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Swollen Hands and Feet

Swollen Hands and Feet

Swollen hands and feet could be caused due to many factors. This HealthHearty write-up will help you understand the different causes of swelling on hands and feet.
Batul Nafisa Baxamusa
Last Updated: May 7, 2018
Swelling in the hands and feet could be indicative of edema. The term 'edema' refers to the swelling that occurs when excess fluid accumulates in the body tissues. Edema can affect any part of the body, but it often affects arms, hands, legs, and feet. It could be a symptom of a serious medical conditions associated with the heart or kidneys. Swelling could also occur if the lymph vessels are unable to drain lymph fluid from the body tissues.
Contributing Factors
Edema could be caused due to a wide range of reasons. These include:
Sedentary Lifestyle
People who are not physically active are definitely at a greater risk of developing edema. Sitting in one position for a long period could cause fluid retention, due to which feet may swell up.
Pregnancy
Women are susceptible to developing edema during the course of pregnancy. As the uterus expands, it puts pressure on vena cava, which is a blood vessel that returns blood from the legs to the heart. Blood pools as the circulation is slowed down due to the pressure on the vena cava. The pressure exerted by the blood pushes water into the body tissues, thereby causing swelling.
Excess Sodium
Excessive consumption of food that contains too much salt (sodium chloride) is another reason why body begins to retain water. The visible swelling is a result of accumulation of water in the interstitial tissue spaces. The systemic diseases that are linked to edema include heart diseases, kidney diseases, and liver diseases. When one mentions swollen hands and feet, one of the most common underlying causes is arthritis. The most common symptom of this chronic, inflammatory condition is swelling in joints usually in the hands or feet.
Prolonged Use of Certain Drugs
At times, edema could be a side effect of the use of certain drugs. Calcium channel blockers, NSAIDs, estrogens, thiazolidinediones (drugs for diabetes), and certain drugs used for treating hypertension may cause edema.
If your hands and legs appear swollen, and the swelling worsens as the day progresses, and you notice an indentation when you press on the swollen area, do consult a doctor. Inform your doctor about any other symptom that you have been experiencing. The doctor may advice treatment according to your condition.

You may need to keep your feet elevated when sleeping or sitting. Walking is a great way to increase muscle activity and decrease swelling. Decrease the amount of salt intake and avoid standing for long periods. Your doctor may advice diuretics for a short period.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.