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Horizontal ridges on nails, google has terrified me!! <wibble>

(40 Posts)
SirVixofVixHall Thu 28-May-15 22:17:36

I noticed yesterday that both thumbnails, and to a lesser degree both index fingers all have a ridge about half way along. I idly googled, and it says to "see a Doc immediately" "Sign of serious illness" etc. So now I am totally freaked out. I've had a bit of a lingering cough so am now imagining lung cancer as I've lost a couple of friends this year. I am also hypothyroid.
Anyone else had this? Do I really need to see my gP tomorrow? EEEEK!

lljkk Fri 29-May-15 08:56:09

step away from Google & forget about it.

SirVixofVixHall Fri 29-May-15 11:15:01

Well at least that made me laugh! I normally avoid google for any health issue, but this seemed so minor, I thought maybe I needed more protein in my diet or something, but all the possible reasons listed on several different sites were really rather terrifying. Even DH, the voice of reason, went and googled for himself to try and reassure me I was over-reacting and came back looking slightly concerned.....I have to make a GP appointment anyway, re my recent blood tests and the lingering cough, so will ask then.
<hopes for posters with horizontal ridges galore, bursting with health>.

samsonagonistes Fri 29-May-15 11:20:56

I have this and have done for ages, and am still very much here. Oh, and I have periodic health anxiety too, but have had it for so long that even I've given up obsessing about it.

Isn't there a link to hypothyroid though? I have a whole cluster of symptoms which point to that, including the nails, but always come up as normal on the tests.

SirVixofVixHall Fri 29-May-15 11:50:56

I don't know if there's a thyroid link, i was clutching at straws there! But it mentions metabolic disorders, which I imagine could include thyroid possibly? According to google, ridges lengthwise =totally fine. Ridges horizontally=Oh Lordy get thee to a Doctor asap as you are probably about to pop off your twig! Possible causes were things like liver disease, diabetes, heart attacks, chemotherapy, serious lung diseases, malnutrition, basically something systemic that disrupts the cells in the nail bed. So from assuming I needed to eat something I was missing out on , I instead sat there like this shock shock .
Oh and as an aside, re thyroid things, I came up "normal" on tests for nearly ten years, when I really didn't feel normal, and had lots of symptoms, until my TSH hit 22 and they put me on thyroxine. Lots of family members are hypothyroid, so I knew the signs and kept trooping back every couple of years asking them to test me. So I think there must be level at which one is affected, but not enough for it to register on the tests.

samsonagonistes Fri 29-May-15 12:05:29

Yes, I've read that article too! So I went to the doctor who basically looked at it and said, oh, that's a bit strange and then ignored it.

I've been going to the drs about thyroid for about 5 years now with symptoms and keep getting told to go away. Am about to start some acupuncture to see if that helps, as I'm bored of being told I am normal.

Mine definitely did get better when I improved my diet and added in some more supplements. But I feel - not just with this but the thyroid symptoms and everything - that I am just propping myself up, hence the acupuncture.

NanTheWiser Fri 29-May-15 14:49:35

I may be quite wrong, but I think it's just a sign that you may have been ill at some time in the past (3 months if it's half way down your nail?) I have had this many years ago, I can assure you it's nothing to worry about!

MissingKittyCat Fri 29-May-15 17:25:13

I have these all the time. Especially my big toes and thumbs. I just buff them out! I do have Hashimotos though so the thyroid link could be real.

Baddz Fri 29-May-15 17:33:39

I have these on my thumb nails!
Weird.

SirVixofVixHall Fri 29-May-15 19:43:34

They are most noticable on my thumbs, then a bit less, but there, on the index, then the faintest suggestion of a ridge on the middle finger. Toes look ridged too. I'm clinging to the thyroid idea MissingKitty! <still slightly wibbling>
Is that three months then? Does a nail take six months to grow out completely?

TorianaTollywobbles Fri 29-May-15 20:35:10

I have ridges on nearly all my nails. I have always put it down to having bitten them for years and damaging the nail bed. I am in good health otherwise (as far as i know)! But i guess if they are recent and you dont normally have them it could be a sign of something else.

