What causes swelling?

Swelling, also known as anasarca or edema, is a medical condition characterized by an excessive accumulation of fluid within the body's tissues. This can cause a person to rapidly gain weight in a short period of time, ranging from days to weeks. The most commonly affected areas of the body are the skin, organs, glands, breasts, ankles, legs, and feet. The swelling may be generalized throughout the body or localized to a single area.

There are two basic types of swelling: pitting and non-pitting edema. Pitting edema leaves an indentation in the skin when the swollen area is pushed for five seconds and then quickly removed. Non-puncture edema, on the other hand, does not leave a hole.

A certain amount of slight swelling is considered normal during the warmer months. This is particularly true for people who walk or stand a lot during the day. Also, a pregnant woman may experience some of the stress of having a child. In both cases, there is usually no cause for concern.

It is also possible that the inflammation is caused by a serious disease, particularly when it is generalized. This type is usually quite obvious and can be easily detected, even in overweight people. A person experiencing severe swelling should seek medical attention immediately, as it may indicate a serious progressive or chronic condition.

Some diseases that can cause swelling include heart failure, chronic kidney disease, acute glomerulonephritis, nephritic syndrome, thyroid disease, and liver failure as a result of cirrhosis. Burns, both from fire and sun, can also cause this condition. Malnutrition, excessive salt intake, and low blood albumin are other possible causes.

Bloating can also be caused by certain medications, including antihypertensives, androgenic steroids, anabolic steroids, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and calcium channel blockers. Corticosteroids can also cause bloating because they promote sodium retention.

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