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When a doctor hears a complaint of swollen legs, several questions come to mind that help them make the diagnosis. Are there particular vascular risk factors or other disease states that may be relevant to the swollen legs?
The most common causes of one swollen leg are best understood if they are divided to acute and chronic conditions.
Deep vein thrombosis – Perhaps the most important disease not to miss when dealing with legs that have suddenly become swollen.
Lymphedema – lymphedema can present in one leg or in both and is usually not acute, but rather a condition that develops over time. There are various conditions in which one part of the body overgrows others because of a genetic or congenital reason.
Disuse edema – Not using a limb causes changes in blood flow and return to and from that limb. Varicose veins – varicose veins do not cause swollen legs in themselves, but a patient may complain of their legs being swollen while actually referring to swollen varicose veins. Idiopathic cyclic edema – This is a condition in which one leg swells in correlation to the menstrual cycle. Everyone in Bali is born with one of four first names, based on birth order: Wayan, Made, Nyoman, or Ketut. A swollen ankle is a common condition in which the ankle becomes inflamed due to an overabundance of fluid in the soft tissues around the ankle. During pregnancy, it is typical for a woman to experience some type of swelling in the ankle. I have had a issue with constipation due to adhesions in the colon, and now I am on Metamucil every day to help me with bowel movements until I see the doctor again.My issue is that now I have suddenly developed swollen ankles. Pitting edema can be demonstrated by applying pressure to the swollen area by depressing the skin with a finger. In non-pitting edema, which usually affects the legs or arms, pressure that is applied to the skin does not result in a persistent indentation.
The focus of the rest of this article is on pitting edema, as it is by far the most common form of edema. Edema is caused by either systemic diseases, that is, diseases that affect the various organ systems of the body, or by local conditions involving just the affected extremities. The most common local conditions that cause edema are varicose veins and thrombophlebitis (inflammation of the veins) of the deep veins of the legs. In some cases, however, edema may be a sign of a more serious underlying medical condition. This disease causes scarring of your liver, which interferes with liver function, causing changes in the hormones and chemicals that regulate fluids in your body, as well as increasing pressure within the large blood vessel (portal vein) that carries blood from your intestine, spleen and pancreas into your liver. When you have kidney disease, your kidneys may not be able to eliminate enough fluid and sodium from your blood. Damage to the tiny blood vessels in your kidneys (glomeruli) that filter waste and excess water from your blood can result in nephrotic syndrome. Oedema is build up of fluid in the body in which causes the affected tissue to become swollen.
The swelling can occur in one particular part of the body or may be more general, depending on the cause. The fluid can accumulate under the skin - most commonly causing swelling of the lower legs and ankles - or in one of the body's internal organs - such as the lungs. It's normal to have some swelling in your legs at the end of the day, particularly if you've been sitting or standing for long periods. Immobility and standing for long periods are the two most common causes of oedema in the legs.
If an underlying condition is causing the fluid imbalance, it should clear up after the condition has been diagnosed and treated.
Lymphoedema is swelling in the legs caused by a blockage in the lymphatic system, or an inherited condition, such as Milroy's disease, that causes an abnormality of the lymph vessels.
The lymphatic system consists of a series of lymph nodes (glands) connected by a network of vessels, similar to blood vessels.
Fluid surrounding body tissues usually drains into nearby lymph vessels so it can be transported back into the blood.
Unlike oedema, lymphoedema is a long-term condition that can cause discomfort, pain and a loss of mobility.
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Chronic numbness of legs and feet may probably be a sign of nerve damage to certain extent.
Numbness of legs and feet is a symptom in itself but there are some other symptoms that may occur simultaneously along with such numbness.
Some symptoms that accompany numbness of legs and feet may indicate serious conditions and immediate medical attention should be taken. Please enable JavaScript in your browser to experience all the custom features of our site, including the ability to make a purchase. You must have JavaScript enabled in your browser to utilize the functionality of this website.
Edema is the noticeable swelling resulting from fluid accumulation in certain body tissues.
The swelling, also referred to as dependent edema, is brought about by the accumulation of excess fluid beneath the skin in the interstitial spaces or compartments within the body tissues that are outside of the blood vessels.
Occasionally pitting edema and non-pitting edema can occur without an underlying disease and it is then known as idiopathic edema. Pregnancy can cause edema in the legs as the uterus puts pressure on the vena cava, a major blood vessel that returns blood to the heart from the legs, and progesterone relaxes the walls of the blood vessels. Standing or sitting for long periods of time particularly in hot weather can cause excess fluid to accumulate in feet, ankles and lower legs. Low protein levels in the blood caused by malnutrition, kidney and liver disease can also cause edema. Congestive heart failure is a condition in which the heart can no longer pump efficiently, and causes fluid buildup in the lungs and other parts of the body. Severe chronic (long-term) lung diseases, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis, increase pressure in the blood vessels that lead from the heart to the lungs.
