Your level of blood pressure will determine whether all the areas of your body is receiving the quantity of blood required for energy and movement. This is because red blood cells carry oxygen through the veins and arteries. Blood pressure is caused by the contraction of your heart muscle that pumps the blood. Thus, high blood pressure means that the heart muscle is working overtime to deliver blood, causing the heart to thicken and become less effective.
High blood pressure is known as hypertension and this will vary in severity. When it comes to your foot health, high blood pressure can have a great impact. Primarily, this is caused when peripheral vascular disease (PVD) causes blockages (this is sometimes referred to as peripheral arterial disease or PAD). PVD occurs as a result of high blood pressure, that damages the blood vessels and impacts their ability to carry the oxygen to all areas of the body.
High blood pressure is also commonly linked with diabetes. In fact, diabetics are 20 times more likely to have peripheral vascular disease than other people. If PVD and high blood pressure is not addressed, in severe cases, ulcerations can occur. These are likely to occur in the extremities of the body, thus the feet and the lower body.
Can High Blood Pressure Cause Swollen Feet?
High blood pressure rarely causes swollen feet or ankles itself. However, medication that is used to combat the effects of blood pressure, such as calcium channel blockers, can cause swollen feet and ankles. This is because they open up the network of arteries and vessels that the blood travels through, causing the appearance of swelling in the feet.
Can High Blood Pressure Cause Numbness In Feet?
Tingling and numbness in the feet and toes is quite common. In many cases, this is not a cause for concern as it may simply be caused by being in one position for too long, however, some people are more prone to this than others. If numbness persists or becomes painful, it could be a sign of prolonged low blood pressure, which is causing a lack of blood supply.
Symptoms of low or high blood pressure in the feet:
- Cramping in the lower legs and feet
- Ulcerations and sores – those that struggle to heel should be taken note of and individuals should consult their GP
- Changes in temperature
- Changes in appearance – i.e. loss of hair
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms alongside the numbness or tingling, you should consult your GP or podiatrist.
High Blood Pressure And Swollen Feet During Pregnancy
High blood pressure conditions are the most common concern for pregnant women in their second and third trimester. It is important to monitor blood pressure throughout pregnancy to avoid conditions (and treat them, if appropriate) such as preeclampsia. However, one of the most common ways to identify high blood pressure during pregnancy is swelling in the feet, hands and face.
It is common to experience swollen feet and ankles during pregnancy and this can be caused by high blood pressure, but if this is checked there is no cause for concern. Pregnant women may benefit from the added support and comfort of orthotic insoles, which can help prevent foot pain.