As if waking up wasn’t stressful enough already, there’s also a red flag sign of heart issues that’s easiest to spot first thing in the morning.
We recently wrote about how hearing your heart rate while you’re trying to sleep (as a result of palpitations) can be a sign of everything from heart issues to anaemia and thyroid conditions.
But the warning signs can arise when you wake up, too ― oedema, or a buildup of fluid that causes swelling in the ankles, is often most visible in the AM.
The condition can be caused by a number of factors, like standing or sitting in the same place for too long, being pregnant, and taking certain medications (like the contraception pill, antidepressants, or steroids).
Other causes include direct trauma, like a sprain or an insect bite. In some cases, it can indicate a blood clot.
But swollen ankles in the morning can also be a sign of kidney problems, liver issues, and heart conditions. After all, if your body is struggling to filter or move blood around, fluid buildup can be a natural result.
What does it look like?
Oedema of the foot and ankle causes swelling and puffiness, shiny or stretched skin, and sometimes colour changes.
You might also experience pain and discomfort, and when you press into the swollen area, the dent could stay behind longer than is usual.
This is when you should book a GP appointment
The NHS shared that you should make an appointment with your doctor if one or both of your ankles are swollen and it hasn’t improved after a few days of home treatment, or if it’s gotten worse. This could be a sign that the inflammation has a serious cause.
The NHS has shared when you should make an urgent GP appointment or call 111
The NHS also says that you should make a more urgent call if you have swelling in one ankle, foot, or leg with no obvious injury or cause. The same goes if you have sudden, painful, and/or severe swelling, if the area is red and/or hot to the touch, if your temperature is really high, or if you have diabetes.
Again, the cause could be more serious.
This is when you need to call 999
If you have a tight, heavy, or painful chest, if you’re struggling to breathe, and if you’re coughing up blood, call 999 immediately. This can be a sign of a blood clot in your lungs.
Contact your doctor if you’re worried about your health.