How can I treat swollen ankles and feet?

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I'm 56 year's old, non smokers and non drinker. I'm a female also.

2 Answers

These messages are for mutual support and information sharing only. Always consult your doctor before trying anything you read here.
You gotta find out what causes your ankle and foot swelling in the first place. The most common causes are:

Venous insufficiency. Swelling of the ankles and feet is often an early symptom of venous insufficiency, a condition in which blood inadequately moves up the veins from the legs and feet up to the heart. Normally, the veins keep blood flowing upward with one-way valves. When these valves become damaged or weakened, the blood leaks back down the vessels and fluid is retained in the soft tissue of the lower legs, especially the ankles and feet. Chronic venous insufficiency can lead to skin changes, skin ulcers, and infection. If you experience signs of venous insufficiency you should see your doctor.

Blood clot. Blood clots that form in the veins of the legs can stop the return flow of blood from the legs back up to the heart and cause swelling in the ankles and feet. Blood clots can be either superficial (occurring in the veins just beneath the skin), or deep (a condition known as deep vein thrombosis). Deep clots can block one or more of the major veins of the legs. These blood clots can be life-threatening if they break loose and travel to the heart and lungs. If you have swelling in one leg, along with pain, low-grade fever, and possibly a change in color of the affected leg, call your doctor immediately. Treatment with blood thinners may be necessary.

Heart, liver, or kidney disease. Sometimes swelling can indicate a problem such as heart, liver, or kidney disease. Ankles that swell in the evening could be a sign of retaining salt and water because of right-sided heart failure. Kidney disease can also cause foot and ankle swelling. When kidneys are not functioning properly, fluid can build up in the body. Liver disease can affect the liver's production of a protein called albumin, which keeps the blood from leaking out of the blood vessels into the surrounding tissues. Inadequate albumin production can lead to fluid leakage. Gravity causes fluid to accumulate more in the feet and ankles, but fluid can also accumulate in the abdomen and chest. If your swelling is accompanied by other symptoms, including fatigue, loss of appetite, and weight gain, see your doctor right away.
Swollen feet and ankles are a condition called peripheral edema, or swelling of the extremities. The swelling is caused by excess fluid in body tissues, and you should contact your physician to check if there is an underlying medical condition that requires treatment, especially if the swelling persists. It is a common problem, especially for older people.

Step 1

Exercise regularly, particularly if you are overweight. Being overweight is a factor in developing swollen feet and ankles. Additionally, the legs’ movements during an exercise program can help pump the excess fluids from them.

Step 2

Elevate your feet. When you are sitting, you can rest your feet on a footstool or ottoman. If you sit at a desk while at work, keep a stack of books or a box under your desk so that you can at least partially elevate your feet. While sleeping, elevate your legs above your heart by using pillows.

Step 3

Wear support stockings or hose. These are available at medical supply stores or drug stores.

Step 4

Consult with your physician about your salt intake. It may be possible that you could adopt a low-salt diet, which may help reduce fluid retention.

Step 5

Sit once in a while if you are standing for an extended period during the day, and stand up and walk if you find yourself sitting for an extended time during the day. The key is not to sit or stand for an extended period of time without movement.

Step 6

Consult with your physician about taking a water pill, which is a diuretic, and can help alleviate the buildup of excess fluids.
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