Tuesday, 02 January 2024 00:00

Swollen Ankles Can Signal Health Problems

Swollen feet can serve as an indicator of underlying health issues, primarily stemming from fluid retention in body tissues. This phenomenon, known as edema, results from disruptions in the intricate processes of the circulatory system that can lead to the accumulation of excess fluid, resulting in swollen feet. Various factors contribute to edema, such as prolonged periods of standing that may impede blood flow, pregnancy-induced physiological changes, and varicose veins. In cases of congestive heart failure, the heart's inability to pump blood efficiently leads to blood stagnation, commonly causing edema in the lower limbs. Lymphedema, a consequence of a malfunctioning lymphatic system, can result from surgical procedures or genetic disorders, leading to fluid accumulation. Thyroid disorders, menstrual hormonal fluctuations, and liver damage, particularly cirrhosis caused by long-term alcohol exposure, are additional contributors to edema. Kidney disorders, such as nephrotic syndrome, can cause inefficient water removal and subsequent edema. For help with swollen feet or ankles, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist for an exam and diagnosis.

Swollen feet can be a sign of an underlying condition. If you have any concerns, contact Janale Beckford, DPM of Tampa Podiatrists . 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 office located in Tampa, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.


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