WHAT IS NAIL PATELLA SYNDROME?
Nail-patella syndrome is a rare, genetic condition. It’s most prominent symptoms are deformed fingernails and toenails, but it also affects the bones, joints, kidneys and eyes. The disorder can result in noticeable skeletal deformities as well.
Other names for this disorder are:
- Hereditary Onychoosteodysplasia (HOOD)
- Iliac Horn Syndrome
- Fong Disease
- Turner-Kieser Syndrome
SYMPTOMS OF NAIL PATELLA SYNDROME
The symptoms associated with nail-patella syndrome develop because of connective disuse and collagen abnormalities. These changes lead to the visual symptoms, like discolored or missing nails, often associated with the condition.
One sign that appears in almost every NPS patient is nail abnormalities. Your thumbs’ nails are usually affected the most. Toenail irregularities are rarer than changes in your fingernails. The most common nail features of nail-patella syndrome include:
- Absent nails
- Underdeveloped nails
- Discolored nails
- Split nails
- Ridged nails
- Pitted nails
- Triangular cuticles versus the usual crescent shape
Although nail irregularities are an annoyance to nail-patella syndrome sufferers, more serious symptoms can also develop. Most of these involve skeletal abnormalities affecting the knees, hips and elbows.
The kidneys and eyes can also be affected by NPS. Because of filtration issues, kidney problems develop in thirty to forty percent of reported cases.In extreme instances, kidney problems can lead to high blood pressure and renal failure.
Glaucoma is another major side effect of this disorder and can develop early. Glaucoma develops when there is increased fluid pressure in your eyes because the outflow is blocked. Other eye abnormalities related to nail-patella syndrome include your irises, or the colored portion of your eyes, becoming dark or clover-shaped.
Other rare symptoms associated with NPS include:
- Numbness, tingling or burning in the hands and feet
- Poor blood circulation
- Digestive issues
- Difficulty gaining weight
- Reduced muscle mass in the legs and arms
- Thin bones and tooth enamel
- High hairline
HOW MEDICAL MARIJUANA HELPS WITH NAIL PATELLA SYNDROME
Since there is no cure for nail-patella syndrome, treatments help patients manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life.
Medical marijuana for nail-patella syndrome is an excellent treatment option for individuals who greatly suffer from the disorder. The best thing about medical cannabis for nail-patella syndrome is it can help with several of the associated complications, such as pain, glaucoma and kidney disease.
Pain management is a major concern for NPS patients. Prescription opioids pose a significant risk to those with nail-patella syndrome. Long-term use of painkillers can damage kidneys and cause renal failure — patients with NPS are already at risk of kidney failure, making for a high-risk combination.
When medical marijuana is used to treat nail-patella syndrome, patients experience reduced bouts of pain with none of the dangerous side effects of prescription opioids. They also report feeling more active, letting them live their lives to its fullest extent. For patients, that makes medical marijuana an effective, low-risk treatment.