The following tips may help prevent swelling.
- Do not sit with your feet hanging down for long periods of time. Elevate your feet whenever possible. If you take a car trip, stop and walk around every 1 to 2 hours. If you are traveling in an airplane, be sure to get up and walk around every 1 to 2 hours.
- Limit the amount of salt in your diet.
- Exercise regularly. Warm up and stretch before exercising.
- Drink plenty of fluids, and keep your skin cool in hot environments.
- Avoid repetitive motions, or take frequent breaks often to rest a body area.
- Take medicines as instructed. If swelling occurs often, discuss with your doctor whether taking your medicine at another time of day would decrease the swelling.
- Do not smoke cigarettes or use other tobacco products. They increase circulation problems.
If you have a chronic medical condition or are pregnant, follow your doctor's instructions on how to prevent swelling and when to call to report your symptoms.
Preparing For Your Appointment
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.
You can help your doctor diagnose and treat your condition by being prepared to answer the following questions:
- What are your main symptoms?
- How long have you had your symptoms?
- What do you think is causing the swelling?
- What specific body area is swollen?
- Did the swelling begin suddenly, or did it develop gradually?
- Is the swelling always present? Is it worse in the morning or the evening?
- Have you had this problem before? If so, do you know what caused the problem at that time? How was it treated?
- What activities make your symptoms better or worse?
- Do you think that activities related to your job or hobbies caused your symptoms?
- Do you do sports activities?
- Have you recently moved from a different climate, such as from a colder climate to one with more heat or humidity?
- What home treatment measures have you tried? Did they help?
- What prescription and nonprescription medicines do you take?
- Do you have any health risks?