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"Why do my feet swell up after only being on them for a few minutes?"


My feet have always swollen a little bit when I go for walks or stand for a few hours at work. Over the last few years the swelling has gotten worse, and now it is painfull. I am now a stay at home mother and even doing the dishes causes my feet to swell bad enough that my shoes get to tight. I end up in quite a bit of pain. I have gone to see my pcp and he ordered blood work and x-rays but said nothing showed up. I take ibuprofen twice a day and put my feet up when they swell, but it keeps getting worse.


There are many things that can cause your feet to swell in this manner, and it is good that you have discussed the issue with your primary care doctor. It does sound like you need to continue to address this issue, however, as it is causing you pain. New symptoms are a good reason for a new evaluation, and seeking a second opinion would be entirely appropriate.

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Online advice is extremely limited in the absence of more information (such as your age and history) and a physical exam. Some common causes of swelling include electrolyte imbalances. As electrolytes such as salt are controlled in large part by your kidneys, renal problems are one potential source of the difficulty. It is likely that your doctor checked your kidney function with that first set of labs. Another cause of electrolyte abnormalities comes from your heart not functioning at 100%. Yet another common cause is gout, which can cause redness and swelling that are often worse after eating meat. There are also conditions that are common in other countries that can cause fluid to pool in your lower extremities and not be returned to your blood appropriately. Finally, another likely issue has to do with either varicose veins or another venous compromise condition in which your veins are having difficulty resorbing the fluid from the legs, or the flow is so slow that it has more time to leak out of your veins and into the surrounding tissue. Please discuss this issue with your doctor again, or seek the advice of a specialist as needed.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.