Have you looked at your hands recently? They may have a story to tell you. A story about your health. Which may even serve as an early warning to you and/or your caregiver. Team RetyrSmart would like you, our reader, to pay attention to what your hands are telling you
Your Health Is In Your Hands
Our bodies give us an array of signals about our health, from our tongues to our toes. Let’s take a look at what your hands are telling you about your overall health.
A study, published in the Arthritis and Rheumatism, found that subjects whose ring fingers are longer than their index fingers may be at higher risk for osteoarthritis. Women with this trait were three times more likely to develop arthritis.
2. Parkinson’s Disease
Has your big, looping cursive turned into cramped, small lettering? This could be an early sign of Parkinson’s Disease, called micrographia. Before you panic, though, talk to a doctor. Changes in vision or less dexterous fingers can also cause micrographia.
Shaking hands can also be a common symptom of Parkinson’s disease, especially if your hands shake whether you’re moving them or not. If keeping them still stops your hands from shaking, the cause likely isn’t Parkinson’s. Again, this is definitely something to talk to your doctor about before you get too worried.
3. Kidney Disease
Your fingernails can tell you a lot about your kidney health. Ridges on your nails—either going across the nail or causing your nails to “spoon” can both indicate issues. If the ridges go across your nails, that can indicate kidney disease. If you’re seeing concave nails, that can indicate iron deficiency, which commonly accompanies kidney disease
White streaks, white spots or nails that are white on the bottom half only can also indicate kidney issues. Definitely talk to your doctor if you’re experiencing any dramatic changes to your fingernails.
4. Heart Condition
Grip strength can be an early indicator of heart attack or stroke risk, according to a 2015 study published in The Lancet. A loose grip can also predict your risk of dying from heart disease.
Grip strength is an indicator of something called biological age. You know the saying, “You’re only as old as you feel.” That’s biological age in a nutshell. Your biological age is how well your body functions compared to your actual age in calendar years.
Your hands can also indicate how likely you are to develop high blood pressure. A 1993 study found that patients with a “whorl” style fingerprint were more likely to have high blood pressure.
Thick fingertips, a condition called “clubbing,” can indicate heart disease, lung disease or a slew of other health issues. Definitely make a doctor’s appointment if you notice thick fingertips, “floating” nails that don’t seem to be attached well to your fingers, or nails that curve downward.
5. Liver Disease
If you have chronically blotchy, red palms, it could indicate a liver condition. This is another “don’t panic” situation, though. Red palms—also called palmar erythema—can be hereditary or caused by something less serious. Before you decide that you definitely have cirrhosis and call your whole family, talk to your doctor.
Swollen fingers and joint pain can indicate a thyroid issue. Carpal tunnel can also accompany these symptoms. Talk to your doctor about a thyroid test if you are experiencing prolonged swelling and joint pain in your fingers.
Cyanosis is a lack of oxygen in the blood, and blue fingernails are a common symptom of this condition. Cyanosis isn’t a condition itself, but it can indicate a number of health issues, like asthma, pneumonia or heart disease.
Of course, if you’ve just come in from a snowball fight, and your fingernails are blue, don’t panic. Cyanosis doesn’t describe the blue tint your fingers can get when your hands are cold. It’s persistent, regardless of temperature.
Chronic blue fingernails are definitely something you should discuss with your doctor. However, if you notice cyanosis and you’re experiencing shortness of breath or any symptoms of heart attack or stroke, call emergency services right away…….