2. Fingertips are Black or Blue
Buerger’s disease (thromboangiitis obliterans) is a condition of acute inflammation and clotting of arteries and veins in the hands and feet. It most frequently occurs in young males who are heavy smokers. Symptoms begin with numbness and/or pain in the hands and/or feet and advance to whitened (Raynaud’s phenomenon) or blackened (gangrene) fingertips (or toes) as the result of drastically reduced blood flow. Further, pain may radiate to more central parts of the body. (2)
What to do: see your healthcare provider immediately if you notice discoloration of your fingertips. She may prescribe medication to increase blood flow but quitting smoking tobacco is the only way to cure the problem. There are many natural ways to do so and your whole body will thank you for it.
3. Numbness and Inability to Feel Pain or Temperature
Countless nerves and various types of receptors are present in the hands to provide us with information that is transmitted through neurons to the brain. The communication goes both ways. Numbness or reduction of tactile senses of pain, pressure, or temperature in the hands and/or feet may indicate a problem with neural communication, often a result of diabetes called peripheral neuropathy.
Neuropathy occurs when chronically high blood glucose damages blood vessels and nerve fibers, inhibiting oxygen and nutrient transmission to the extremities.
Symptoms include (3):
- numbness or reduced ability to feel pain or temperature changes
- tingling or burning sensation in the hands, fingers, feet, or toes
- sharp pains or cramps
- increased sensitivity to touch — for some people, even wearing a shirt can be uncomfortable or painful
- muscle weakness
- loss of reflexes
- loss of balance and coordination (in the case of the feet)
- Serious foot problems, such as ulcers, infections, deformities, and bone and joint pain
Watch the video below for an explanation of the signs of diabetic peripheral neuropathy.
What to do: don’t ignore the symptoms and consult with your healthcare provider to test for diabetes. To prevent diabetes, eat only fresh, whole foods that include a wide variety of vegetables and fruits. Avoid sugars as well as artificial sweeteners and do your best to follow a healthy lifestyle.