'I'm a pharmacist – this red flag sign in your fingers could signal 3 killer conditions'

When it comes to health conditions many of the telltale symptoms we experience have some link to the part of the body affected. As an example, one of the giveaway signs of lung cancer is a persistent cough, while bowel cancer can lead to blood appearing in your poo.

In other cases though, you may notice some unusual symptoms that seem to have absolutely no link to a health problem.

These are particularly dangerous as they can easily be overlooked or misdiagnosed for something else.

With this in mind, one expert spoke exclusively with about a potentially dangerous symptom that can show up in the fingers.

Abbas Kanani, superintendent pharmacist for Chemist Click, warned of finger, as well as hand or wrist, swelling.

According to Abbas, this is a medical condition known as oedema and it can be a sign of kidney disease, liver disease and even heart failure.

“Fluid retention can cause swelling in the fingers, hands or wrists,” he said.

“The swelling is usually persistent and can be caused by various conditions such as kidney or liver disease, and in some cases heart failure.”

He explained why this can happen. “It occurs when excess fluid accumulates in the body’s tissues,” Abbas said.

In the case of kidney disease, the kidneys play an important role in regulating fluid balance and removing waste products from the body, he said.

He continued: “When the body is dealing with chronic kidney disease or acute kidney injury this can weaken kidney function and cause fluid retention and oedema.

“Liver disease causes a decrease in the production of proteins which help to maintain fluid balance in the blood.

“Fluid may then leak into the tissues and cause edema, particularly in the abdomen and legs.

“Lastly, fluid buildup in the lungs and other tissues can happen when the heart is unable to pump blood effectively causing heart failure.”

Abbas listed other symptoms of these conditions to look out for

Kidney failure – Decrease in urine production, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, blood in the urine.

Liver failure -Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice), easy bruising or bleeding, abdominal pain and swelling, itching on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet and dark urine and pale poo.

Heart failure -Shortness of breath, persistent cough, rapid or irregular heartbeat, fatigue and weakness.

If you notice these signs what should you do?

If you notice any signs of these conditions you should seek medical help, Abbas said.

He added: “See a GP if you think you may have liver or kidney failure or experience persistent or gradually worsening symptoms of heart failure.

“Call 999 for an ambulance or go to your nearest A&E department as soon as possible if you have sudden or very severe symptoms of heart failure.”


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