Can hypothyroidism cause swollen ankles? You bet it can. However, so can a vast array of other medical conditions, so you'll need to get a doctor to give you a professional opinion and diagnosis before your self-prescribe any treatments. You don't want to mistakenly blame your swollen ankles on hypothyroidism when it's really an indication of a serious heart condition. Check with your doctor first.
Hypothyroidism is the under functioning of your thyroid, a butterfly shaped gland at the base of your neck. As a result of this under functioning, two essential hormones, thyroxine and triiodothyronine, are not produced in adequate amounts. Sometimes these two hormones are produced, but your body does not have adequate iodine, a substance that is required for adequate thyroid hormone function. As a result, your metabolism slows down and you feel cold, sluggish and depressed.
Another common side effect of hypothyroidism is edema, or swelling of the face, ankles and joints. In severe cases, the ankles will swell a great deal and become almost immobile. If you have high blood pressure along with hypothyroidism, these symptoms can be exaggerated and very uncomfortable.
There are several things you can do to combat swollen ankles due to hypothyroidism. Try the following solutions after you see your doctor:
Eat a Hypothyroidism Diet
Check out dietary suggestions for combating this condition. You'll want to eat plenty of organic protein and use iodinated salt or Celtic sea salt with your meals.
Avoid Foods That Inhibit Thyroid Function
In particular, avoid soy products and protein that has been pumped full of hormones. Stay away from cruciferous vegetables, too.
Put Your Feet Up
Try elevating your feet whenever possible and doing inverted yoga poses.
Give your ankles a vigorous massage several times a day, preferably while they are elevated.
Get Your Blood Pumping
Go for a daily walk or swim to get your blood moving and to help your lymphatic system to move those fluids around.
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Hypothyroidism symptoms can easily be mistaken for symptoms of other issues. Learn how to spot the signs of this medical condition.