|Ovarian Cysts Can be The Cause of Ankle Swelling|
There are many causes of fluid retention in the body. Fluid retention in the blood stream is different from edema which is fluid that has seeped from the circulation into the tissue itself, much like how a sponge holds water. If it's in the lower legs it is called dependent edema. It means something very different when several parts of your body have swelling, verses just one's ankles. And its also a different situation if you have a bit of fluid after a long hard day of standing at work, verses swelling that sticks around and is still present by morning. Getting a diagnosis of the causes of your ankle swelling may require a check on your heart, your liver, your kidneys, your lymph circulation, and any medication or herbs you may be on, but if those things aren't the cause, see your gyno for advice.
Simple blood tests can figure out if you have low protein in your blood, if you have too much salt, if your kidneys are functioning well, and those tests are reasonable to have ordered early in the medical evaluation of swollen ankles. As a gyno we like to see if there is a hormonal drive for fluid retention, or a mass in the pelvis that is preventing the passage of fluid from the legs back to the heart. Cysts and fibroids and of course being pregnant are the three most common causes of ankle swelling we treat in gynecology, followed by PMS fluid retention. There are conditions of the heart that can prevent fluid from properly circulating, overly stressed joints, like ballet dancers, can have fluid that even backs up in the marrow of the bones of the ankle; but those kinds of conditions would not be expected in an otherwise healthy gyno patient.
Treatment of the minor causes of edema is quite straight forward, where medication may be required for other types. As with all things medical, the first thing is to get a diagnosis by seeing your gyno (or GP etc). As good as our circulation is, we are creatures who respond to the basic laws of gravity. So if your fluid accumulated by being on your feet, you can resolve some of it by propping your feet up, higher than your heart and yes, the fluid will just run down stream and resolve. It's also possible to use temperature and hydrostatic pressure to drive the fluid away: soaking in a pool, even heated, is cool enough relative to your body and provides just enough water pressure to help push that circulation up. Also it is possible that support stockings, using that pressure gradient, can push that fluid up where you need it.