ZocdocAnswersWhy do I have swollen feet at night that include my toes and ankles?

Question

Why do I have swollen feet at night that include my toes and ankles?

I am a 55 year old female with a history of torn cartlidge in my knees. I have mild hypertension, but it is controlled with medication. I am active woman: walk a dog, garden, swim twice a week and more. Each night my toes are swollen and red. How should I be treating this or should I just monitor the situation.

Answer

This is a tough question to answer without getting a chance to actually look at your feet. Swollen feet can have several different causes. They are all do to increase in the amount of fluid in your feet and ankles. Since you swelling seems to happen later in the evening, and you have no other symptoms, I would guess that your swelling is due to venous insufficiency. This is when the veins in your legs have trouble getting blood from your feet back up to your heart. It is the most common blood vessel disease. The reason it seems worse in the evenings is because during the day standing causes blood to pool in the legs. Over time this blood sitting in the veins causes fluid to seep out into the tissues of your feet and ankles. The first line therapy for this is wearing a snug pair of TED hose, or at least knee high tight socks. These will help push blood up towards you heart and prevent swelling. Other, less likely causes of swelling in your lower extremities include heart failure, kidney failure, and liver failure. Usually the swelling is just one of many symptoms. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she can take a close look at your feet and do some routine blood tests. Hopefully, you can get some answers. Good luck.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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