Causes and Treatment for Swollen Feet During High Blood Pressure

Swollen feet or edema of the feet is a condition characterized by the excess amount of fluid in the interstitial spaces.

  • A number of causes can lead to edema of the lower extremities

  • There are two different types of edema, they are:

    • Non-pitting

    • Pitting – this type of edema is further subdivided into different grades

  • Treatment of edema involves elimination of the excess fluid with the use of diuretics and other medications

  • It is also important to treat the underlying cause of the condition

Does Hypertension Cause Swollen Feet and Ankles?

  • Directly, NO

  • Indirectly, YES

  • Hypertension does not directly cause edema

  • It can, however, lead to diseases which are causative factors for edema

    • Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) is a disease that can lead to edema

    • It can also cause trouble breathing and a number of other symptoms

    • This condition can be a result of uncontrolled high blood pressure

    • Kidney failure can also result from prolonged uncontrolled high blood pressure and this can lead to edema.

  • Certain hypertension medication may also cause edema

It is important to seek medical attention when a hypertensive patient observes edema of the lower extremities.

Edema Causes and Treatment

Aside from hypertension and its indirect link to edema of the feet, here are some other causes and risk factors for the condition.

  • Venous Diseases

  • Deep Vein Thrombosis

  • Pregnancy

    • Pregnant women tend to retain fluid

    • It usually occurs towards the end of gestation

  • Menstrual Periods

    • Some women will retain fluid due to the hormonal changes associated with the menstrual cycle.

  • Drugs

    • As mentioned, certain hypertension medication can lead to edema of the feet

    • Medication for diabetes, hormone replacement drugs, and non-prescription pain relievers can also lead to edema.

  • Cirrhosis

    • When this is the cause of edema, it is usually coupled with other symptoms including ascites.

Edema of the feet can also have non-pathological causes, including:

  • Being in one position for too long

    • This can include sitting for a long while, like during international flights

Some of the common treatment methods for edema include:

  • Treating the underlying condition or removing the cause of the symptom (e.g. certain hypertension medication)

  • Reduce Sodium Intake

    • Sodium attracts water and this can aggravate water retention issues

  • Diuretics

    • Both natural and synthetic diuretics are available.

    • These need to be taken with doctor’s supervision as using too much can lead to problems too.

  • Compression Stockings

    • These help to prevent edemas from occurring by preventing the accumulation of excess fluid in the interstitial spaces

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