Are you suffering from Foot, Leg and Ankle Swelling?


Alternative Names

Swelling of the ankles-feet-legs; Foot swelling, Ankle swelling, Leg swelling, Peripheral edema; Edema-peripheral.


Abnormal retention of fluids in the feet, ankle and legs is generally called peripheral edema.


Some Considerations

Leg swelling generally occurs in any part of legs, which includes thighs, calves, ankles and feet and occurs because of fluid retention in the tissues of the lower extremity.

Swelling of feet, ankles and legs without pain is a common problem, mostly in old people. This complication may include calves or thighs along with whole legs. The reason for this is that due to gravity swelling is mostly concentrated in these locations.


In the following most remarkable situations foot, leg and ankle swelling is most common.

  • Trauma or injury to ankle or foot
  • Overweight
  • Increased age
  • Prolonged swelling
  • Menstrual periods
  • Long automobile rides or airplanes flights
  • Pregnancy –excess swelling may cause preeclampsia also called toxemia, which includes swelling and high blood pressure.

Swollen legs indicate heat failure, liver failure and kidney failure and there is too much fluid in the body in such conditions.

There are some other conditions that cause swelling in one or both legs, which are;

  • Leg infection
  • Burns or sunburns
  • Insect sting or bite
  • Malnutrition
  • Leg or foot surgery
  • Lymphatic obstruction
  • Varicose veins
  • Venous insufficiency which means that veins in legs are not able to pump blood back to the heart

There are certain medicines that cause legs swelling, which includes;

  • Blood pressure lowering drugs like calcium channel blockers (nifedipine, verapmil, felodipine, diltiazem, amlodipine and others
  • Antidepressants (phenelzine, tranylcypromine and tricyclics such as nortriptyline, amitriptyline and desipramine)
  • Hormones as estrogen (which may be in birth control pills or in hormone replacement therapy) and testosterone

Home Care Tips

  • While lying down, elevate the legs above your heart
  • Exercise the legs, which will help to pump the fluid from legs back to the heart.
  • Should wear support stockings
  • Diet should be low-salt, which can reduce swelling and fluid retention.

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