I have recently had the moons on my index fingernails begin to peep back into existence. They had disappeared long ago, and as far as I could tell, had disappeared with the same speed that ridges on my fingernails had developed.
I remember looking at my fingernails one night several years ago and wondering, "When did my nails stop being smooth?"
Because I had been worried about ongoing problems, I hadn't been paying attention to myself and as stress mounted, manicures were the last thing on my mind.
Perhaps because it seemed appropriate that hurdle-high ridges had appeared on my fingernails, matching the mounting hurdles in my life, I wondered if the ridges could be related to health.
It would take nearly two years for me to learn that the ridges were a result of low vitamin B12; not a "B12 deficiency" exactly, because at 241, my serum blood level was in the low normal range and nothing to worry about, according to my doctor.
But after my feet and hands were frequently tingling and numb, my memory was a thing of the past, my balance was dependant on light, and I was depressed - which seemed reasonable under the circumstances - I went to a new doctor and in the course of answering his questions, mentioned that my mother had B12 problems.
That was it, he said, adding that I would need B12 shots for the rest of my life and he'd have his nurse show me how to inject myself.
The neurologist I saw, to follow up, said he believed my problems all resulted from low B12, but he wanted to be sure, "I want you to keep a Time Line," he said, "Write down your symptoms, each shot you have, and your B12 test levels."
The neurologist explained that in the old days pernicious anemia was diagnosed by giving the patient a course of B12 shots, and if health returned, then the diagnosis was pernicious anemia.
So it was, that in keeping the Time Line I observed not only my memory improving, my tingling, numbness and depression going away, but also the ridges on my fingernails smoothing out.
Today, research shows that pernicious anemia with its characteristic lack of intrinsic factor is rare, while B12 malabsorption illness is on the increase because of the abundant use of antacids. In fact, there are estimates that 47% of the general population has hypochlorhydria, the condition where there is not enough gastric acid to free vitamin B12 from protein.
It is not because low B12 from all causes is so prevalent, that I have taken up vitamin B12 education as my mission, but rather because the nerve damage that results from extended, untreated low B12 can be permanent.
Nerve damage can be the type of peripheral neuropathy associated with diabetes; it can be impaired memory and cognitive dysfunction.
I have lost about half of my working memory and processing speed from the years my low B12 went untreated. So, my web site is not the most brilliant thing ever, but it does give clear information on vitamin B12 and how to recognize warning signs of low B12 from your fingernails.
Nails can be helpful in gauging your general health and should be a healthy pink color we have listed a few general problems by the color of your nails Finger Nails - An Indicator of General Health
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