When your hands are out of order, you’ll be quickly reminded of how much of your modern living relies on these precious appendages. Every little action will become a painful nuisance from texting a friend to ordering a pizza online.
When it comes to the swelling of your hands, in particular, the good news is that your biggest concern is usually one of inconvenience, and the majority of bloated cases are no cause for alarm. Of course, one should always consult a medical practitioner if they are uncertain, but for now, look over the following reasons for hand swelling and check if any of these possibilities may apply to your current situation.
10 Common Reasons Why Your Hands May Be Swollen
1. A Recent Injury
If your hand is in pain and your fingers or wrist are difficult to move, then there is a good chance that you’ve damaged the area recently. This could be from a sporting activity, a forceful knock against a hard surface, carpal tunnel syndrome from excessive computer use, or even by simply sleeping on your arm incorrectly. These types of trauma tend to heal themselves, so get plenty of rest, strap on an ice pack specifically for hand injuries, and look into pain medication for additional comfort. If the swelling doesn’t go down after a few days, speak to your doctor to rule out any permanent trouble.
When you are pregnant, your tissues require a lot more blood and fluid in order to offer your growing baby the best home possible. One very common side effect of this process is the swelling of your hands, especially around the five-month mark. Load up on potassium (bananas, white beans, sweet potatoes etc) and apply some cold compression for fast relief. If the swelling is very excessive and sudden, however, be safe and ask for a medical professional’s opinion.
3. The Weather
If it’s a particularly hot day and both your hands and feet are swelling at the same time, there is a good chance that this reaction is weather-related. This is because heat encourages your blood vessels to expand which can lead to a puffy appearance. Obvious solution? You’ve got to cool down, either by taking a long soak in cold water or by holding a bag of frozen vegetables on your enlarged hands for a few minutes.
4. Alcohol Consumption
The morning after a hard night comes with plenty of ill side effects, including the build-up of alcohol in your bloodstream. As alcohol is an inflammatory substance, you may find yourself bloated in the face, hands, and the belly. If this is a frequent occurrence, please be honest with your doctor and discuss what options you have before any worse complications arise.
5. Too Much Salt in Your Diet
If you enjoy coating your meals with Himalayan mountain sea salt or rock salt, then you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. These salty variations contain so many minerals that the sodium levels are well balanced out, and can even be a healthy addition to your diet. However, it is those synthetic salts found in processed foods or your table shaker which tend to cause the most trouble, as they retain fluid which may result in swelling. Reduce your intake and this effect should subside fairly quickly.
6. An Allergic Reaction
Swollen hands accompanied by a shortness of breath and a rash spreading across the skin can often be signs of an allergic reaction. This could come from anything such as disagreeable food, bee stings, spider bites, or even certain types of plants including poison ivy or oak. Thankfully, these annoyances are usually temporary, so use cold compression for some comfort and keep an eye on any suspicious developments.
7. Rheumatoid Arthritis
When fluid builds up around the joints and causes them to become inflamed, it could be a result of the autoimmune disease called rheumatoid arthritis. If you are hands are stiff and tender, and even the smallest of movements bring about a burning sensation, then it’s recommended that you speak to your doctor as early as possible. Unfortunately, this progressive condition has no known cure as of yet, but the sooner you get the best treatment for your specific circumstances, the less painful your journey may be.
8. Weight Problems and Obesity
The larger the body, the more difficult it is for your system to deliver blood to every necessary part. As your hands are at the end of the journey, you circulation sometimes struggles to make it all the way there. Instead, the fluid gathers up in the arms and is then forced out into the surrounding tissues, resulting in swelling. The simplest solution is often the best one, and you should participate in some mild physical activity to help your blood flow while also concentrating on your diet, replacing sodium-rich foods with high-fiber options.
9. Intense Exercise
When one pushes through an intense workout session, the body has to perform some quick adjustments to cater to the demand. Your vital organs and the muscle groups you are currently activating require more blood to function during this strenuous period. Consequently, your blood may not reach all the way to your hands in sufficient amounts, your vessels then dilate, and your hands respond by inflating like balloons. This is a fairly harmless occurrence, and if you rehydrate properly and replace your electrolytes while experimenting with cold compression, you should be good to go in no time.
10. Organ Failure
Of course, there are those times that the swelling of the hands could be a very dangerous sign indeed. Fluid retention has been linked to several life-threatening diseases, which include the failure of the heart, liver, or the kidneys. If none of the previous points on this list apply to you and you have a history of specific organ illness, then it is recommended that you get in contact with a medical professional immediately.