Legs, ankles, and feet swell when excess fluid is pulled down by gravity and builds up in the lower body. This is called edema and it’s common in older adults and usually happens on both sides of the body. It can be caused by a variety of health conditions including heart failure, kidney disease, gout, and arthritis.
When should I be concerned about swollen ankles?
If your swelling is accompanied by other symptoms, including fatigue, loss of appetite, and weight gain, see your doctor right away. If you feel short of breath or have chest pain, pressure, or tightness, call 911.
What can you do for swollen ankles in the elderly?
The ideal management of this chronic condition includes “lifestyle” measures such as elevating the legs regularly, using compression stockings, reducing salt intake, and doing exercises which improve fluid movement in the legs.
Are swollen ankles life threatening?
Swollen ankles can also indicate a potentially serious disorder, such as congestive heart failure, deep vein thrombosis, and liver failure. Because ankle swelling can indicate a potentially life-threatening illness, you should seek prompt medical care and talk with your medical professional about your symptoms.
How do I know if swollen ankles are serious?
Get advice from 111 now if:
- the swelling is only in 1 ankle, foot or leg and there’s no obvious cause, such as an injury.
- the swelling is severe, painful or starts very suddenly.
- the swollen area is red or feels hot to the touch.
- your temperature is very high, or you feel hot and shivery.
- you have diabetes.
Does swollen ankles mean heart failure?
Swelling of the feet is a common sign of heart failure. You may also notice swelling in your legs, ankles, and stomach. Many things can cause swelling, so it’s important to see your doctor to diagnose the cause.
Can dehydration cause swollen ankles?
Stay Hydrated – dehydration causes the constriction of blood vessels leading to the forcing of fluids into the extracellular spaces between cells leading to retention particularly in the lower limbs.
What happens if edema is left untreated?
If left untreated, edema can lead to increasingly painful swelling, stiffness, difficulty walking, stretched or itchy skin, skin ulcers, scarring, and decreased blood circulation.
Does walking help with swollen ankles?
Tips to reduce ankle and foot swelling Simple lifestyle changes — such as exercise and weight loss — also can help reduce or prevent swelling while also improving your overall health, says Dr. Botek. She suggested activities such as walking and swimming.
How is edema treated in elderly?
Mild edema usually goes away on its own, particularly if you help things along by raising the affected limb higher than your heart. More-severe edema may be treated with drugs that help your body expel excess fluid in the form of urine (diuretics). One of the most common diuretics is furosemide (Lasix).
How can you tell if your ankle is swollen and your heart is related?
Swelling in the Legs, Ankles, or Feet Swelling (edema) in your lower legs is another sign of a heart problem. When your heart doesn’t work as well, blood flow slows and backs up in the veins in your legs. This causes fluid to build up in your tissues.
What illness causes swollen ankles?
Possible causes of swollen ankles include:
- Foot or ankle injury. Share on Pinterest A person may experience inflammation due to an injury on the ankle or foot.
- Cellulitis. Bacterial infections in the skin are called cellulitis.
- Chronic venous insufficiency.
- Blood clots.
- Heart failure.
How do I stop my ankles from swelling?
7 Helpful Ways to Reduce Swollen Feet and Ankles
- Walk it Out.
- Drink Lots of Water.
- Sleep on Your Side.
- Enjoy Some Pool Time.
- Limit Your Salt.
- Wear Compression Socks.
- Elevate Your Feet.
Is edema in the legs life threatening?
Most of the time, the edema is not a serious illness, but it may be a sign for one. Here are some examples: Venous insufficiency can cause edema in the feet and ankles, because the veins are having trouble transporting enough blood all the way to the feet and back to the heart.
What to use to get swelling down?
Any form of cold therapy can be beneficial, such as: ice packs, ice baths, and ice machines that deliver cold water to wraps. Ice should be used a few times a day for about 20-30 minutes at a time to reduce swelling effectively. Pressure on an injury helps constrict blood flow and excess fluid from reaching the injury.
Will drinking more water help with edema?
Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water per day Though it might seem counterintuitive, getting enough fluids actually helps reduce swelling. When your body isn’t hydrated enough, it holds onto the fluid it does have. This contributes to swelling.