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Puff Daddy

Is it true your body swells at high elevations?

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Question:

A friend of mine swears that his body puffs up at high altitude, making his ski boots fit tighter. Is there any truth to this?

Submitted by – Steve, Longmont, CO

Answer:

High altitude-induced peripheral edema—swelling in the face, hands, and feet—has long been known about, and visitors to higher elevations often experience it. The cause is not well understood, but there seem to be no serious complications involved as long as it goes away shortly after descent. Also, your friend should make sure that tight boots do not cut off circulation to his feet.