Swollen feet or as it is medically known Pedal oedema  is a result  of  fluid buildup in the tissues. Gravity pulls the fluids to your feet and ankles, causing them to swell. Other conditions which may cause swelling include congestive heart failure, a condition caused when the heart’s pumping ability cannot keep up with the blood being returned leading to a “back-up” resulting in foot swelling. Another cause can be due to malnutrition or kidney failure mediated through low protein in the blood with fluid yielding leaky blood vessels.
Another condition which can causes swelling in the feet is called venous stasis. This is due to poor circulation caused by aging veins that impede blood return to the heart. Sometimes you can see these tortuous veins more prominently on your legs that can appear to be more full of blood when actually the blood is not moving at all.
It’s important to keep active and to keep the swelling down. This is best done by keeping your feet elevated when stationary and wearing support stockings when active. Diuretics are not helpful and may cause dehydration if used to treat this problem.
Cut back on salt as salt contributes to fluid retention, Put your feet up lying on your back, rest your feet at least 30cm above the level of your heart for 10 to 15 minutes, three or four times a day. Use support stockings roll these on in the morning to promote circulation and limit gravitation movement of fluids. Exercise regularly this improves circulation. Lose excess weight excess weight slows circulation of body fluids and puts extra pressure on your veins. Avoid long periods of sitting every one or two hours, get up and walk.

You should visit your Podiatrist who can work with your General Practitioner to help control this problem.
















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Page last updated 14 October, 2007