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"Sudden swelling in lower legs and ankles - why?"

ZocdocAnswersSudden swelling in lower legs and ankles - why?


I am a 30 year old mother of two. For the past 4-5 months and on and off for longer I have been sweating so much and it has nothing to do with heat or fevers. For years I have had chest pain on and off as well. But with the sweating I have also been very tired all the time and it doesn't matter how much sleep I get I am still tired. My kids are 9 and 5 so I am not running around with them all the time. Yesterday I found that my lower legs and ankles. It was so bad that when I pushed in on it there was a deep pit where I had pressed. After keeping my feet up this morning they are still swollen but not as bad as last night. I some times get these strange feelings in my chest that feel like my heart beat is slowing down and other times feels like it is slamming into my ribs. also sometimes feels like it is jiggling as it beats. Its hard to explain but when it happens I feel like I have to cough. A while back I had a Holter Monitor done for 24 hours and if showed for that period that my heart was skipping beats. But since then these strange beats have been happening. But with the sudden swelling I am just a little worried. I don't know if theis has anything to do with this but about 2-3 weeks ago I had what was bloody urine or bloody watery discharge. I was not on my period so that wasn't it. I do get pain in my mid upper back but not all the time. So I am wondering if you can help me sort through what I should do. Am I making too much of this or should I be worried. Thanks for your help.


These symptoms are very worrying. I would strongly recommend that you see your primary care doctor in order to have this evaluated. If you are not able to see him or her in the near future (within a week) I would even recommend going straight to the emergency room. While there may be no abnormality, this could be a sign of a serious disease and therefore would require these "bad" causes ruled out. There are three major causes of lower extremity swelling as you describe (although there are certainly more than three). The first is heart problems or a weakened heart muscle. Given your heart symptoms this would be a concern. Your heart problems could be caused by abnormal hormones (specifically a disease known as a pheochromocytoma) although there could be other causes. This should be evaluated. A second major cause would be kidney problems. This can cause swelling as well as bloody urine. A third cause would be liver problems. As mentioned there are other causes. Clots in the blood vessels can cause what you describe. In addition, there are some infections to worry about. See your doctor urgently. You are a young person and these problems should be addressed. Good luck!

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