After the accession of King Charles III to the throne, all attention turned to him, especially one detail: the swollen appearance of his fingers. Speculation about whether this would imply any health problems exploded on social media.
Amid the guesswork, some UK doctors have been evaluating photos that have gone viral on Twitter to explain possible causes of the swelling.
Dr. Gareth Nye, a senior professor at the University of Chester, explained in an interview with the Daily Star that – while many conditions could cause swollen fingers – some were more likely than others, such as edema or fluid retention.
“Edema is a condition where the body starts to retain fluid in the limbs, usually in the legs and ankles, but also in the fingers, which makes them swell,” he said. “It’s a common condition and mostly affects people over 65 as their ability to control fluids is restricted.”
He added: “To see if this is the cause, pressing on the swollen area for about 15 seconds would cause a depression in the area.”
Another possibility, according to the doctor, is arthritis, which, he says, “often affects three main areas of the hand – the thumb joint or the finger joints”.
“Fingers are often stiff, painful and swollen, and while medication can help with the pain, the swelling may remain,” he added.
Other less common causes of bloating include a high-salt diet and medications like blood pressure pills and steroids, according to the doctor.
However, Dr. Nye assured that there is nothing to be alarmed about. “There’s no immediate health issue to conclude with swollen fingers and it’s likely a sign of your age.”