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Swelling in the hands and feet, in general, should not be a cause for concern. Unless it appears suddenly and is accompanied by other symptoms.
Inflammation of the hands and feet occurs for different reasons. Sometimes it has to do with circulation, other times with fluid retention or movement and posture factors.
The most common is that it disappears after a reasonable time. When this does not happen and the symptom persists, there may be a more complex health problem behind it.
In fact, this condition could be a sign of serious conditions, such as heart, kidney, or liver failure. Therefore, hand and foot swelling should not be neglected if it becomes chronic.
The most common causes of inflammation of the hands and feet.
It is important to be attentive to the evolution of the symptom and consult the doctor if it is very pronounced or if it lasts a long time. Let us see what are the main causes of this condition.
1. Lack of physical activity
Low physical activity leads to slower circulation. This in turn makes it more difficult for blood to travel from the arms or legs to the heart. The consequence is swelling of the extremities.
2. Long trips
This is another cause of inflammation of the hands and feet that is related to the previous point. On long trips, a person usually remains seated.
This posture causes an accumulation of blood in the legs.. It also increases the risk of thrombosis.
Also read: What are thrombosed hemorrhoids and how to identify them?
It is very common that during pregnancy there is inflammation of the hands and feet. Typically, it is more visible in the lower extremities and the swelling is mild.
This is because the body retains more fluids and produces more blood and different fluids.. This is noticeable from the fifth month and especially at night.
4. Alcohol consumption
Drinking alcohol causes the body to retain more fluids and causes swelling in the feet. Sometimes in the hands.
Most often, this goes away within a few hours. If this happens very often, it is a sign of excessive alcohol consumption or a liver, kidney or heart problem caused by alcoholism.
5. High temperatures as a cause of inflammation of the hands and feet
High temperatures cause blood vessels to dilate and more pools of blood on the extremities. The effect is swelling of the hands and feet. If the veins cannot return blood to the heart, the ankles swell considerably.
Limb injuries cause swelling in the affected area. Strains, sprains, or fractures cause a rush of blood to the area where the trauma occurred. The effect is swelling, accompanied by pain.
Side effects of some medications include swelling of the hands and feet.. Medications that often cause this include those containing hormones, steroids, antidepressants, NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), antidiabetics, and ACE inhibitors (angiotensin acid-converting enzyme inhibitors).
We speak of edema when a excess fluid is trapped in a certain area of the body. The immediate effect is inflammation of the area.
There is usually an underlying cause that explains it. But there are also cases of idiopathic point edema.
Lymphedema is swelling caused by blockage of the lymphatic system.. It assumes that the lymph nodes are damaged or have been removed for some reason, causing the lymph flow to be interrupted.
Infections are also a possible cause of swollen hands and feet. It may happen that there is a wound, a sting or a burn and that it becomes infected.
11. Poor circulation due to atherosclerosis
Poor circulation occurs due to atherosclerosis. when the arteries become stiffer and therefore less flexible. Under these conditions, the heart has to work harder to transport blood throughout the body.
12. Diabetes and its inflammatory effect on hands and feet
Diabetes often causes swelling, especially in the feet.. Although it can also occur in the hands.
It occurs when glucose levels get out of control and lead to poor circulation. Often the swelling is accompanied by redness on the fingers.
Also read: Foods against lung inflammation
13. Venous insufficiency
Venous insufficiency occurs when the valves in the veins do not work properly.. As in other cases, they fail to return the blood they receive to the heart. It is more common in overweight and elderly people.
14. Blood clot
A blood clot forms when blood changes from a liquid state to a solid state. It can partially or completely block blood flow and be life-threatening..
The blockage causes swelling that usually occurs in the legs or feet. But it can form in any area of the circulatory system; including the heart.
15. Kidney failure
Kidney failure is a disease that occurs when the kidneys do not work properly. this leads to that Body fluids are not eliminated properly through urine. It generates inflammation of hands and feet. The face also swells.
16. Liver failure
Liver failure is a decrease in liver function.. It causes a decrease in albumin, a protein present in the blood. This helps balance the plasma. When it decreases, it causes inflammation of the hands and feet.
17. Heart failure
If the heart is not strong enough to pump blood, a condition known as heart failure develops. In these conditions, blood can pool in the arms and legs, causing them to swell. There is also a feeling of pressure in the chest, shortness of breath and excessive fatigue.
How to treat inflammation of the hands and feet?
Treatment will depend on the causes. When the factor that generates this symptom is the lack of movement or the accumulation of liquids, the indicated thing is to raise the arms and raise the legs for half an hour, repeating once or twice a day.
Regarding the other causes, the actions to be carried out are the following:
- By pregnancy: do not spend a lot of time on your feet, wear comfortable shoes and apply a cold compress to the affected area.
- For alcohol consumption: increase the water intake, elevate the feet or submerge them in cold water.
- Due to high temperatures: soak your feet in cold water, drink more water, walk around and elevate your feet for a few minutes.
- Wound : the rest, ice, compression, and elevation protocol is generally used.
- Medication use: talk to your doctor about drug substitutes.
- Edema: reduce salt intake, elevate your feet, and wear compression stockings.
- Lymphedema: soft, compressive exercises, lymphatic drainage massages, complex decongestant therapy.
- infections: treat minor infections with antiseptics. Consult a doctor in case of more serious infections.
- Bad circulation: perform physical activity, reduce salt intake and follow the specific instructions of a professional.
- Diabetes : take antidiabetic medication prescribed by the doctor or inject insulin according to established guidelines.
- Venous insufficiency : do light physical activity, raise your legs.
- Blood clot : It is an emergency that must be attended by the doctor.
- Kidney, liver or heart failure: The doctor will indicate the appropriate treatment in each case.
It is not always something serious, but you have to be careful.
Swollen hands and feet are not usually a symptom of anything serious., but neither is it a condition that should be neglected. Especially if it is very frequent or lasts more than 3 days. If so, it is best to put the situation in the hands of a doctor.
The same recommendation applies when the swelling of the hands and feet is accompanied by other symptoms, such as shortness of breath, redness of the skin, cough, fever or tingling. Also if the swelling appears suddenly.
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