Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What is the reason for parts of my body to swell up, especially legs?"
a 55 years old woman who has asthma
I would recommend talking with your doctor about this issue as soon as possible. Swelling in the legs, or elsewhere, can be a sign of a serious medical problem and it is worth getting it evaluated to determine the cause. For example, a blood clot in the leg is a common cause of swelling in the leg, usually just affecting one leg and not both. This condition requires recognition and treatment, because it may lead to a blood clot traveling to and lodging in the lungs, which can be quite serious. Medical conditions which cause more general swelling of the legs may include heart failure, as well as impaired kidney or liver function. Often there are additional signs on physical examination that can indicate to your doctor whether one of these possibilities is likely, which can help to determine the need for further testing. A less serious cause of swelling in the legs is varicose veins, which are very common in middle aged women, and which generally do not require treatment unless quite severe. Finally, several medications, including medications that are commonly used to treat high blood pressure, can cause leg swelling. Please call and make an appointment with your doctor at your earliest convenience!
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