11. Gastrointestinal disease
Digital or nail clubbing — which refers to structural changes under and around the toenails and fingernails — is most often a sign of a lung disease. But it can also be a symptom of gastrointestinal diseases, more specifically inflammatory bowel disease and celiac disease. These conditions cause malabsorption of nutrients from food, eventually leading to clubbing.
Stiffness and swelling are two symptoms of osteoarthritis, a type of arthritis often referred to as “wear and tear” of the joints. The condition causes inflammation and swelling in and around various joints, including in the hands and feet, often causing pain, tenderness, stiffness, and sometimes even deformity.
Lymphedema is swelling in one of the arms or legs, including fingers or toes, and sometimes in both. It’s caused by a blockage in the lymphatic system, which helps the body filter out toxins and carries fluid containing white blood cells throughout the body. When restricted, the fluid is not draining well, causing buildup and swelling in the limbs. There is no cure for the condition, but it can be managed when diagnosed early.
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