What Fingerprints Tell You About Your Health
Fingerprints aren’t just for identification anymore…studies determine your fingerprint patterns may hold clues to revealing potential health threats, including Alzheimer’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Fingerprints: History at Your Fingertips
When you were just a tiny fetus you didn’t yet have fingertips; instead, you had volar pads, which continued to grow until the end of your first trimester. Then they begin to shrink, and the bones that became your fingers were covered in flesh marked by unique raised areas that turned into fully formed fingerprints by your twenty-first week. As a result, every major event between Week 6 and Week 21 of your fetal life left its mark in your unique pattern of loops, whorls and arches. Those fingerprint patterns correlate to the amount of hormones, environmental factors and nutrients that you were exposed to in utero and the decisions that your genes made for your developing body. By looking at your fingerprints, you can infer what diet and environmental factors came into play and what epigenetic decisions were made that steered you toward your current GenoType.
Loops, Whorls, and Arches
There are three basic fingerprint classification patters, arches, loops and whorls. People generally have a mixture of pattern types on their fingertips, with some symmetry between the left and right hands. Loops occur in about 60-70% of fingerprint patterns, whorls are seen in about 25-35% and arches are the most unusual found in about 5-7% of the population. Because they’re such a good record of your prenatal life, fingerprints are an important clue both to your GenoType and to the disorders that correlate with it. In fact, there are thousands of studies correlating fingerprint patterns with potential health risks.
A number of studies have been done on the relationship between the number of loop fingerprints and their relationship to Alzheimer’s Disease. An article in the journal, Archives of Neurology, referred to a study in which, patients with SDAT (Senile Dementia of the Alzheimer Type) showed a significantly increased frequency of ulnar loops on their fingertips and a decreased frequency of whorls and arches. In fact, in the study, a pattern of eight or more ulnar loops was found in 72% of their patients in the study – compared with 26% in the control group. A significant number of Loop fingerprints are a hallmark for the Nomad GenoType.
The American Journal of Medical Genetics reported a study that found, “The positive predictive value of 6 or more digital whorls was comparable to that of mammography and that of breast biopsy. With increasing age there was an increase in the positive predictive value associated with 6 or more digital whorls.” Scientists studying the connection between whorl fingerprint patterns suggest that fingerprint patterns might potentially be used for screening or further research, particularly in developing countries where access to mammograms may not be possible.
Whorls and Celiac Disease
Doctors at the Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition Service in Israel studied the correlation between fingerprint patterns and Celiac disease. Fingerprints were obtained from 46 patients with celiac disease and compared with those of 46 control subjects matched for sex and ethnic origin. Whorls were more frequent and ulnar loops were less frequent, significantly, in celiac patients than in controls. A digital pattern of four or more whorls was present in 69% of celiac patients, but in only 28% of controls. They concluded that particular dermatoglyphic patterns are significantly more common in patients with celiac disease than in controls. The study concluded that this marker be used as a diagnostic clue, indicating the need for further investigation.
According to Hopkins gastroenterologist Marvin Schuster, fingerprints can help spot a difficult-to-diagnose and sometimes life-threatening illness called chronic intestinal pseudo obstruction (CIP). Schuster finds that 54 percent of CIP patients have an unusual fingerprint pattern called the digital arch configuration. In comparison, arch fingerprints appear in only 5-7 percent of the general population. A new diagnostic tool for CIP is desperately needed, says Schuster. The illness, which afflicts 50,000 Americans, masquerades as an intestinal obstruction (thus the “pseudo” in CIP). Patients experience intense stomach pain, vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea alternating with constipation. But when surgeons go hunting for a blockage, they don’t find one. That’s because CIP stems from degeneration of the nerves or muscles that control the gastrointestinal system, and in some cases is of unknown cause. Why should an unusual fingerprint pattern be associated with a gastrointestinal illness? “We think there’s a congenital linkage,” says Schuster, which means the group of conditions is present at birth. The constellation of symptoms may be genetically linked, or stem from environmental factors that occur in utero. Primitive fingerprints appear during the sixth or seventh week of development and are completed by the 24th week, and arise from a tissue similar to the one that forms the mitral valve and gut, says Gottlieb. But no one can be certain why the conditions often appear together.
If your fingerprint ridges are worn, you’re likely to see a pattern of white lines among your fingerprints—secondary creases on your fingers that become visible when your ridges are low.
Research dating back to the early 1970s shows a correlation between the appearance of white lines and the incidence of celiac disease. Typically, the number of white lines increases with age as gut integrity continues to deteriorate. In many cases, these white lines begin to vanish with the maintenance of a gluten-free diet. Some researchers even believe that white lines are a useful indicator of a person’s response to diet therapy, although complete improvement of the fingerprints might take as long as two years. If you’ve noticed lots of white lines in your fingerprints, you might want to talk with a naturopathic physician to learn more about your digestive health. And you will certainly want to follow the carbohydrate prescriptions in your GenoType Diet, which can make a world of difference in correcting digestive problems, restoring gut integrity, and rebalancing stomach and intestinal bacteria.
“Because they’re such a good record of your prenatal life, fingerprints are an important clue both to your GenoType and to the disorders that correlate with it.” States Dr. D’Adamo. As you can see, knowing about these potential problems makes following your GenoType Diet and Exercise Plan even more important, because they give you the best possible shot at avoiding these potential dangers. Eating the right diet for your GenoType can help you beat these epigenetic odds, ensuring your greatest chance for a long and healthy life.
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Q&A With Dr. D’Adamo: ProbioticsSeptember 25th, 2014
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