Friday, 2 February 2018

Care2 Healthy Living/Becky Striepe: 7 Things Your Hands Say about Your Health

Care2 Healthy Living

7 Things Your Hands Say about Your Health
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    By: Becky Striepe
    January 31, 2018

    About Becky
    Follow Becky at @glueandglitter

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.
What Your Hands Say About Your Health

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.
1. Arthritis

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
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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.
6. Hypothyroidism

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.
7. Cyanosis

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 911 right away.

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.

Additional Sources: Reader’s Digest, Caring.com
Related at Care2

    Your Resting Heart Rate is an Important Health Indicator
    8 Things Your Feet Say about Your Health
    6 Easy Ways to Take Control of Your Health

Images via Thinkstock.
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60 comments
Julie W
Julie W35 minutes ago

My hands show symptoms of age, gardening, and far too much sun over the years! My grip strength is probably not as good as it should be - I have been unable to exercise for the past few months and I'm definitely weaker.
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Lenore K
Lenore Kabout an hour ago

ok
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John B
John B2 hours ago

Thanks Becky for sharing the interesting info.
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Stephanie s
Stephanie s2 hours ago

Great information. Thank you
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Richard A
Richard A3 hours ago

Thank you for this very interesting article.
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Shirley S
Shirley S3 hours ago

Interesting
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Angela J
Angela J4 hours ago

Thanks
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Muff-Anne York-Haley
Muff-Anne York-Haley4 hours ago

Thanks.
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Mark T
Mark T5 hours ago

Ty.
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Lesa D
Lesa D5 hours ago

a very HANDS ON article full of useful information!

thank you Becky...
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view all 60 comments
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