Jul 12

Common Causes for Swollen Feet and Ankles

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Tagged in: foot health

heelSwelling in the body's tissues is also referred to as edema, a disorder caused by excess fluid. Although other areas of the body can be affected, edema usually involves the feet, ankles and legs, according to the National Institutes of Health. Knowing the underlying causes for swollen feet and ankles can help control or prevent the problem.

 

Standing or Sitting
Standing or sitting in one position for long periods is a major cause of swollen ankles and feet because blood can pool in the leg veins. Fluid leaves the blood and is naturally pulled down into the legs and feet, causing the ankles and feet to swell over time. People who travel experience swelling because they are in a sitting position for so long. Shifting positions in the seat or taking walks as often as possible helps prevent swelling. The legs and feet need to be elevated whenever possible to normalize blood flow and reduce the swelling. Drinking fluids also helps prevent or reduce swelling when it is necessary to stand or sit for long periods.

 

Pregnancy
Swollen ankles and feet are common symptoms of pregnancy. The problem usually goes away after delivery, however. A woman's body produces and retains more fluid during pregnancy. The growing uterus puts pressure on the veins and impairs blood flow, leading to swelling in the legs, ankles and feet. Pregnant women are advised to stay off their feet as much as they can and elevate their legs when they sit. They should avoid crossing their legs to prevent further pressure on the veins.

 

Diseases
Swelling in the feet, ankles, legs and hands can be symptoms of lung, liver, kidney and thyroid diseases. Heart failure can also cause swelling. Swollen ankles can be a sign of deep vein thrombosis, especially if one ankle is far more swollen than the other. Deep vein thrombosis occurs when blood clots form in the arteries of the leg, causing pain and swelling in the ankles. The clots can block blood flow to the heart and in extreme cases cause death. Swollen ankles do not necessarily indicate the disease, which can be treated with blood-thinning medication.

 

Medication
Vasodilators, which are drugs that open blood vessels, and calcium channel blockers can produce swollen ankles and feet as side effects. Swelling can also be a side effect from non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, estrogens and certain diabetes medications.

 

If you are experiencing swelling of the feet or ankles, call one of our experienced doctors at Foot Healers and make an appointment today.


Foot Healers operates podiatry clinics throughout the St. Louis area – Creve Coeur, Chesterfield, Webster and St. Peters/O’Fallon. Foot Healers doctors use a combination of the latest medical technology and patient care to address foot issues like foot and heel pain, neuroma, plantar fasciitis, and nail fungus, just to name a few. Regardless of the severity of the problem, the skilled and trusted doctors at Foot Healers are able to meet your needs every step of the way. Get back on your feet at Foot Healers.


 

Read more:  http://www.livestrong.com/article/106725-causes-swollen-feet-ankles/#ixzz1QDomrTKU




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