Fluid balance in the human body requires the coordinated function of multiple body systems. The cardiovascular and urinary systems prove particularly important in regulating the distribution of water between the bloodstream and the body tissues. Abnormalities of one of both of these systems can potentially cause a fluid imbalance, leading to high blood pressure, swollen ankles and other accompanying symptoms and signs.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Hypertensive Heart Failure
Chronic high blood pressure may lead to heart damage and a condition known as hypertensive heart disease. The lower left chamber of the heart thickens in response to pumping against persistently elevated pressure in the arteries. The thickening causes heart stiffness and impairs function. These abnormalities lead to poor filling of the heart chamber and less blood delivery to the circulation with each heartbeat, note Drs. Joseph Diamond and Robert Phillips in a March 2005 review article published in the journal "Hypertension Research." Hypertensive heart disease often progresses to heart failure 1.
Patients with hypertensive heart failure retain excess fluid in the body, which commonly leaks into the tissues. Swelling of the feet, ankles and lower legs proves a classic symptom of heart failure. Other common symptoms include shortness of breath, cough, fatigue and fluid accumulation in the abdomen, reports the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute 2.
- Chronic high blood pressure may lead to heart damage and a condition known as hypertensive heart disease.
- Patients with hypertensive heart failure retain excess fluid in the body, which commonly leaks into the tissues.
Foods Containing Fat Soluble Vitamins
Nephrotic syndrome is a kidney condition characterized by damage to the blood filtering units, which leads to loss of large quantities of protein in the urine 4. Many medical conditions can cause:
- nephrotic syndrome
- including diabetes mellitus
- multiple myeloma
- systemic lupus erythematosus
- reports "The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals." Certain kidney-toxic medications can also lead to nephrotic syndrome 34
Profoundly elevated blood pressure damages the small blood vessels of the kidneys, leading to a condition known as malignant nephrosclerosis. The disruption in blood flow causes widespread tissue damage, typically leading to acute kidney failure within hours to days, reports the medical information website VirtualMedicalCentre.com 5.
Patients with acute kidney failure retain fluid due to impaired filtration of the blood. An array of symptoms develops, including nosebleeds and bruising; nausea and vomiting; numbness of the hands and feet; fatigue; mental changes; and swelling of the feet and ankles, reports MedlinePlus. Patients with acute kidney failure caused by malignant nephrosclerosis exhibit markedly elevated blood pressure.
- Profoundly elevated blood pressure damages the small blood vessels of the kidneys, leading to a condition known as malignant nephrosclerosis.
- Patients with acute kidney failure retain fluid due to impaired filtration of the blood.
Foods Containing Fat Soluble Vitamins
What Causes a Person's Ankles to Swell?
What Are the Causes of Bilateral Median Nerve Neuropathy?
What Are the Causes of Pitting Edema?
Causes of Water Retention in Feet
Diseases That Cause Bloody Noses
Causes of Swollen Lower Legs and Feet
Blood Glucose & Amlodipine
What Are the Causes of Water Retention in Ankles?
What Other Systems Affect the Urinary System?
- "Hypertension Research"; Hypertensive Heart Disease; Joseph A. Diamond, M.D., Robert A. Phillips, M.D.; March 2005
- National Heart Lung and Blood Institute: Heart Failure Symptoms
- The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals: Nephrotic Syndrome
- MedlinePlus: Nephrotic Syndrome
- VirtualMedicalCentre.com: Hypertensive Nephropathy
- U.S. National Library of Medicine. MedlinePlus. Warning signs and symptoms of heart disease
- Harvard Medical School. A new warning sign for heart failure: "Bendopnea"
- American Heart Association. Advanced Heart Failure
- American Heart Association. Common Tests for Heart Failure
- American Heart Association. Medications Used to Treat Heart Failure
- American Heart Association. Devices and Surgical Procedures to Treat Heart Failure
- American Heart Association. Lifestyle Changes for Heart Failure
- Ibrahim NE, Januzzi JL Jr. The Future of Biomarker-Guided Therapy for Heart Failure After the Guiding Evidence-Based Therapy Using Biomarker Intensified Treatment in Heart Failure (GUIDE-IT) Study. Curr Heart Fail Rep. 2018 Apr;15(2):37-43. doi: 10.1007/s11897-018-0381-0.
Dr. Tina M. St. John owns and operates a health communications and consulting firm. She is also an accomplished medical writer and editor, and was formerly a senior medical officer with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. St. John holds an M.D. from Emory University School of Medicine.