6 Things your hands say about your health


One of the most common ways to keep track of your health is to get an annual physical. While it is good that you know all of your numbers from cholesterol levels to blood pressure to your weight so that you can nip any problems while they’re still small, there are additional ways to tell whether any health issue is on the horizon. For instance, you can just look down at your hands.

Sure, the calluses may say that you’ve worked hard all your life and the wrinkles might give an indication of how many years you’ve celebrated on this earth, but what else do they tell you? Are they warning you of a health concern that can be treated if caught quickly enough? Is it possible that they hold clues as to something going on inside your body? Something that you currently know nothing about?

If you have no idea what to look for when it comes to your fingernails and health, don’t worry because you soon will. Here are six things your hands and nails may say in regard to your health and wellness:

1. You May Have a Circulatory Disorder

If your fingertips are often blue or gray, it is possible that you have Raynaud’s disease, which the Mayo Clinic defines as a condition in which “smaller arteries that supply blood to your skin narrow, limiting blood circulation to affected areas.” Women are more at risk of Raynaud’s than men as are people who live in areas that are frequently colder in temperature. The good news is that most of the symptoms, such as numbing of the fingers and toes, can be easily alleviated by keeping those areas warm, but medications are also available to help if necessary.

2. Your Thyroid May not be Working Properly

If your fingers swell like little sausages for no reason, it is possible that your thyroid is to blame. Of course, there are other factors to consider as well, so having puffy fingers doesn’t always mean that your body’s metabolism isn’t what it should be. For instance, flying on an airplane, eating salty foods, excessive heat, and being premenstrual can all make your digits grow. But if you can rule out all of these other factors as causes, then a doctor’s appointment may be necessary to get a blood test to know for sure.

3. You Could Have Osteoarthritis

Look at your finger joints. Do they look out of place or deformed in any way? If so, the Arthritis Foundation says that it could be a sign that you have osteoarthritis. This particular condition is likely to be accompanied by some degree of pain or discomfort, which is a telltale sign. If this is the case for you, the achiness can often be alleviated by taking an over the counter pain reliever or applying heat or ice. If it gets too bad, physical therapy or surgery may be recommended.

4. You Might Have Anemia

Here’s a little test to help you tell whether you should be concerned about anemia. Lay your left hand on your lap or a table top and use your right pointer finger to press down on any one of the fingernails on your lying hand. After pressing on it and releasing the pressure, it should turn pink again fairly quickly. If it doesn’t, or if it is always a pale white color, it is possible that you have low iron.

You can increase your iron intake by eating more meat and dark leafy greens, or you can also take a dietary supplement. However, if this doesn’t work, you might want to get checked out. Medication may be in order to get your counts where they should be.

5. You Could Have Heart or Lung Disease

Take a look at your fingertips. Are they getting to be bigger and wider than the last knuckle on your hand? If so, it is possible that something may be wrong with your heart or lungs.

According to Melanie Haiken, senior editor at Caring.com, “If the circulatory systems of the heart or lungs are impaired, oxygen levels in the blood are likely to drop. Over time, this causes the soft tissues of the fingertip pads to grow, so fingertips (and the ends of toes) appear to bulge outward.”

Your doctor can run some tests to find out your blood oxygen level, so you know for sure. This is definitely one case where checking your hands could definitely save your life.

6. You May Have an Infection in Your Circulatory System

One way to determine your health status by your fingernails is to check them for reddish or brown lines underneath them that look like splinters. These could actually be tiny hemorrhages as a result of miniscule blood clots caused by an infection in your heart or blood.

If this is the case, you may have a fever as well, which should prompt you to make an immediate doctor’s appointment. With no fever, it is possible that they will go away on their own, but don’t hesitate to get checked out any time you think you may have an issue with your heart.

These are just a few clues that your fingernails and hands hold about your health. If you notice that you have any of them, you might want to check with your doctor just to make sure. Also, have your physician take a look at your hands and nails at your next checkup. Who knows? It just may save your life!



Prof. Hesin
I am herbalist and write on variety of topics from nutrition to natural health, herbal medicine, nutritional supplementation, mind/body medicine and i enjoys the challenge of providing my family with healthy food options that fit with their busy lifestyle.