What Causes Swelling?

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Swelling can be localized or affect the whole body, according to WebMD. Causes of localized body swelling include injury, inflammation, burns, infections under the skin or in a joint, and insect bites. Certain medications, allergens, circulation problems and autoimmune diseases may cause generalized body swelling.

Injury may bring about bleeding or bruising, resulting in swollen parts of the body, explains WebMD. Excessive use of a certain area of the body may cause irritation and inflammation. Cellulitis is an example of an infection that can cause swelling. Extreme heat may give rise to certain conditions, including heat edema, that can cause swelling. Sitting or standing in one position for a long period may result in swelling of the ankles or feet.

Autoimmune conditions that may cause swelling include rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma and lupus, states WebMD. The body produces antibodies to fight the diseases, a process that destroys tissues, causing swelling. Kidney disease, thrombophlebitis, heart failure, peripheral arterial disease and diabetes are circulatory disorders that may trigger the problem. A buildup of fluid in the abdomen, resulting from conditions such as cirrhosis and malnutrition, may also cause swelling.

Other causes of swelling include certain medical procedures and surgery, adds WebMD. Abdominal hernias, pregnancy and changes in levels of hormones may lead to the problem as well.