What Causes Your Feet And Ankles To Swell?


5 Answers

Nathaniel Hobby Profile
Nathaniel Hobby answered
The immediate cause of swollen feet and ankles is that excess fluid has gathered in the tissues, causing them to swell up.  This swelling can cause you to put on weight.  However, the excess fluid can in turn be caused by quite a number of things.  Swelling of this kind is known medically as an edema, and it can have effects on other parts of the body.

Edema is caused because the force of gravity pulls the fluid in your body to your feet and ankles, causing them to swell. Why the body should have such excess fluid may have a number of explanations.  Common ones include eating a diet that has too much salt or too much carbohydrate.  Sitting or standing for too long and being overweight can both be causes.  Older people are more prone to swelling than younger people.  In women, menstruation can bring on excess fluid in the body, as can pregnancy.  People who take too many laxatives or too many diuretics can bring on edema, as can drug abuse.

There are also some unusual causes of swollen feet and ankles such as impaired circulation of the blood around the body.  Normally, your heart pumps blood through the arteries and from there onto the smaller capillary veins.  Oxygen is transferred from the blood in the capillaries to nourish cells and the de-oxygenated blood, containing metabolic waste products, then flows back to the heart to be replenished once again with oxygen.  If anything interferes with this process, then it may become difficult for the heart to pump used blood back up your legs again.  This in turn can mean that blood can collect around the ankles and feet, inflating the blood vessels and surrounding tissues, causing swollen feet.

Some forms of medication can cause the legs to swell.  These include birth control pills that contain high doses of estrogen, calcium channel-blockers, some anti-depressants and some steroids.  In extreme cases, swelling of the legs can be a symptom of a more serious health conditions such as heart, kidney or liver failure.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
My left foot has been swollen for 3 weeks, and the doctor has taken x-rays and nothing. So now I have a soft cast on for 7-10 days.
susan dixon Profile
susan dixon answered
It sounds like water retention that is the main one, you might need to take tablets for this. If you look on the net for things like this they make it sound worse than it is be persistent and go back to the docs. Hope this helps you
Jacquelyn Mathis Profile
Go to another doctor, and elevate your feet a couple of times a day. It does sound like water retention though. This doctor might not be thinking about that, or the new doctor might think about something that the first doctor didn't. Hope this helps, good luck.

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