How your hands can reveal certain diseases

As if they weren’t useful enough, your hands can also ‘diagnose’ sinister illnesses.

Health secrets your hands hold

Our hands deserve a round of applause. Not only are they incredibly useful, but as we age, they can also hold clues to underlying medical conditions that we need to attend to quickly.

It’s normal to ‘lose’ your grip as you age especially if you have arthritis. Brittle bones and muscle loss can also reduce the strength in your hands over time. But if your grip weakens suddenly, call into your GP because it could be a sign that you have diabetes, heart disease or high blood pressure, according to health site WebMD.

From the age of 50, hand tremors can become common for some people who drink too much coffee, are on mood stabilisers or medications that treat seizures and migraines. Having low blood sugar levels can also trigger shaky hands, as can anxiety and stress.

In the worst-case scenario, a tremor can also be caused by Parkinson’s Disease or a brain tumour. To rule out a serious condition, see your GP as soon as possible if you suffer from uncontrollable hand shaking.

The texture and appearance of the skin on your hands can also be pointers to underlying health problems. The liver spots you see on older hands are most likely caused by sun damage and are not necessarily a sign that you are suffering from something more sinister.

But if you have a spot or a mole that appears to be changing in shape or size, it could be a skin cancer that your doctor should see straight away. To understand if your sun-damaged hands are just sporting freckles or the beginnings of a melanoma, check out the Cancer Council of Australia site.

One skin condition that has the medical world somewhat mystified is known as Dupuytren’s Contracture. This is when tissue grows so unusually thick that it appears you have cords under the skin.

It is more common in men than women, and can be so severe that it forces your fingers to bend into the palm. If you have this condition and it hampers your ability to move your fingers, consult your GP for appropriate treatment. While doctors are not sure what causes this contracture, they do have therapies that help to alleviate it.

Do you know of any other hand characteristics that may be pointers to something else happening in your body?


    Disclaimer: This article contains general information about health issues and is not advice. For health advice, consult your medical practitioner.


    To make a comment, please register or login
    25th Jun 2018
    And when you hold one hand above the water.
    25th Jun 2018
    hehehe - I don't think there is a ship coming for us! Perhaps we need two hands clasped in prayer.

    9th Aug 2019
    I just hurt my hand by slapping my forehead after reading this article.
    If you have a mole that looks suspect ANYWHERE on your body, not just your hands, have it checked out. Skin cancers are found on the soles of your feet, legs and back etc. If you have regular check ups you wont have to wait for your hands to shake or moles to turn up to find out you have diabetes or skin cancer. This article makes no sense...but your bio is humorous Olga.
    A quick hydration check, just pinch the skin on top of your wrist, if it is slow to go back to norm, re-hydrate yourself. The largest organ of the body, skin, will tell you certain ailments. Think I'll wrap my wrist around a nice cold beer. Slap.

    Join YOURLifeChoices, it’s free

    • Receive our daily enewsletter
    • Enter competitions
    • Comment on articles

    You May Like