Aa
A
A
A
Close
Neurology Community
45k Members
Avatar universal

unexplained left foot/ankle swelling

I am 25 years old and very healthy. I am not overweight, I work out regularly, eat healthy, don't smoke. For the past 3 months I have been having severe swelling in my left foot and ankle. At times the swelling continues into my calf and causes a discomfort. I first noticed the swelling after I got home from the gym one evening. I took my shoe off and my foot was huge for no reason. I have not had any injuries, insect bites or infections. The first doctor I went to took x-rays which came back normal and ran a CBC which also came back completely normal. He told me I would just have to live with the swelling and wrote a Rx for Lasik PRN to help. The Lasik does help when I take it but as soon as I stop taking it the swelling comes right back. I've been told not to take it long term as it can effect important vitamin levels. I wasn't ready to just treat the symptoms and live with it so I went to an Internist who took me off birth control pills thinking it could be hormones but the swelling continued. She then sent me for a venous doppler test which also came back normal. She is sending me for an untrasound of the heart tomorrow. If the heart tests come back normal what else could be causing this unexplained swelling? It is only in the left foot/ankle and pitts for about 30 seconds when pushed on. Has anyone else had a similar experience with a diasnosis? I am afraid that I'm at the end of the road with tests and the doctors can't seem to figure out what is causing this swelling in a young, healthy person.


This discussion is related to Unexplained Swelling of Left Foot/Ankle.
96 Responses
Avatar universal
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
High blood pressure causes pooling of fluids in your legs.
Also any problem with venous shunts or drainage of veins also causes this.
If everything is normal and all your parameters are normal then you keep your legs elevated while you sleep and also while working do not stand for long hours and try to sit and also keep your legs on a stool stretched and it will help.
Without any medical problem, you should not worry.
Take care!
1 Comments
i am 16 and I have the exact same issue with left swollen ankle and foot.
Avatar universal
I'm having the same problem and went to a vascular specialist.  He said that I have venous insufficiency, which is caused by the veins in my legs being enlarged.  I am supposed to wear suppor hose for 30 days and go back to see if that worked, if not we will consider surgery.  Apparently it is not life threatening and is treatable.
144586 tn?1284669764
The fact is there are a variety of potential reasons for a single swollen foot/leg, especially for a 25 year old. This is unusual. You appear to be describing what is called "pitting edema". Very usual at age 25.

You need a dopplar scan of both legs to rule out vascular issues.

Your physician is prudent in examining the heart. She is looking for a venous preload proble, which is unlikely at your age.

You also need to cut down on salt.

As for a diuretic, 1000mg - 1500mg of crystaline vitamin C in two or three divided doses mixed with food/drink should be tried before going to Lasix.

Please post back when you get a diagnosis from your M.D.
144586 tn?1284669764
I meant to say "unusual" at age 25.  
Avatar universal
I finally was diagnosed with a rare condition called Lymphedema. Basically there is a problem with my Lymphatic system for an unknown reason it is not properly draining the lymph fluid out of my foot. There is no cure and the only treatment is to wear compression stockings. Hopefully if you have the same symptoms this will help you to discuss this condition as a possibility with your doctor.
Avatar universal
Hi Kris,  I have pretty much the same thing, and they did diagnose it as Lymphedema.  The swelling started when I was 30 and is just in my right foot.  It's been three and a half years and thank God the condition hasn't worsened.  How are you doing?  

I want to nothing but cry when I read about Lymphedema.  Some cases are so horrible.  I am used to being a healthy athletic person and I just want to know how to reverse this condition as the lymphatics were functioning just fine up until I got this at 30.  I've seen several lymphedema practitioners, they don't know how to reverse the condition, just treat it.  I'm looking for more people like you and me who got the condition later in life.  

Do you wear heels ever?  How often do you were compression?  Do you work out?  Are you considering pregnancy?  Please respond if you can as I'm trying to learn how this condition affects people who got it later in life.  Thanks.  

If anyone has a similar story please comment as well.
1 Comments
does it have any correlation to your diet? have you kept a food diary and tracked flair-ups for a month to look for patterns? some reactions take 1-3 days to happen so it's hard to connect it to a specific element of your diet.

has anyone ever considered fungal infection? candida? yeast? some natural remedies to try on your own: saturated potassium iodide (not over the counter, but potassium iodide powder is, so just buy that then dilute it in water youself) and/or oregao oil taken internally and applied externally.

https://socratic.org/questions/how-do-you-make-saturated-solution-of-potassium-iodide

http://gnowfglins.com/2015/09/14/how-to-use-oregano-oil-safely/
Avatar universal
Hi...I am a 28-year-old female who in April 2008 started experiencing ankle swelling that would come and go. I went to my GP and she told me I was fat and needed to lose weight...so I lost almost 40 pounds. I was doing fine for awhile...until August 2009 crept up and the swelling started staying. And then there wasn't just swelling in my ankles, it continued to the tops of my feet, my legs, my fingers, my neck and my middle.

