Swollen Feet: A Sign of Congestive Heart Failure?Heart Health

May 10, 2024 20:05
Swollen Feet: A Sign of Congestive Heart Failure?

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If you've ever been stuck in your seat during a long plane ride, you may have gotten off the plane with swollen ankles and feet. This is common. When you sit for long periods of time at a time, gravity pulls the fluid in the blood down, causing blood to pool in the legs. In most cases, this is relatively harmless and will go away as soon as you move. However, leg swelling can also be a sign of heart failure, a progressive and potentially life-threatening condition in which the heart does not have enough blood to meet the body's needs. She is a gynecologic cardiovascular specialist at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 6.2 million adults in the United States have heart failure, and heart failure is the leading cause of hospitalization in people age 65 and older. It is important to seek treatment for heart failure because the condition can worsen over time. Correct diagnosis and appropriate medical care. Here's what heart failure is and what swollen legs mean (or don't). The heart is a muscle whose main function is to pump blood throughout the body. But according to the American Heart Association, when your heart isn't working properly, the amount of blood leaving your heart decreases, causing blood to flow back through the veins to the heart (haha). "When the heart beats as fast as it should, blood flows back instead of going in and out of the heart," explains Dr. Minhas.

This backflow of blood can lead to congestion or fluid buildup and cause swelling (edema). And it doesn't just happen to your feet. “(Blood) can also collect in the ankles, legs, abdomen and lungs,” Minhas added. Swelling of the feet, legs, and ankles is also known as peripheral edema. In addition, heart failure also causes the kidneys to be unable to process sodium and water. According to the AHA, this increases blood volume and can also cause swelling in the legs and other parts of the body. Peripheral edema is not specific for heart failure. Feet and ankles can swell after long flights, car rides or standing for long periods of time. This also applies to pregnancy, obesity or certain medications such as antidepressants, blood pressure medications such as calcium channel blockers, hormones such as estrogen and steroids.

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Swollen Feet  heart health