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Unusual Causes of Swollen Legs and Ankles

Unusual Causes of Swollen Legs and Ankles

If you notice sudden or abnormal swelling in your legs and ankles, the cause may be more complex than just standing too long. Swelling can signal various underlying health conditions beyond common problems like injury, pregnancy, or varicose veins. Pay attention to persistent or worsening limb swelling as it may require an investigation into more unusual sources.

Rapid swelling of the ankles and legs can develop from heart, kidney, or liver disease. Each of these chronic diseases can lead to fluid retention and edema in the lower limbs. Swelling may also indicate a blood clot or underlying infection in the legs. Lymphedema, a chronic buildup of lymph fluid, causes persistent swelling as well. In some cases, a tumor obstructing blood or lymph flow produces swelling. Certain medications like steroids, antidepressants, and hormones can be another atypical source of swelling.

Autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and psoriasis include swelling as a common symptom. Food allergies, thyroid disorders, and nutritional deficiencies represent other unconventional culprits behind swollen limbs. Even extended periods of immobility or osteoarthritis can restrict circulation and create swelling. Diabetic neuropathy may interfere with proper blood vessel function as well.

Unexplained limb swelling should not be ignored or simply dismissed as normal fatigue. Make an appointment with your doctor for an examination and testing to determine the cause. Based on your symptoms and medical history, your physician may order blood tests, urine analysis, imaging scans, biopsies, or other diagnostic evaluations. Finding the root source will dictate the appropriate treatments to reduce swelling, manage any underlying conditions, and support proper circulation and limb health going forward. With a swift diagnosis, you can take control of your health and prevent future swelling episodes.

Disclaimer: The contents of the Pinnacle Vein and Vascular Center site, such as text, graphics, images, and other material contained on the PVVC site (“content”) are for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the Pinnacle Vein and Vascular Center site.

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    3615 S. Rome St.
    Gilbert, AZ 85297

    9744 W. Bell Rd. Suite A
    Sun City, AZ 85351

    9321 W. Thomas Rd.
    Suite 300
    Phoenix, AZ 85037


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