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How Can I Prevent Swelling in My Hands and Feet?

I went to Nepal this year and trekked thru the foothills of the Annapurna. After hitting one of the highest points of the trek, I started swelling in my hands, feet, and face. What exactly can I do to prevent this in the future?

Question:

I went to Nepal this year and trekked thru the foothills of the Annapurna. After hitting one of the highest points of the trek, I started swelling in my hands, feet, and face. What exactly can I do to prevent this in the future?

Submitted by - Helen, Lakeland, FL

Answer:

Peripheral edema (the swelling that you describe) is very common at higher altitudes—and completely harmless. It can, however, be bothersome.

If it really bothers you, ask your doc for a diuretic before your next trip. There’s no known sure prevention. Be sure to stay well-hydrated—you need to keep your sluggish bloodstream flowing, and hydration could help a little with keeping PE down.

Taking a diuretic as prevention has not been studied, as far as I know. Ask your doc about that, too. –BUCK

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