Dr Bollmann, Skin Care Specialist, Anti-Aging Expert
When is it necessary to see a doctor for mild swelling of the feet or ankles? Is this related to menopause?
It is always a good idea to have a history and physical exam with appropriate lab work once a year. So I would start there anyway.
But if one is healthy, just standing on your feet for long periods or even sitting with them dependent can cause swelling of the feet and ankles. This is a normal phenomenon and not specifically related to menopause. It is called dependent edema, and is not due to increased salt intake.
It is important to exercise the muscles of the body, including the legs. The constriction of the muscles will help prevent varicose veins, which can also contribute to swelling. So exercise is important.
I am a firm believer in starting bio-identical hormone replacement in the menopause as soon as it is necessary. If one is not sure, a simple FSH blood study will tell you. And if perimenopausal, a combination oral contraceptive will relieve symptoms until you are ready to start bio-identical hormone therapy.
In any event, I would doubt the swelling described is related to menopause, but more to lifestyle. So just because you have swelling of the lower extremities, it does not mean there is serious disease present.