Our ankles can swell for a number of different reasons. Some of these reasons are cause for concern, while others should only be monitored to ensure they don’t get worse. Today, we’re going to share five reasons why you may be dealing with swollen ankles.
Why Are My Ankles Swollen?
If you are dealing with swollen ankles, you may be dealing with one of these five conditions:
1. Acute Ankle Injury – This one is probably the most obvious, as swelling is a natural response to injury. If you roll or sprain your ankle, expect some localized swelling. If you break your ankle, expect plenty of swelling and bruising in the area. Most people don’t have a hard time identifying why they have swollen ankles if it is the result of an acute injury, for obvious reasons.
2. Lymphedema – This results due to a collection of lymphatic fluid in the tissue that can develop because of the absence or issues with the lymph vessels in your feet. Lymph is a protein-rich fluid that travels throughout your blood vessels, but if there’s a problem with the flow of this fluid it can lead to regionalized swelling. This condition is more common after radiation therapy or if you had your lymph nodes removed, so former or current cancer patients should be especially aware of swelling in their ankles.
3. Infection – Swelling in the feet and ankles can also be a sign of an infection. Individuals with diabetes or nerve problems in the feet can be especially prone to infections. If you have diabetes, be sure to conduct regular foot checks. If your foot appears swollen and you think you may have an infection, contact a foot specialist right away.
4. Medication Side Effects – If you are taking certain prescription drugs, one of the side effects may be swelling in the feet or ankles. For example, some medications that can cause swelling in the ankles include:
Hormones like estrogen or testosterone
Blood pressure medications
5. Pregnancy – Some swelling of the feet and ankles is normal during pregnancy, but if you experience sudden or excessive swelling, it could be a sign of preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a serious health condition in which high blood pressure and protein in the urine develop after the 20th week of pregnancy. If foot swelling is accompanied by headaches, abdominal pain or frequent urination, contact your doctor right away.