Hand Swelling is linked to Heart and Kidney Health, Experts Say 

United States: Hand swelling is often uncomfortable and typically arises from situational factors such as temperature changes, exercise, diet, medications, or certain health conditions. 

However, according to Fox News, hand swelling may also have more unsettling causes. Various doctors have identified these causes and explained how to treat them. 

Common Causes of Hand Swelling 

The most common cause of hand swelling is fluid accumulation in the soft tissues. 

According to Amy Kehl, M.D., RhMSUS, a board-certified rheumatologist with Saint John’s Physician Partners in Santa Monica, California “Soft tissue swelling, or edema, is not always a cause for concern, and can occur with weather changes or fluid shifts in the body,” as Fox News reported. 

According to Kehl in most of the patients, few percentage of occurance of soft tissue swelling or edema might be because of hot weather and with exercise. 

Hand Swelling is linked to Heart and Kidney Health, Experts Say. Credit | Getty Images
Hand Swelling is linked to Heart and Kidney Health, Experts Say. Credit | Getty Images

However, fluid shifts can also occur because of intake of too much salt, which could lead to an increased level of hand or foot swelling. 

Kehl said, “Additionally, certain medications, such as blood pressure medications like amlodipine; steroids such as Prednisone or Medrol; or hormone treatments, can contribute to soft tissue swelling in the hands or feet,” as Fox News reported. 

Serious Causes of Hand Swelling 

This is particularly so if a person experiences worsening hand or foot swelling that cannot be reversed or recurrent – or if the hand swelling is also present with leg swelling together with notably high blood pressure or breathlessness, as advised by Kehl. 

She noted an individual “should ensure they have had a proper medical evaluation to assess both kidney and cardiac function, as hand or foot swelling can be an indicator of kidney dysfunction, protein loss in the urine, or cardiac dysfunction.” 

Moreover, “Your doctor may order tests to assess your kidney function, urine studies or, in some cases, an echocardiogram,” she added. 

Another reason for the accumulation of fluid is lymphedema, and if the patient has undergone any surgery like mastectomy with lymph node resection for treatment of breast cancer, then it may be a reason for this condition, said Kehl. 

The doctor added, “This may be treated with local lymphatic drainage treatments, arm elevation, compression sleeves, and exercise,” as Fox News reported. 

Moreover, patients must be aware of other symptoms, such as “Certainly, if the hand swelling is associated with joint pains, this may indicate an underlying inflammatory arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis,” and “Again, an examination may be warranted to distinguish soft tissue swelling from articular or joint swelling,” explained Kehl.