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Chronic purple fingernails
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Chronic purple fingernails

Hi, I'm trying to find out the cause of this. One and a half month ago, I overexercised (went running a lot more than I was used to) and when I finished, my fingernails were purple/blue. Since then, they have remained purple. A week after that I started developing many other symptoms which I'm quite sure have to do something with that.
I went through several tests including EKG, echocardiogram, xray, spirometry, CT scan and blood work. All came back normal.
My fingernails had never changed their colour before that incident. What can have gotten wrong after overexercising? I have been told that it might be raynaud's, but as for my understanding, the colour of my fingernails should be normal except when I'm having a raynaud attack. My fingernails are just purple all the time, chronically.
What other tests can I take to find out the cause? What specialists can I see? There must be something you can tell me. Please, any answer will be highly appreciated. Thanks.
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4048462_tn?1349326444
Hi there,

I believe a deficiency of B12 and/or Iron could absolutely be a possible cause related to the discoloration.  There are other reasons that could cause this too - but it sounds like it all started after exercising and simultaneous with the B12 deficiency.  The other question I would be prone to ask is "what caused the vitamin B12 deficiency?"

I'm also unsure of what your age, height weight is - however - that may not be relevant as I think it's important to discern if this is a benign or a symptom of something that's a little more serious. Being that you've had a variety of tests - I would just double check with a heart & lung specialist to make sure that you're clear in those departments before continuing to exercises - a little bit of caution can go a long way.  

B12 and Iron, however, are needed to make red blood cells which help carry oxygen throughout the body - the blue tips indicate a possible lack of adequate oxygen being carried to those areas - exercise would require those areas to need more oxygen.

So - have another look at the blood test, or another test - have them look at your iron & B12 levels and, although I'm not a doctor, I would have to think that correcting those two items would be to your best benefit and would probably resolve "the blues".

Best of luck, I hope this all works out -

J
6 Comments
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4048462_tn?1349326444
Are all of them purple/blue?  One hand, both hands?  

Usually this is a result to trauma, or poor circulation - could also be a symptom of low iron levels or anemia.

Definitely go to the doctor - they can run some blood tests, the results should answer those questions.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi JGOODMAN,

Before overexercising, my fingernails were normal pink like most people, but now they are purplish all the time from both hands. Occasionally, One or two of my fingernails would get very dark blue. But this doesn't seem to be related to cold exposure or stress. Unlikely to be raynauds.

And not only that, also my tongue, ears, face after shaving, before turned reddish but now they seem to have suffered from that discoloration too, they turn purplish.

The only thing I found out so far is that I had a severe B12 deficiency with normal hemoglobin. I'm currently on B12 therapy. Could that deficiency be related to this weird discoloration?
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4048462_tn?1349326444
Hi there,

I believe a deficiency of B12 and/or Iron could absolutely be a possible cause related to the discoloration.  There are other reasons that could cause this too - but it sounds like it all started after exercising and simultaneous with the B12 deficiency.  The other question I would be prone to ask is "what caused the vitamin B12 deficiency?"

I'm also unsure of what your age, height weight is - however - that may not be relevant as I think it's important to discern if this is a benign or a symptom of something that's a little more serious. Being that you've had a variety of tests - I would just double check with a heart & lung specialist to make sure that you're clear in those departments before continuing to exercises - a little bit of caution can go a long way.  

B12 and Iron, however, are needed to make red blood cells which help carry oxygen throughout the body - the blue tips indicate a possible lack of adequate oxygen being carried to those areas - exercise would require those areas to need more oxygen.

So - have another look at the blood test, or another test - have them look at your iron & B12 levels and, although I'm not a doctor, I would have to think that correcting those two items would be to your best benefit and would probably resolve "the blues".

Best of luck, I hope this all works out -

J
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks JGOODMAN, I'll do as you say. I'll double check heart and lungs. Also , since I didn't have any Iron panel, I'm getting one immediately. My gastroenterologist is going to look for a malabsorption problem, since I've had GI issues all this year.

Again thanks for your answer! By the way, I'm only 21 :(
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4048462_tn?1349326444
You're more than welcome, always feel free to message me directly if you need to someone to discuss this whole thing.  I'm not a doctor, but I've been through a lot - and I try my best to steer people in the right direction to make informed decisions as I understand these things are very difficult and alarming to contend with.

I'm glad to hear you are 21 - this means you have your whole life ahead of you, and if there are any problems - that the problems are not thirty years past due for treatment.

The one disadvantage with forums is that it takes a relatively large amount of personal information to be shared - just to get (hopefully) sound advice.  A doctor will usually present you a relatively long survey that includes your family's medical history - this information enables them to make informed decisions.

I'm glad to hear that you are seeing a GI doctor - I have Crohn's disease - and I've been lucky as my GI doctor is outstanding - and he's been of greater help to me with other expressed health concerns because he understands how the body works - beginning with what we consume and absorb.  His explanations have showed me that sometimes our first train of logic may be entirely wrong as there are other factors to consider.

I think you should ask him for the iron panel - also ask him about your symptoms - perhaps it's inter-related with some of the medications that you are taking for your GI tract.  I wouldn't hesitate to call them and plead with the front desk to see if they can take you in early.

I also suggest doing a google search with any known conditions you may have in addition to "purple fingers".  An example of a search would be "purple fingers and high blood pressure," or "purple fingers and B12 deficiency."  This way, you can educate yourself and learn what to share with or question your doctor.

As long as you're not in pain - don't panic, if you're in pain - push your way to see a doctor - and don't panic.  Just make an active effort and remain strong, I have faith that this will work out and you'll be okay.

Regards,

J
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Avatar_n_tn
gosh, you're damn amazing mate. Despite the 7893456928567 google searches I did, I never thought about searching purple fingernails and B12. Now that I searched, it looks I can definitely confirm that B12 deficiency is related to purple fingernails. Google says it and says it a lot.

Now I hope my doctors get to find why Vitamin B12 is deficient in my body. By the way, there's one question I'd like to ask you. If there is actually a malabsorption problem, getting IM B12 would bypass this malabsorption and the Vitamin would be absorbed in my body, wouldn't it?
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