If you experience sudden swelling in the hands or feet, there is no need to worry as it is a common occurrence due to fluid retention in the body. At times hormonal changes may also be responsible for the same. In this article, we will decode 5 reasons why you might have swollen ankles and puffy hands.
Injuries, both acute and chronic, to the hands and feet can cause them to swell. A common injury is a sprained ankle or wrist. You can minimize this swelling by resting the injured ankle or not using the injured hand too much. You can even use ice packs or compression as a treatment by wrapping the hand or foot with a compression bandage. Elevating the foot on a stool or pillow will also relieve some pain.
Swollen ankles and feet are an inevitable part of pregnancy. It typically begins in the second trimester and may get worse as the pregnancy progresses. The body produces the hormone relaxin which causes the pelvic, foot joints, and ligaments to relax and enlarge. Using compression socks will provide relief. Though swelling in pregnancy is nothing to worry about, you must consult a doctor if the swelling comes rapidly as it could be a sign of preeclampsia.
HIGH SALT CONSUMPTION
The human body maintains a delicate balance of water and salt that is easy to disrupt. The kidneys remove the toxins and unwanted fluids from the body and send them to the bladder. If you consume too much salt, it will be harder for the kidneys to remove the unwanted fluid, thus leading to water retention in the body. It may collect in certain areas of the body like feet and hands. Following a low-sodium diet helps in restoring the proper balance of water and salt.
If you are suddenly exposed to unusually hot temperatures, you can experience swollen hands and feet. The body pushes the warm blood towards the skin surface where it cools down by sweating, however, on hot and humid days, this process may not work properly. The fluid might instead accumulate in the hands instead of evaporating through sweat. Sitting in cool areas will help in relieving some of the swellings.
HEART, LIVER, OR KIDNEY DISEASE
Sometimes swelling in hands and feet could indicate a heart, liver, or kidney disease. If the ankles swell in the evening, it could be a sign of salt and water retention due to right-sided heart failure. Liver disease affects the production of a protein called albumin which is responsible for keeping the blood from leaking out of the blood vessels into the surrounding tissue. Inadequate albumin production can lead to fluid leakage and gravity can cause the fluid to accumulate more in the feet and ankles, resulting in a swollen ankle. When kidneys don’t function properly, it will lead to the build-up of fluid in the body.