A person's hands can "read" the symptoms of lung diseases: how to recognize a dangerous diagnosis

Vitaly SemchenkoSociety
Your hands can shed light on your health status

Lung diseases are most often accompanied by the traditional respiratory symptoms: cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain. However, diseases related to the respiratory system also affect other parts of the body.

In particular, one of the markers may be a person's hands. According to Best Life, they can shed light on health conditions.

1. Thickening of the terminal phalanges

This happens when the tip of the finger swells because of excess tissue under the nail plate. And this, according to doctors at Mount Sinai Hospital, can indicate the development of lung cancer. It can also be caused by chronic lung infections and interstitial lung disease.

In rare cases, thickening of the terminal phalanges is indicative of diseases unrelated to the lungs. For example, infectious endocarditis, liver disease, or an overactive thyroid gland.

2. Blueing of the nail plate

When the blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries rises, pulmonary hypertension occurs. And some patients develop heart failure at the same time, as the right ventricle of the heart weakens under the strain of the increased blood pressure.

To detect the diagnosis, doctors at the Cleveland Clinic look for a bluish tinge in patients' nail beds. The discoloration may occur as a result of decreased oxygen levels in the blood as pulmonary hypertension worsens.

3. Poor grip strength

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease can be accompanied by a number of symptoms, including coughing, shortness of breath, wheezing, fatigue and chest pressure. But experts say there's another sign you can notice in your hands: decreased grip strength.

According to a 2021 study published in BMC Pulmonary Medicine, about 72% of patients with COPD develop this symptom. And as the disease worsens, these people are much more likely to go to the emergency department.

4. Rheumatoid arthritis

People with RA often experience stiffness, pain and swelling in their fingers. Experts believe that developing rheumatoid arthritis can put a person at increased risk for certain lung problems.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the list of conditions associated with rheumatoid arthritis includes interstitial lung disease, lung nodules, pleurisy and small airway obstruction.

"See your doctor immediately if you have rheumatoid arthritis and have any unexplained breathing problems," the clinic experts advise.

5. Pain and swelling

Sarcoidosis is a systemic lung disease characterized by the formation of granulomas in the lung tissue, accompanied by cough, chest pain, weakness, and fever. The most common signs of this condition are dry cough, shortness of breath, and fatigue.

However, the symptoms of sarcoidosis extend beyond the lungs to other parts of the body. Patients often have cysts on their arms and legs.

Talk to your doctor if you notice any worrisome symptoms.

As OBOZREVATEL reported, watching TV for four or more hours a day can increase the risk of blood clots and thromboembolism by 35%. To avoid developing the disease, you need to take regular breaks and move around.

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