What Are the Causes of Edema of the Legs and Feet?


Quick Answer

Fluid buildup and inflammation are common causes of leg and feet swelling, or peripheral edema, according to Mayo Clinic. Circulatory problems, lymphatic system issues, kidney malfunctioning, and sitting or standing for a long time are possible causes of retention of fluid in leg tissues. Inflammation can result from injury or disease, rheumatoid arthritis or other inflammatory conditions.

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Full Answer

Several conditions, including acute kidney failure, cardiomyopathy and other heart disease, deep vein thrombosis, pregnancy and certain medications, are possible causes of fluid retention and swelling in the legs, notes Mayo Clinic. Similarly, many factors contribute to inflammation and swelling. Possible sources include knee or ankle injuries, infection, cellulitis and different types of arthritis. Pain often accompanies inflammation.

Swollen feet and legs are common and are usually not a cause for concern, though swelling accompanied by other symptoms or swelling that does not go away possibly indicates a serious condition that should be discussed with a health care provider, advises WebMD. In instances where the swelling accompanies chest pain, difficulty breathing, confusion or dizziness, individuals should seek emergency medical care, according to Mayo Clinic. Swelling that has no apparent cause and swelling that results from a physical injury also require immediate medical attention.

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