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Warning Signs that Show Up on Your Hands

Our hands are often telling the world a great deal about us, from our age to our occupation. If we know what to look for, our hands can give us early warning about several health conditions as well.

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6 Health Conditions Your Hands Show You

  1. Hyperthyroidism – When the thyroid goes into overdrive it throws off the body’s whole endocrine system. One major symptom of hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) is a tremor or shaking in the hands. Other symptoms include heat intolerance, constant hunger, perspiration, thirst, an enlarged thyroid gland (in throat), and a racing heart. Natural Wellness’ Thyroid Support was developed to keep your thyroid healthy and functioning properly with essential vitamins and minerals and botanical extracts that help support healthy thyroid function, metabolism and stress response.
  2. Rheumatoid Arthritis – Pain, stiffness and swelling in the hands and fingers may be a sign of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Typically, the joints on both sides of the body are affected, and fingers can become misshaped with red, hot and swollen joints. There are medications that can be used to treat RA, but managing arthritis is about managing inflammation – especially avoiding foods that cause it. Natural Wellness’ Joint Support provides a synergistic blend of nutrients and extracts designed to help support joint function, joint mobility and a healthy inflammatory response.
  3. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – When the median nerve becomes compressed at the wrist (in the carpal tunnel: a narrow passageway of ligaments and bones at the base of the hand), the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome may begin. Symptoms are gradual at first with burning, tingling or numbness in the palm and fingers. But as the compression of the nerve worsens, so too do the symptoms. As the condition progresses pain in the hand worsens, especially in the thumb and index finger, and grip strength is decreased. Many people begin to sleep with flexed, curled up hands that they need to shake and stretch out in the morning. Treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome usually involves surgery.
  4. Dermatitis – Contact dermatitis results from contact with an allergy causing substance such as nickel, certain cosmetics, or poison ivy. The cause of dyshidrotic dermatitis, a type of eczema that affects the hands and feet, is unknown. This type of dermatitis can be chronic and painful presenting with severe itching, blisters, and scaly patches on the skin. Both types of dermatitis can be treated with moisturizers and may need steroid creams or antibiotics if severe.
  5. Gout – Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis that is the result of a buildup of uric acid in the blood, resulting from eating too many rich foods. Uric acid begins to form crystals in the joints that result in sudden instances of severe pain, heat, swelling and redness. Usually gout appears in the big toe, ankle and feet but it also occurs in the hands and fingers. Typically, the first 36 hours are the worst. Anti-inflammatory medications, ice and elevating the joint while drinking plenty of fluids may help alleviate the pain of gout. A physician may prescribe corticosteroids or injections of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), a synthetic drug that stimulates the body to produce corticosteroids naturally.
  6. Lupus – Lupus is a condition where the immune cells attack the body’s healthy tissues, leading to inflammation and tissue damage. Lupus typically affects the skin, but can affect the joints and organs. Common symptoms of lupus include fingernails that crack and fall off, as well as red, swollen sores at the base of the nails. Fingertips commonly become blueish with red spots. Other signs include Raynaud’s phenomenon. The fingers and toes become painful, numb, and tingly in response to cold temperatures when small blood vessels spasm and restrict blood flow to the area. Fingers and toes may turn white or blue giving the hands and feet an odd, mottled look.

Arthritis Foundation. (2016). What is gout? Arthritis Foundation. Retrieved on 2/13/16 from http://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/types/gout/.

Harvard Health Publications. (2016). Do you have an overactive thyroid? Harvard Health Publications: Harvard Medical School. Retrieved on 2/13/16 from http://www.health.harvard.edu/womens-health/do-you-have-an-overactive-thyroid.

NIH. (2016). Carpal tunnel syndrome fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Retrieved on 2/13/16 from http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/carpal_tunnel/detail_carpal_tunnel.htm.

Web MD. (2016). Rheumatoid arthritis health center. WebMD.com. Retrieved on 2/13/16 from http://www.webmd.com/rheumatoid-arthritis/guide/hand-and-finger-ra.

WebMD. (2016). Slideshow: A Visual Guide to Understanding Lupus. WebMD.com. Retrieved on 2/13/16 from http://www.webmd.com/lupus/ss/slideshow-lupus-overview.

WebMD. (2016). Types of eczema. WebMD.com. Retrieved on 2/13/16 from http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/eczema/types-of-eczema?page=2.

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