Swelling, also known as oedema, is caused by a build-up of fluids. Swollen feet are particularly common and can be the result of a number of factors including:
• Sitting or standing in one position for too long
• Injury or trauma
• Being overweight
• Older age
• Consuming too much salt
Oedema can also be caused by medications including birth control pills, calcium channel blockers, certain antidepressants and steroids.
It can also be an indication of more serious underlying conditions, including kidney, heart or liver failure so if your oedema doesn’t go away by itself, see your GP. They'll try and find out if there's an underlying cause which needs to be treated. This could involve taking medication or following some advice such as:
• Losing weight (if you're overweight)
• Taking regular exercise, such as walking, swimming or cycling
• Raising your legs three to four times a day to improve your circulation
• Avoiding standing for long periods of time
If an underlying condition is causing the fluid imbalance, it should clear up after the condition has been diagnosed and treated.