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What is the cause of swollen legs and ankles?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
Answered : 6182 Questions
I have swollen legs and ankles. What causes this and what can I do about it? Where will I get the answer?
Posted Tue, 11 Mar 2014 in Heart Failure
Answered by Dr. Chobufo Ditah 1 hour later
Brief Answer: Infections, diffcult wound healing, blood clots... Detailed Answer: Hi and thank you so much for this query. I am so sorry to hear about this swollen lower limbs. From the information you have provided, it is very likely that the swelling of your legs is caused by the combination of heart failure and venous insufficiency in the limbs. Other causes of this are liver and kidney failures but your history is not very suggestive of either of these. Reducing the swelling primarily has as goal to relief you of the discomfort associated with swollen limbs. It not not a treatment for the cause of your symptoms but rather a control of the symptoms. This is because swollen limbs would not look very attractive, be painful reducing your ability to stay active by reducing mobility. Also, over swollen limbs can contribute in the formation of blood clots, venous ulcers on the legs and prevent rapid healing of wounds on these areas because of inadequate blood supply of nutrients and drainage of waste products. Measures to help reduce this swelling include decreased salt intake, raising the legs and putting on compressive swellings as you mentioned. I will advice that you reinforce those that are friendly and limit those with discomfort aiming to get this condition controlled. Also, try a different brand of the compressive stockings as it may not have the exact discomfort associated with that you are using right now. I hope this addresses your query fully. I wish you well and feel free to ask for more information and clarifications if needed. Thanks. Dr. Ditah, MD.
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Follow-up: What is the cause of swollen legs and ankles? 38 minutes later
Dr. Ditah; Thank you for your answer. I have no pain from the swelling and it doesn't appear to affect my ability to get around. However, I will check on other compression stockings to see if I can find one that doesn't make me itchy. Thank you. XXXX
Answered by Dr. Chobufo Ditah 15 hours later
Brief Answer: Thank you Detailed Answer: Thank you so much for your kind words. I am happy other is no discomfort of interference with your free movement around. I hope you get to find something that works without the side effect of itches even after use. I wish you well and do keep me updated as you navigate through this process. Thanks. Dr. Ditah, MD.
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