When a person has swelling in their feet and the lower part of the legs, this is known as peripheral edema. For some people, the cause can be simple. It can be caused by standing too long, or sitting for too long. In some cases, the cause of peripheral edema may be more serious. It is important that a person with any kind of swelling be checked out by their doctor.
Information. Swelling means that something has disrupted the balance of fluids that are located in the cells. This causes fluid to accumulate in the tissues. Due to gravity, this fluid goes down to the feet and legs. The most common sufferers of this form of edema are pregnant women and older adults. However, some people have edema no matter their age. Edema can affect one or both legs at a time. If a person has sudden onset edema or the swelling is painful, they need to see their doctor as soon as possible. Edema can be a sign that there is an infection somewhere in the body, disease or other serious health issue.