5 Possible Causes Of Swollen Feet

Have you noticed that your feet appear swollen? Mild swelling is usually nothing to worry about but in other cases, you should avoid making your own diagnosis, advises Dr. James Ioli of Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital.

"Report your symptoms to your doctor if there's so much swelling that it leaves an indentation if you press your finger into it, or if it has developed suddenly, lasts for more than a few days, affects just one foot, or is accompanied by pain or discoloration of the skin," he said.

1. Less movement

The latest physical activity guidelines for Americans emphasized the importance of moving. Not doing so, regardless of whether you are sitting or standing too much, is bad news for your feet.

As explained by Health, sitting for too long can reduce blood flow to the area, which causes swelling. Standing too much means the muscles in your legs and feet are unable to contract, which also slows down blood flow.

2. Pregnancy

The body is believed to produce 50 percent more fluids than usual during pregnancy. By the third trimester, the weight of the uterus can add extra pressure and lead to fluid retention in the legs and feet.

Pregnancy-associated swelling is normal and typically subsides following delivery. But if it really bothers you, speak to your doctor and find out if massage therapy would be suitable to provide some relief.

3. Blood clot

If the swelling occurs in only one foot, chances are you are suffering from a blood clot. In this case, the swelling may be accompanied by other symptoms such as warmth and redness in the affected foot.

"When a clot forms in the veins, the clot can dislodge and travel back towards the heart and lodge in the lungs or heart," Thomas Maldonado, of NYU Langone Medical Center, told SELF. Luckily, there are some simple ways to reduce your risk of developing clots.

4. Medication

Swelling in the ankles or feet can be a side effect of certain medications — nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, oral contraceptives, high blood pressure medications, antidepressants, steroid drugs, and certain diabetes medications.

Speak to your doctor and find out what you can do to deal with the side effect. He or she may look for another medication, modify the dosage, or prescribe a diuretic.

5. Organ problems

Due to problems in the functioning of key organs, blood and fluid can build up in the veins and tissues. In serious cases, this may be a possible symptom of heart failure, kidney disease, or liver disease.

The swelling not only affects the feet but also other parts such as the hands and face. A thorough medical exam including an x-ray and blood tests will be able to confirm if any of these diseases are the underlying cause.