Doctor says King Charles sausage toes could suggest systemic condition

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    King Charles' "sausage fingers" – a term he has used himself – are now infamous, with 'King Charles fingers' among the most popular Google searches related to the monarch.

    Less well known is the fact that Charles' toes are similarly swollen.

    Charles got his not-so-little piggies out when he visited a Sikh temple in New Delhi, India, back in November 2019, with images showing his bulbous toes poking out from beneath his suit trousers.

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    Despite Charles' toes and fingers looking similar, Dr Gareth Nye, Senior Lecturer of Physiology at the University of Chester, told the Daily Star that the afflictions are "significantly different in terms of whole body health".

    Dr Nye previously identified the two most likely causes of the hand swelling – arthritis and oedema (the buildup of fluid in the body).

    He says now that swelling in the legs, especially on both sides as appears to be the case with Charles, "indicates a more systemic condition".

    Dr Nye explained the cause of the swelling depends on whether it is acute or chronic, meaning if it develops suddenly and lasts a short period of time or develops gradually over an extended period of time.

    He told us: "Most women will be aware of leg and feet swelling during pregnancy, particularly during episodes of preeclampsia and that remains one of the leading causes. Clearly we need to think differently here – acute swelling could indicate deep vein thrombosis or kidney disease.

    "If this is chronic, we could be looking at cardiovascular issues like heart failure, kidney disease or liver disease."

    However, luckily there is also a much less concerning explanation.

    Dr Nye continued: "However, it may simply be due to either/both continuous sitting with the legs bent for long periods which is common in older patients who sit for prolonged periods, or prolonged standing as older people have a harder time returning blood from the feet and legs when standing due to normal changes in the cardiovascular system."

    He added: "We may additionally be seeing arthritis impacting in the ankle which would also cause swelling like this."

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