Suara.com – Anyone can experience swollen feet. This is a common condition, especially after walking or standing for a long time.
But sometimes, swelling (also called edema) is caused by certain health conditions, and is usually also serious.
“My approach is to consider the potential problems in every system of the body, such as the heart and blood vessels, bones and skin,” Dr. James Ioli, head of podiatry services at Brigham and Women’s Hospital affiliated with Harvard Medical School.
Blood Vessel Problems
When you stand often, gravity draws blood into the leg veins, and some of the fluid in the blood enters the leg tissue, causing it to swell.
But, reported Harvard Health Publishing, there are also several conditions that can cause similar swelling:
1. Venous insufficiency
The valves in the leg veins keep the blood from being pulled down by gravity and coalesce in the legs. As we get older, the valve also ages, and may function less efficiently. This is a common cause of swollen feet.
2. Inflammation of the arteries
This painful venous inflammation can cause swollen feet and also leg pain.
3. Deep vein thrombosis
In this condition, blood clots form in the inner blood vessels. Clots prevent the return of blood from the legs to the heart, causing swelling in the legs.
This can be very serious if not treated immediately, because blood clots can be released and flow into the lungs, causing pulmonary embolism.
4. Heart failure
A failed heart that doesn’t pump as effectively as it should. As a result, blood in the legs is pumped back to the heart.
5. Liver disease
Some liver diseases can cause low levels of albumin protein, which is made in the liver.
Low levels of albumin cause fluid in the blood to enter the tissue, resulting in swelling not only in the legs and feet but also other body parts, such as the hands and face.
6. Kidney disease
Fluid can accumulate in the tissues if an illness makes it difficult for the kidneys to get rid of excess fluid in the body (one of the main functions of the kidney).
Sometimes, swelling in the legs is the first clue that you have heart failure or liver or kidney disease. However, you should consult a doctor to find out the actual diagnosis in order to get the right treatment.