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Could I be having a kidney problem?

By Vision Reporter

Added 29th November 2012 12:13 AM

Apart from kidney problems, swollen hands and feet can have a variety of causes. The common type of swelling is called idiopathic edema.

 

QDear Doctor, 
For a year now I have been troubled by the constant swelling of my fingers and feet.  I also constantly get dizzy lately. Could I be having a kidney problem? Please help. 
Rita
 
ADear Rita,
 Apart from kidney problems, swollen hands and feet can have a variety of causes. The common type of swelling is called idiopathic edema. 
 
Sometimes it is possible to establish the cause, but often it is not. Sometimes women suffer from idiopathic edema during their menstrual cycle. 
 
The problem, however, is not limited to women and not necessarily to a particular time of the month. Swollen hands and feet are often combined with retained sodium. Diuretics (medicines that help reduce the amount of water in the body) rarely have any effect on idiopathic edema. 
 
Swollen hands and feet from idiopathic edema are often reduced by lying down for several hours and reducing the amount of salt in your diet. Some doctors treat idiopathic edema with progesterone, but this does not consistently treat the           condition. 
 
There is no health risk associated with this swelling, so rest and reduction of salt seem to be the best treatment. Swollen hands and feet can sometimes be a symptom of a bigger health concern. 
 
Swelling in the extremities can be a symptom of heart disease, or problems with the liver or kidneys. For this reason, it is important not to ignore swollen hands and feet. If you cannot reduce the swelling through rest and a reduction of salt in your diet, see a doctor.  
 
Other signs that swelling in your hands and feet may be serious are if it is coupled with a shortness of breath, unexplained weight gain or nausea as you mentioned. Any of these symptoms, combined with swelling of the hands and feet, are a signal that something serious may be going on in the body. A thorough doctor’s exam will help. 
 
While frequent bouts of swelling in the hands and feet can be troubling, in most cases it is no cause for alarm. Sometimes it needs reducing salt consumption and resting during the day; much of the swelling can be alleviated.


Could I be having a kidney problem?

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