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How do you know if your swollen ankles and feet are caused by heart, liver, or kidney disease?

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You'll need to see your doctor. Sometimes swelling can indicate a problem such as heart, liver, or kidney disease. Ankles that swell in the evening could be a sign of retaining salt and water because of right-sided heart failure. Kidney disease can also cause foot and ankle swelling. When kidneys don't work properly, fluid can build up in the body. Liver disease can also lead to blood leaking out of the blood vessels into the surrounding tissues. Gravity causes fluid to accumulate more in the feet and ankles, but fluid can also gather in the abdomen and chest. If you have swelling and other symptoms (including fatigue, loss of appetite, and weight gain), see your doctor right away. If you feel short of breath or have chest pain, pressure, or tightness, call 911.

SOURCES:

MedlinePlus: "Swelling."

ArthritisToday.org: "What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?"

ArthritisToday.org: "Arthritis Treatment Timeline."

MedlinePlus: "Preeclampsia."

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: "Sprained Ankle."

National Lymphedema Network: "What Is Lymphedema?"

Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center College of Medicine: "Chronic Venous Insufficiency."

Baylor College of Medicine: "Varicose Veins."

De Moines University Clinic: "Diabetic Foot Care."

USC Center for Vascular Care: "Varicose Veins and Venous Disease."

Yale University Cushing/Whitney Medical Library: "Heart Disease Symptoms."

Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center College of Medicine: "Congestive Heart Failure."

MedlinePlus: "Foot, Leg, and Ankle Swelling."

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on January 30, 2019

SOURCES:

MedlinePlus: "Swelling."

ArthritisToday.org: "What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?"

ArthritisToday.org: "Arthritis Treatment Timeline."

MedlinePlus: "Preeclampsia."

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: "Sprained Ankle."

National Lymphedema Network: "What Is Lymphedema?"

Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center College of Medicine: "Chronic Venous Insufficiency."

Baylor College of Medicine: "Varicose Veins."

De Moines University Clinic: "Diabetic Foot Care."

USC Center for Vascular Care: "Varicose Veins and Venous Disease."

Yale University Cushing/Whitney Medical Library: "Heart Disease Symptoms."

Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center College of Medicine: "Congestive Heart Failure."

MedlinePlus: "Foot, Leg, and Ankle Swelling."

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on January 30, 2019

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