Common causes of edema include staying in one position too long, premenstrual symptoms, consuming excessive salty food, pregnancy and certain medications, explains Mayo Clinic. Though not as common, edema is sometimes a sign of a serious health condition.
Medications that cause edema include steroid drugs, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, estrogens, thiazolidinediones and high blood pressure medications, according to Mayo Clinic. Serious medical conditions that cause edema include cirrhosis, kidney disease, congestive heart failure, kidney damage and an inadequate lymphatic system. Weakness or damage in leg veins also causes edema.
Edema takes place when the body’s capillaries leak fluid, explains Mayo Clinic. The leaked fluid builds up in nearby tissues, which creates swelling.