why does my ankle swell in hot weather
Well, I have to say Б when summer eventually arrived it packed a punch! The wall to wall warmth and sunshine we ve been having for the last few weeks has been glorious! Personally, I adore the hot weather Б it never really gets too hot for me. But there are some who dread the hot, summer months because it means inflammation, redness and painfully swollen ankles Б or edema. At this time of year, our podiatrists at Healthy Steps Podiatry treat a lot of patients who come in looking for solutions to reduce swelling in the ankles. So I thought I d share some of the general advice we give them. What Causes Swollen Ankles? If your socks or shoe straps are leaving marks on your skin, then chances are you have swollen ankles; and if
you re not pregnant and you haven t recently injured yourself, then your swelling may be as a result of one or more of the following: What can Healthy Steps Do To Help You With Your Swollen Ankles? Our podiatrists at Healthy Steps Podiatry will help you identify the root cause of your ankle swelling, particularly if itБs a chronic condition.
They will want to rule out issues, such as blood clots, heart failure and Achilles Tendinitis. There are also medications that can reduce swelling and inflammation. They can also assess your bio-mechanics to see if the way youБve been standing or walking is contributing to the problem. If you are worried about your swollen ankles, make an appointment with Healthy Steps and one of our podiatrists in Auckland can examine your feet and prescribe the best course of action. And we don t just treat swollen ankles Б from the simplest problem to the most complex of foot deformities, we provide exceptional care and health solutions for your feet. or edema as it is called in the medical profession is a common condition that plagues many of our community members. In the summer months this condition can get much worse. Edema is swelling of both legs from a buildup of extra fluid. Edema has many possible causes: Prolonged standing or sitting, especially in hot weather, can cause excess fluid to accumulate in the feet, ankles and lower legs.
Tiny valves inside the veins of the legs can become weakened, causing a common problem called venous insufficiency. This problem makes it more difficult for the veins to pump blood back to the heart, and leads to varicose veins and buildup of fluid. Increased leg swelling during the summer month is mostly associated with this problem as the veins dilate when the temperature is higher or you are active. Severe chronic (long-term) lung diseases, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis, increase pressure in the blood vessels that lead from the heart to the lungs. This pressure backs up in the heart. The higher pressure causes swelling in the legs and feet. Congestive heart failure, a condition in which the heart can no longer pump efficiently, causes fluid buildup in the lungs and other parts of the body. Swelling is often most visible in the feet and ankles. Pregnancy can cause edema in the legs as the uterus puts pressure on the vena cava.
Fluid retention during pregnancy also can be caused by a more serious condition called preeclampsia. Low protein levels in the blood caused by malnutrition, kidney and liver disease can cause edema. The proteins help to hold salt and water inside the blood vessels so fluid does not leak out into the tissues. If a blood protein, called albumin, gets too low, fluid is retained and edema occurs, especially in the feet, ankles and lower legs. Symptoms vary according to the type of edema and its location. In general, the skin above the swollen area will be stretched and shiny. You should see a doctor to determine the cause of leg swelling. If both legs are swollen, your doctor will ask about other symptoms and will examine you. A urine test will show if you are losing protein from the kidneys. Blood tests, a chest X-ray and an electrocardiogram (EKG) also may be done. Arterial or Venous ultrasound tests may be done to look for blockages in your leg arteries or bad valves in your leg veins.
Treatment focuses on correcting the cause of the fluid accumulation. A low-salt diet usually helps. You also should avoid drinking too much fluid. If you are not short of breath, elevate your legs above the level of your heart to keep swelling down. Your doctor might suggest that you take a diuretic. If you have leg edema caused by, elevate your legs periodically and wear support (compression) stockings. However, to permanently fix this issue a simple in office medical procedure (called ) covered by most insurance plans is needed to improve the flow of blood through the leg veins. No matter what the cause of edema, any swollen area of the body should be protected from pressure, injury and extreme temperatures. The skin over swollen legs becomes more fragile over time. The outlook for edema of the legs depends on the cause. For most people with edema, the prognosis is excellent as long as you dont ignore the problem and talk to your doctor.
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