In his book, What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause, Dr. John Lee discusses how, as he learned more about the condition of estrogen dominance, it became apparent that the taking of thyroid supplements among his women patients was especially common in those with estrogen dominance. This is because when estrogen is not counterbalanced with progesterone, the estrogen buildup blocks thyroid hormone creating hypothyroidism.
  11. granny1353

    granny1353 New Member

    that her nails started to grow when she started taking the prenatal vitiamns, she takes the Osco generic ones. Osco is a drug chain that is part of the Jewel food stores, in Illinois. I started to take them and my nails have improved and started to grow also. It's worth a try.

  12. tonakay

    tonakay New Member

    I am on the highest dose of estraderm patch. Would that mess up a thyroid test because I had those tests last year and said I was fine with no sign of menopause... lol
  13. fibromaster

    fibromaster New Member

    I would get your Estrogen, Progesterone, Testosterone, TSH,Free T3, Free T4, anti-TPO, anti-Tg test done. If all else fail have a TRH test done.

    Ask for these tests. Get a copy and look at the ranges yourself. I can't tell you at the times I have found blood work that wasn't fine and called the doctor on it. To much estrogen can keep your TSH from showing up as being hypothyroid. Your doctor probably did a TSH and nothing else.
  14. CFIDSNicole

    CFIDSNicole New Member

    About all the signs fingernails can give you. My nails are pretty strong and don't usually split or flake or break. They just look absolutely horrid. My hair has a lot more gray in it than it did a year ago; other than that, my hair is okay. I eat a very healthy diet, so if my fingernails indicate poor nutrition, it isn't my fault! :)

  15. UPK5

    UPK5 New Member

    Dear Tona,

    Hi. When I was 18 (many years ago) I caught one of my pointer fingers in a car door. The nail never grew back correctly. It was very strange. The weirder thing was my other pointer fingernail was NOT damaged in a car door or else where. It too stopped growing properly. Now everytime my pointer fingernails grow, they get so ITCHY, I have to cut them, or they rip off or something happens to them. Sometimes I cut them or rip them off below the nail line, and the skin starts throbbing underneath. I have to put bandaids on them to stop the throbbing. I have heard FMS runs in parallel circuits. I wonder if my fingernails are another FMS sign! I have been to countless dermatologists over the years and they could not find a fungus or anything else wrong with my pointers.

    Anyone have an answer to this weird situation, or has this happened to anyone else on the board?

    I have been curious about figuring out why I have this problem and what to do about it for decades. Still wondering. Thanks for bringing up the nail issue.

  16. Randi_Mae

    Randi_Mae New Member

    I have ad the same problem for the past couple of years and wondered why it happens.. Since finding out i have Fibro. i bought a book called " Fibromyalgia & Cronic Myofascial Pain.. A survival manual" By Devin Starlanyl and Mary Ellen Copeland. In the book it says"Nail ridges or beads, fragile nails, and /or nail the curve under are common in FMS. When the body is under stress, as it is in any chronic pain state, it cuts down on the nutrients it sends to less important areas such as the fingernails."

    I don't know if you have Fibromyalgia or not,but if you do, you should buy this book... Chapter 8 is on signs and symptoms. This book has been very helpful to me.

    I hope this has been helpful to... Take care..Randi Mae
    [This Message was Edited on 08/04/2005]
    [This Message was Edited on 08/04/2005]
  17. tonakay

    tonakay New Member

    I dug out my copy of the bloodwork. It was done a year ago. I'll just type it as it's listed.

    thyroxine (T4) Free, Direct, S

    T4, Free ( Direct ) 0.85
    TSH 0.725
    triiocothyronine (T3) 97

    I think these were all the tests you mentioned?

    Nanna, My doc is my age, I went to school with him. Should have snatched him up when I had the chance...LOL

    thanks everyone for all the ideas, I sure do miss my long nails and my polish.

  18. fibromaster

    fibromaster New Member

    you didn't give me any reference ranges, every lab is different.The T3 is not FREE T 3. Your TSH looks a little low which means your showing some signs of being hyperthyroid, which is very possiable with Hashimoto thyroiditis. Send me the referance ranges on that lab. How is your weight at the time of the blood work. Were you gaining, loosing, or staying the same. Whats you temp. first thing in the mornings?
  19. tonakay

    tonakay New Member

    my tests were read by Labcorp

    T 4 free/direct range is 0.61-1.76
    TSH is0.350-5.500
    T 3 is 85-205

    I had lost 35 lbs the year before but at the time of this test I had been 108 - 112 for months and still am.

    Thank you for all your time, this is all just greek to me!
  20. tonakay

    tonakay New Member

    forgot about the temp. I haven't taken it in the morning but the last few years whenever I felt like I had a fever and took it it was always under 98.6.

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