Hi I was wondering if any one can help in regards to finger clubbing? Is there natural health medicine for this?
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replied December 21st, 2012
Especially eHealthy
jay124,

True clubbing of the fingers is not actually an orthopedic condition.

Clubbing of the fingers is often caused by hypoxia, or the lack of oxygen. It is classically seen in patients with severe pulmonary or cardiac conditions.

There are also some significant gastrointestinal conditions which may lead to clubbing of the fingers.


There is a special form of clubbing called hypertrophic pulmonary osteoarthropathy (HOA), known in continental Europe as Pierre Marie-Bamberger syndrome. This is the combination of clubbing and thickening of periosteum (connective tissue lining of the bones) and synovium (lining of joints), and is often initially diagnosed as arthritis.

Primary hypertrophic osteoarthropathy is HPOA without signs of pulmonary disease. This form has a hereditary component, although subtle cardiac abnormalities can occasionally be found. It is known eponymously as the Touraine-Solente-Gol syndrome. This condition has been linked to mutations in the gene on the fourth chromosome (4q33-q34) coding for the enzyme 15-hydroxyprostaglandin dehydrogenase (HPGD); this leads to decreased breakdown of prostaglandin E2 and elevated levels of this substance.


So, there are many causes of clubbing of the fingers. The important thing is to find out what is the underlying condition, which is causing the clubbing.

Therefore, you really need to see your physician, to have a thorough evaluation.

Good luck.
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replied December 21st, 2012
Hi there, thanks for your reply, I have seen my gp on many
Occasions and they have carried out tests such as ecg,chest scan etc blood tests. They can't seem to find nothing, although I do suffer from chest pain and shortness of breath at times and have a ttype of greenish phlem on a daily basis, I would just like to findthe cause of this as I have not inherited but the doctors brush it off as saying, sometimes it just happens??
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replied December 23rd, 2012
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Jay124,

Sorry you are having problems.

Unfortunately, sometimes it does “just happen”.

Nail clubbing (also known as drumstick fingers and watch-glass nails), a deformity of the fingers and fingernails, can be associated with a number of diseases, mostly of the heart and lungs. Hippocrates was probably the first to document clubbing as a sign of disease, and the phenomenon is therefore occasionally called Hippocratic fingers.

When clubbing is noted, doctors will seek to identify its cause. They usually accomplish this by obtaining a medical history—particular attention is paid to lung, heart, and gastrointestinal conditions—and conducting a clinical examination, which may disclose associated features relevant to a diagnosis. Additional studies such as a chest X-ray and a chest CT-scan may also be performed.

The following are some of the disorders which have been found to be associated with clubbing of the nails:

>> Lung disease:
-- Lung cancer, mainly non-small-cell (54% of all cases), not seen frequently in small-cell lung cancer (< 5% of cases)
-- Interstitial lung disease
-- Complicated tuberculosis
-- Suppurative lung disease: lung abscess, empyema, bronchiectasis, cystic fibrosis
-- Mesothelioma of the pleura
-- Arteriovenous fistula or malformation

>> Heart disease:
-- Any disease featuring chronic hypoxia
. . . Congenital cyanotic heart disease (most common cardiac cause)
. . . Subacute bacterial endocarditis
. . . Atrial myxoma (benign tumor)
-- Gastrointestinal and hepatobiliary
. . . Malabsorption
. . . Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis
. . . Cirrhosis, especially in primary biliary cirrhosis
. . . Epatopulmonary syndrome, a complication of cirrhosis

>> Others:
-- Hyperthyroidism (thyroid acropachy)
-- Familial and racial clubbing and "pseudoclubbing" (people of African descent often have what appears to be clubbing)
-- Vascular anomalies of the affected arm such as an axillary artery aneurysm (in unilateral clubbing)


While the exact cause for sporadic clubbing is unknown, there have been numerous mechanisms proposed and with numerous theories as to its cause. Some of the theories include the following: Vasodilation (distended blood vessels), secretion of growth factors such as the platelet-derived growth factor, and from the lungs, secretions of the hepatocyte growth factor.

Also, disorders in the prostaglandin metabolism in primary osteoarthropathy was discovered and that has led to suggestions that overproduction of PGE2 by other tissues may be the causative factor for clubbing.



However, even though some cases of finger clubbing can be associated with an illness, it is now known that in as much as 60% of cases, NO associated underlying disease can ever be found. These are known as idiopathic cases.




So, whenever clubbing is noted, physicians should attempt to determine if there is an associated disorder, and if so, what is it? But, if after a thorough work-up has be conducted, and nothing is found, then it may be that the clubbing has to be listed as idiopathic.


But, since you ARE having symptoms, you should keep pushing your physician to try to determine if you have an underlying pulmonary or cardiac condition.

Good luck.
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