What Causes The Feet And Ankles To Swell?


10 Answers

Connor Sephton Subber Profile
There are a number of causes that leads to people getting pains and swelling in the feet and ankles. It is also a common problem, particularly among older people. You can suffer from an abnormal build-up of fluid in the ankles, feet and legs and this medical term is called 'peripheral edema'. You also have to consider a number of factors as swelling and pains affect both legs or could suffer with pain from the calves or even the thighs.
Some people who suffer from foot, leg and ankle swelling do say they have it from situations including prolonged standing, long airplane flights or in menstrual periods (for some women). You can also get swelling around the ankles if you are pregnant -- excessive swelling may be a sign of preeclampsia, a serious condition sometimes called toxemia, which includes high blood pressure and swelling. You may also get pain as you may be overweight and fat builds up around the ankles making it uncomfortable due to the pressure.
Swollen legs may be a sign of heart failure, kidney failure or liver failure because in these particular conditions there is too much fluid in the body. Other conditions that can cause swelling to one or both legs include blood clots, leg infections and venous insufficiency which is when the veins in your legs are unable to adequately pump blood back to the heart.
Certain medications may also cause your legs to swell such as hormones like oestrogen (in birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy) and testosterone. Blood pressure medicines which are known as calcium channel blockers (such as nifedipine, amlodipine, diltiazem, felodipine, and verapamil) as well as steroids, antidepressants, including MAO inhibitors (such as phenelzine and tranylcypromine) and tricyclics such as nortriptyline, desipramine and amitriptyline.
Shirley McLean Profile
Shirley McLean answered
Ankle swelling is caused by accumulated fluid. It is usually better in the morning and worse in the evening, right? The fluid is called "lymphatic fluid", and travels through the system through tubes that run adjacent to veins (not arteries) in the body. If your lymphatic system, or your venous system have valves within the tubes that don't open and shut like they should, you can get swelling in the ankles. Things that help: Sleep with a pillow under your calves, cut WAY BACK on salt intake, take small breaks off your feet during the day, with your feet up, and wait for the hot weather to go away. Incidentally, people with swelling in their ankles during hot weather can also get it during long car trips, or plane rides. If you are in a plane, get up every half hour or so and walk the aisle; if you're in a car, on a lengthy trip, get out and walk around a bit. Also, "dorsiflex" your feet...basically, while in a sitting position, move your toes back toward the top of (dorsum) of your foot. Do this often; it also helps drain the lymphatic system. Celery juice is a natural fluid reducer, like lasix, but you don't have to take potassium with it. You may want to increase your intake of celery, raw or juiced. If you can push a finger into the swollen area, and leave a half inch hole behind, you should probably see your Dr. For some Lasix, or whatever might be recommended. Another thing to consider, and I'm not trying to scare you; just make you aware: Swollen ankles can be an indicator of congestive heart failure. So use your best judgment on when to go to the Dr. Hope this helps.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Swelling of feet is a condition where there is a buildup of fluid in the muscles of your feet. It can occur when a person has been standing or walking for a very long time. Swelling of feet can have a number of underlying reasons. It can be related to the problems of heart, liver kidneys or blood vessels. A thorough medical checkup is recommended to rule out any serious problems.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Swelling is a sign of either tissue damage or accumulation of water in the tissue.

If the swelling is without pain, it could be water swelling, or fluid retention, called peripheral edema. This can be caused by hypertension (high blood pressure), alcoholism, pregnancy, or altitude sickness. Treating the swelling would consist of going to a doctor and addressing the underlying cause.

If the swelling is accompanied by pain and discomfort, then you could have ligament or bone damage. Try icing the ankle for 15-20 minutes multiple times throughout the day. Take ibuprofen as well. Losing weight will also help.
Maggie Dee Profile
Maggie Dee answered
Swelling of the feet and ankles is caused by a build-up of fluid in the muscle tissue. That happens because of gravity (unless one has an underlying health issues). Here are some common reasons for swelling: #1 When you're on holiday, you're eating different, and much more salty, foods causing your body to retain an unusual amount of water. #2 You're travelling long distances and sitting a long time. #3 You're walking or on your feet much more often than usual. Or a combination of all of these. Put your feet "up" as often as you can. Increase your fluid intake to "keep it moving" through your body. Water retention is more common in summer months because of the heat. Avoid standing-in-place as much as you can. If you're sitting a lot, get up every few hours and walk-walk-walk. You can also buy support stockings from a store like Walgreen's. Lose excess weight if that's applicable.
Mark Westbrook Profile
Mark Westbrook answered
Usually in summer time we tend to stand and walk about more than in cooler weather. Swollen feet and ankles is generally from good old gravity, drawing the fluid down. Similar to getting swollen ankles on a plane. Make sure you exercise when sitting, raising the toes and then the heels alternately. Raise the feet up whenever possible.
Mary sanchez Profile
Mary sanchez answered
God this just happened to mw about a month ago, and what it was I was low on my potassium in my body and retraining to much water.  have hime get his potassium checked along with diabetes panel, and liver function.  good luck hope this helps.
klaus freytag Profile
klaus freytag answered

Any injury can cause a swelling by fluid build up .  It can also be venous insufficiency when the veins are unble to send blood to heart

Alva Lipscomb Profile
Alva Lipscomb answered
Strain, being on them too long and water retention.  The water retention could be from high blood pressure. One of the high blood pressure meds that my mother was on caused her ankles to swell.  Always best to check with your doctor to get these things ruled out and get the proper treatment for whatever it is. 
Kathy Castillo Profile
Kathy Castillo answered
Many people have feet and ankles that swell more in the summer months than in the winter months.  This is because you tend to use your feet more in the warmer weather. However, swollen feet and ankles can also be a symptom of a circulatory problem.  People who have had congestive heart failure tend to have swollen feet and ankles. You are more active in the summer months and your heart rate tends to be more rapid, more often during the warm weather. Your heart pumps more when you are active and if you have a heart problem or circulatory problem, then your feet and ankles may swell more.

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