Posted , 9 users are following.

No, I haven't started making up words, all will be explained. If you're a hypochondriac, please go and read another thread.

About 10-12 years ago, before my heavy drinking hit my health, I was on a forum, nothing to do with alcohol, something completely unrelated. And someone posted a picture of something, the relevance was what the person was holding in their hand (it wasn't the hand of the person posting).

One person then commited, oh they are not well, they have a serious drink problem. Rather worried that this was some well known fact, I was worried anyone could tell I had a problem with alcohol just by looking at my hands. So I rather nonchantly said, hey I'm impressed, but how the hell can you tell his health and drinking status from his hand.

The reply was, that your nails tell an awful lot about your health and he said that the fact that the crescent on the thumb nail had disspeared was a sign of liver problems. That little crescent on your nail next to the cuticle is called lunula. Your nails in general and lunula in particular are a gateway to your health. I looked at my nails and sure enough, the crescent had all but gone,

Also I had a bit of the two tone effect, I can't tell you the colours as I'm colour blind, but it was not the normal neutral colour, more of a light red/dark blue from under the nail. Since I've stopped drinking (I noticed the same thing when I came out of hospital), I have lost the two tone colouring and the lunula has come back on my thumbs and is staring to appear on my fingers - thumbs seem to be the last bit to lose and the first to come back.

So, if you are one of these people that Googles eveything and want to worry yourself silly, needlessly, then Google 'lunula liver disease' and as well as the normal search, Google images for some pretty pictures. But do remember, the nails report a whole range of health symptoms and if yours aren't 100% they can be a whole range of reasons why they look a bit dull - such as not eating properly or a good diet.

1 like, 21 replies

21 Replies

  • Posted

    How weird, I have them on both my thumbs but not my other fingers rolleyes
    • Posted

      They are not as prominent on your fingers as they are on your thumbs, so don't be looking for your fingers to match your thumbs.
    • Posted

      Mine are the same large moons on my thumbs but either no moons or very small ones on my fingers
    • Posted

      I have them on my thumbs and two barely visible on my index fingers, two minuscule on my middle finger, but absolutely none on my ring and little fingers.

      Is this definitely indicative of liver damage? As I'm just wondering why my blood tests for LFT came back ok - well ok enough for them to prescribe me Nalmefene and to carry on drinking whilst taking the tablets? Or does having no lunula show that we may have even the slightest of damage to our livers?

      Very interesting. I will definitely be examining people's hands from now on... Even if it makes me look freaky wink

    • Posted

      It should be visible on most people's thumbs. And also on some fingers, yours sounds normal. We all have differing levels.

      No it doesn't mean you have liver damage. It merely indicates that sometimes people have health problems. I in the past have been ill - not felt unwell, but I have been told that I have not been kind to my internal organs and even my thumb crescent disappeared and my nail went a different colour. So in my case, it was obviously telling me something was wrong.

      I merely posted it because I thought it might be interesting for people and maybe something to keep an eye on. I'm sure when the doctor at the rehab looks at you, he probably checks your eyes, any pallor (face paleness) and your finger nails, because they are all on display and give a quick guide to your health with regards to alcohol.

      Now stop worrying, you've had recent LFT tests done.

      Here is a brief description, not aimed at you, just a general post.

      "The lunula is most visible on the thumb, however it is not visible on every person.

      The lunula and the nail itself are good places to find warning signs of diseases such as liver disease, kidney disease, lung disease and heart problems. Any color differences or unusual lines may indicate some type of disease or insufficiency. The vertical lines on fingernails however are normal as we age."

    • Posted

      Still mad how something you wouldn't associate with drinking can be an indicator of ill health, something as small as your fingernails.
    • Posted

      Phew,thought I was a gonner then!

      On s happier note I got my prescription for Nalmefene today on the nhs,happy days!

    • Posted

      I'm pleased for you and glad you persevered. Too many people just give up and aren't willing to tell them what they want and just accept what they are told.

      Have they given you a decent prescription or is it, a come back in two weeks prescription?

      PS Is your other half still due to attend?

    • Posted

      It's a 2 week one,she's writing to my doctor and then I will get it from my gp thereafter.Didnt discuss hubby,he's not keen having it on his record but he is using the naltrexone that I had
    • Posted

      My blood pressure is high as well,160/90 so she's going to put that in her letter.So I'm sure I will be put on tablets for that,because of that I have already ordered the prepay card,it's £104 for 12 months which is about the same as one script per month
    • Posted

      Alcohol, weight and stress are the three mains ones for HBP. Hereditary is another, but not for many.

      Your diastolic rate is a little high, not much, but your systolic rate is high for your age. There is a wide range of drugs for HBP, just like painkillers - aspirin, ibuprofen and paracetamol and they work in different ways. And then in each group type, there are several different varities, a bit like nalmefene/naltrxone. Some cause people side effects but they are fine with the other and vice versa.

      The trick is for your doctor to find which group sorts your problem and then which one has no side effects. Being overweight and enjoying alcohol means you are always going to be up against HBP.

      I drank heavily, I was always carrying a bit of weight most of the time. My problem was I gave up taking the HBP tablets and not the alcohol, when it should have been the other way around. I paid the price with a bleed on the brain stroke, where literally your artery is under so much pressure, it just bursts and leaks inside your head.

      The moral of that story, is keep taking the tablets until you find a natural way to control your blood pressure.

    • Posted

      The thing is,I'm really into healthy eating and didn't have a weight problem till my mid 30's when I really started drinking heavily.I love fresh veg,lentils and pulses,quinoa and buy into every healthy eating fad like juicing ect.But once I open that bottle it's carbs all the way
  • Posted

    I never really see mine!! I have my nails done every three weeks. However the manicurist always comments on my lovely healthy nails. Apparently I have large half moons lol! I presume (or rather I HOPE) there're the crescents you're referring to.

    The manicurist also told me you can tell a lot about the state of your liver by your hands. Some people have very tiny, almost pin prick size, red dots on their palms and hands,which she called liver spots. Whether it's true or not, I've no idea.

    Brittle nails which split and break and never grow can be a sign of vitamin deficiency. Don't know which one, but am sure you will tell me.

    Interesting discussion, bit different, makes a nice change!

  • Posted

    Ive just googled it and looked at the picture, and my nails look normal from the picture shown. You've made me study mine and as they need infilling which I'm having done on Thursday (hols on sat!) I can see a but of my lunulae and they look ok, phew lol!
    • Posted

      I knew people would look and I guarantee that people will start studying other people's hands to check their health and compare nails to their own. You don't often see the palms of people's hands, but the nails are virtually always on show.
    • Posted

      I found the whole thing interesting, well fascinating actually (sad life, or get a life mum, as my son has just told me!) To be fair, I did suddenly grab his hands.

      It killed an hour quickly and took my mind off waiting for a 'senior person' to phone me back to explain why the villa next door to ours is double booked.

      Another story, which I may post

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