Saturday, 28 June 2014


Swollen feet/ ankle are accumulation of excess fluid building up in muscle and causes swelling (known as edema).Feet and ankles turn purplish on swelling
Causes -
• Swelling of feet and ankle is normal in pregnancy.
• Swelling in ankles and feet is a sign of venous insufficiency (varicose vein ) in which blood inadequately moves up the veins from the legs and feet up to heart. The function of veins is to keep blood flowing upwards with one-way valves. When the walls become damaged or weak blood starts leaking back down the vessels which leads to fluid retention, in lower legs, ankles and feet.
• Swelling in feet and ankles is a sign of infection; people with diabetic neuropathy are at great risk of swelling.
•  Injury to foot and ankle leads to swelling (sprains and strains)
•  Blood clot formation in veins of leg leads to return of blood from legs back up to the heart causing swelling in ankles and feet .Blood clot can be superficial and deep in skin as deep vein thrombosis.
• Swelling is indicative of –heart, liver (liver failure produces jaundice) and kidney disease .Kidney disease causes swelling of foot and ankle .Swelling of ankle is sign of salt /water retention as because of right-side heart failure.
• Side effects of medications –also can cause swelling in feet and ankle like –Steroids, anti-depressant drugs, diabetic medications, and Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
• In people with poor blood circulation are prone to swelling in feet and ankle, as long standing through the day makes heart difficult to pump the blood back.
• Heart failure results in fluid retention (Cardiomyopathy)
• Joint inflammation /arthritis (osteoarthritis and Gout) also cause localized swelling in foot/ankle. Some of auto-immune disease causes swelling.
• Obesity
• Advanced age
• Malnutrition
• Hypothyroidism
• Insect bite /sting
• Chemotherapy
• Excess alcohol consumption
• Having high blood pressure
Diagnosis –
• Complete blood count
• Chest X-ray
• Urinalysis
• Liver function test , kidney function test
• Test for gout
• Special blood test –for autoimmune disease
• Clotting test –deep vein thrombosis
Management –
• Raising legs above heart while lying down
• Regular exercise –such as swimming, walking
• Following a low salt diet which can reduce swelling
• Losing weight by eating balanced diet
• Avoiding junk food
• Drinking plenty of fluids
• Avoid crossing legs while sitting
• Taking regular breaks from sitting posture
• Stretch frequently when sitting for long periods
• Avoiding wearing tight clothing
• Wearing support stockings
• Wearing special shoes which are available in market for people having swollen feet and ankle.
• Herb-Ginkgo Biloba ( is a blood circulation supplement )
• A natural remedy to get rid of water retention is to drink natural diuretic drinks, 2-3 cups of green tea and two to three tablespoons of lemon juice in one glass of boiling hot water per day.
• Soaking feet in water with relaxing foot massage
• A good remedy for swollen feet and ankles is sponging with cold water.
• Addition of pinch of magnesium