Swollen Feet: 8 Alarming Medical Conditions That Can Make Feet Puff Up

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Most people relate swollen feet to one of the following symptoms: pregnancy, injury, or a job that requires a lot of walking.

However there are many people who experience swollen feet without being pregnant, or injured and assume it’s harmless. There are often times when swollen feet are more serious. Especially if your feet puff up out of nowhere, it could indicate an underlying medical condition.

We have compiled a list of the most alarming causes of swollen feet below:

Cause No. 1: Deep Vein Thrombosis

“Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot (thrombus) forms in one or more of the deep veins in your body, usually in your legs.”

DVT can cause pain and swelling in your legs and feet, and it can be very serious. If the blood clots break loose, they can travel through your veins and end up in your lungs, where they can block blood flow and cause a pulmonary embolism.

DVT is an extremely serious condition, and you should seek urgent medical attention if you believe you have it.

Cause No. 2: Achilles Tendinitis

Achilles tendinitis is a common condition, and it can cause pain in the heel and back of the leg.

In addition to pain and stiffness, Achilles tendinitis can also cause swelling in the heel and ankle areas. The swelling may be present at all times, but it will definitely be worse after exercising or other physical activity.

Cause No. 3: Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is often referred to as “wear-and-tear” arthritis, meaning it’s age-related and due to a breakdown of cartilage.

Foot and ankle osteoarthritis can cause pain, tenderness, stiffness, and swelling. People suffering from osteoarthritis may also find it difficult to walk or bear weight.

Cause No. 4: Heart Failure

Swollen feet could be one of the subtle signs of heart failure not to be dismissed.

One of the symptoms of heart failure is a buildup of fluid, known as edema. Fluid retention can cause swelling in the legs, feet, and ankles.

Cause No. 5: Lymph edema

Lymphedema refers to swelling that generally occurs in one of your arms or legs,” explains the Mayo Clinic.

Common symptoms of lymphedema include aching, discomfort, recurring infections, a feeling of tightness and heaviness, and swelling in part or all of your limb.

Lymphedema in your leg may cause severe swelling in your ankle, foot, and toes.

Cause No. 6: Cellulitis

The US National Library of Medicine explains, “Cellulitis is an infection of the skin and deep underlying tissues.”

This potentially serious skin infection can cause your skin to become swollen, red, and tender. The area may also feel hot to the touch. Cellulitis can occur anywhere on the body.

Cause No. 7: Gout

Gout, one of the most painful forms of arthritis, occurs when too much uric acid builds up in the body, explains the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.

Many people first experience gout in their big toe, but it can also affect the ankles, heels, insteps, knees, wrists, fingers, and elbows.

The most common symptoms of gout are pain, redness, stiffness, heat, and swelling.

Cause No. 8: Foot Bursitis

Bursitis, a condition that affects the fluid sacs that cushion your bones, tendons, and muscles, most commonly affects shoulders, hips, and elbows, but it can also affect knees, heels, and big toes.

When you have bursitis, the joint will feel stiff and achy, and it will look red and swollen. It will also hurt more when you try to move it or when you press on it.

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