Yellow Nail Syndrome is a rare disorder that includes pleural effusions, lymphoedema and yellow nails.
This is an interesting find. I was diagnosed with Y NS at the age of 57 yearsin November 2009 after a year when my GP suspected my constant cough, rhinitis & sinusitis might be connected to hay-fever. He tried me on every antihistamine he could think of with no improvement. Towards summer of 2009 I noticed that my fingernails and toenails had become white and then gradually darkened to yellow. My GP referred me to a dermatologist who didn't know what was wrong so she called in a colleague who asked me if I had a cough, sinusitis etc. She also noticed that I had lympheodema in my ankles and then told me I had YNS. They took nail clippings and photographed fingers & toes and prescribed 6 weeks of Itraconozole. I went back after two month & the consultant ordered a CT scan for my chest and prescribed more Itraconozole and support stockings to try and stop my ankles swelling too much. The CT scan showed Bronchiectasis in both lungs - mainly in the right. She then discharged me and told me to take antibiotics - Amoxycilling 500mg every time I got sinusitis or a chest infection and Itraconozole when my nails become really discoloured (brown at times). I now just see my GP for my meds and although I cough day and night and I'm breathless on exertion, I think I'm doing OK. I take 800mg vitamin E each day which does help the nails - both the colour and helps them stop detaching. My big toe nails became really thick and clawed and were getting infecions under the nail so I had them removed and the nail bed destroyed to prevent further infections. I have read of cases where people developed thryroid problems along with YNS. I suddenly developed hypothyroidism in August 2010 but didn't link it until recently. I had read the same article about titanium maybe being implicated with YNS but as I don't really have much in the way of this in my dental regime, I discussed it with my dentist & decided to leave well alone. I wonder if there are any more of us? Katie R
So sorry to hear of your problems. Mine is only yellow nails thank goodness. I wish you lots and lots of luck.
I first showed YNS symptoms in 2005; it started with sinusitis, then yellow nails, then swelling (2007), then pleural effusions (end of 2009, got bad in 2010). I go to a Penn pulmonologist, and get my lung cavities drained every week, about 2 liters each time, alternating between the two lung cavities. I've been taking shots of Octreotide since June 2010--first the daily shots (500mg twice a day then in Sept 2010 500mg three times a day) then the monthly shots (30mg) starting in Jan 2011. Octreotide helped 2 other YNS people to control pleural effusions. I think you can only get Octreotide from a major medical facility, such as Penn or Mayo clinic, etc, and I only convinced my Penn doctor to give it to me after finding those 2 articles. I am very heavy into research. Last fall I saw a Swedish medical study called "Titanium, Sinusitis, and the Yellow Nail Syndrome" that claims that titanium and/or titanium dioxide is the cause of YNS. You can read it at:http://www.springerlink.com/content/55n8226584171427/fulltext.pdf. I had 2 "shed" fingernails tested (as was done in the study), and it showed I have titanium levels: 6.2 µg/g in one nail and 5.8 µg/g in the other. I also had the Melisa blood test for metals, which showed I have a mild metal allergy to both titanium (4.1) and titanium dioxide (3.5). No other metals tested positive. I have stopped intake of titanium dioxide (it's everywhere--in pill/vitamin/candy coatings, toothpaste, gum, hair dye, cosmetics, cigarette paper, cigarette filters, some cheeses/soup, etc). In food/medicine ingredients, you see it as titanium dioxide, E171, or CI77891. Its chemical name is TiO2. I also had a crown that had a titanium pin removed, as well as the other 4 gold crowns because the gold interacts with titanium, causing the release of titanium ions, which causes the problems. The crowns/pin removal was at the end of 2010. It's been two months, and so far, there has been no real reduction of the pleural effusions, though I have seen improvement in the swelling in my hands. It's very hard to stop all intake of titanium dioxide. There are some medicines (coated in titanium dioxide) that I must occasionally take, for which I haven't been able to find a replacement that doesn't have titanium dioxide. When I take them, the pleural effusions are worst that week. I haven't given up on titanium being the cause of YNS. The alternative is an operation that prevents the fluid from going into the lung cavity. There are two procedures for this: one glues the lungs to the lung cavity to block the fluid, the other blocks the vessels that bring the fluid to the lung cavities. But since this just blocks the fluid, and doesn't stop it, I am resistance, especially since I saw a medical study where a YNS person who had this operation died when the massive fluid went to her limbs, literally spitting her legs open, and shutting down all her organs. There is another procedure where the swollen legs are cut open to drain the fluid and a skin graft is placed over the "open" skin, but this is a solution I cannot condone. Only a third of YNS people get the pleural effusions, so this may be something that some of you never encounter. As you can see, this condition has become pretty threatening to me, and I am trying very hard to find solutions.
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