HealthCould your nails signal liver disease? Tracing hidden symptoms on your hands

Could your nails signal liver disease? Tracing hidden symptoms on your hands

When you notice this symptom, rush to the hepatologist.
When you notice this symptom, rush to the hepatologist.
Images source: © Licensor | Sara Lissaker
11:07 AM EST, January 10, 2024

The ailments that frequently affect our liver include chronic and acute viral hepatitis, alcoholic and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, liver cirrhosis, Wilson's disease, and autoimmune hepatitis.

Signs of poor liver health can comprise a yellow or pale skin tone, yellow tongue discoloration, itchy skin, abnormal stool and urine colors, loss of appetite, issues with concentration, nausea, vomiting, pain in the right hypochondrium, gallbladder problems, and bruises and spider nevi found on the back and shoulders.

However, patients may often remain unaware of these health problems for a considerable length of time. Many times, these symptoms only become noticeable when the disease has already reached an advanced stage, leading to serious complications.

Doctors caution that liver disease, like other disorders, can also present symptoms on our hands, specifically on the nails. This assertion is supported by numerous scientific studies.

A case in point is an analysis conducted by experts from the Clinic of Dermatology, Venereology, and Andrology at Sohag University in Egypt. In this study, researchers evaluated the medical data of 1,000 subjects and found that 80% of patients battling hepatitis type B (HBV) and C (HCV) and other liver disorders exhibited nail changes.

In prior studies, nail symptoms were noted in 75% of participants with liver diseases. The Egyptian researchers examined nail color, texture, thickness, and curvature, aiming to establish an early diagnosis system for liver disease.

The authors of the study underlined that clubbed fingers (wherein nails are unnaturally rounded and fingertips enlarged) are a well-known symptom of chronic inflammation and liver cirrhosis. In the case of progressed liver cirrhosis, Terry's nails are characterized by a powdery-white nail color paired with a matte cloudiness.

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