So I am a 21 year old female. Two weeks ago I woke up with what i thought were swollen hands. They felt tight and swollen but i could easily get my rings off. I thought it was just water retention or too much sodium in my diet, but after two weeks I went to the doctor. I had my blood pressure, sugar, thyroid and kidney's checked out with blood test but all was perfectly normal. What should I check next? My hands now feel weak and slightly tingly throughout the day..I do not drink but a glass or two of water a day. Could it be that?
Thanks for using the forum. I am happy to address your questions, and my answer will be based on the information you provided here. Please make sure you recognize that this forum is for educational purposes only, and it does not substitute for a formal office visit with your doctor.
Without the ability to get a detailed history and a physical examination, I cannot tell you what the cause of your symptoms is. I will however, provide some information that I hope will be useful for you.
Regarding swollen hands, it could be caused from inflammation of the joints, or just accumulation of fluid in the interstitial tissue below the skin. Certainly looking at your kidneys and thyroid is very valid. Regarding joint inflammation, usually this happens with rheumatologic conditions, such as lupus, or rheumatoid arthritis. It is very rare to have this conditions without pain, and most likely if you have joint inflammation you will have joint pain with increased temperature locally and erythema. If there is a question about these conditions, inflammatory markers could be sent, such as rheumatoid factor, antinuclear antibodies, and sedimentation rate. If you have no joint pains, I think there is low yield at looking in this direction. Local factors can also cause hand swelling, and is worth looking at the things that you do with your hands or the things that your hands are in contact with to make sure there is no allergic condition or contact dermatitis. Some patients with some specific jobs may be exposed to chemicals or agents that can cause hands swelling. I will expect more skin manifestations with this, as well as erythema and itchiness, but is something to consider. Some patients use tight objects in their wrists, forearms or arms that limit the venous drainage and this should also be considered in the possibilities.
Regarding the tingling. A Neuropathy can cause the sensation of tingling and numbness in the hands, usually if it is what we call a peripheral neuropathy, patients experience the symptoms in a glove distribution. The symptoms could be purely sensory, but sometimes there may be a motor component with weakness. Work up for neuropathy includes blood tests to rule out diabetes, renal disease, inflammatory conditions (as above), depending on the background, an infectious condition, and also considering toxic exposure (very rare, and also depending on the patient's background). Electrodiagnostic studies such as EMG are sometimes needed. It is very rare for someone your age to develop a neuropathy, and usually they do not appear rapidly, it takes time to develop.
It is very possible and most likely that the symptoms of tingling in your hands is associated to the swelling. Again, I am not sure exactly what is causing the swelling, but once it resolves, the tingling should resolve if it was related to this.
As I wrote, I am not sure what the cause of your symptoms is. I think that you should discuss with your physicians about the possible diagnosis, and also discuss the need to see a specialist to determine what the possibilities are, and what the treatment is.
I hope that you find this information useful. Good luck
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