Tiny valves inside the veins of the legs can become weakened, causing a common problem called venous insufficiency. Most incidences of edema in children and infants are related to serious health conditions, so changes in your child should be monitored to avoid complications.
Children with acute or chronic upper airway obstruction are at risk for negative-pressure pulmonary edema, associated with upper airway obstruction. While quite rare, Nephrotic Syndrome (NS), a disorder of the kidneys, can cause edema in children.
Periorbital edema should be closely monitored, as it may be the result of a more serious condition, such as congestive heart failure and liver diseases.
Children and infants with diabetes may also experience edema as a side effect from insulin treatment.
The diagnosis of pitting and non-pitting edema are determined by the symptoms on physical examination.
Edema itself is usually a symptom of an underlying condition and can be noticed as swelling or puffiness of your face, hands, feet, legs, or around your eyes. If you experience shortness of breath, chest pain, redness or heat in a swollen edematous area, or a swelling of only one limb, consult a doctor immediately. Depending on the causes of edema and whether it is temporary or permanent, treating edema usually focuses on treating the condition that is causing it.
If a blocked or damaged blood vessel is suspected as one of the causes of edema, surgery may be needed to improve the flow of blood. Treating edema should include protecting any swollen, edematous areas of the body from pressure, injury and extreme temperatures.
Another condition which can cause swollen legs (as well as swelling in other parts of the body) is idiopathic cyclic edema (ICE).


The best treatment for swollen legs  feet and ankles due to a heart or kidney problem is diuretic medicines. Exercise is important to prevent swollen legs, and your doctor has probably already recommended wearing support or compression stockings.
Based on these principles, British naturopathic nutritionist Linda Lazarides has written a book which can help you fix these causes of water retention.
About Linda LazaridesLinda Lazarides is an international expert on water retention, author of eight books and founder of the British Association for Nutritional Therapy.
Tabby it is hard to advise on a condition where the complexities of surgery are involved, and I don’t know what your eating habits are like. Last Friday at work (sitting at a desk all day) I looked down at my feet and ankles and they were swollen and the tiny veins were everywhere. Everytime I’m doing my audit work which I spend my time the whole day just sitting, I end up the day with swelling feet and legs.
Jeffelyn, it is very common to get swollen feet and legs if you sit all day without moving. I have full body wide fluid retention I hAve had blood tests which are all negative for autoimmune disorders heart and kidney failure MY legs knees ankles shoulders neck burn constantly – . Christine if you think this is water retention I would be glad to work with you to try to find the cause. Cherry, the first thing is for your mother in law to take the general health advice on this website. I was diagnosed with a viral infection about ten days ago, after three doctors looking at a rash all over my body, one which was a dermatologist and took a skin biopsy, they all didn’t know what it was but a viral infection and let it run its course. Shanlee, do get it checked out, and don’t be worried if it just appears to be a reaction to the medications. Hi I get really painful and swollen legs knees and ankles when I do a long day at work and especially the 12 hour night shift.
Linda Lazarides' newsletters are sent twice a month and deal with health, nutrition and weight loss breakthroughs. An AV fistula of the femoral artery can cause a swollen leg that is warm and with prominent veins. An ankle can also become swollen when the ligaments that keep it in place become overextended.
One type of chronic illness is ankle arthritis, which occurs when the area where the ankle bone and shin bone meet deteriorates. Gout is typically caused by an abnormal amount of uric acid fluid building up in the ankles. Causes of a swollen ankle may be due to calcium channel blockers, which are taken by people with high blood pressure. Edema most commonly occurs in the feet and legs, where it is referred to as peripheral edema. An accumulation of fluid in the interstitial air spaces (alveoli) in the lungs occurs in a disorder called pulmonary edema. If the pressing causes an indentation that persists for some time after the release of the pressure, the edema is referred to as pitting edema. Non-pitting edema can occur in certain disorders of the lymphatic system such as lymphedema, which is a disturbance of the lymphatic circulation that may occur after a mastectomy, lymph node surgery, or congenitally. The most common systemic diseases associated with edema involve the heart, liver, and kidneys. These conditions can cause inadequate pumping of the blood by the veins (venous insufficiency). This swelling (edema) is the result of excessive fluid in your tissues — often caused by congestive heart failure or blockage in a leg vein. These problems can result in fluid accumulating in your legs and your abdominal cavity (ascites). One result of nephrotic syndrome is low levels of protein (albumin) in your blood, which can lead to fluid accumulation and edema.
Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) is a condition in which the veins in your legs are weakened or damaged and can't pump enough blood back to your heart. For example, if you’ve been standing up too long on a hot day, your ankles may swell up until you get the chance to put your feet up and rest.
However, if the lymph vessels are blocked, the fluid can't be reabsorbed and will build up in the tissue. This is in fact an abnormal condition wherein a person experiences tingling, reduced or loss of sensation at legs and feet.
Some cases of numbness of leg and feet may not be serious but it should not be neglected, as it may also occur with tumor or stroke. The condition can be unilateral (associated with one leg) or bilateral (associated with both the legs). However, in most cases wherein the numbness is not persistent and ebb away immediately as well as it is not frequent, then it can be neglected.
It is most commonly found in the feet, ankles and legs although it may also affect the face, hands and other parts of the body and body organs. Excess fluid accumulation in the lower regions of the body, such as the ankles, feet, and legs, is referred to as peripheral edema. Pitting edema is the term used to describe edema when pressure applied to the skin of the swollen area is released and an indentation is left behind (e.g.
This is most common in women who experience it in their legs and feet when they are pre-menstrual or pre-menopausal – it is then often known as cyclical edema.
Fluid retention during pregnancy also can be caused by a more serious condition called pre-eclampsia. The proteins help to hold water inside the blood vessels so fluid does not leak out into the tissues. This pressure backs up in the heart and the higher pressure causes swelling in the legs and feet.
This makes it more difficult for the veins to pump blood back to the heart, and leads to varicose veins and a buildup of fluid.
This condition may also occur after head injury, seizure, or accidental chemical ingestion or inhalation. As the main symptom of NS, edema is commonly seen around one or both of the eyes, also referred to as periorbital edema, but may be found in other parts of the body such as the legs. Other causes of periorbital edema in children and infants may include allergies or infections, such as conjunctivitis.
However, children with diabetes should report this to their pediatrician, as it may be a symptom of cerebral edema (brain swelling), a rare but serious complication of diabetes. The doctor will examine the skin over the swollen area to check whether it may be stretched or shiny.
Amongst others edema can indicate disease of the heart, liver, thyroid, lymphatic system or kidneys (causing salt retention). A low dose of a diuretic (water pill) may be prescribed to reduce the swelling and help you expel the excess fluid, but it is important to remember this just treats the symptom and is not necessarily addressing the cause. When your circulation has problems working against the effects of gravity, your blood collects in the lower part of your body. Get your legs checked by a doctor just in case you have a heart or kidney problem, which can also cause water retention in legs feet and ankles. But what is not so widely known is that CVI and ICE can often respond very well to eating the right foods.
I recently had back surgery to remove an epidural abscess in the L5 area, and Diskitis of L5, and Osteomelitis of the L5 vertebral. All I can say is that 4 months inactivity in hospital can affect the lymphatic drainage so I recommend you ask your doctor about safe ways to getting more exercise to help your lymphatic system work better. Today, I had tonsilitis and my left upper abdomen is aching, do they related with the swelling of my feet and legs? This takes a lot of tme and work, so please let me know if you would like me to send you my fee information. The hormone medicine that she took such a long time ago is probably not causing any current health problems.


But do try to read the information on this site, since the diet information may be able to help your eczema. Sitting for a long time means the lymphatic circulation becomes less efficient at keeping water where it should be in your body. I know that the condition its been actually going on for almost a year and a half that its when I start noticing the massive ammount oof protein on my urine in the form of a very thick foam.
One in particular was still born but we got him breathing within a minute and has been healthy since-except fluid in his hind legs. Maybe one of you have experienced this or seen this before and know what we need to test for?
I've never had this experience but it could be Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy i'm no expert though, is the puppy having trouble getting around? Often resulting in pain and limiting mobility, almost anyone can suffer from a swollen ankle. This condition, affecting an expectant mother sometime around the 20th week of pregnancy, also includes elevated blood pressure, protein in the urine, stomach pain, nausea, and headaches.
Ankle arthritis is often classified as rheumatoid arthritis, as it is caused by an overactive immune system.
The swelling is the result of the accumulation of excess fluid under the skin in the spaces within the tissues.
Any form of pressure, such as from the elastic in socks, can induce pitting with this type of edema.
