Doctor discusses possible reason behind King Charles’ ‘sausage’ fingers

Attention has now turned to King Charles III after the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth II.

In recent footage, King Charles’ appearance has been understandably sombre but another element that has caught many people’s attention is that his fingers appearing swollen.

The King even jokingly referred to them his "sausage fingers" back in 2012, after getting off a long haul flight to Australia.

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Swollen fingers can be caused by a number of things, so it's important to speak to a doctor about any potential underlying issues.

Potential causes include arthritis, exercise, high salt levels, allergic reactions, medication side effects and injury.

Dr Monika Wassermann spoke exclusively with the Daily Star to discuss one possible underlying health condition which causes enlarged fingers – oedema.

What is oedema?

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Oedema, also known as the swollen finger condition, makes the body lose its ability to delete excess liquids.

“As a result, the fluids pile, causing swollen fingers and legs,” Wasserman explains.

She added: “Oedema can affect anyone; however, it is more common among people aged 65 years and above.”

When asked if the condition is serious, Dr Monika Wassermann answered: “Oedema is not life-threatening.

“However, you should treat it as soon as possible to avoid serious health problems.”

Causes of fluid retention

There are multiple causes for fluid or water retention causing oedema, from diet to underlying health conditions.

When the body holds onto excess water, it can lead to swollen tissues in the extremities, especially in the fingers.

Alongside swollen fingers, bloating and puffiness may be evident.

Lymphedema is another type of fluid retention that results from a blockage in the lymphatic system.

When the lymph nodes cannot circulate lymph fluid properly, this fluid builds up in the extremities.

The condition is synonymous with swollen fingers, hands, toes, and feet.

Angioedema is also another type of fluid retention that happens when fluid accumulates beneath the skin.

Commonly caused by an allergic reaction, angioedema is often accompanied by the presence of large hives.

How to reduce your risk

“Certain medications, blood clots or an unhealthy liver, kidney or heart may also cause the condition,” added Dr Wasserman.

“If you’re also suffering with the condition moderate your salt consumption, exercise to achieve a healthy weight or gently massage the swollen area.

“Lack of exercise, consuming a lot of salt, and too much sitting," can cause oedema warns Dr Wasserman.

If one of both of your ankles, foot or legs are swollen, and it has not improved over a few days, you should see a GP.

According to the NHS, you should ask for an urgent GP appointment or call NHS 111 of there is no obvious cause for the swelling, such as injury.

You should also content a GP if the swelling is "severe, painful or starts very suddenly", or the "swollen area is red or feels hot to touch".

The same goes for if you have a temperature, feel hot or shivery, or if you have diabetes and your feet, ankles or legs are swollen.


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