What Are Risk Factors For Swollen Feet And Ankles
A large number of people are at risk for swollen ankles and feet. Below are listed the causes and those people at risk:
- Dependent swelling : people who are standing or walking for long periods like salespersons, mothers with children, construction workers, obese individuals, and individuals with underlying health problems
- Pregnancy: most normal pregnant females, especially in the last trimester.
- Medications : people taking anti-inflammatory drugs , hormones, medications for people with diabetes, antidepressants, and many calcium channel blockers .
- Injury: any person with trauma to the foot or ankle
- Diseases: Patients with heart disease , liver disease, kidney disease
- Infection: any person infected, either localized or diffuse of the foot or ankle
- Lymphedema: Persons with lymph vessel or lymph node blockage of lymph fluid, due to infections, trauma, or surgical procedures
- Blood clot: People with blockage of blood vessels that cause fluid to leak out of vessels into tissue
- There are other causes that are less frequent and intermittent .
Symptoms Of Chronic Kidney Disease
Most people with CKD have no symptoms because the body can tolerate even a large reduction in kidney function.
In other words, we are born with a lot more kidney function than is necessary for survival. Kidney function is often sufficient if only one kidney is working. That is why people can give a kidney to someone needing a kidney transplant.
A change in kidney function is usually discovered through a routine blood or urine test. If you are diagnosed with kidney disease, your kidney function will be monitored with regular blood and urine tests, and treatment aims to keep any symptoms to a minimum.
If the kidneys continue to lose function and there is progression towards kidney failure , this will usually be tracked by blood tests and monitoring. If kidney failure does occur, the symptoms may include:
- weight loss and poor appetite
- swollen ankles, feet or hands
- shortness of breath
- blood or protein in your urine
- an increased need to urinate, particularly at night
- erectile dysfunction in men
These are general symptoms and can be caused by many less serious conditions. Many of the symptoms above can be avoided if treatment begins at an early stage, before any symptoms appear.
If you are worried by any of the symptoms above, arrange to see your GP.
Want to know more?
- National Kidney Federation: Symptoms and Problems
Swelling Around Your Extremities
The kidneys filter wastes from the blood and remove excess water from the body via urine. When the kidneys arent doing their job, this fluid can stay in the system instead of being excreted. Swelling around the hands, feet, and ankles may be associated with kidney or heart failure and shouldnt be dismissed.
Liver Or Kidney Problems
Chronic liver disease can lead to a buildup of fluid in the legs and abdomen, along with other symptoms such as yellowed skin , redness on the palms of the hands or pale-colored stools. Likewise, kidney disease can be accompanied by swelling in the lower extremities, as well as fatigue, needing to urinate more often or difficulty concentrating. If youre experiencing these kinds of symptoms, speak to your doctor.
What To Expect At Your Office Visit
Your provider will take a medical history and do a thorough physical examination, paying special attention to your heart, lungs, abdomen, lymph nodes, legs, and feet.
Your provider will ask questions such as:
- What body parts swell? Your ankles, feet, legs? Above the knee or below?
- Do you have swelling at all times or is it worse in the morning or evening?
- What makes your swelling better?
- What makes your swelling worse?
- Does the swelling get better when you raise your legs?
- Have you had blood clots in your legs or lungs?
- Have you had varicose veins?
- What other symptoms do you have?
Diagnostic tests that may be done include:
Your treatment will focus on the cause of the swelling. Your provider may prescribe diuretics to reduce the swelling, but these can have side effects. Home treatment for leg swelling that is not related to a serious medical condition should be tried before drug therapy.
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It May Signify A Blood Clot
This is especially true if the swelling is just on one ankle. This needs immediate medical attention. The clot may move into the lungs and cause pulmonary embolism. This is a life-threatening condition. Be alert to other symptoms like pain, shortness of breath, discoloured skin and light headedness.
Other Causes Of Edema
Heart failure is not the only cause of swelling in the feet. Allergic reactions, burns, trauma, blood clots, or severe inflammation can cause edema as well.
Other causes can include:
- Gravity: If youve been sitting or standing in one place for too long, gravity gradually pulls the fluid in your body down to your legs and feet.
- Varicose veins:Veins in your legs cant get blood back up to your heart, causing blood to collect in your legs.
- Medications: Blood pressure or pain medications can cause swelling.
- High salt intake:You may not be aware that your sodium intake is high. Processed or packaged foods, olives, legumes, and cheese can have high amounts of sodium.
- Pregnancy: As the baby grows, the uterus puts pressure on the blood vessels in the lower half of your body.
- Thyroid disease: Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can cause edema.
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Does Chronic Kidney Disease Cause Edema
Chronic kidney disease is a type of kidney disorder where a person gradually losses the functionality of the kidneys.
So, can kidney disease cause edema?
Edema is one of the symptoms of kidney disease, although it is not present during the early stages. Chronic kidney disorder has 5 stages, and the symptoms and treatment differ during them.
