If Your Hands Could Talk
So, the other day, I was in a hospital cafeteria filling up my daily allotment of carbonated, caffeinated, get me through the morning, mug of soda. An old friend saw me and came by to say hi. We stood around chit chatting for a few minutes and the conversation became more involved. And by more involved, I mean, I had to find a counter to put my soda down so I could actually talk to her…with my hands! I didn’t realize how much I speak with my hands to get thoughts from my crowded head…into theirs! We use our hands for everything; even talking. Did you know that your hands hold all sorts of secrets and hidden clues as to your general health and well-being? They do. Have you ever noticed when you go for a physical, the doctor almost always looks your hands over. The flexibility and texture of our skin and tell us how hydrated we are, even how well our joints are working. Take a look at your hands…what could they say about you? Here are a few little tid bits of interesting facts about our hands.
- Finger nails! Finger nails hide nothing about your general nutritional status. Finger nails develop ridges; they split, become brittle and can even show up with discolorations. Nail beds that were once pink and healthy now look pale and weak. Fingernails can help determine mineral and vitamin deficiencies, anemia, infection and even thyroid problems. Remember, fingernails are just modified hairs so, you can tell a lot about your general overall health by hair too!
- Swollen Fingers: Of course, it’s a common thing, especially after sitting through an epic 3 hour movie with a jumbo tub of salty, buttered popcorn but unless you can account for the swollen digits…there could be an underlying reason such as Hypothyroidism. A slow thyroid means a sluggish metabolism and that means your body can’t get rid of excess water like it should so it collects in places like our fingers.
- Palms of your hands: Unless you just finished a round robin of tennis, weed wacked the backyard or jack hammered out the driveway, red, flushed palms are not necessarily a normal occurrence. If you consistently have red, flushed palms, it could indicate liver problems or inflammation to name a few.
- Discolored hands: In the dead of winter, after an afternoon of snowball fights and snowman building, it’s common for your hands to be discolored, especially if you they have been overexposed to the cold weather. If your hands are greyish or blue in color, it could mean you have a circulation problem.
- Finally, an interesting study from the Arthritis and Rheumatism foundation from 2008. They reported that you can tell a lot by the size of your ring finger! If your ring finger is longer than your index finger, you are twice as likely to get osteoarthritis. However, if your index finger is longer, it could mean an increased risk of breast cancer in women.