‘Permanent pain from swollen ankles may indicate heart failure’

Thursday, 22. July 2021 – 19:16 Update: 22-07-2021 19:24

The hague

Although persistent swollen feet and ankles can indicate serious heart problems, people often do not take this complaint seriously. ‘People are more likely to attribute this to the warm weather, age, stress or some condition they already have. Only 35% of people say they make an appointment with their GP if they have swollen ankles and feet for more than 2 months,” the Dutch Heart Foundation warned on Thursday.

Research Heart Foundation

Women (39%) raise this problem slightly more often than men (31%). This is according to research by the Heart Foundation. She therefore makes the urgent appeal: swollen ankles for a longer period of time? Ask your doctor if it’s your heart.

Warm days more bother

On a hot day, many people get swollen feet and ankles. Not immediately alarming, but if you’re holding on to fluids for weeks, it could mean the heart isn’t pumping enough blood. This may indicate heart failure. This often also causes other complaints, such as shortness of breath, fatigue and having to get out of bed more often at night to urinate.


David Smeekes, doctor at the Heart Foundation: “A good way to check whether you are retaining too much fluid is to prick your ankle with your finger. If you see a dent that is slowly disappearing, you are retaining too much moisture. If you take off your socks in the evening, you will see a clear print on your ankles. If this continues for weeks, it is wise to consult your doctor. Especially if you also have other complaints. The sooner you go to the doctor, the better.”

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Unrecognized heart failure

It is estimated that a quarter of a million people in our country are walking around with heart failure without realizing it. Heart failure is a serious disease in which the heart does not pump enough blood. As a result, organs do not receive enough oxygen and nutrients and waste products are not properly removed.

Heart failure is progressive

Heart failure is a progressive disease. That means that the heart continues to deteriorate a little further. Early diagnosis and treatment can slow down heart disease, improve quality of life and reduce the likelihood of hospitalization.


Discover in 1 minute whether it is wise to go to your doctor with this test on the website of the Heart Foundation.


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