There are many causes for swollen feet and ankles.  Most are likely to resolve quickly, however, some of the causes can be the sign of a health concern which needs to be addressed. When the swelling affects only one of your feet, most likely the swelling is the result of a local problem, ie an injury or a problem with one of the veins.  Swelling in both feet is considered a systemic problem – a problem which affects the entire body. 1)  Pitting Edema:  Usually results from water retention and is associated with things such as heart failure, pregnancy and systemic diseases. 2)    Non-pitting Edema: Is the most common type of foot swelling, usually a result of injury. Soft tissue injuries of the foot and leg can lead to localised swelling.  The severity of the swelling can depend on the injury.


Liver disease can cause a change in the levels of hormones and fluid-regulating chemicals leading to fluid retention.
Swelling from arthritis tends to be sporadic, coming and going at different times.  It is most commonly caused by active inflammatory synovitis (inflammation of the membrane that lines the joint) associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
Severe swelling of feet in pregnancy can be a sign of pre-eclampsia which is a medical emergency.
Veins work to pump blood back up from the feet and legs to the heart through one-way valves.  If these valves stop working properly due to weakness or damage, fluid can seep back down and pool causing a swollen ankle and foot. Cellulitis is treated with antibiotics and can last anything from a few days to a number of months.


Please note: the information provided is of a general nature and should not be used as a diagnosis! The reason for this is that excess body fat compresses the leg and abdominal veins, this increases pressure within the blood vessels which then promotes fluid leakage into the soft tissues – swelling the feet and ankles. If you are inactive, this inactivity leads to blood pooling, which further increases pressure within the leg veins.



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