15 Things Your Hands Can Say About Your Health

Your hands can do more than pick things up and pull things up on your smartphone. In fact, they’re actually indicators as to how healthy you are. Wondering what your hands are telling you? Here are 15 things your hands can tell you about your health.

1. If you’re sleep-deprived…

Older unable to sleep

Elderly man in his bed | Motortion/iStock/Getty Images

Health.com tells us if you aren’t getting enough sleep, you may develop a hand tremor. This reaction can also happen if you are overcaffeinated or withdrawing after a night of binge drinking. They also caution, however, to get a perpetual tremor checked out by a doctor because it could be a sign of a neurological problem, like Parkinson’s disease.

Next: That dose of vitamin C …

2. If you’re lacking nutrients…

pills and multivitamins

Multivitamins | Valentina_G/iStock/Getty Images

You may think skipping on taking your vitamins is no big deal. But Medical Daily says if you have brittle nails, it can be a sign you’re lacking vital nutrients in your diet. If your nails are constantly breaking, no matter how short they are, it can be a sign you need to add more vitamin C and zinc into your diet.

Next: Just don’t have too much of this metal …

3. If you’re allergic to nickel…

U.S. nickels |Alex Wong/Getty Images

Get red bumps on your hands from digging in your coin purse? Health.com says this could be a sign you’re allergic to nickel. But you don’t have to touch this metal to feel the effects. Ingesting foods that have nickel in them — like beans, oatmeal, or chocolate — can have the same effect.

Next: Your hands aren’t telling you they need a tan …

4. If you have anemia…

Blood test tubes.

Blood test tubes| Bet_Noire/iStock/Getty Images

You may desire to have the fairest skin around. But beware if your hands and nail beds are extra pale. This could be a sign your blood doesn’t have enough oxygen and you are anemic. Mayo Clinic maps out many treatment options for anemia — which will likely also bring some color back into your hands.

Next: That itch you can’t scratch …

5. If you have eczema…

People scratch the itch with hand

Itching and scratching | Tharakorn/Getty Images

Suffering from itchy hands with rashes on them? This could be a sign you have eczema. Medical Daily says the itchy rash can manifest itself too, into “blisters, painful cracks, dryness, crusts, burning sensations, and bleeding skin.” If major amounts of moisturizer aren’t doing the trick, consider consulting a dermatologist to find out about better treatment options.

Next: A real pain in the wrist …

6. If you have carpal tunnel syndrome…

White hands bound with rope

Bound wrists| JohnDWilliams/iStock/Getty Images

The pain caused by carpal tunnel does start and end with your wrist. This condition can also result in numb or tingling hands. Health.com references the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons in saying many people “experience nighttime tingling or numbness because they sleep with their wrists bent. That bend compresses the median nerve leading from the wrist to the hand.”

Next: You may have heard of this before …

7. If you have arthritis…

Cleaning fingers with wet wipes

Cleaning fingers with wet wipes | AdamRadosavljevic/Getty Images

That’s right — trigger finger. “It means you have a finger that pops, catches, or gets stuck when you try to bend and straighten it,” Health.com explains. “Triggering is more common in women than men and most often affects the ring finger or thumb.” In addition to being a sign of arthritis, trigger finger can also be an indicator for people with diabetes or thyroid issues.

Next: Speaking of which …

8. If you have thyroid issues…

Woman touching her throat where her thyroid gland is

Woman touching her throat where her thyroid gland is | ChesiireCat/iStock/Getty Images

In fact, your hands are one of the best indicators when it comes to thyroid function. If your hands are cold and you have swollen fingers, you could have an underactive thyroid, or hypothyroidism, Medical Daily says. If your hands have red or dry skin, it could be a sign of an overactive thyroid, also known as hyperthyroidism.

Next: How’s your ticker …

9. If you have heart disease…

Digital illustration of Human heart

Illustration of a heart| Hywards/iStock/Getty Images

A firm handshake tells you more about someone than just their character, Health.com says. It’s also reportedly a sign of how healthy someone’s heart is. A strong grip can be a sign someone has a healthy heart, while a weak grip can be a sign of deteriorating heart health or a sign of disease.

Next: More itches and scratches …

10. If you have psoriasis…

Doctor

Doctor | utah778/iStock/Getty Images

All sorts of things can happen to your hands if you have psoriasis — an autoimmune disease that can affect the skin all over your body. If you have psoriasis, your hands may be covered in red scales, or you may develop white pus-filled bumps on your palms. Mayo Clinic lists different treatment options if you have psoriasis.

Next: What a flake …

11. If you have vitamin B deficiency …

Woman knitting

Woman knitting | Alexey_R/iStock/Getty Images

If you look at your hands during activities and notice they’re flaky or peeling, it could be more than just dry, overworked skin. Prevention says this could be a sign you don’t have enough vitamin B or biotin in your diet. They say taking a supplement can help with this condition, as well as adding fish, avocados, and nuts into your diet.

Next: Your hands will be the first indicator of this disease …

12. If you have Raynaud’s phenomenon…

Adult hand with Raynaud’s syndrome phenomenon | Barb Elkin/ iStock/ Getty Images

If your fingers are turning red, white, and blue and get cold very easily, it’s very likely you have Raynaud’s phenomenon. You should contact your doctor if you have these symptoms. While they could be more annoying than anything, Health.com says Raynaud’s can also be a prelude to autoimmune diseases such as lupus.

Next: Those bizarre bumps on your fingers are telling you something …

13. If you have a bacterial infection in your heart…

heart monitor

Heart monitor | Evryka23/iStock/Getty Images

Dr. Anne Albers, a cardiologist, tells Health.com that painful purple nodules on a patient’s fingers are almost always a sign of endocarditis, a bacterial infection in the heart valves. The bumps are caused by bleeding under the skins surface, and may be accompanied other signs of infect like a fever.

Next: You may not have expected this …

14. If you have inflammatory bowel syndrome…

Woman Stomach Ache

Stomach Ache | iStock.com/champja

That’s right — your hands can tell you if you have IBS. Dr. Kelly Weselman, MD, tells Health.com that hand pain and swelling can be signs of bowel problems. “It’s more commonly going to affect the knees and the ankles,” she explains. “But it’s not out of the question that it could affect the hands.”

Next: Last but not least …

15. If you’re a woman with a long ringer finger …

Parkinson's patient hand

A senior woman’s hand | Ocskaymark/Getty Images

This may sound a little crazy, but it’s true. Women typically have pointer fingers and ringers that are about the same length. But if a woman has a longer ring finger, more like a man, it could be a sign of testosterone exposure in the womb before birth. While there’s no definitive connection between having a long ring digit and health problems, Health.com does point to one study that connects this hand quality to ALS.

Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!