Your hands have the ability to reveal a lot of things from finger length to grip strength, and they can even indicate risk factors for a number of surprising health conditions.
Grip strength reveals: Heart health
According to a new Lancet study of nearly 140,000 adults in 17 countries, a weak grip predicts a higher risk of heart attack or stroke and lower chances of survival. 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 strength training and aerobic exercise to reduce heart disease risk.
Sweaty palms reveal: Hyperhidrosis
Overly sweaty 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.
A lot of people with this 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.
Finger length reveals: Arthritis risk
Women that have ring fingers that are longer than their index fingers, (which is a more common male trait), are twice as likely to have osteoarthritis in the knees, according to an Arthritis & Rheumatism study. Researchers believe low oestrogen levels may be a factor.
Furthermore, 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.
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.
However, it is a good idea to see a doctor if you realise that your shaking hands reoccurs. 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.
Nail colour 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.
A nail condition as this may be caused by an increased concentration of certain hormones and chronic anaemia, which are both traits of chronic kidney disease.
If you notice that half of your nail is dark and and you also have vertical stripe beneath the nail bed, see a doctor immediately. This can be hidden melanoma, a skin cancer.