If you have ever experienced swelling in your legs (or your hands or feet for that matter) you know how painful it can become.
There are many reasons this swelling, known as edema, or the retention of fluids in the body, can occur:
- A sedentary lifestyle—sitting or staying in one position for too long
- Eating too much processed foods and foods high in salt
- Poor circulation
- Side effects of some medications
Often, a bit of swelling in your legs can be normal after standing or sitting for the day or during pregnancy for example, but chronic leg and ankle swelling—peripheral edema—can also signal a more serious underlying issue such as kidney disease, heart failure or liver disease, so it is always best to consult a physician if this swelling persists.