“I always make a point of shaking hands when I meet a patient for the first time. Not only is it the best way to put a patient at ease, but hands and nails can be one of the best windows into the body’s internal workings.” ~ Dr. Richard Russell, consultant respiratory physician
Your hands and nails are a physical indication of your health. The appearance of your fingernails and hands can also give you insight into any potential underlying health problems.
It’s very easy to ignore our hands, too. Aside from the occasional nail-clipping, when’s the last time you really looked at your palms and digits?
LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT YOUR HANDS CAN REVEAL ABOUT YOUR HEALTH
BLUE OR WHITE FINGERTIPS
If you look at your fingertips, you’ll notice a white-pink coloration. The pink, of course, is the blood circulating underneath.
If your fingertips appear too blue or too white, it is a possible sign of poor blood circulation. One condition, known as Raynaud’s syndrome, occurs when small blood vessels become sensitive to temperature change.
“In more serious cases, blue fingertips can be a sign of low oxygen levels in the body,” says Dr. Richard Russell.
PALE NAIL BEDS
Nails beds are comprised of the area of skin from the cuticles to fingertips, and where the nails lay. Similar to your fingertips, there’s a pink-to-red hue.
If your nail beds appear overly-white, it may be a sign of iron-deficiency anemia. Iron-deficiency anemia occurs when there’s a lack of red blood cell circulation.
There are a number of reasons why the hands may tremble a bit. Maybe you’ve had one-too-many cups of java, are anxious, or take certain prescriptions meds (e.g. antidepressants, asthma drugs.)
If your hands are frequently shaky, it’s a good idea to schedule a checkup with your family doctor. They’ll want to look over your medical records, and take additional measures to rule out possible neurological causation.