Swelling of the ankles is basically due to a buildup of fluids in the tissues surrounding that area. It can be attributed to many causes such as edema, where due to improper circulation, fluid is trapped between the cells.
It can be a side effect from certain medications, such as those used to treat high blood pressure. Arthritis can cause swelling as can the condition known as gout, where uric acid accumulates around the ankle causing swelling and inflammation.
Those who are obese are more prone to suffer from swelling ankles. Also the use of certain medications especially diuretics and laxatives tend to cause the ankles to swell up.
Rheumatoid arthritis can lead to swelling in the ankles. Senior citizens are more likely to have this condition as the cartilage in the joints starts to degenerate.
Blood clots will cause the ankles and feet to swell. These are known as vascular obstructions. And of course injuries to the area such as sprains and breaks will cause swelling.
If the liver is not functioning correctly, then fluids and salts will start to accumulate in the feet. This may be due to cirrhosis of the liver.
For women, pregnancy can be a cause of swelling ankles. This condition is usually just a temporary condition, but if there is a lot of swelling, it could be a sign of toxemia or even pre-eclampsia.
It is important to seek professional medical advice if this is a recurring problem. This due to the fact that swelling of the ankles can be an early sign of more serious problems down the road such as kidney, heart, and liver complications. Through a complete physical examination and a range of other tests including kidney function tests, electrocardiograms, urine tests, blood tests and x-rays, a diagnosis can be made.
If you stand for long periods of time, especially on hard surfaces such as concrete, then you may have problems with your feet and swelling. Gel insoles and rubber mats may help somewhat.
And of course proper footwear will have a great effect on your feet. For women especially who wear the latest designer shoes, in particular, high heels. The high heels offer no ankle support at all leading to a great deal of strain around that area and in effect cause it to swell.
There are a few things you can do to help yourself. You should always try to elevate your feet when sitting. Wear looser fitting clothing. Compression stockings will help stop some of the fluid buildup. Exercising, cutting down on salt intake and drinking enough water everyday will help in most cases.