- Stage 1 usually doesnt show any symptoms. The kidney still doesnt fall under the 90 percent capacity.
- Stage 2 includes symptoms such as fatigue, sleep problems, weakness, loss of appetite. The functionality of kidneys is about 60 % – 89%.
- Stage 3 is the stage where you can first experience edema. Feet and hands can start to swell, but you can also experience back pain, frequent urinating, and all the problems from the previous stages. In this stage, the kidneys work between 30 and 69 %.
- Stage 4 means the kidney is functioning between 15 and 29 percent. The symptoms include all of the above, but also muscle twitches, reduces mental capability, chest pain, nausea, shortness of breath.
- Stage 5 means that the kidneys are functioning on less than 15 percent, or the person is already experiencing kidney failure.
Preventing Chronic Kidney Disease
The main way to reduce the chances of CKD developing is to ensure any existing conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, are carefully managed.
Some lifestyle changes can also reduce the risk of CKD developing, these include:
- having a healthy diet
- avoiding drinking excessive amounts of alcohol
- exercising regularly
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Causes Of Swollen Ankles
Swelling is a common symptom that often resolves on its own with simple remedies such as ice and heat and rest. As such may be ignored by many people. One of the most common places people experience swelling is in the ankles. Many factors can lead to inflamed or swollen ankles, some more serious than others.
What Are The Complications Of Swollen Ankles And Swollen Feet
Swollen feet and ankles can lead to discomfort and pain when walking or running is attempted.
- Chronic swelling can lead to skin color changes and skin ulcers.
- The skin ulcers can occasionally become infected.
- The skin infections can be further complicated by abscess formation, cellulitis, necrotizing fasciitis, and death.
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Can Nephrotic Syndrome Be Prevented
Not all causes of nephrotic syndrome can be prevented. To prevent damage to the glomeruli:
- Make sure your blood pressure is well controlled.
- If you have diabetes, make sure your blood sugar is controlled.
- Keep up-to-date with vaccines that help to prevent common infections. This is especially true if you work or live around people who have hepatitis and other viral infections.
- Finish all antibiotics as prescribed. Do not stop your antibiotics because you may be feeling better. And, dont save them for a later date.
Why Does It Happen
The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs, the size of your fist, located on either side of the body, just beneath the ribcage. The main role of the kidneys is to filter waste products from the blood before converting them into urine. The kidneys also:
- help maintain blood pressure
- maintain the correct levels of chemicals in your body which, in turn, will help heart and muscles function properly
- produce the active form of vitamin D that keeps bones healthy
- produce a substance called erythropoietin, which stimulates production of red blood cells
Chronic kidney disease is the reduced ability of the kidney to carry out these functions in the long-term. This is most often caused by damage to the kidneys from other conditions, most commonly diabetes and high blood pressure.
Read more about the causes of chronic kidney disease
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Swollen Ankles May Be Due To Heart Failure
If you suffer from coronary artery disease or high blood pressure, you may be at risk of congestive heart failure. In this case, be alert to signs of any swelling in your ankles. If your heart’s chambers can no longer pump blood properly, that fluid can flow back and cause this kind of swelling. You need immediate medical attention. In very severe cases, you may notice swelling in your legs too. Look out for associated symptoms like shortness of breath, rapid or irregular heartbeat, persistent cough, disorientation and chest pain.
The Most Common Bladder Cancer Symptoms
Let your healthcare provider know if you experience swelling in your feet, especially if you also experience any problems or changes related to urination. The most common symptom of bladder cancer, which is experienced by around 80% to 90% of patients diagnosed, is blood in the urine that is easily visible. Between 20% and 30% of patients diagnosed with bladder cancer experience other symptoms related to urination, which include
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What Are Symptoms Of Swollen Ankles
Swollen ankles may be accompanied by:
- Swollen or puffy feet or legs
- Shiny, stretched skin
- Skin redness or other changes in skin color
- Pain or tenderness
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Chest pain, tightness, or heaviness
Is Drinking A Lot Of Water Good For My Kidneys
Drinking an appropriate amount of water is good for your kidneys. Water helps your kidneys get rid of toxins and wastes through your pee. It also helps keep your blood vessels healthy, making it easier for blood to deliver necessary nutrients to your kidneys.
Its also a good idea to drink an appropriate amount of water to help prevent kidney stones and urinary tract infections . Kidney stones are less likely to form when you have enough water in your kidneys. Youre less likely to get a UTI when you drink a lot of water because youll pee more. Peeing helps flush out the bacteria that cause UTIs.
In general, the color of your pee can reveal if youre drinking enough water. Your pee should be light yellow or clear if youre drinking enough water. If youre dehydrated, your pee will be dark yellow.
How much water should I drink to keep my kidneys healthy?
On average, men and people assigned male at birth should drink about 13 cups of water each day. On average, women and people assigned female at birth should drink about 9 cups of water each day.
Is it possible to drink too much water?
