The main reasons you have swollen fingers

Swollen fingers are usually harmless, but can sometimes signal more.

Do you have arthritis and inflammation in the joints? Then your fingers may swell and look like small sausages. Or have you eaten salty foods and now your wedding ring is stuck on your finger?

Fingers swell for many reasons and many of them are harmless. But sometimes swelling, medically known as ringworm, indicates more serious health conditions. Here are some common causes of swollen fingers and when to call your doctor.

It is hot outside

The heat causes the blood vessels to dilate, allowing more heat to escape through your skin so you can stay cool. As the vessels stretch, some of their fluid can leak into your soft tissues and cause swelling.

This type of swelling tends to subside as you use your hands and continue your regular activity. But if you notice swelling only in your hands and fingers (and not in your feet), accompanied by pain or weak grip, this could be a sign that it is not just the heat that is to blame and you should consult your doctor.

You consume a lot of salt

Too many chips or anything too salty can be the cause behind swollen fingers. Your body wants to maintain a stable salt-water balance, so when sodium increases, the body compensates for this increase by retaining more water, leading to bloating.

Usually, the mild bloating caused by salty foods goes away on its own within a day, but it can last longer depending on how much extra salt you consume. If you reduce salt and the swelling persists, see your doctor.

You may have osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis

If the finger joints are enlarged (for example you can not put rings on your joints), osteoarthritis may be to blame, especially if the swollen fingers appear in the morning. This age-related form of arthritis is caused by the wear and tear of the protective tissues at the end of the joints. Osteoarthritis is often, but not always, accompanied by pain and stiffness.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), an autoimmune disease that affects the lining of the joints, can also cause swelling. Unlike osteoarthritis, RA is not age related and can happen to anyone at any age. Swelling in people with rheumatoid arthritis often occurs on the wrists and finger joints. RA can cause swelling of the joints as well as inflammation between the joints.

It could be a side effect of strenuous exercise

During exercise, your fingers and hands may swell because the blood vessels in your body meet the increased energy requirements of your muscles. When it comes to exercise, our body produces heat and thus the vascular system allows more fluid to be released in the fingers and toes. This is how the body returns to its original temperature.

They could have kidney problems

If your kidneys fail to remove excess fluid – also known as edema – your body will retain it, which could lead to swollen hands.

Swelling can affect any part of your body, but the swelling mainly affects your hands, feet and ankles. Hypertension and diabetes are some of the diseases that can cause kidney problems

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