"swollen" feet

Why Are My Feet Swollen? Part I

Stephen D. Lasday, DPM Podiatrist Sarasota and Bradenton

Why are my feet swollen?

Swollen feet are not pretty!

Are your feet swollen? Do they look like that famous picture of Kim Kardashian’s feet? Besides being pregnant, there are many reasons for swollen feet.

Your feet swell when fluid builds up within the tissues and muscles of the feet. This is called edema or peripheral edema.

Swollen feet can happen to anyone at any age, but they are more common among adults.

Elderly people also experience swollen feet due to plain old wear and tear on their muscles, as well as from conditions like diabetes. 

Causes for Swollen Feet

There are various causes for peripheral edema, including:

  • Injury or trauma
  • Being overweight
  • Aging
  • Pregnancy
  • Too much salt
  • Too much alcohol
  • Menstruation and/or PMS
  • Sitting or standing in one position for a long period of time
  • Medications such as diabetes medicines, high-estrogen birth-control pills, anti-depressants, steroids, and calcium channel blockers
  • Underlying medical conditions
  • High altitudes

Like I said earlier, pregnancy can lead to swelling of the feet due to rapid weight gain which applies pressure to the legs, ankles, and feet, causing swelling. However, excessive swelling during pregnancy could be a sign of preeclampsia, which could lead to additional problems.

Swollen feet can also be a sign of an underlying condition such as heart, kidney, or liver failure. These conditions produce excess fluids in the body. Other conditions that may cause swollen feet include:

  • Blood clots
  • Arthritis
  • Thyroid disease
  • Infection in the leg
  • Venous insufficiency (when the veins in your legs are unable to pump blood back to the heart adequately)
  • Varicose veins
  • Insect bite
  • Malnutrition
  • Burns, including sunburns
  • Leg or foot surgery
  • Allergic reaction
  • Laxative abuse
  • Diuretics abuse
  • Drug abuse
  • Sodium retention
  • Lymphatic obstruction

Stay tuned next week for Part II of “Why are My Feet Swollen?” and learn what you can do about swollen feet!

If you are looking for a podiatrist or you are experiencing ankle or heel problems, Sarasota or Bradenton is the place to be! Please schedule an appointment with Dr. Lasday, Dr. Zdancewicz, or Dr. Goecker for a thorough and professional evaluation, either in our Bradenton Podiatry office at (941) 753-9599 or our Sarasota Podiatry office at (941) 366-2627.

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