10 Surprising Conditions Your Hands Might Predict
From finger length to grip strength, our hands can indicate risk factors for a number of surprising conditions.
Finger length reveals: Arthritis risk
Women with ring fingers that are longer than their index fingers, typically a male trait, are twice as likely to have osteoarthritis in the knees, according to an Arthritis & Rheumatism study. Low estrogen levels may be a factor. The same finger feature has been linked to higher athletic ability and verbal aggression in both genders. In men, a significantly longer ring finger (indicating an in-utero testosterone surge during the second trimester) is associated with having more children and better relationships with women, but a higher risk of prostate cancer. Here are 8 things pain doctors do to never get arthritis.
Shaky hands reveal: Parkinson’s disease
Trembling hands could be the result of something as simple as too much caffeine or a side effect of certain medications like asthma drugs and antidepressants. But it’s a good idea to see your doctor if the issue recurs. A tremor in just one hand can be a first symptom of Parkinson’s disease, or it can indicate essential tremor, a disorder that causes uncontrollable shaking and is treatable with therapy or medication. Learn how to spot 8 other easy-to-miss Parkinson’s disease symptoms.
Nail color reveals: Kidney disease
When Indian researchers studied 100 patients with chronic kidney disease, they found that 36 percent had half-and-half nails, when the bottom of a nail is white and the top is brown. The nail condition may be caused by an increased concentration of certain hormones and chronic anemia, both traits of chronic kidney disease. See your doctor right away if you notice half-and-half nails or a dark, vertical stripe beneath the nail bed. This can be hidden melanoma, a skin cancer. Don’t miss these 10 signs of skin cancer that aren’t on your skin.
Grip strength reveals: Heart health
A weak grip predicts a higher risk of heart attack or stroke and lower chances of survival, according to a new Lancet study of nearly 140,000 adults in 17 countries. Grip strength was a better predictor of death than was blood pressure. Researchers say grip strength is a marker of overall muscle strength and fitness, and they recommend whole-body strength training and aerobic exercise to reduce heart disease risk. For motivation, read these 14 powerful benefits of exercise that don’t have to do with weight loss.
Sweaty palms reveal: Hyperhidrosis
Overly clammy hands may be a symptom of menopause or thyroid conditions, as well as hyperhidrosis, in which overactive sweat glands cause far more perspiration than necessary. Most people with the condition sweat from only one or two parts of the body, such as the armpits, palms, or feet. A doctor may prescribe a strong antiperspirant to decrease sweat production. Learn what other 9 things your sweat says about your health.
Fingerprints reveal: High blood pressure
When British researchers studied 139 fingerprints, they found that people with a whorl (spiral) pattern on one or more fingers were more likely to have high blood pressure than people with arches or loops. The more fingers with whorls a participant had, the higher his or her blood pressure was. Fingertip whorls are markers of fetal development problems during certain stages of pregnancy, which may affect blood pressure later in life. Whether you have a whorl or not, don’t miss these 31 things you can do now to avoid high blood pressure.
Pale hands reveal: Anemia
There are many different forms of anemia including acute and chronic anemia which are linked to other health issues such as sickle cell disease and hypothyroidism, per Healthline. All forms, however, occur when a person doesn’t have enough healthy blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body, according to Medical News Today. Thus, common symptoms are pale skin, especially hand skin, and pale nail beds, Medical Daily reports.
Clubbed nails reveal: Lung disease
Clubbed nails, that that curve down and have a large or bulging end of the finger, are associated with a number of different diseases. One is lung disease since clubbed fingers or nails could be caused by low oxygen in the blood, according to the Mayo Clinic. Nail clubbing is also linked to inflammatory bowel disease, cardiovascular disease, liver disease, and AIDS, per the Mayo Clinic.
Blotchy, red palms reveal: Liver disease
Palmar erythema causes blotchy, red hands—a secondary symptom that could point to various diseases. According to Medical News Today, one health issue this symptom is linked to is liver diseases. Some people might also experience slightly warmer hands from this condition as well. Here are 50 signs you’re healthy, from every type of doctor.
Swollen knuckles reveal: High cholesterol
Hard, yellow bumps over the knuckles could be a sign of a fatal, genetic high cholesterol condition called Familial hypercholesterolaemia. Xanthomas, or fat deposits found in the tendons, lump together in the hands, elbows, or knees, according to Healthline. Next, check out the 11 health secrets your hands are trying to tell you.