So I went back to the doctor and she sent me to the cardiologist. Healthy. Then I went to my gyno. Healthy. Then I went to a Vascualar surgeon. Healthy. And then an Endocrinologist. Healthy. And then I was referred to an Allergist. Healthy. Finally at a nephrologist...he tells me I have something called Leaky Capillary Syndrome and that my edema is called Idiopathic Cyclic Edema. I research it and find out that only 57 or so people have this condition and that no one knows a treatment/fix. So it's now April 2010 and I am still having no luck. I have been put on diuretics which don't help at all. I'm coming into summer time AGAIN and I can't even wear most shoes/clothes because of this. I WISH someone would figure something out. The nephrologist that I went to doesn't know what to do either.

Maybe that'll open your eyes to something similar.
Avatar universal
Hi wafflecat. I too was very upset when I first began researching lymphedema. There is a surgical procedure that can in some cases reverse the symptoms but my vascular doctor didn't recommend it because she claims it causes more harm than good and the success rate it low.

I do wear heels quite a bit even though it isn't good for the feet. I wear compression stockings about 3 times a week under my pants and when I wear them it really feels good on my legs and I can tell a difference. They are not very fashionable but they do work. I am not at a point in my life where I am condsidering having children but I do plan to have them one day. I understand that having children can make lymphedema worse but I will take that chance. My swelling comes and goes and most people don't notice it until I point it out but I can tell especially because of the discomfort. It is usually around my ankle bone and on the top of my foot.

I do workout often and staying active seems to help improve my circulation and keep swelling down especially if I wear tennis shoes because the tightness acts as compression. I have noticed a pattern that when I am stressed or in the heat I notice more swelling. I hope that this helps you. I know that it is frustrating but try to stay positive.
Avatar universal
Good Evening,

I am a 21 year old female and I have been dealing with this same issue now for two years. My swelling began on December 25, 2008, I remember the exact date because it was my 20th birthday. For 4 months I tried the compression socks but it was more of a hindrance than a help. I am 5'7" and 140 lbs, and the doctors (I saw three) couldn't figure out what is wrong with my left foot either. After a a little over half a year the pain had mostly subsided, except for an occasional flair up, and I am wearing heels again.
Besides it being a nuisance, it really doesn't bother me much except for slight discomfort at times and when it swells up more than usual. I was told that more than likely it is lymphedema, but never took the time to look up what exactly it is. But reading your words has prompted me to learning more about it.

Thanks,
Jess
Avatar universal
I have the same kind of swelling and pain in both of my ankles. It started when I was 24 and in the best shape of my life. 7 years and 2 ankle surgeries later nothing has changed. I can't exercise without severe pain for days after and I have been tested for everything under the sun. I've seen 4 orthopedic surgeons, someone for RA testing, and the last thing was lymphedema therapy. My last doctor suggested I go to the Cleveland Clinic or Mayo Clinic that specialize in strange conditions. He still thinks its lymphedema but the therapy didn't help and she was a great therapist. So, I'm stumped with all of you! I hope together we can solve this problem!!

Jan, Kentucky
Avatar universal
Hi. I'm 26, almost 27, and I am starting to have something similar happen to me. Since this past summer, I've been having a weird pain on the top of my left foot, mostly when I first would wake up. Usually, the pain would be gone by the end of the day. But for the last two weeks, the pain and swelling have not gone away or gone down. It's uncomfortable to wear a shoe, and the pain is strange-feeling, sort of stinging, like a bad sunburn, but under the skin. I just went to the doctor today and she ordered some blood work and x-rays of both feet for a comparison. From the sound of things here, it sounds like it might be difficult to figure out what's wrong. I know one test ordered was for Lymes disease.
Avatar universal
Hi. I'm 26, almost 27, and I am starting to have something similar happen to me. Since this past summer, I've been having a weird pain on the top of my left foot, mostly when I first would wake up. Usually, the pain would be gone by the end of the day. But for the last two weeks, the pain and swelling have not gone away or gone down. It's uncomfortable to wear a shoe, and the pain is strange-feeling, sort of stinging, like a bad sunburn, but under the skin. I just went to the doctor today and she ordered some blood work and x-rays of both feet for a comparison. From the sound of things here, it sounds like it might be difficult to figure out what's wrong. I know one test ordered was for Lymes disease.
Have an Answer?
Top Neurology Answerers
620923 tn?1452919248
Allentown, PA
5265383 tn?1483811956
ON
1756321 tn?1547098925
Queensland, Australia
1780921 tn?1499305393
Queen Creek, AZ
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Find out how beta-blocker eye drops show promising results for acute migraine relief.
In this special Missouri Medicine report, doctors examine advances in diagnosis and treatment of this devastating and costly neurodegenerative disease.
Here are 12 simple – and fun! – ways to boost your brainpower.
Discover some of the causes of dizziness and how to treat it.
Discover the common causes of headaches and how to treat headache pain.
Two of the largest studies on Alzheimer’s have yielded new clues about the disease