June 19, 2024
Leg Swelling: Causes and When to See a Doctor

Leg Swelling: Causes and When to See a Doctor

Leg swelling or edema is common among people who sit or stand for many hours. Your Port Saint Lucie leg swelling specialists at TLC Medical Group can help you if you suffer from this condition. Here are the main causes of leg swelling and when to see a doctor if you need treatment.

Blocked Veins

A blocked vein or thrombosis can hinder the proper circulation of blood in your legs. The main cause of thrombosis is sedentary lifestyle and chronic venous deficiency.

When the venous valves in the legs become weak, it can cause pressure in the veins resulting in a backlog of blood. When this happens, blood components build up on the surrounding tissue and cause swelling.

Vein thrombosis can cause serious problems and it is essential to contact your doctor who can perform a D-dimer test to see if thrombus is present.

When Lymphatic Fluid Fails to Drain

When a lymph vessel becomes blocked, it can cause your legs to swell, since the lymph fluid can build up in the tissue. It happens when the lymph vessels become impaired due to surgery or radiation.

Your doctor may apply compression therapy by prescribing stockings or bandages. Also, the lymphatic fluid may be drained through special massage and recommended excercise.

Kidney or Liver Problem

Protein deficiency and liver disease can cause water retention in the body. Lack of sufficient water-binding proteins in the body can be due to malnutrition and the fluid can penetrate to the tissues.

Weak kidneys can fail to remove the water in the body through the urine leading to fluid accumulation.

Heart Problems

Heart problems are a leading cause of swollen legs due to the heart failing to pump blood as it should. Blood accumulates around the heart and there is an increased fluid level in the surrounding tissues, which flows to the legs due to gravity. Likewise, low pressure can cause kidney problems and excess fluid retention in the body.

The right-hand side of the heart may fail to work, a condition associated with fluid retention. If the left-hand side of the heart fails to work, you will experience shortness of breath. Edema of the lungs can occur when there is a left side malfunction.

Heart failure causes water retention in your lower legs and ankles. Fluid flows back when you sleep and results in  the need to pass urine at night.

When the right-hand side of your heart fails, there is the risk of varicose veins, also known as deep thrombosis. The main symptoms are increased pressure in your legs and shortness of breath. It is essential to consult your doctor for a quick assessment.


Swelling of both legs can be due to abnormal circulation of fat in your body. It occurs mostly in women when excess fat is deposited in the legs. The swelling can appear in both legs and may run to the ankles. It also affects the arms, where you may experience tenderness.

Tumors and Nerve Disorders

A disturbance in the nervous system can cause the arms, feet, and lower legs to swell. Further, tumors or lumps on the legs can cause them to swell.

As you can see, leg swelling can be caused by several conditions. If you would like treatment for swollen legs, contact the experts at TLC Medical Group.