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10 Warning Signs of Swollen Feet and Ankles you must Know!

Swollen Feet and Ankles: What do your feet indicate about your health? In fact, there are a lot of health-related issues that come out if we put a glance on anyone’s feet. A healthy foot always indicates a healthy lifestyle but individuals with swollen feet and ankles must have a list of health-related issues like obesity or any serious underlying health condition that needs immediate medical attention.

So here we are to discuss the factors that make your feet to swell so that it would be easy to treat it from the very beginning.

In medical terms, swelling is known as Edema.  It occurs when any of our body parts get any type of injury. Due to muscle rupture, the injured area starts to swell or get inflamed. Moreover, swelling can happen due to excess build-up of fluid in any specific area.

Leg or feet swelling caused due to the excess fluid deposition. It is also known as peripheral Edema when leg swelling happens when leg tissue retains fluid due to various reasons, such as kidney problems or blood circulation problems or problems in the lymphatic system.

On the other hand, leg swelling or fluid build up in the leg tissue may be caused by overweight, lack of physical activities, standing on your feet for long hours etc.

Swollen Feet and Ankles:

1. Chronic Renal Problem:

Chronic kidney problem or CKD is one of the reasons that your feet are swelling. The kidney plays an integral role in blood filtration and many other physiological works. Such as—

  • It helps to maintain the balance of minerals and electrolytes in the blood.
  • Boost up RBC production.
  • Helps to excrete water-soluble wastes.

Therefore, when the kidney fails to perform its work, the water balance and excretion system become upset. Our body could not flush out the fluid as a result fluid build up in the legs and other parts of our body.

Also Read: 8 most common bad habits that damage your kidneys

2. Lymphedema:

Lymphedema is one of the reasons for swelling that occurs in the leg. The most common cause of Lymphedema is when the lymph nodes get damaged or removed as a part of the treatment procedure of cancer the unwanted substances of our body carry outside through the lymphatic system.

Therefore when the lymph vessels get damaged or removed from the body, the toxic fluid starts to deposit in arms or legs. The common symptoms of Lymphedema are various. Such as:

  • The problem in leg movement.
  • The skin becomes thicker in the toe area.
  • Individuals who are undergoing radio thin therapy or lymph node removal operation have got a higher risk of Lymphedema.

3. Swelling due to Blood Clots:

Insufficient blood flow to any parts especially in the deep veins in legs. Often in medical terms, we call it a deep vein or thrombosis or DVT that cause an obstruction in blood flow in the swelled area. The blood platelets stick together.

In such cases of a blood clot in the veins of the leg region, they put an obstruction in the blood circulation in the opposite direction and thus prevent the blood to move back to the heart. As a result, the ankle and feet develop swelling.

Related: Only a Glass of This Juice will Remove Clogged Arteries

4. Due to a Side Effect of Medicine:

Often we have to take a variety of medicines for a long time and some of which are responsible for water retention.

Therefore, if anyone is undergoing such meditation feet swellings are a common occurrence in that case. Let us check the type of medicines—

  •  Medicine used in hormone replacement therapy.
  • Specific calcium channel blockers that help to relax the blood vessel and improve blood and oxygen supply to the heart.
  • Androgenic or anabolic type of steroids and corticosteroids.
  • Medicine used to treat depression.
  • Medicine used for diabetes.
  • In case anyone is experiencing feet swelling due to medication immediately call the doctor for any change in dose or types.

5. Alcohol:

Swollen feet from alcohol: Leg swelling is very common who has got the regular habit of drinking any kind of alcoholic beverages like beer, wine, whiskey, etc. Alcohol seriously affects the excretory system and creates an impact on the filtering ability of our body.

When any alcoholic substance enters into our blood vessel, it forcibly puts an end to the release of antidiuretic hormone. As a result, our kidney contributes to losing water at a very fast rate and it causes frequent urge to urinate.

Besides this with alcohol the water level of our body increases and the excess fluid build up in the leg or under the eye area.

For an occasional drunker the swelling due to alcohol heal by itself by a couple of days but for a heavy drinker, it can cause a serious health issue.    

6. Sedentary Lifestyle:

Individuals who lead a sedentary lifestyle tend to develop a swelling foot. Most often it has been noticed that we feel the heaviness of fat after we sit for long hours on a chair keeping legs hanging downwards.

Besides this lack of physical activity or movement can cause such type of swelling.

People who are leading a sedentary lifestyle often sit or stand or simply lying down while watching televisions or reading books, using a computer or mobile phone.

These activities put a negative influence and increased the risk of various sicknesses and enhance the chance of leg swelling.

Also Read: 9 Instant Home Remedies for High Blood Pressure

7. Varicose Vein:

Varicose vein or varicosities is a common reason for feet swelling and it occurs when leg veins get enlarged, disabled and chocked with blood.

The affected area becomes bluish-purple and it is equally painful.  A varicose vein is the result of improper vein function.

Usually, veins carry impure blood back to the heart but in case anyone gets a damaged vein the blood begins to deposit in the vein and they enlarge. There are a few potential reasons to develop varicose vein area—

  • Pregnancy.
  • Aged over 55.
  • Standing for a long period of time.
  • Menopause.

8. Pregnancy:

Pregnancy brings various changes and discomforts along with it and leg swelling is one of the most common problems among them.

Usually, during pregnancy, the body tends to retain more water than the normal condition and this causes the body fluids.

It has been noticed that Swollen Feet and Ankles occurs in the evening after walking or standing on the feet all over the day.

Not only that also the changes in specific hormone level ad growing uterus put excess pressure on the blood vessels that carry blood towards the leg. To avoid such situation a pregnant woman should do the followings—

  • Do not stand or sit in the same posture for a long time.
  • put your feet a little higher while resting.
  • Avoid tight clothes
  • Reduce salt intake.

 9. Infection:

Infection can lead to swelling as it is associated with inflammation, redness and pain.  Feet swelling can occur when anyone has developed ingrown toenail or any other type of Neil infection.

Diabetic patients also experience such types of swelling due to the wound in the leg or in the toe area. 

Swollen Feet and Ankles is also common for people having damaged nerve that takes on hold with old age. Moreover, there are other ways that anyone can get swelling from an infection such as insect bite, severe types of athlete’s foot etc.

10. Arthritis:

Arthritis is such a painful condition that causes local swelling and joint pain in foot or leg joint.

The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis when occasional swelling occurs, but in gout is a typical form of arthritis that causes severe pain, redness, and swelling of the big toe joints. It can also affect the ankle area. 

There are some types of feet swelling caused by autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, etc that can affect both feet equally. Swelling and stiffness of joints, pain are some of the problems which are caused by different forms of arthritis.


So in conclusion, we would like to add that feet swelling can occur due to a variety of reasons. Therefore observing it from the very beginning is important to find out the exact reason.

Very often it is cured by some home remedies or by some changes in lifestyle. But if it does not go away within a few days, consulting a doctor is a must as there might have some serious underlying health issues.

So, friends, we hope that after going through the above Reasons for Swollen Feet and Ankles will surely help you.

Dr Maria

MD. Board Certified physician. Fellowship In Family Medicine UK. 8 years of medical experience in Lifestyle-related health disorders. Graduated from AIIMS – All India Institute Of Medical Science, INDIA

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