Bear with me - this is a tad lengthy and I'm out of my mind with panic. So, I noticed last year that I apparently have "terry's nails" which is when your nail goes white or light pink with a dark band at the distal tip (right before the white free-edge). I'm not sure how long my nails have looked like this since I never really thought much of them before...until I read an article that said 'what your nails say about your health' - I know, I'm a bad, bad hypochondriac!
I showed this to my physician and he waved it off as nothing. He told me the nail abnormality that I was describing was not a significant indicator for any systemic disease in the absence of other symptoms and that my nails looked fine. I've read a lot of sites saying this is a definite sign of cirrhosis of the liver. I've got lots of energy, and none of the other signs/symptoms of liver disease, except some telangiectasia, and yellowing of the hands and feet the dr. said is from carotenosis (common in people with thyroid disease, and those who eat lots of veggies).
My doctor assured me that both terry's nails, and telangiectasia are signs of late, end-stage cirrhosis, and if I had that I'd have tons of other symptoms, and abnormal liver function tests (this year in Feb I had liver function blood tests and they were excellent). I do, however, have a thyroid condition (subclinical hypothyroidism) and my doctor mentioned terry's nails can occur in thyroid dysfunction, but is usually seen in hyperthyroid. He wasn't concerned as he said my thyroid levels probably fluctuate, which is why I sometimes have hyperthyroid symptoms.
However, I also know that people with hep c frequently show low thyroid function. I'm going crazy thinking that this is the reason my thyroid is low, especially considering my tests for thyroid antibodies came back negative. My doctor is not concerned because I have a history on both sides of the family of thyroid disease, plus a 4mm cyst on my thyroid (something attacked it).
I can't shake the feeling that perhaps I have hepatitis c. I know you can have normal liver functions and still have hep c and/or cirrhosis. I got a piercing and a tattoo 6 years ago when I wasn't such a mess, and I'm paranoid I contracted something, even though it was done in a licensed, commercial tattoo facility that is well-known and certified/inspected by the health board. My doctor told me my chances of contracting hep c from professionally done tattoos/piercings are slim to nill, and he told me that even if I did, it's FAR too early in the disease course for things like telangiectasia, and terry's nails. Nevertheless, he felt it would be impractical to do a blood test for hep c because: a) all liver, kidney, and CBC tests are normal, and b) he thinks it would be much healthier for me to work through this constant 'reassurance seeking’ than to get another medical test for a condition he doesn't think I'm at high risk for.
I feel like his decision not to test me is a little irresponsible. Normally he's an excellent doctor, but I'm furious I've been refused testing for hep c. It's just a simple blood test and I do feel it would be prudent considering my symptoms, and history of reckless behaviour (1 tattoo, 1 piercing).
I'm sorry this is so long. I'm just really freaking out here! Plus, this morning I had a BM and (TMI warning) my stool was a pale brown in colour. I know pale stools are indicative of liver disorders and viral hep. I just about had a heart attack and felt this huge surge of panic for the first time in a long time. I've been excellent recently, but HA is rearing its ugly head again, and mentally, I'm feeling worse than ever and completely discouraged. If you’ve stuck through until the end, thanks for reading!