Tuesday, 18 June 2024 00:00

Causes of Swollen Feet and Ankles

Swelling in the feet and ankles can signal underlying health issues that may need attention. Edema, or fluid buildup, is a common cause of swelling, particularly in older individuals. Gravity contributes to this condition, making the lower body areas more prone to noticeable swelling. Causes of foot swelling include excessive weight, blood clots, infections, and venous insufficiency. Among other causes are injuries, surgeries, and certain medications like antidepressants, blood pressure drugs, hormones, and steroids. Lifestyle factors, such as long flights, as well as prolonged standing and hormonal changes during pregnancy can also trigger swelling. Some cases of edema can be managed with leg elevation, exercise, a low-salt diet, and wearing support stockings. However, it's extremely important to seek medical attention if swelling is severe, accompanies shortness of breath or chest pain, or doesn't improve with self-care measures. If you're experiencing persistent swelling in the feet or ankles, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist for an exam. This foot doctor will conduct a thorough exam and may recommend diagnostic tests to determine the underlying cause.

Swollen feet can be a sign of an underlying condition. If you have any concerns, contact Leonora Fihman, DPM of California. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Swollen feet are a common ailment among pregnant women and people who stand or sit for extended periods. Aging may increase the possibility of swollen feet and patients who are obese often notice when their feet are swelling too. There may be medical reasons why swollen feet occur:

  • Phlebitis - A condition that causes the veins to become inflamed and can also cause leg pain.
  • Liver disease - This may lead to low blood levels of albumin which is a protein. This can cause fluid in the blood to pass into the tissues and several areas of the body can become swollen.
  • Heart failure - When the heart doesn’t pump properly the blood that is normally pumped back to the heart can pool in the veins of the legs causing swollen feet.
  • Kidney disease - One of the main functions of the kidneys is releasing excess fluid in the body. This type of condition can make it difficult for the kidneys to function properly, and as a result the feet may become swollen.
  • Deep-vein thrombosis (DVT)- This is a serious condition where blood clots form in the veins of the legs. They can block the return of blood from the legs to the heart which may cause the feet to swell. It is important to be treated by a podiatrist if this condition is present.

Swollen feet can also be caused by bone and tendon conditions, including fractures, arthritis, and tendinitis. Additionally, there may be skin and toenail conditions and an infection may cause the feet to swell. Patients who take medicine to treat high blood pressure may be prone to getting swollen feet. 

Many patients elevate their feet to help relieve the swelling and this is generally a temporary remedy. When a podiatrist is consulted the reason behind the swelling can be uncovered and subsequently treated.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Encino and Brentwood, Los Angeles, CA . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.


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