Oh, Your Swollen Feet!

The Washington Post recently featured a series of articles revealing this interesting fact: not everybody loves summer. Apparently, some people dislike longer days. They find that the neighborhood won’t quiet down in time to get the kids to sleep. Or, sunlight blazes into their bedroom and wakes them up with the birds. Furthermore, anxiety and depression can set in when others expect you to enjoy the season.

Whether you love summer or hate it, here’s another interesting fact: when the temperature soars, many people are annoyed by swollen feet.

Why do feet swell in the summer?

Feet can swell up because of a natural response to the heat. In an attempt to cool your body down, your blood vessels expand and deposit fluids into nearby tissues. This build-up of fluid is called edema.

You can combat the effects of swollen feet in several ways:

  • drink lots of water
  • refrain from eating salty foods
  • elevate your feet above your heart to give the excess fluid a chance to drain away
  • rotate your ankles an/or massage your feet – the exercise encourages fluid to move away
  • beat the heat by soaking your feet in cool water

Should you be alarmed by swollen feet?

When the heat makes your feet swell, you may have trouble wearing certain pairs of shoes. Other than that, heat-related edema is probably not a cause for concern. However, if your attempts to relieve your swollen feet don’t help, it’s possible that there’s a more serious cause. Medications, poor circulation, blood clots, kidney or liver malfunction, congestive heart failure, or an injury such as a sprain or fractured bone can also cause feet to puff up.

In spring, summer, winter, or fall, have chronically swollen feet checked out by Craig B. Frey, DPM, and Megan L. Oltmann, DPM, the podiatrists at Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland. If you live in Geauga, Portage, Summit, or Cuyahoga County, you’ve got expert foot care close by. Call us at our office in Solon, Ohio at (440) 903-1041 or make an appointment online.