ZocdocAnswersAre my kidneys the cause of my swollen feet?

Question

Are my kidneys the cause of my swollen feet?

I am a 20 year old college student with a history of good health. The only immediate sources of illness are from my father (high blood pressure) and my grandfather (diabetes). I have been to several doctors and they have proclaimed that it might be due to stress, as they saw no edema build up. I went to a cardiologist and was given an EKG and still no signs of any heart problems. What could be the problem? Maybe a rare cancer?

Answer

I am not exactly certain what you are experiencing here. It sounds like multiple doctors have not observed any swelling in your legs, which is a pretty reassuring finding, as serious causes of swelling (such as cancer, kidney disease, and heart disease) would all be readily observed by any physician. Furthermore, it sounds as if you have gotten a clean bill of health from your cardiologist and you are quite young to have a serious medical problem. Occasionally, minor swelling of the feet can occur in people who spend a lot of time on their feet. This would be more typical late in the day and would be improved by elevating your feet. It can also be worsened by varicose veins and by being overweight, if these are problems you are dealing with. Also salt intake can cause a subjective feeling of tightness in the feet, as salt causes fluid retention. You may want to try to cut down on intake of salt (including processed foods) and see if this makes a difference. As always, if the symptoms continue or worsen, your best bet is to talk about them again with your primary care doctor who can perform another physical examination.

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