An Article written by Dr. Johanna Youner about how to treat swollen feet in Botton Line Health Magazine dated April 2014.
Are your feet swollen? Your ankles puffy? When its normal…when it’s not…and what to do about it…
What Happens: Your body usually maintains a precise fluid balance. It holds on to fluids when you need them, and it excretes fluids when you have too much. Anything that disrupts this balance can cause fluids to accumulate.
The fluids usually go downhill. Fluid in the feet or lower legs has to push its way upward, against gravity. If your veins aren’t as robust as they should be or if you’re sedentary and your leg muscles aren’t flexing against the veins, the fluid tends to pool and cause swelling. This is called peripheral edema.
Self Test: Press a finger on your foot/ankle. If the area stays indented for more than a few seconds, you probably have some degree of peripheral edema.
A dangerous sign: Mild swelling that comes and goes usually is harmless. But see your doctor if you have swelling much of the time, especially if you also have shortness of breath or high blood pressure. Swelling can be caused by heart of kidney damage, liver problems or damage to the veins.
RED FLAG: Painful swelling that occurs in one leg, foot, or ankle. It’s a classic sign of a blood clot. A clot that formsin one of the deep veins in the legs, a condition known as deep-vein thrombosis, is potentially deadly. Get to an emergency room immediately.