Common causes of swollen feet are overuse, pregnancy or surgery. These are normally temporary causes which are not a cause for concern.

If your feet continue to remain swollen for long periods of time, it could be a sign of an undiagnosed health problem. Do go through our general overview on possible causes of swollen feet.

  1. Alcohol

Your body will retain more water after drinking alcohol, which will normally pool at your feet. If the swelling does not subside after a few days, it may be linked to an ailment related to your heart, kidneys or liver.

Relief for swollen feet due to alcohol consumption:

  • Elevate your feet.
  • Reduce salt intake.
  • Drink more water.


  1. Hot weather

During hot weather, your body’s natural cooling process makes your veins expand. Some fluid may go into nearby tissue in the ankles and feet. People suffering from poor lower body circulation are especially prone to this.

Some home remedies:

  • Elevate your feet.
  • Drink more water.
  • Wear support stockings.
  • Soak your feet in a footbath filled with cool water.
  • Wear well ventilated shoes.
  • Walk around regularly.
  • Do some simple leg exercises.
  1. Lymphedema

When lymph nodes are damaged or removed (normally as part of cancer treatment), lymphedema can occur where lymphatic fluid causes feet to swell.

Other symptoms of lymphedema are aches, limited range of motion, repeated infections and fibrosis (thickening of skin).

You can manage lymphedema swelling and lessen the pain, but severe cases may require surgery.

You will need to consult your doctor before considering any of the following options:

  • Light exercise.
  • Wrapping your foot or leg with special bandages
  • Lymph drainage massage
  • Compression apparel
  • Pneumatic compression
  • Complete decongestive therapy (CDT)
  1. Injury

Another cause of swollen feet comes from foot injuries like fractures, sprains or strains. When the body receives an injury, blood is rushed to the area and swelling occurs.

Seek medical advice on how to treat swollen feet as a result of injury. Depending on your injury, your doctor may recommend OTC (over the counter) medication or prescribe pain relievers, while severe injuries may require surgery.

  1. Kidney disease

When your kidneys become diseased and are unable to function properly, salt is retained in your blood which can pool in your feet and ankles.

Look out for the following symptoms and inform your doctor accordingly as soon as possible:

  • High blood pressure
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Nausea
  • Dry and itchy skin
  • Frequent urination
  • Muscle twitching or cramping
  • Puffy eyes
  • Sleep problems
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty concentrating

After running some tests, your doctor will advise you on the correct form of treatment.

  1. Liver disease

Liver disease can also make your feet to swell, and is caused by viruses, obesity, alcohol and more importantly, genetic factors.

Other symptoms to look out for:

  • Yellowish skin and eyes (signs of jaundice)
  • Itchy skin
  • Easily bruised skin
  • Painful abdomen
  • Dark urine
  • Blood in the poop
  • Lethargy
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite

You need a doctor’s diagnosis, assessment and treatment options for liver disease.

  1. Blood clots

Blood clots can form in the feet. A blood clot will block blood flow and results to swollen feet or ankles, often on one side of the body.

The swelling may be accompanied by additional symptoms:

  • Redness and a warm feeling in the affected area
  • Tenderness
  • Pain
  • Fever


Here again, you will need a doctor’s diagnosis, assessment and treatment options.

  1. Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI)

This condition causes swollen feet due to standing / sitting for extended periods or damaged valves.

You need to look out for the following possible symptoms:

  • Aching legs
  • Skin on the legs looking leathery, flaky and feeling dry
  • Infections
  • New varicose veins
  • Venous statis ulcer – pooled blood that causes a wound on the skin, normally on the legs

You need to seek medical advice for CVI, which should be treated as early as possible.

  1. Heart disease

When the heart fails pump blood efficiently, your feet will swell because blood cannot flow back to the heart properly. Experiencing swollen ankles in the evening could signify right-side heart failure, which causes salt and fluid retention.

There are a host of symptoms to look out for, some of which are:

  • Discomfort when lying down
  • Elevated heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain / tightness
  • Fainting
  • Weight gain from water retention
  • Loss of appetite
  • Blood tinged phlegm or mucus

If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical attention without delay.

  1. Side effects from medication

Some medications can cause swollen feet. It is important to refer to your doctor for clarification on this.

As can be seen, swollen feet have many causes. If you do have swollen feet, do seek early medical advice as swollen feet may be linked to any of the 10 pointers listed above or another ailment that a qualified medical practitioner will know how to diagnose.

By Aaron
5th June 19:50

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