Why Feet Swell: Pregnancy & Non-Pregnancy

Healthy Female Feet | Atlanta Podiatry

During Kim Kardashian’s pregnancy, she had swollen feet that were visibly pinched inside her stiletto shoes. For many women, this is normal because the changing body holds more fluid and circulation to the legs is reduced from pressure on the blood vessels. Swollen feet and ankles may also indicate a potentially dangerous condition known as preeclampsia, marked by sudden swelling in the feet and high blood pressure. Kim’s condition has drawn attention to the pain and possible problem of swollen feet. If you are a pregnant woman, whose feet swell more than usual, make an appointment with your obstetrician so that they can check for preeclampsia.

Unrelated to pregnancy, there are other causes of swollen feet that occur in both women and men. Sitting or standing for too long results in swollen feet from blood pooling in the lower extremities, especially if you keep your legs crossed. Other serious causes of swollen feet include poor circulation, infections, injury, diabetes, heart disease, reaction to medications, liver problems, kidney failure, or changes in estrogen levels. A visit to one of our doctors at American Foot and Leg Specialists can provide you with an explanation and treatment of your swollen feet and ankles by addressing the cause.

If you have swelling in the lower extremities, there are some ways to find temporary relief until your appointment. Keep your feet raised as much as possible, and place ice packs on your feet for ten minutes at a time while they are raised. Ice is especially effective at reducing swelling from an ankle injury such as a sprain or strain. If you have not experienced an injury in your foot or ankle, moderate exercise can help to improve blood circulation throughout the body, which may prevent or reduce swelling. Always check with your doctor before beginning an exercise program, particularly if you have ever experienced swollen ankles due to heart disease. Finally, compression stockings can provide relief for some with swollen feet. These specialty socks come in many styles for both men and women.

Whether you are pregnant or not, swollen feet and ankles can be treated. You do not have to keep squeezing your feet into shoes that once fit or live with constant pain. Schedule a consultation with one of our doctors at American Foot and Leg Specialists to help find solutions to your swollen feet.