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Science
CHECK UP
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PROGRAMME INFO
Thursday 15:00-15:30
Check Up is your chance to talk to doctors about the health issues that most concern you and your family. Each week Barbara Myers is joined by a medical expert to take your calls and emails on a particular topic and give you the most up to date advice. No appointment necessary.
Call 0870 010 0444
checkup@bbc.co.uk
LISTEN AGAINListen 30 min
Audio currently unavailable for 20 March
PRESENTER
BARBARA MYERS
Barbara Myers
PROGRAMME DETAILS
Thursday 20 March 2003
Hands

Hands

Read the full transcript of the webchat with Stuart Flemming which followed this programme.

For some people they are an important part of their identity, other people talk with them and they may also give away how healthy you are. In Check Up, the health phone in with Barbara Myers, we’ll be taking your calls on hand conditions. Joining Barbara in the studio will be consultant plastic surgeon Stuart Flemming.

The hand has a delicate and intricate structure, made up of many small bones known as carpals, metacarpals and phalanges. So its not surprising that as you get older general wear and tear leads to joint problems. Arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome are common hand conditions. Injuries to the hand make up to 25% of all accidents in the UK. They generally happen in a second but the consequences can be long lasting. Often our jobs, hobbies and lifestyles lead to hand problems such as numbness, swelling and difficulty in moving. What should we do to protect our hands?

Dupuytren's disease is a common condition which usually occurs in middle age and is more common in men than women. The disease causes the fingers to bend into the palm of the hand with loss of the ability to stretch them. This is associated with the development of hard bands of scar tissue in the palm of the hand. Surgery is used to treat the condition – but how effective is it – and will changing your lifestyle prevent it?

Other changes to our hands can indicate a variety of diseases such as coeliac disease an inability to digest gluten, the protein found in wheat. Which changes should you be worried about and when should you go and see your GP?

Next week’s topic, the last in the current series, is Kidney Problems.
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