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 oestrogen 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 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 British Journal of Cancer study found a connection to 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. But it’s a good idea to see your doctor if the issue recurs. A tremor in just one hand can be the first symptom of Parkinson’s disease (about 80 per cent of people with Parkinson’s have a tremor), 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 researchers studied 100 patients with chronic kidney disease, they found that 36 per cent 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 anaemia, 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.