Kim Kardashian fans will remember pictures of the star’s feet during her pregnancy. She wore sandals on a number of occasions that showed off swollen feet, and she even tweeted pictures of her feet with indentation marks of the sandals on her skin. What caused her feet to look that way?
Swelling in the feet and legs can be unsightly, bothersome, and even downright painful. This fluid accumulation is known as edema, and when specifically talking about swelling in the feet and legs, peripheral edema. There are many causes for edema:
- Lymphedema is a condition seen after a disturbance of the lymphatic system of the body. It is most often seen after breast surgery (mastectomy) or surgery on the lymph nodes. This causes fluid accumulates in the lower legs and feet.
- Patients with hypothyroidism can have a side effect known as pretibial myxedema or fluid accumulation over the shinbone.
The above conditions all cause “non-pitting” edema. This means that if you press on the area of swelling, the skin rebounds as soon as you stop applying pressure.
Another type of edema is known as pitting edema. Pitting edema is different than non-pitting edema in that when you press on the area of swelling, the area of pressure stays depressed in the skin. The rebounding of the skin takes a bit of time rather than being immediate. Pitting edema can be caused by:
- Nephrotic Syndrome (kidney disease,) cirrhosis of the liver, and heart failure are the 3 most common conditions that cause edema.
- Body retention of too much salt
- A blood clot in the veins and varicose veins can both cause swelling that occurs locally in the feet and lower legs.
You don’t have to put up with swelling! Dr. Gupta at Advanced Foot Care Centers in Chattanooga is a medical specialist trained in care for the feet and ankles. There are several treatments to help control swelling and decrease pain due to peripheral edema. Call us today to set up your appointment at (423) 698 – 1966.
By Rachna Gupta