A Natural Approach To Health
Living With Swollen Ankles and Feet
I had a question the other day about swollen ankles and feet.
Swollen ankles and feet are common and usually not cause for concern, especially if you’ve been standing or walking a lot.
But feet and ankles that stay swollen or are accompanied by other symptoms could signal a serious health problem.
Here are some possible causes of foot and ankle swelling.
Some swelling of the ankles and feet is normal during pregnancy.
Sudden or excessive swelling, however, may be a sign of preeclampsia, a serious condition where high blood pressure and protein in the urine develop after the 20th week of pregnancy.
Foot or ankle injury.
An injury to the foot or ankle can cause swelling.
The most common is a sprained ankle, which happens when the ligaments that hold your ankle in place are stretched beyond their normal range.
To reduce the swelling from a foot or ankle injury, avoid walking on your injured ankle or foot, use ice packs, wrap your foot or ankle with a compression bandage, and elevate your foot on a stool or pillow.
Lymph is a protein-rich fluid normally traveling along a network of vessels and capillaries.
It’s filtered through the lymph nodes, which trap and destroy unwanted substances, like bacteria.
When there’s a problem with the vessels or lymph nodes the fluid’s movement can be blocked.
Swelling of the ankles and feet is often an early symptom of venous insufficiency, a condition where blood inadequately moves up your veins from your legs and feet up to your heart.
Normally, your veins keep blood flowing upward with one-way valves.
When these valves become damaged or weakened, blood leaks back down your vessels and fluid stays in the soft tissue of your lower legs, especially your ankles and feet.
Swelling in your feet and ankles can be a sign of infection.
People with diabetic neuropathy or other nerve problems of the feet are at greater risk for foot infections.
Blood clots forming in the veins of your legs can stop the return flow of blood from your legs back up to your heart and cause swelling in your ankles and feet.
Blood clots can be either superficial (occurring in the veins just beneath your skin), or deep (a condition known as deep vein thrombosis).
Deep clots can block one or more of the major veins of your legs.
Heart, liver or kidney disease.
Ankles swelling 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.
Liver disease can affect production of albumin, which keeps the blood from leaking out of your blood vessels, causing swelling.
Medication side effect.
Many drugs can cause swelling in your feet and ankles as a possible side effect.
To deal with swollen ankles and feet it’s beneficial to:
*Drink 6-8 cups of purified water daily to hydrate and flush toxins.
*Alfalfa is a good source of important minerals. It also contains chlorophyll, a potent detoxifier. Take lots of it.
*Hawthorn berries, juniper, and uva ursi are diuretics. By increasing the output of urine, they help to counteract swelling.
*Rose hips contain bioflavonoids helpful in the treatment of swelling.
*Other herbs that can be beneficial include butcher’s broom, dandelion root, juniper berries, marshmallow, parsley, and pau d’arco tea.
*Eat a diet high in fiber.
*For protein, eat eggs, broiled whitefish, and broiled skinless chicken or turkey. Eat small amounts of buttermilk, cottage cheese, kefir, and low-fat yogurt.
*Use kelp to supply needed minerals.
*Avoid alcohol, animal protein, beef, caffeine, chocolate, dairy products (except those listed above), dried shellfish, fried foods, gravies, olives, pickles, salt, soy sauce, tobacco, white flour, and white sugar. Salt, in particular, may exacerbate fluid retention.
*Sit with your feet up as often as you can. Wear support hose for swelling in your legs.
*Exercise daily and take hot baths or saunas twice a week.
*Try a fasting program. Fasting flushes excess water from your tissues.
*If pressing with your fingers on your feet and ankles results in the formation of small “pits,” consult your physician. This can be a sign of a serious health problem.
*Consider food allergy testing.
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