Causes of swollen foot: Ankle Edema and Pitting

According to the medical encyclopedia, Ankle Edema is a condition of swollen ankles, feet and legs. However, the swelling is painless. This painless condition is known as ‘Edema’. One of the main causes of Ankel Edema is the fluid retained in the spaces between the body cells. It is generally observed that the swelling appears below the knees. However, doctors believe that the retained fluid may affect any other part of the body too, causing edema.

Listed below are some of the causes of Ankle Edema, besides the excess retention of fluid in the cells.

- Poor diet consisting of carbohydrates and a lot of salt.

- Overdose of laxatives, drugs and diuretics.

- Birth control or hormone replacement therapy pills.

- PMS and pregnancy.

- Excess sodium retention in body.

- Varicose veins and phlebitis.

- Susceptibility to allergic reactions.

- Neuromuscular disorders.

- Trauma.

Foot swelling or Ankle Edema: A common problem, particularly observed in older people, is swollen foot or Ancle Edema. The affected part is usually below the knees. It may affect one or both the legs and may even include the calves or thighs, in some cases. Swelling is observed due to gravity.

Swollen foot or Ankle Edema as understood, is primarily caused by the retention of fluid in the cells. The retention can take place in any part of the body, but the most common areas are the feet and ankles.

The common symptoms of foot swelling or Anckle Edema are:

- Puffiness in the body.

- Abnormal abdominal bloating.

- Swelling of a particular body part, as in localized edema.

- Swelling throughout the body, as in the case of generalized edema.

Swollen Ankle: Is it always Edema?
Swelling in ankles or feet is not always due to edema. Injury, infection or disease can also account for a hidden lump or swelling. Edema is one of the many causes of swelling. The cause could also be the obstruction of lymph. The most common way of finding out if the swelling in the ankle is due to Ankle Edema, is by checking for pain. The swelling due to edema is painless.

Pitting Edema: The Ankl Edema can be categorized in two ways, depending on the way it appears. They are:

Pitting Edema: If any indentation is left on the swollen area, that fills slowly when you press a finger against the body part, the condition is clinically referred to as Pitting Edema or pitted edema.

Non-pitting Edema: If no indentation is left on the skin, after you press a finger into the swollen area, for about five seconds, the condition is known as Non-pitting Edema.

For treating both, the Pitting as well as the Non-Pitting Edema, you could try some home based therapies like, a pressure reducing mattress, a lamb’s wool pad and most importantly continue with your daily routine. However, in case of any unexplained swelling, contact your doctor at the earliest. While on the prescribed medication for Ankle Edema, make sure that the drugs do not have any severe side effects, especially on older people.

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