Are your puffy feet causing you foot pain? Swelling feet or ankles are fairly common, especially among older people and pregnant women. They are typically due to benign conditions. You may be able to get relief from various home-care actions, but if you are unable to reduce the swelling yourself, your feet are painful, the swelling lasts for more than a few days, or you have an underlying medical condition, you should see your New Hampshire podiatrist.
Common Causes of Swollen Feet
Swollen feet, also known as peripheral edema, is most often seen in older adults due to aging and poor circulation. Other common causes of edema include pregnancy, standing or walking for extended periods of time, short-term water retention, medications, and injury. More serious causes involve the heart, kidneys, and liver. Edema can also be a sign that you have a blood clot or infection.
Some women experience temporary swelling of the feet during pregnancy. It's usually just a side effect of becoming a mom, but can be serious if accompanied by abdominal pain, nausea, and headache.
High-sodium diets can lead to water retention, which can cause swelling in the feet and elsewhere. Medicines that can cause edema include certain anti-depressants, blood pressure medication, hormones, steroids, and even aspirin.
You might also experience swelling in your feet or ankles if you've sprained your ankle or hurt your foot in some other way. More seriously, your puffy feet can indicate venous insufficiency, meaning a lack of adequate blood flow to your heart; or lymphedema, meaning too much fluid is trapped in your lymphatic tissues. Venous insufficiency can lead to kidney, liver, and heart disease - including heart failure.
Self-Care Tips for Swelling Feet
You might get relief from puffy, swollen ankles and feet by soaking your feet in Epsom salts or following the RICE regimen: R - rest; I - ice the swollen area; C - compression socks can help reduce the fluid buildup; E - elevate your legs and feet.
Because being sedentary can make your feet swell, try getting up and walking around once every hour - especially if you have a desk job or are on a long flight.
Diuretics, also known as water pills, can help your body get rid of fluids. However, because they interact with other medicines and might produce risky side effects, consult your podiatrist before taking them.
Some experts also recommend adding magnesium-rich foods to your diet. You should also exercise regularly, stretch your legs and ankles, maintain a healthy weight, and avoid wearing tight clothing.
Medical Conditions Related to Swollen Ankles and Feet
As noted, swollen ankles or feet can be a symptom of serious medical conditions involving the heart, liver, and kidneys. They can also be a complication of diabetes. Kidney or liver disease can lead to organ failure, and poor vascular health can lead to heart failure. Because these conditions demand medical attention, see your podiatrist if you're unable to relieve your swelling feet and/or foot pain by yourself.
When to See Your New Hampshire Podiatrist
So you've practiced the RICE regimen, soaked your feet in Epsom salts repeatedly, given up the couch-potato routine, and you still have puffy feet! If the swelling persists, you're experiencing foot pain, the skin on your foot is broken, cracked, or pits when you press your finger on it, or you're feeling accompanying symptoms such as shortness of breath, it's time to see your New Hampshire podiatrist.
The experienced, compassionate doctors and staff at Nagy Footcare can help you. We can determine whether your swollen feet are an indication of something serious or just need conservative treatment.
Our practice is committed to earning and keeping your trust. We believe our patients should be carefully listened to, and that you deserve the best available advice and treatment.
Do you have swollen, painful feet? Schedule an initial consultation with us today. At Nagy Footcare, our best day is when you wake up with no foot pain.