MooseBeTimeForSummer Fri 29-May-15 20:38:15

Have you had gel or shellac nails recently? I have ridges on my thumbnails from that - where they filed a bit too much

SirVixofVixHall Fri 29-May-15 23:25:03

I've never had a manicure, or bitten my nails. I imagine nail biting for years could cause this, but for me this is completely new. And as it coincides with the lingering cough that is low level but has been on and off for months I am really worried!

IsJustMe Fri 29-May-15 23:46:27

I have Hashimoto's. I also had bad horizontal ridges on both thumbs, which the GP wasn't overly concerned about - he said they were probably caused by a previous bad health blip (causes damage to the nails, so you see the ridges as the nail grows?) I didn't actually appear to be exhibiting any of the other symptoms of all the scary stuff (yes, I'd googled too) that they could be a symptom of, although I've had a chronic cough for as long as I can remember.

Anyhow, I started getting them on some of my other fingernails (and big toenails), and he took a bit more notice, and rechecked a few things. End result is that he increased my vitamin D supplements, prescribed iron, and started me on B12 injections - I have a problem with absorption, and no amount of eating well will sort it out. I guess it could all be coincidence, but the ridges have gone and there is no sign of any more.

I still think you should tell your GP when you go, but only when you go for a routine appointment.

SirVixofVixHall Sat 30-May-15 11:11:22

I just had some thyroid and liver function blood tests (my liver enzymes always seem to be raised, I read on here that is hypothyroid related , certianly the one time they weren't was when i was first on thyroxine). So I have to go in and chat about those, as if I am "normal" range, i want to try upping my dose, and if not I will need to chat about what dose increase I have. I feel as though I am on too low a dose. I do take vit D but probably not regularly enough, and funnily enough I've just bought an iron and B12 supplement, I'm vegetarian, and coealiac, so even without the hypothyroid I could well be a bit low in those, although my gP told me a couple of years ago that my levels were fine.

IsJustMe Sat 30-May-15 21:50:28

Through very bitter experience, I no longer accept the word "fine" - I get printouts of all my test results nowadays. Funny how the word "fine" sometimes actually means "severely deficient but let's not bother telling the patient".

DaysAreWhereWeLive Sat 30-May-15 21:58:31

My nails are all lines and ridges! I've got eczema and was told that I've got 'classic eczema nails' grin

Seriously, the Internet is awful for things like this; lung cancer linked to a gammy nail, for goodness sake!

BingBong36 Sat 30-May-15 22:57:20

I've always had horizontal ridges on one of my thumbs which has got a lot worse .... I have had a terrible cough the last few weeks and wondering if it's because I am run down it's got worse?!!

Icyblue Sun 31-May-15 10:10:46

My teenage dd has horizontal dents on some of her toenails which appeared about a month ago. She has no past illness/stress/injury. Absolutely fine in herself. Could this due to vitamin deficiencies? What vitamins would the doctor be checking for?

Baddz Sun 31-May-15 10:15:19

Clubbed fingers are a classic sign of lung cancer.
Not nails.
I am going to ask the GP for a thyroid test.
I have been borderline in the past and am so tired ATM.
Worth a try.

SirVixofVixHall Sun 31-May-15 19:23:33

"terminal cancer" was one of the things Google suggested...It would have been funny if I wasn't quite so shock by the whole thing. I think I am quite likely to be low in iron, B12 and D. So hopefully that is all it is, I've had this cough dragging on, but haven't been properly ill for a while. I do also have chronic hives though, so that might be rather like eczema? I'll make a doc's appointment tomorrow but it might be a week or so before I get one as its not an emergency.

BingBong36 Sun 31-May-15 21:48:55

I am always tired and cold so wonder if it's related?!

SirVixofVixHall Sun 31-May-15 22:49:25

Bing- upper respiratory infections all the time are also one of the symptoms of an underactive thyroid, if you are cold and tired too, then I would go and get your blood tested. Note what the results are rather than just accepting "normal range", as what some GPs call normal is very far from normal for the person at the other end. My TSH was 8 while pregnant (should be between 1 and 2) and still my GP was saying it was "fine".

BingBong36 Mon 01-Jun-15 11:15:47

Thank you, I will get an appointment this week. I am a very cold tired person and 36 years old, any always thought something was amiss!

SunnyBaudelaire Mon 01-Jun-15 11:18:32

did you have some illness recently?
I got horizontal ridges on my nails after an attack of scables for example....(tmi I know)

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