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What Causes Water Retention In Ankles?

What Causes Water Retention In Ankles?

Water retention in ankles may be because of edema. Edema occurs due to the damage of the blood vessels that causes water to leak and pool in the ankles and feet. This leads to swelling of the feet and ankle or legs, which can persist or may even disappear overnight. The severity of water retention in ankles depends on the condition that causes it.

Women are seen to be more prone to water retention in ankles than men. Hormones like progesterone tend to cause fluid retention and hence women are seen to have puffy ankles just before their periods. Although water retention in ankle may occur at any age, older people are more prone to it if they sit in the same position for long period of time. Underlying heart or kidney diseases may also make patients prone to water retention in ankles.

What Causes Water Retention In Ankles?

How to Get Rid Of Water Retention In Ankles?

Generally the treatment of water retention in ankles depends on the cause of the same. In most of the cases a general physician is consulted to take care of the situation, but he can refer the patient to other doctors if other underlying cause of such water retention in ankles is suspected. The treatment procedure may include-

Exercise: Indulging in regular exercise like swimming or even walking to facilitate proper blood circulation.

Weight: Weight reduction in case of problem of obesity.

Use Footstool: The patient may be advised to raise the legs on a footstool whenever possible.

Medicines: The patient may be prescribed diuretics for medication as a part of the treatment procedure.

Does Excessive Salt Intake Contribute In Water Retention In Ankles?

If blood flow to the kidneys happens to decrease due to some underlying condition, excessive intake of salt in retained in the body by the kidneys. This occurs because the kidneys perceive that the body needs more fluid to compensate the decrease in the blood flow. Thus, if the patient has impaired functioning of the kidneys, the ability to excrete out the salt in form of urine is limited. This leads to water accumulation in the body which ultimately pools in the ankles.

Can Venous Insufficiency Cause Water Retention In Ankles?

It is the responsibility of the veins in the legs to transport the blood up to the veins of the torso, which then is returned to the heart. The black-flow of the blood from the legs is prevented by the valves in the veins of the legs. Venous insufficiency occurs due to the dysfunction of these valves in the legs. This mechanism thereby leads to backup of blood and increased pressure in the veins. This may result in water retention in the legs and ankles. It may also occur because of deep vein thrombosis or DVT.

What Kinds of Doctors Treat The Problem of Water Retention In Ankles?

The type of doctor to be consulted in case of water retention in ankles depends on the cause and type of water retention that has occurred. Water retention in ankles may have several possible causes and thus several doctors may be involved in the treatment procedure. Generally when such a symptom arises all of a sudden a general physician is consulted. If the primary doctor suspects some other underlying cause of the water retention in ankles, doctor may refer the patient to a nephrologist, cardiologist or even a gastroenterologist as the case may be. Sometimes other specialists may be considered in case of leg ulcers or pregnancy.

What Kinds of Diuretics Are Used To Treat Edema?

A number of diuretics are available in the market, which may be prescribed according to what the doctor may feel necessary. Clinical loop diuretics which are available include furosemide (Lasix), torsemide (Demadex), butethamine (Bumex) and so on.


  1. Mayo Clinic – Edema
  2. WebMD – Edema and Water Retention
  3. Cleveland Clinic – Water Retention: Are There Medical Causes?
  4. Healthline – How to Get Rid of Water Retention
  5. Medical News Today – What to know about diuretics

Also Read:

Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:July 24, 2023

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