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  • Answer 1/12

    Why do some places in your body swell?

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    Lots of things can lead to this. Swelling, also called edema, is often harmless and goes away on its own. But it can be a symptom of something that needs to be checked out. Call your doctor if you have any swelling that sticks around, but get medical help right away if you also have chest pain or a hard time breathing. Those can be signs that you have too much fluid in your lungs -- a condition called pulmonary edema.

  • Question 1/12

    Swelling can be caused by a lack of:

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    Swelling can be caused by a lack of:

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    This nutrient helps keep sodium and water inside your blood vessels. If you don’t have enough of a blood protein called albumin, those can leak out and cause swelling. Your diet or kidney or liver disease can make you short on protein.

  • Question 1/12

    Too much of this also can cause it:

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    Too much of this also can cause it:

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    Your kidneys use sodium and potassium to get rid of extra fluid from your body. But too much salt can keep them from doing that the way they should, and that can lead to swelling in your lower legs or belly. If that happens, you may need to cut back on foods high in sodium and lay off the saltshaker.

  • Question 1/12

    How much blood do your kidneys filter each day?

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    How much blood do your kidneys filter each day?

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    But if you have kidney disease, those organs may not work as well as they should. And damage to blood vessels in your kidneys may make you lose too much protein. Both of those issues can lead to edema, especially in your legs, ankles, and feet, and around your eyes.

  • Question 1/12

    When it happens along with a racing heart, confusion, and fatigue, that may be a sign of:

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    When it happens along with a racing heart, confusion, and fatigue, that may be a sign of:

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    This is when your heart’s muscles are weak and can’t pump enough blood and oxygen throughout your body. Because your blood moves more slowly, fluid builds up in your tissues and leads to swelling in your feet, ankles, legs, or belly. It also can make you feel short of breath and make your heart beat faster. See your doctor if you have those symptoms.

  • Question 1/12

    The more a turned ankle swells, the worse the injury.

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    The more a turned ankle swells, the worse the injury.

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    If you break open certain blood vessels near your ankle when you sprain it, that can make it puff up. But it’s not necessarily a sign of a severe injury. On the other hand, you can completely tear a ligament and have very little swelling in your ankle if all the fluid goes downhill into your foot or toes. The best test is to try to stand: The more weight you can put on an injured ankle, the less likely it’s a serious injury.

  • Question 1/12

    This can make your legs swell:

  • Answer 1/12

    This can make your legs swell:

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    When you stand or sit for a long time, gravity pulls fluid in your body downward. This can make your feet, ankles, and legs swell. You may notice this during a long flight or car ride. Hot weather also makes swelling more likely, because your blood vessels are wider.

  • Question 1/12

    Sudden swelling in your legs can be a sign of:

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    Sudden swelling in your legs can be a sign of:

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    A clot in a vein just under your skin is called superficial thrombophlebitis. If it’s in a vein that’s deep in your body, it’s called deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Because DVT clots can lead to serious health problems, like a blockage in your lungs, see a doctor right away if your leg swells quickly and you’re not sure why.

  • Question 1/12

    It can be a side effect of which kind of medicine?

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    It can be a side effect of which kind of medicine?

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    Several kinds of drugs may bring on swelling. They include over-the-counter pain relievers called non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen (Aleve). It can be a side effect of many prescription drugs, too, like high blood pressure medications, steroids, and estrogen. And some diabetes drugs can make your body hold on to extra fluid, which can cause swelling.

  • Question 1/12

    A swollen belly may be a sign that you have a problem with your:

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    A swollen belly may be a sign that you have a problem with your:

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    When this organ is damaged, it replaces healthy tissue with hard scar tissue. Over time, that can block blood flow and make fluid leak into the tissues around it. This condition is called cirrhosis. It also lowers the amount of protein in your body, which can cause more swelling.

  • Question 1/12

    If pressing the swollen area leaves a dimple in your skin, that can be caused by:

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    If pressing the swollen area leaves a dimple in your skin, that can be caused by:

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    This condition is called pitting edema. It’s been linked to medications like ibuprofen, antidepressants, and corticosteroids, among others. It also can happen during pregnancy. But in some cases, it’s a symptom of a more serious condition, such as heart failure or deep vein thrombosis. See your doctor if you have this kind of swelling.

  • Question 1/12

    Pregnant women often have puffy hands, feet, or legs because of:

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    Pregnant women often have puffy hands, feet, or legs because of:

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    During pregnancy, the body makes more fluid than usual, and changes in hormones tell the body to hold on to those liquids. Most of the time, it’s not a sign of trouble, but get medical help right away if it comes on quickly. That can be a sign of high blood pressure.

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Sources | Reviewed by James Beckerman, FACC, MD on October 31, 2017 Medically Reviewed on October 31, 2017

Reviewed by James Beckerman, FACC, MD on
October 31, 2017

IMAGE PROVIDED BY:

1) WebMD

 

SOURCES:

American Heart Association: “Heart Failure.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Edema.”
Current Opinions in Pharmacology: “Pathophysiology of Water and Sodium Retention: Edematous States with Normal Kidney Function.”

American Academy of Family Physicians: “Edema,” “Edema: Diagnosis and Management.”

Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care: “Causes and Signs of Edema.”

Mayo Clinic: “Edema Causes,” “Leg Swelling,” “Nephrotic Syndrome,” “Pregnancy Week by Week,” “Water Retention: Relieve This Premenstrual Symptom.”

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: “Cirrhosis,” “Your Kidneys and How They Work.”

Palo Alto Medical Foundation: “Ankle Sprains and Calf Strains.”

UptoDate: “Edema (Swelling).”

Vascular Disease Foundation: “Chronic Venous Insufficiency.”

This tool does not provide medical advice.
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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.