Koilonychia

One of the finger nails that I’m having particular trouble growing is the thumbnail on my right hand. Some of the other nails have ridges and the like but those could be explained away by peeling off layers of nail during prior nail biting episodes — it’s never even so you’re left with lengthwise ridges until the nail grows in (and up) again. The right thumbnail, though, is concave and the nail is too soft to grow out properly. The other thumbnail has a very slight dent in it and a bit of a hillock that I’ve essentially been filing down.

I have insomnia today (it’s now 9am and I still haven’t been to bed) so I decided to have a quick Google to see what I could find.

What I found was a nail disorder called Koilonychia, which is usually linked to chronic iron deficiency anemia. That’s interesting to me because I’ve had trouble with iron levels for years. When I was sick in 2000, I had to take supplements for months just to bring my iron level up to the very low end of normal. I even had iron deficiency issues when I was a kid. (I could have sworn I’d blogged about it before but I’ll be darned if I can find where.) I should take supplements, but I admit that I’ve been scared by horror stories of iron supplements gone bad. Still, given that iron deficiency would explain some of the fatigue and other weird problems I’ve been having, I should make a concerted effort to at least start taking my multivitamin every day.

Fat and malnourished is not how you want your life to go. You have to neglect and mistreat yourself pretty badly to accomplish that. Next thing you know, I’ll be developing scurvy or beriberi.

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3 thoughts on “Koilonychia

  1. observeroflife

    Hi Louise! This is a bit random, but I’m wondering if you’ve ever been tested for Celiac Disease? It significantly impacts iron levels in the blood, and lots of doctors miss it–I was off and on anemic until I was diagnosed 2 years ago.

    By the way, thank you for putting me on your blogroll…I really appreciate it!

    -Kathleen from Six Characters in Search of a Blogger

    1. No, I don’t believe I have. As far as I can tell, I never had any of the other typical symptoms of Celiac Disease as a child so it’s unlikely I actually had it back then. Now, who knows, though I doubt it. But I’ll keep it in mind.

  2. Pingback: Spoon nails redux « Life Begins at 41…or maybe 43

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