Yes, its possible to drink too much water. Drinking too much water may cause water intoxication or hyponatremia . These conditions may cause seizures, coma, mental status changes and death without treatment.
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Muscle And Joint Pains
If you have muscle or joint pain, it’s ideal to use topical preparations , which are rubbed on to the painful area. Avoid tablets containing ibuprofen or similar drugs such as diclofenac if your kidney function is below 50%. Ibuprofen gel or spray is safer than ibuprofen tablets, but it isnt completely risk-free as a small amount of the drug penetrates the skin into the bloodstream.
What Else Can Cause Swelling
The symptom of swelling in the feet tends to be caused more often by causes other than bladder cancer.2 Being physically inactive can cause fluid to build up in the legs and feet. Swelling can also be caused by kidney, liver, or heart problems, or by blood clots. Other types of cancerssuch as kidney, liver, or ovariancan cause swelling in the feet or other parts of the body. Some cancer treatments can also cause swelling in the feet, such as certain types of surgery, radiation therapy, and certain types of chemotherapy. Would you like to talk to others in the bladder community about symptoms? Reach out in our forums.
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Treatment For Kidney Failure Transplant Or Dialysis
Many people with kidney failure can continue with treatment using medicines and will have good-functioning kidneys for the rest of their lives.
In a few people, kidney disease will progress to the stage where the kidneys stop working and it becomes life threatening. This is called kidney failure or established renal failure .
This rarely happens suddenly, and there will be time to plan the next stage of your condition. The decision whether to have dialysis, a kidney transplant or supportive treatment should be discussed with your healthcare team.
Read more about dialysis and kidney transplants.
How Much Do My Kidneys Weigh
The weight of your kidneys varies. Variances may include your height, weight, age, body mass index and location.
For men and people assigned male at birth, your right kidney may range from 1/5 to about 1/2 lbs. . Your left kidney may range from a little less than 1/5 to a little more than 1/2 lbs. . Your kidneys may weigh between the weight of one tennis ball and four tennis balls.
For women and people assigned female at birth, your right kidney may range from a little more than 1/10 to 3/5 lbs. . Your left kidney may range from 3/20 to a little less than 3/5 lbs. . Your kidneys may weigh between the weight of one tennis ball or five tennis balls.
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What Causes Kidney Damage
Your kidneys perform several important functions within your body. Many different disorders can affect them. Common conditions that impact your kidneys include:
- Chronic kidney disease: Chronic kidney disease may lessen your kidney function. Diabetes or high blood pressure usually causes CKD.
- Kidney cancer: Renal cell carcinoma is the most common type of kidney cancer.
- Kidney failure : Kidney failure may be acute or chronic . End-stage renal disease is a complete loss of kidney function. It requires dialysis .
- Kidney infection : A kidney infection can occur if bacteria enter your kidneys by traveling up your ureters. These infections cause sudden symptoms. Healthcare providers treat them with antibiotics.
- Kidney stones: Kidney stones cause crystals to form in your urine and may block urine flow. Sometimes these stones pass on their own. In other cases, healthcare providers can offer treatment to break them up or remove them.
- Kidney cysts: Fluid-filled sacs called kidney cysts grow on your kidneys. These cysts can cause kidney damage. Healthcare providers can remove them.
- Polycystic kidney disease: Polycystic kidney disease causes cysts to form on your kidneys. PKD is a genetic condition. It may lead to high blood pressure and kidney failure. People with PKD need regular medical monitoring.
Countless other disorders can affect your kidneys. Some of these conditions include:
The Link Between Kidney Disease And Swollen Legs
Chronic kidney disease is an underrecognized public health crisis, causing more deaths than breast cancer or prostate cancer. It affects some 37 million people in the US , of which about 90% dont know they have a problem, as the disease is asymptomatic in its early stages. Its also linked to two other major diseases: 1 in 3 adults with diabetes and 1 in 5 adults with high blood pressure may also have kidney disease. All three conditions can lead to edema in the legs.
At Comprehensive Vascular Care, our team of vascular experts sees many cases of edema of the legs in our Southfield and Novi, Michigan offices. The key is to get at the cause of the edema to ensure proper treatment of the underlying condition. Heres what you need to know about the link between kidney disease and your swollen legs.
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What Do The Kidneys Do
Your kidneys have many important functions. They clean toxins and waste out of your blood. Common waste products include nitrogen waste , muscle waste and acids. They help your body remove these substances. Your kidneys filter about half a cup of blood every minute.
In the process:
The kidneys also:
- Control the acid-base balance of your blood.
- Make sugar if your blood doesnt have enough sugar.
- Make a protein called renin that increases blood pressure.
- Produce the hormones calcitriol and erythropoietin. Calcitriol is a form of vitamin D that helps your body absorb calcium. Erythropoietin helps your body make red blood cells.
An adrenal gland sits on top of each kidney. It produces hormones, including cortisol, which helps your body respond to stress.
Cortisol also plays a role in: