What causes swollen feet, ankles and legs?

Recently a friend had a feet swelling problem. She thought it was the high heeled shoes she always wore that caused it. This had happened before but she never took it seriously until someone advised her to see or talk to a doctor.
Feet need extra care as they affect general body functioning. Net photo.
Feet need extra care as they affect general body functioning. Net photo.

Recently a friend had a feet swelling problem. She thought it was the high heeled shoes she always wore that caused it. This had happened before but she never took it seriously until someone advised her to see or talk to a doctor.

So she went to see a doctor who also happened to be a friend. At first, the doc suspected she was pregnant but was later assured of the opposite. She explained the high heels which the good doc didn’t brush aside as impossible. But he did tell her that it could have been caused by something else.

She explained that didn’t actually suffer any pain from the swelling. According to this doctor, such swelling doesn’t come along with pain but it has its other effects and could be a sign of other health issues such as a heart disease, kidney or even liver failure. This problem is mainly common in elderly people.

According to experts, this swelling normally indicates damage to the system organs rather than direct injury to the leg. It occurs as a result of excess fluid built-up in the body. The legs become affected because of the effects of gravity. The abnormal build up of fluids in the legs, ankle, and the feet is called Edema.

Most pregnant women suffer from swollen legs.  If the swelling is severe, it could be a sign of preeclampsia also called toxemia.  This is a serious condition that includes blood pressure. Some women get it during their menstrual cycle or even after the consumption of estrogens like birth control pills.

Hormone replacement therapies and testosterones including medicines like calcium channel blockers for blood pressure, plus steroids also cause swelling of the legs.  Other than that, swelling could occur if a person has had an injury or if they had surgery involving the legs, feet or ankle.

Veins in the leg that fail to pump blood properly back to the heart can cause the problem as well as and blood clots in the leg and as one grows older.

Other minor causes are over standing, flying or travelling on the road for long hours, obesity which leaves weight down in the legs, starvation and malnutrition, insect bites and stings and even burns.

You can try elevating legs when lying down, doing some exercises at home, wearing support stockings and also following a low-salt diet which could reduce fluid retention and swelling.

 

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