Causes of fluid retention range from easily treated conditions through to serious and life-threatening diseases including kidney, liver or lung disease, heart failure and some forms of cancer . Consequently it is important that you consult your healthcare professional for a full check-up and diagnosis before commencing self-treatment.
Other causes may include:
- Standing up for long periods of time (due to the effects of gravity on the fluids in the legs)
- Circulatory issues, especially damage to the valves in the veins of the legs, which may allow blood to move against the normal direction of the bloodstream (i.e. away from the heart rather than towards it), and accumulate in the legs. This is known as chronic venous insufficiency, and may ultimately cause varicose veins.
- Hormone fluctuations that occur prior to the menstrual period, during pregnancy, or when taking oral contraceptives
- The use of certain medicines, including some blood pressure drugs, corticosteroids and anti-inflammatory medications
- Hot weather
- Burns (including sunburn)
- Thyroid disease such as hypothyroidism (underactivity of the thyroid gland)
- Allergies may also cause fluid retention. Note that sudden severe swelling may indicate a life-threatening form of allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Call for emergency help immediately