Possible Causes of Swollen Leg and When to See a Doctor

Several causes can warrant the development of your swollen feet. For the numerous possible reasons, it is essential to consult a qualified doctor like Ariel Soffer MD, FACC, who will examine you for a proper diagnosis.

A swollen foot, whose medical term is edema, symbolizes excessive fluid retention by your body tissues at higher than average rates.

Signs to Observe

You know the standard size and nature of your feet. Therefore, anytime you notice swelling with an increase from your healthy feet size, consult your doctor. Additionally, your skin may stretch, giving a glossy appearance on the surface. You may also experience extreme discomfort and immobility in your feet or legs. 

Another significant sign to watch out for includes pitting edema. What does this mean for you? If you press your finger on your feet and it leaves a dent impression that takes time to level, inform your doctor.

What underlying conditions can the swollen feet portray? Here are a few to take note of.

Heart Disease

Swollen feet are imminent when you develop heart disease. Your heart loses complete functionality in pumping blood properly for distribution in all blood vessels in your body. As a result, your body tissues tend to retain excess salt and water, which causes your swollen feet.

You can also experience leg swelling if you have heart failure and even irregular heart rhythms that are abnormal. Another common problem that could give rise to your swollen feet includes atrial defects, which mean the development of a hole in the heart.

Venous Insufficiency

Venous insufficiency develops when you have damaged blood valves. You should know that when any of your blood vessels have damage or infection, blood flow in your body becomes problematic. It is no exception with the valves.

As a result, blood leaks from your blood vessels into the outside media. The result is excessive fluid accumulation in your legs and feet.

Presence of Blood Clot

When your platelets develop an issue that results in a blood clot in your lower body, you will experience swollen feet. Your blood fails to return to the heart for pumping throughout the body. Consequently, platelet coagulation that forms the clot may flow to the upper part of your body, leading to the occurrence of a condition called deep vein thrombosis. 

Kidney and Liver Disease

When your liver and kidneys begin to lose their functionality and fail, swollen feet are bound to happen. The inability of your kidney to flush out waste fluid results in retention, which is evident in swollen feet.

Another cause of swollen feet is when your liver develops problems in the production of albumin, you will experience blood leaks from the blood vessels, which then build-up to the lower part of your body. Albumin is a protein secretion that prevents your blood from leaking outside the vessels.

Additionally, you can also experience swollen feet in some instances after long periods of taking certain medicines such as pressure medications.

Never ignore any sign of swollen feet. Always consult your doctor, who will give you the best course of treatment.

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