You don’t have to be a palm reader to make a prediction about the state of your health.
Very often, you needn’t look any further than down at your own two hands for important clues about your state of health
The appearance of your hands and fingernails can provide important insight into potential health problems you1 may have. Here are some signs and symptoms that you should pay attention to in order make sure your body is in ship shape.
- Red Palms (Palmar erythema) can be a tell-tale sign of liver problems – especially in those who are over 50 years old. Typically, the redness will be found on the heal of the palm or the outer edge of the palm. In more severe cases, the redness may even extend up to the fingers. The redness will appear as a rash and it’s possible that the affected area may feel a bit warm or burn slightly. When pressed down upon, the skin in that area will turn pale. Although this condition isn’t harmful on its own, it certainly may be a clear indication of other health problems. Additional causes may include shifts in one’s hormonal balance or rheumatoid arthritis. However, the most common reason for this condition is liver diseases like cirrhosis and Wilson disease. If you think that you’re experiencing Palmar erythema, you should contact your medical doctor to find out what’s causing it. In the meantime, it would be wise to switch to a healthy diet and decrease your overall intake of alcohol.
- Swollen fingers and cold hands are a clear sign of an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism). Other more benign causes for this can include too much salt in your diet, PMS or moderate dehydration. Conversely, if your thyroid is overly active (hyperthyroidism), you may experience excessively dry hands with a reddish hue to them.
- The strength of your grip can indicate how healthy your heart is. It can also measure someone’s risk of heart attack or stroke. Medical studies have shown that a person’s grip strength can be a good way to determine a person’s age.
- Are your nails always breaking? If so, your body may be deficient in zinc and iron. To fix an iron deficiency, you can consume larger amounts of iron-rich foods like spinach, oysters, white beans or dark chocolate. To correct the zinc deficiency, consume foods like oats, nuts, lamb or grass-fed beef. Lastly, you can always take biotin (vitamin B7).
- If your fingers have a bulbous end and resemble a club or drumstick (i.e., clubbed fingers), you may be suffering from heart or lung problems which result in low levels of oxygen in the blood. This can often be a sign of cystic fibrosis or chronic lung disease. If you’re experiencing symptoms of ‘clubbing,’ contact your general practitioner right away.
- Shaky hands or a hand tremor can be a sign of a whole host of medical issues. While shaky hands can result because of too much caffeine, anxiety disorders, antidepressants and certain drugs for asthma can also cause a person’s hands to have a slight tremor. Another possible condition which may be the cause shaky hands is non-life threatening, inherited neurological disorder called an ‘essential tremor.’ Lastly, a resting tremor can be an early indication of the development of Parkinson’s disease – a progressive disease that attacks the nervous system. If you’re experiencing, hand tremors that don’t really go away, it would be wise to see a doctor and have some lab work carried out.