Swollen ankles and feet are common for people who are on their feet a lot. Elevating your feet after a long day or wearing compression stockings can reduce swelling. However, swelling accompanied with other symptoms can indicate there is a greater issue that needs medical attention. Here is a guide to signs you may need to see your doctor. 

3 Reasons to See a Doctor for Swollen Ankles and Feet

1.  If You Are Pregnant

Swollen ankles and feet are common for expectant mothers. However, if you notice sudden or excessive swelling, it may be a sign of preeclampsia. This condition occurs when there is a combination of high blood pressure and protein in the urine after the 20th week of gestation, signaling kidney damage or damage to other organs. 

Along with swollen ankles and feet, preeclampsia may be accompanied with symptoms like abdominal pain, headaches, infrequent urination, nausea, vomiting, or vision changes.  

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2. Major Changes in Energy, Appetite, and Weight

If swelling accompanies fatigue, loss of appetite, or weight gain, it can be a sign of heart, kidney, or liver disease. Fluid buildup is consistent with kidney disease, while right-side heart failure can cause salt retention and swelling in the ankles, specifically at night. 

Swelling as a result of liver disease occurs when the liver produces an inadequate amount of albumin, a protein responsible for keeping the blood from leaking out of the blood vessels. When there is a lack of albumin, blood leaks from weakened blood vessels and gravity causes this fluid to collect into the surrounding tissues of the ankles and feet. 

Those with heart, kidney or liver disease may also experience chest pain, pressure, or tightness. If you observe any of these symptoms, contact your doctor immediately. 

3. Varicose Veins 

Varicose veins have a tie to genetics, but they are also an indicator of venous insufficiency. Venous insufficiency means that blood is not able to circulate properly back up to the heart, causing blood to leak down the vessels and into the soft tissue of the legs, ankles, and feet. Many people wear compression stockings to help blood flow back up to the legs. However, if you notice darkening of the skin on your lower leg, infection, or an ulcer, bring it to your doctors' attention.  


When residents  throughout Cincinnati, OH, need quality medical supplies, prescriptions, care, and equipment, they turn to Bernens Medical & Pharmacy. Serving the community since 1963, this pharmacy is known for its wide selection of products and professional services. Warm and knowledgeable pharmacists and staff take the time to answer questions and help customers find exactly what they need. From top-of-the-line blood pressure monitors and ambulatory aids to diabetic supplies and compression stockings, customers benefit from the pharmacy's quality brands and cost-effective prices. To see a full list of services, visit their website. For questions, call (513) 471-7575.