Another cause of non-pitting edema of the legs is called pretibial myxedema, which is a swelling over the shin that occurs in some patients with hyperthyroidism. In these diseases, edema occurs primarily because of the body's retention of too much salt (sodium chloride).
The resulting increased back-pressure in the veins forces fluid stay in the extremities (especially the ankles and feet). It is also the nerve entrapment that numbness may be caused, for example carpal tunnel syndrome. Sometime the conditions may seem like tingling sensation which may turn into lack of feeling. However, if you experienced numbness of legs and feet frequently then seek immediate medical attention. Pregnant women and older adults are often affected with this condition, but it can happen to anyone. If a blood protein, called albumin, gets too low, fluid leaks out the blood vessels and edema occurs, especially in the feet, ankles and lower legs.
Because edema can be a symptom of a serious underlying disorder, and can cause serious consequences itself, it is always important to seek medical advice.
Cuts, scrapes and burns in areas that have edema take much longer to heal and are open to infection. The extra pressure on your blood vessels makes them leak fluid into the tissues of your legs feet and ankles. Swollen legs are also common in pregnancy and are caused by the pressure of the baby on the veins in the pelvis. If your heart and kidneys have a clean bill of health, then be very wary of taking diuretics.
There are many foods which can help to strengthen the blood vessels in the legs and start to break down the proteins which have leaked into your tissues. Alternatively my book the Waterfall Diet (read about it on this website) can help you do some of this work yourself.
Then, in May, 2013, my daughter took me to the emergency room for water retention (it had gotten worse) and diaharrea. The weeping of fluid from her legs is most likely heart or kidney-related, which is why she has been given diuretic medicines.
Infection is gone but a few days after taking my medications my feet and ankles are swollen, sometimes my hands.
Back in November they found out about everything from urine in my blood, protein in urine extremely high potassium levels on my blood extremely high blood pressure palpitations and many other things since I got released from the hospital I am currently still waiting to an appointment to start treatment and possibly dialysis everything seems worst at this time and my legs and feet are shapeless because of the fluid on it medecine dontnhelp at all but since last night my righr foot its been hurting just like if I broke it it is an intence pain that even makes me cry everythime I have to liftbmy foot to walk or to justbmove it it becomes unbearable the pain and just to lift it up a few inches takes me atleastva minute because if the pain any advice?? Your daughter is very lucky that they did not give her any diuretic medicines, as they can make this problem worse. Such injuries often occur when a person moves the ankle in a way it is not designed or prepared for. An individual who is severely overweight or experiences an ankle injury may develop ankle arthritis and also experience redness and warmth around the ankle. This type of arthritis is characterized by intense pain, often at night, and affects more men than women.
Individuals who use a laxative, which is taken to relieve constipation, may experience swollen ankles as well.
All tissues of the body are made up of cells and connective tissues that hold the cells together. Anasarca refers to the severe, widespread accumulation of fluid in the all of the tissues and cavities of the body at the same time.
Some tingling sensation or numbness when experienced in the extremities may indicate possible nerve damage. Sometimes numbness may be felt at lower back and spine, and legs and feet may start paining; this condition arises due to compressed nerves. This causes swelling, and your skin can become very discoloured;  in severe cases your skin may even weep fluid.
With both CVI and ICE, the fluid that leaks from blood vessels into the tissues carries protein with it. The doctors there found that my heart was beating too fast (160 per minute) so my doctor put me on coumadin and a stay in the hospital for 5 days. Her best option is to become more health-conscious with what she eats and drinks, since this will give her body the best chance to repair itself if possible.
You may also have unhelpful eating habits, so do try to read the information on this site or get the waterfall diet book. By now you should have had the opportunity to read this website, which will point you in the right direction. Today I took him back since it has not gone down and Vet says he has never seen this before.
Diuretic medications are generally not effective, although elevation of the legs periodically during the day and compressive devices may reduce the swelling. In usual cases numbness of face usually arises due to insufficient blood supply to a particular region of the body or even due to nerve damage.
These additional symptoms that occur along with numbness may help in understanding the cause of the issue.
Large veins on the surface can become swollen and painful – a condition known as varicose veins. My step father had water retention in both of his legs too, and it was caused from a blood clot. My daughter took me to the emergency room again and they found that I was bleeding internally from the coumadin. In various diseases, excess fluid can accumulate in either one or both of these compartments.
Your body will adapt by producing hormones which slow down urination,  and this aggravates water retention and makes the swelling worse. They gave me two units of blood and another 5 day hospital stay and took me off of the coumadin. My feet and ankles looked pretty normal after about a week so I stopped taking the water pill.



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