Swollen feet and ankle is a common cause for concern amongst most people. It shouldnt be a cause for concern in people who have been standing for long or have been walking around for a long time.
When your shoe doesn’t fit due to swelling very early in the day its important you find the cause. The various causes of foot swelling includes;
- Excessive salt intake; sodium which is mostly found in salt is the major cause of fluid retention in the body. The American Heart Association recommends that adults take in no more than 2,300 mg of sodium every day, or about a teaspoon of salt per day. Most processed meals are high in salt and you should avoid them if you have swollen feet. Eat more of vegetables, fruits and whole grains.
- Pregnancy; swelling of the feet can be a normal symptom of pregnancy especially during the third trimester. However, its important a pregnant woman with foot swelling goes to the hospital to check her blood pressure and urinary protein. If there is protein in urine with associated high blood pressure that is an indication of serious pregnancy complication; preeclampsia. If there is no associated complication, ensure you raise your feet whenever you are seated to help reduce the edema.
- Kidney problems; the kidney helps in the excretion of fluids from the body. If there is a problem with the kidney there will be fluid retention and this can lead to foot swelling with associated general body swelling.
- Ankle injury; swelling of the feet can result due to an ankle sprain, fracture. This injuries can occur due to a fall . To reduce the swelling from a foot or ankle injury, rest to avoid walking on the injured ankle or foot, use ice packs, wrap the foot or ankle with compression bandage, and elevate the foot on a stool or pillow. If swelling and pain is severe or doesn’t improve with home treatment, see your doctor.
- Lymphedema; this is obstruction of the lymph vessels which drain fluid from the body into the lymphatic channel. An obstruction of the lymph vessels of the leg can lead to retention of fluid in the leg leading to ankle and feet swelling.
- Heart disease; when the heart cant sufficiently pump blood to all parts of the body it will lead to a back flow or retention of blood and fluid in the body. This will lead to ankle swelling which is worse in the evening.
- Liver disease; This can affect the liver’s production of a protein called albumin, which keeps blood from leaking out of the blood vessels into the surrounding tissues. Insufficient albumin production can lead to fluid leakage in to the surrounding tissues leading to general body swelling. This can also lead to foot swelling.
- Medications; the side effect of certain medications can lead to swelling of the feet. Such drugs include; steroids, calcium channel blockers, oral contraceptives, NSAIDS
- Blood clot; this can form in the veins and lead to obstruction of the veins which drain blood away from the legs. It’s important you visit your doctor if you notice swelling in one leg, along with pain, low-grade fever, and possibly a change in color of the affected leg.
- Insect bite; this can lead to swelling of the feet due to inflammatory response of the body to the bite
- Obesity; excessive weight in itself can cause you to have feet swelling. This is due to the pressure the body’s weight puts on the legs which leads to a delay in blood flow back to the heart.
- Tight fitting dress; Very tight fitting outfits can prevent the movement of blood and fluids from the leg back to the heart. This can lead to swollen feet due to fluid retention in the extremities.
- Infection; such as cellulites can lead to swollen feet. There is associated pain and fever. See your doctor promptly if you notice any of these symptoms.
- Standing for long duration can also lead to swelling of the feet