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Are swollen feet a symptoms of varicose veins?

This question was asked in Booneville, Iowa and has 10 answer(s) as of 03/18/2013.
My feet swell when I sit for prolonged periods. I am healthy but am slightly overweight. I am a female and weigh about 130 pounds and am 5 foot 4 inches tall. Could this be a symptom of varicose veins? It happens in my ankles and feet too when I sit for a few hours or more. Are swollen feet a symptoms of varicose veins?


Doctors Answers (10)

Thank you for your message. I apologize for not responding sooner. Edema (swelling) of the ankles/feet are a common symptoms (complaint) of large varicose veins. In addition, other health issues may contribute to edema such as high blood pressure, being overweight, etc. When a person stands or sits too long, the effects of gravity on varicose veins is dramatic. Elevation and wearing compression hosiery will help combat swelling.

Venous insufficiency, the underlying problem that causes varicose veins can lead to swelling. However the swelling venous insufficiency is usually mild and limited to the legs. What you describe may be lymphedema, which is caused by a difficulty in controlling the fluid in tissues of the extremities. I would recommend you see a doctor and get checked out. Both conditions have treatments and should be treated.

Absolutely, Swollen ankles and feet can very well be from varicose veins. It can also be from lymphedema or othera causes.

Varicose veins and venous insufficiency can cause leg swelling. There are a lot of causes of leg swelling. If you have varices, you should see a vein doctor to determine what the cause is. Also you can try wearing compression hose and elevating your legs to see if this helps.

Ankle swelling can have a number of causes involving fluid retention (both hormonal and non-hormonal) or due to reduced circulation. Varicose veins can contribute to reduced circulation in the legs, skin changes over the shins, veins around the ankles and foot swelling. Walking is beneficial for the circulation and prolonged sitting or standing increases foot swelling.

Foot swelling is not necessarily a symptom of venous problems or varicose veins. Ankle and lower leg swelling could be, especially after sitting or standing for long periods of time. If the swelling is totally gone in the morning and you have any leg aching or heaviness that is worse at the end of the day, or night cramps that wake you up from sleep, then venous problems should be excluded. Your weight is definitely not playing a role. You are not overweight!

It is possible. If the valves in the veins of your legs are not working then that could lead to swelling in the legs and ankles. A duplex exam could easily diagnose that.

Varicose veins may cause swollen feet. But swollen feet along are not diagnostic of varicose veins. A duplex ultrasound is the diagnostic test of choice for varicose veins.

In North America, the most common cause of leg swelling is venous insufficiency due to failure of the one-way valves in veins of the legs. Sometimes large varicose veins are obvious, but many patients have very few visible abnormal veins in spite of problems with the veins under the surface of the skin. The second most common cause of leg swelling in North America is obesity, but the patient described is very little heavier than ideal body weight. Obesity causes compression of the veins in the abdomen and pelvis which make it more difficult for blood to get from the legs back to the heart. This results in higher pressures in the leg veins and migration of fluid from the veins into the tissues causing swelling. Prolonged sitting or standing, especially in the elderly may also cause leg swelling. There are many other reasons for leg swelling but they are considerably less common.

Yes- although swelling of ankles and legs is more associated with varicose veins, feet swelling could be also due to this entity. Bear in mind that other conditions might cause foot swelling and the best thing to do is to be evaluated by a vein specialist first.

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