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Sjogrens Topics => Living With Sjogren's => Topic started by: Katybarstool on June 03, 2008, 04:55:15 AM

Title: Blue nails?
Post by: Katybarstool on June 03, 2008, 04:55:15 AM
Hi All

Don't panic! It's not the whole of the nail, but does anyone else find that the 'moon' part of the bottom of their nails is often blue? Mine are.  Sometimes after I have been eating, I find my lips are slightly blue too.

I have asthma and bronchiectasis, so that may be related. I have had ECGs in the not too distant past, and they were fine. I have a heart murmur that is 'nothing serious'.

I always seem to be asking questions, but since joining the boards, I have been delighted to find that my many diverse symptoms are probably all just the one condition - SjS. It doesn't make them any less troublesome, but it makes me feel better knowing what's causing all these nuisance things.

Title: Re: Blue nails?
Post by: Linda196 on June 03, 2008, 07:02:57 AM
Kathy, the half moon at the base of the nail is the lunulae. and while bluish discolouration of the whole nail bed can mean acute lack of oxygen, the lunulae can be bluish if a person has a chronic lung disease, even if the level of O2 is OK at the time. The fact that your lips are bluish too, though , would seem to indicate lack of O2. Have you had pulmonary function tests done recently?

This is probably something that should be evaluated by a doctor, and be sure to mention that it sometimes happens after eating...sometimes the timing of a symptom is as important as the symptom.
Title: Re: Blue nails?
Post by: JannaLee on June 03, 2008, 07:14:15 AM
Could this be a SjS thing?... Yup....I think so.  

So many people on this forum are taking oxygen during the night.  

After learning of Lauren's (Wordnerd) struggles and also Patze's new thread it seems a shortage of O's could be a possible complication of Sjogren's Syndrome.  

I cannot stand the thought of you with blue lips and fingernail moons!  It is important to feed that hilarious/clever/witty/brilliant brain you charm us with!
Title: Re: Blue nails?
Post by: Pooh on June 03, 2008, 08:03:23 AM
Hi Kathy,
Sorry about the blues.  I have a question for you.  Are you sure there are no Smurff's on your family tree? :D :D

All kidding aside, do mention this to your doctor when you see him.  It could be a warning that something is not quite right. 

It is possible it has nothing at all to do with Sjs.  I think we tend to blame to much on Sjs and overlook the fact that something else could be going on.

Have a great day,

Hugs, Pooh
Title: Re: Blue nails?
Post by: Scottietottie on June 03, 2008, 09:09:49 AM
Hi Kathy  :)

You've got to get your doc to sort this one out. I hope you see him soon in fact.

Take care - Scottie  :)
Title: Re: Blue nails?
Post by: Katybarstool on June 03, 2008, 12:24:11 PM
Hi Pooh

That really made me laugh. We have two very young girls started work with us recently and they both have such funny voices that I privately call them 'the smurfs' :) I'm told there are no smurfs in the family - just plenty of nuts  :D

Scottie - I'm not really worried about the blue bits - I have had them a while now, and no doctor has ever said anything, although I'm sure they must have noticed. I promise, I will mention them again next time I go.

Janna, you think I have a sense of humour  ;D  Well, I do try to have a laugh now and then, and sometimes a real belly laugh (well if you have the equipment, you might as well use it!)  I think I probably have a warped sense of humour.

Thanks for your interest girls.

Title: Re: Blue nails?
Post by: kelsey on June 03, 2008, 12:51:42 PM
Hi Kathy and Pooh

I must tell you about a very strange coincidence.  I thought I would sit down and log on to catch up with all the chat.  My computer had decided otherwise and I could not a connection.  I rang for technical support ( 30 minutes at what cost?) and when we thought it was now on line the supporter said to test the system go on to Google and search "smurff"  He said it is favourite, so all I can say smurffs are the flavour of the day! Take care and stay well and cheerful.  kelsey
Title: Re: Blue nails?
Post by: Katybarstool on June 03, 2008, 12:53:50 PM
 :D :D :D ;D

Title: Re: Blue nails?
Post by: JannaLee on June 03, 2008, 02:05:54 PM
Katy Dear,

I think your warped sense of humor is way smart!
Title: Re: Blue nails?
Post by: Skylar on June 03, 2008, 02:09:06 PM
Hi Kathy, you really should call your doctor and tell then this is happening. Often they miss things when we go for an appointment and focus on things we're actively complaining about - so this is something important that could have been overlooked. Please take care of yourself before you transform into a Smurfette.

Title: Re: Blue nails?
Post by: irish on June 03, 2008, 09:12:19 PM
Kathy, This is something that your doctor should be made aware of. With your diagnoses it wouldn't surprise me if you are having some low 02 issues. When we eat our gastrointestinal tract demands blood to assist with the digestion of food and you may not have enough 02 in your blood to deal with breathing and digesting at the same time. A very simple explaination.

I have occasional bluish nails but not terribley blue. I doubt if the pulmonary noticed it as it is not there every day. I am noticing that the weather has something to do with it and I do get those mucus plugs that will cause me distress at times.

When you talk to your pulmonary doc ask him about "The Vest" as you should be eligible for this airway clearance device with your diagnosis of bronchiectasis. I have The Vest since October and Medicare is wanting to take it back and not pay for it as I don't have the bronchiectasis diagnosis. I will have a high resolution CT scan of lungs on the 18th along with an appointment with my pulmonary doc. She may want to do a bronchoscopy and biopsy to see just exactly what is going on with my lungs.

