Q. What causes swollen feet and walking difficulty in older adults?

Answered by
Dr. Sugreev Singh
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Oct 28, 2021

Hi doctor,

The health of my 62-year-old mother is deteriorating, and she is unable to get proper medical advice because of the COVID-19 pandemic. She complains of weakness, difficulty in walking much around the house or getting out of bed. She also has a severely swollen foot. She is under medication for diabetes and high blood pressure. She recently did a blood test, and I have attached her reports.

Kindly help.



Welcome to

Thank you for writing, and I understand your concern.

Her kidney is not functioning well, and hence she has swelling and weakness in her feet. Her GFR (glomerular filtration rate) has also decreased. This suggests that her kidney is not functioning correctly. Improper renal function can further increase her blood pressure, so it is advisable to lower her salt intake.

And please attach a picture of the swollen leg.

Thank you.

The Probable causes:

Chronic renal disease.

Investigations to be done:

Abdominal ultrasound.

Differential diagnosis:


Probable diagnosis:

Decreased kidney function.

Preventive measures:

Low salt diet.

Hi doctor,

Thanks for the reply.

I fear that my mother is giving up her hope because she feels emotionally low and disconnected in the last few conversations with her. Anyway, I have attached all the information you requested. Now her BP is 185/90 mmHg.

I would greatly appreciate your thoughts on the following two most significant concerns that I have:

1) How do we get her swollen feet better?

2) How do we get her energy level up so she can move around without much assistance?




Welcome back to

Thank you for the quick reply and for attaching pictures. I have gone through the pictures (attachments removed to protect the patient’s identity).

All her symptoms are due to deranged kidney function. It will get better with time as she is already taking all the necessary medications. But it will take time for the kidney function to get normal.

Kindly do an abdominal ultrasound and attach the reports to correlate and correct the issues accordingly.

As for now, please decrease salt intake.

Thank you.

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