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Why do I get swelling on my body during my menses?

Q: I have oedema swelling on my body, but not always. This happens usually prior to my periods. I am not taking any medicine for this. Is this a serious problem? What should I do about it?

A:Swelling of the body or oedema can be serious if there is progress in the problem and could mean heart or kidney disease or a blood problem with low levels of blood protein. However, if the problem waxes and wanes, with the menses or the moon, it is not serious, although it may be uncomfortable for all involved. Taking a simple herbal or prescribed diuretic and reducing salt intake should help alleviate the symptoms but the problem may continue to occur until after menopause.

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