Have you ever noticed that drinking coffee will help your tight chest? That was one of my own self medicating things that I started doing 25 years ago. I later read that the coffee contains the ingredient theophylline which is a very, very old pulmonary drug that expands the airways. Use very seldom now as it does cause nausea at higher doses and must have blood work to titrate dosage. Do a google on the Vest using the words airway clearance device or The Vest and you will find some information. Hopefully you will have insurance that will pay for it as it really does help. Irish ;D
Title: Re: Blue nails?
Post by: salsen on June 03, 2008, 09:38:03 PM
Irish years ago my daughters asthma specialist told me to give her tea when she was having breathing issues because it contains a natural substance that helps to open the bronchial tubes. 
Yep Kat please have this checked especially if you have a history of breathing problems. 
Title: Re: Blue nails?
Post by: Patze on June 04, 2008, 05:48:37 AM
Hi Kathy,

Yep, I'm with you on this one too! :)  The moons (and my lips get a slight blue tinge) go blue whenever I'm cold.  I can't say it's part of SJS, but it does seem interesting development for several of us.

About the chest tightening thing, I've often used aspirin to help "unblock" my lungs for several years now (never thought about using coffee/tea - am going to have to try that one today), and I have had the pulmonary function tests recently and thankfully I see the pulmonalogist this week and hopefully I'll be able to remember to ask him; hummm, where is that notebook of mine? :P

Oh, and I do have a couple of smurfs in the family! ;D

Title: Re: Blue nails?
Post by: Katybarstool on June 04, 2008, 12:35:39 PM
Hi Gals

The thing is, the bronchiectasis is really good just now. The combination of Spiriva, Salmeterol and Salbutamol has kept my chest clear for the last 6 months, so I rarely cough now.  This is a huge improvement, and I'm delighted with it. Talking about low 02 levels got me thinking though, particularly in relation to sleeping and apnea. I have no problem with apnea that I know of, but I do snore and grunt a lot ??? to the extent that I have had to move into the spare room the past few years. Could this be related to low 02?

I think I have mild Raynauds,, but the blueness does not seem to be related to heat or cold, it's just there.  I will get it checked out at some point.

The medical practice called today. I have to go and get fixed up with a 24 hour BP monitor next Monday.  I had one a couple of years ago and it was horrible. When I was sleeping it made me feel like I was being choked, as it inflated every 30 minutes.

Speak soon.


Title: Re: Blue nails?
Post by: irish on June 04, 2008, 09:27:16 PM
Kathy, Have you had a sleep study done?? There can be problems with sleeping or problems with oxygenation. The doc who does these should be checking for both of these problems. Yes, you most certainly could be having low 02 levels when you are sleeping. It is not uncommon. Irish ;D
Title: Re: Blue nails?
Post by: Heather Bell on June 06, 2008, 12:34:42 AM
Hi Kathy
I have the blue nails and lips from time to time, Irish is right it is more likely to happen when your bodies demand for O increases, such as when you have just eaten. I have had lots of heart and lung investigations, lungs are fine but the docs can not agree about my heart, so they are doing that great medical favourite of wait and see. On the positive side I have had this for years and it has not killed me yet.
Something else to look out for is a mottled pattern on the skin, this can also be a sign of low O levels.
Can I suggest you keep a diary of all the times this happens and what if anything preceded it, all the docs like this kind of info but in my experience the heart and lungs docs find it very helpful.
Hope your in the pink today.
Title: Re: Blue nails?
Post by: gr8nammy on July 01, 2008, 01:34:32 AM
For me the fingernails are from time to time  blueish, but, toenails, always a blue to purple look...gotta be an O2 issue wouldnt yall think?
Title: Re: Blue nails?
Post by: Patze on July 01, 2008, 04:21:35 AM
Hi Heather, I do agree with you and the others about the lack of O2 and blue digits/lips; I did ask the pulmonalogist and he looked at my hands and asked me if I've heard of Renaud's and to go talk to the rheumy. 

About the mottled pattern on the skin (all my limbs get this now), the way I understand it, if it's blue, it could be an O2 issue, but if it's red, it could be a type of vasculitis.  Now my question is what if you get both?  Hummm, maybe someone with a lot more knowledge about this will stop by and clarify the issue a bit.

I tell you, I don't want another critter in the old body that I have to worry about, I have enough already! ;D

Hi Kathy, I would see if your doctor will recommend you for a sleep study, you'd be surprised at many problems a lot of have just trying to get a decent nights sleep!  Oh, JannaLee is right, we would so miss your sense of humor. :D

Take care -

Title: Re: Blue nails?
Post by: gr8nammy on July 18, 2008, 04:02:22 AM
POOH YOU HAVE A GREAT SENSE OF HUMOR THERE  oops sorry bout the caps
Title: Re: Blue nails?
Post by: Lacey1981 on July 18, 2008, 05:48:35 AM
hey I would tell my Dr. about it but I also have a heart murmur (not sure what kind your is may be diff than mine) I"have things w/ blue nails and lips since forever and was always told by my Dr. that it is from the murmur and not to really worry about it. For me only really happens when I"m really cold. Definitely tell you Dr. about it though it may just be that you have smurf ancestors and don't even know it
I was also going to mention Renaud's. My mom has it but it causes her hand to turn red then white not blue and it's her whole hand. But I guess it could cause your fingernails to turn blue