Read below about severe lower leg swelling, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your severe lower leg swelling from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

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5 Potential Severe Lower Leg Swelling Causes

Disclaimer: The article does not replace an evaluation by a physician. Information on this page is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes.

  1. 1.Deep Vein Thrombosis

    Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot that forms in a vein deep in the body. Most deep vein clots occur in the lower leg or thigh.

    Curable with medication or surgery but may recur.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    fever, thigh pain, upper leg swelling, calf pain, butt pain
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  2. 2.Acute Postinfectious Glomerulonephritis

    The kidneys are a pair of important organs that lie near the spine whose function is to filter blood. There are about 1 million glomeruli in each kidney, which are tiny balls of thin blood vessels where there filtration takes place. After an infection anywhere in the body, especially a streptococcal infection (strep throat), these glomeruli may become inflamed.

    Symptoms last 2 weeks or less.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    headache, nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, fatigue
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

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  3. 3.Nephrotic Syndrome

    Nephrotic syndrome is caused by different disorders that damage the kidneys. This damage leads to the release of too much protein in the urine, causing the body to swell.

    Varies by cause of Nephrotic Syndrome

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, loss of appetite, shortness of breath, weight gain, bilateral leg swelling
    Symptoms that never occur with nephrotic syndrome:
    cut on the foot, recent cut or wound, swollen ankle, swelling of one leg
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  4. 4.Cushing Syndrome

    Cushing Syndrome is a hormonal disorder. The cause is long-term exposure to too much cortisol, a hormone that the adrenal gland makes. Sometimes, taking synthetic hormone medicine like corticosteroids to treat an inflammatory disease leads to Cushing's syndrome.

    Recovery depends on treatment method

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, headache, depressed mood, weight gain, back pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  5. 5.Acute Kidney Injury

    Acute kidney injury is a sudden episode of damage or failure to the kidney. It is common in older adults as well as patients in hospital.

    Treatment depends on the underlying cause of kidney failure.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    abdominal pain (stomach ache), nausea or vomiting, urinary changes, shortness of breath, fatigue
    Symptoms that always occur with acute kidney injury:
    urinary changes
    Symptoms that never occur with acute kidney injury:
    vaginal bleeding
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Severe Lower Leg Swelling

  • Q.Have you been feeling more tired than usual, lethargic or fatigued despite sleeping a normal amount?
  • Q.Have you ever been diagnosed with diabetes?
  • Q.What is your body mass?
  • Q.Do you currently smoke?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, try our severe lower leg swelling symptom checker to find out more.

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Severe Lower Leg Swelling Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced severe lower leg swelling have also experienced:

    • 4% Fatigue
    • 3% Lower Leg Pain
    • 3% Lower Back Pain
  • People who have experienced severe lower leg swelling had symptoms persist for:

    • 29% Over a Month
    • 28% Less Than a Week
    • 22% Less Than a Day
  • People who have experienced severe lower leg swelling were most often matched with:

    • 7% Deep Vein Thrombosis
    • 4% Nephrotic Syndrome
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

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