Going Medical: Examining Swollen Feet

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Now, this may interest women in particular as we begin to experience quite a lot of body changes during and after pregnancy. The body may or may not go back to pre-pregnancy state and perhaps, find a ground for other changes to fester in our bodies. So what is the implication of swollen feet?

Swelling of the ankle and feet is relatively frequent symptom in most people actually. In itself it does not represent a disease but rather the symptom of an underlying disease. Causes of swollen ankles and feet are numerous including:

    • Dependent swelling (edema)
    • Pregnancy
    • Side effects of certain medications
    • Injuries
    • Diseases such as congestive heart failure, alcoholism, and liver failure
    • Infections
    • Lymphedema (Fluid retention)
    • Blood clots

Treatment of swollen feet and ankles is dependent on diagnosing the underlying cause(s). Some people require no treatment while others with underlying cause(s) may require several different treatments. Anytime the swelling is accompanied by other major symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain or fever contact a health care professional immediately.

However, there are a few home remedies to help sooth symptoms of swollen feet and ankles. One of the best home remedies for swollen ankles, feet, and toes is to elevate the swollen extremity slightly above the level of the heart. This is easily done by having the person lie down face up on a bed or couch, and then place pillows under the heels so the feet and ankles so they are higher than the person’s chest. Even though I am conscious to start my night sleep in this position, I find it inconveniencing to keep this position all through the night. God help me. Sitting on a plane seat or on the office chair (or for hours at a time anywhere) may cause lower extremity swelling. Periodic leg muscle movement by extension and contraction by occasionally walking will help.

    • In many situations, the swelling in feet and ankles can be reduced or prevented. The following is a list of ways to reduce or prevent ankle and feet swelling:

Swollen ankles and swollen feet may be prevented in many people by simple methods, but in some individuals, reduction or prevention is dependent on more complex methods depending on the underlying cause(s).

  • Exercise to improve circulation and fluid distribution
  • Eat a healthy diet; too much salt may cause fluid retention, hypertension and swelling
  • Interrupt sitting or standing several times a day and elevate the feet and ankles above the heart
  • Lose excess weight to retain less fluid and decrease pressure on muscles and joints
  • Consider using support stockings or hose
  • Examine prescription and other medications; consult with the doctor if medication may be responsible for fluid retention
  • Avoid smoking, alcohol and other substances that can lead to underlying causes of swelling.

Because there are so many underlying causes of feet and ankle swelling, there are numerous ways to avoid or reduce the chances for their development. If you have some other acquired way of reduction, please share and let’s learn together.

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