Lymphedema is a chronic condition characterized by swelling due to a compromised lymphatic system. This system is vital for the immune response and involves organs like the spleen and lymph nodes, as well as fluid-carrying vessels. Normally, it circulates a fluid called lymph, rich in white blood cells, throughout the body to combat infections. When blocked due to obesity, injuries, or genetic issues, the lymph gets trapped in tissues, causing swelling. The swelling usually occurs in the arms or legs and feet and can result in symptoms like heaviness, tight skin, limited joint mobility, skin thickening, and itching or burning sensations. Diagnosis involves multiple steps to rule out other causes of foot swelling, such as infections or blood clots. If you have swollen feet, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and treatment.
Swollen feet can be a sign of an underlying condition. If you have any concerns, contact one of our podiatrists of Dr. Jeffrey J. Betman & Associates . Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
Swollen feet are a common ailment among pregnant women and people who stand or sit for extended periods. Aging may increase the possibility of swollen feet and patients who are obese often notice when their feet are swelling too. There may be medical reasons why swollen feet occur:
- Phlebitis - A condition that causes the veins to become inflamed and can also cause leg pain.
- Liver disease - This may lead to low blood levels of albumin which is a protein. This can cause fluid in the blood to pass into the tissues and several areas of the body can become swollen.
- Heart failure - When the heart doesn’t pump properly the blood that is normally pumped back to the heart can pool in the veins of the legs causing swollen feet.
- Kidney disease - One of the main functions of the kidneys is releasing excess fluid in the body. This type of condition can make it difficult for the kidneys to function properly, and as a result the feet may become swollen.
- Deep-vein thrombosis (DVT)- This is a serious condition where blood clots form in the veins of the legs. They can block the return of blood from the legs to the heart which may cause the feet to swell. It is important to be treated by a podiatrist if this condition is present.
Swollen feet can also be caused by bone and tendon conditions, including fractures, arthritis, and tendinitis. Additionally, there may be skin and toenail conditions and an infection may cause the feet to swell. Patients who take medicine to treat high blood pressure may be prone to getting swollen feet.
Many patients elevate their feet to help relieve the swelling and this is generally a temporary remedy. When a podiatrist is consulted the reason behind the swelling can be uncovered and subsequently treated.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Northwest Chicago, Southwest Chicago, and Wicker Park, Chicago, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.