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Hands And Feet Swelling


Some chemotherapy drugs can cause fluid retention in the body which can particularly show up in the hands and feet. Some types of cancer or hormone changes can also cause swelling.

To help manage swelling in the hands or feet, consider the following:

In General

  • Reduce your salt intake. 
    • For example, avoid foods such as bouillon, potato chips, tomato juice, bacon, ham, canned soups, soy sauce, and table salt.
    • Don't add salt or soy sauce to your food.
    • Check the food label to see if the food has sodium in it. Ask your nurse how much salt or sodium you can have.
  • Eat nutritiously.
  • Take your medications exactly as prescribed.
  • Weigh yourself every day at the same time. Notify your doctor or health care provider if you have gained 5 pounds or more in a week.
  • Your doctor or other health care provider may prescribe a diuretic which helps trigger urination to eliminate extra fluid. Your doctor may also recommend that you see a registered dietitician to help plan a diet tailored to your needs.

For Swelling In Your Feet

  • Raise your  feet as often as possible. 
    • Sit or lie down and put your feet up on a stool. Or raise them with pillows.
    • Try not to stand or walk too much at one time.
  • Do not stand for long periods of time.
  • Avoid tight shoes.
  • Do not cross your legs.
  • If your swelling is severe, consider wearing compression socks or stockings. For instance, Jobst socks/stockings or T.E.D. hose. To find resources, type in "Jobst stockings" or "T.E.D. hose" into your favorite search engine.

Call your doctor or nurse if you:

  • Feel short of breath
  • Have a heartbeat that seems different or is not regular
  • Have sudden swelling or swelling that is getting worse
  • Gain weight quickly
  • Don't urinate at all or only urinate a little

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