After the break are some selected quotes. I have put some words in caps to catch your attention.
"The skin is the largest organ of the body in terms of area. Average adults have about two square yards of skin, and it performs many functions. It protects against invaders, produces vitamin D when exposed to the sun, and contains millions of tiny nerve endings that relay messages to our brains. We tend to forget that the HAIR and NAILS are specialized offshoots of the dermis and are technically PART OF THIS SAME SYSTEM."
Pages 251, 252, 253:
"We have a checklist of symptoms we ask patients about during their first visit. We include each of them because we so often get a positive answer. Patients have already answered some of them before we ask as they recite the story of their fibromyalgia. The state of their FINGERNAILS is one of these questions. Many times it's impossible to ascertain the truth that lies beneath acrylic nails."
Chipping and breaking are so common that we're a bit surprised if nails are perfectly normal. Sometimes bad nails don't break but easily peel in sheets like mica. Early in FMS, nails grow fairly well because they have alternating good and bad layers, but quite suddenly four or five of them shatter all at once. In long-standing fibromyalgia, they finally remain broken all the time. You can understand the cause of this phenomenon if you compare nails to the concentric rings of a tree. During untreated fibromyalgic cycles, there're an abnormal concentration of debris in the bloodstream. These minute excesses visit all parts of the body, as you've seen in earlier chapters. Tiny clusters of calcium phosphate hunker down in the NAIL ROOT as fragile and unstructured sediments. Outward growth over the next eight to ten months brings a very brittle, horizontal ring to the NAIL tip. All it takes is minuscule pressure to chip it away like so much dried mortar from the next, healthier layer. Even during successful treatment, nails keep doing the same thing. It's from the same fundamental mechanism. When debris pulls out of muscles and other sinews, it sails into
the bloodstream destined for renal excretion. Kidneys are a bit slow responding, as we've theorized. Delayed urinary extraction permits bloodborne calcium phosphate to linter long enough to repeat past performances at the NAIL BED. The difference now is the NAILS stay solid for ever-longer periods of time until they become as strong as your genetic makeup allows them to be."
"Hangnails are common because the softened FINGERNAIL easily tears at its edges. I also remember dry, thick, cracked skin around my NAILS and knuckles before I treated myself. It was hard to explain since the problem lingered through the seasons regardless of weather. Cuticles may get dry, get irritated and shred. Bleeding and cracking are very common. Vitamin E, lanolin, or emu oil rubbed directly into them can be helpful. Hand treatments of pure paraffin also will not block guaifenesin."
"FINGERNAILS grow slowly, and it will take some time for them to change. In the meantime, massaging the nail, the fingertip, and the cuticle with gentle oil such as emu or vitamin E will help. Artificial NAILS, while tempting alternatives, do damage the NAIL underneath and cause it to be weaker. Once they are removed, the NAIL will ultimately come in stronger, but once again, it's a slow process. Remember that it takes TWELVE to EIGHTEEN MONTHS FOR YOUR TOENAILS TO GROW FROM THE ROOT TO THE FREE EDGE, and EIGHT TO TEN MONTHS FOR FINGERNAILS. Certain pain-on nail strengtheners have fibers that help hold the nail together. They are often first-line treatments that provide protection against painful, low-down breaks. It should be remembered that, like hair, the part of the NAIL to which you can apply expensive treatments IS DEAD. Although such treatments may be marketed with extravagant claims, these tissues have no blood flow and cannot be altered, except in surface appearance."