Peripheral edema, swelling in your feet and ankles, is the result of edema fluid seeping out of your veins. Edema fluid is the liquid your blood cells float around in.
To prevent this from happening all the time, your body maintains a very delicate balance of pressure inside your veins. Hydrostatic pressure is exerted by the weight of the fluid, in this case, your blood on the walls of your veins. The second type of pressure is osmotic. Osmotic pressure is created by large proteins in the blood, mainly albumin, that prevents leakage from the veins. Disruption of these two opposing pressures can result in fluid escaping and swelling.
Varicose veins, congestive heart failure, medications, protein depletion, kidney and liver disease, pregnancy and sitting for long periods of time are just a few of the things that can disturb the delicate balance of pressure in your veins.
Finding the exact cause of swelling (edema) can be very difficult. Thankfully finding a treatment is much easier…compression stockings.
To read more, see the full article from The Washington Post and Consumer Reports Health.