Swollen feet and ankles can be caused by a problem with the circulation of blood, and water or fluid retention. This condition can be addressed with some simple precautionary and preventive measures, which are discussed in this article.
Swollen red feet and ankles can be an indicator of several different conditions. Sometimes, it can be caused by prolonged sitting or standing in one position, and a minor injury or trauma to the area. But occasionally, it can be associated with an underlying health condition. Generally, persistent swelling in the feet and ankles can be caused by problems in circulation, and fluid retention or edema, which in turn can be associated with many other health conditions.
Redness and Swelling in Feet
Any problem with the cardiovascular system can adversely affect the circulation of blood, for which the body may fail to return blood from the feet and legs to the heart effectively. This can cause an accumulation of blood and metabolic waste in the feet, and as a result, one can experience swelling.
Edema or fluid retention can also cause swelling in the legs. Usually, gravity is responsible for pulling fluid to the lower extremities of the body, and this is the reason why prolonged standing and sitting can cause fluid accumulation in the feet. However, edema or fluid retention can also be associated with a number of health conditions, especially those related to the heart, liver, and the kidneys.
In general, leg and feet swelling can be caused by excessive salt intake, heart disease, kidney and liver failure, excessive use of laxatives and diuretics, pregnancy, preeclampsia, lymphatic obstruction or blockage of the lymph nodes, and infections. Certain medications, such as blood pressure medications, and hormones like estrogen and steroids, as well as drug abuse can also cause this condition. In addition to these, obesity can be an important risk factor for developing this condition frequently. The presence of a high level of uric acid in the body, and joint problems, such as arthritis and gout, can also cause swelling in the legs and feet.
The treatment of this condition depends on the underlying causes. However, it is possible to reduce and prevent the swelling to a great by minimizing the use of table salt, and processed foods that contain excessive sodium chloride. You can also use compression stockings or leg wedges, and elevate your legs above the level of heart. At the same time, it is very important to avoid sitting continuously for a long time, especially with your legs or ankles crossed.
If your job requires you to sit for long hours, then consider to take small breaks in between to stretch or elevate your legs. Even a short walk can help prevent frequent leg and feet swelling. Overweight people, on the other hand, should try to lose weight, as excess body weight can make it difficult to return fluid from the legs and feet to the heart. So, consider to follow a healthy and balanced diet, and exercise regularly, in order to maintain an ideal body weight. Exercises can also improve blood circulation.
It is also important to get the condition properly evaluated with the help of an experienced physician. This will help find out whether feet or ankle swelling is caused by any serious underlying health problems. This in turn, would help figure out an appropriate treatment plan for this condition.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be treated as a substitute for professional medical advice.