Cankles: What They Are and How to Treat Them

There’s no denying that everybody wants to look good, no matter what. However, when it comes to physical appearance, few things are more dreaded than cankles. In fact, it can be argued that they are one of the most common and annoying conditions that you can encounter.

But what makes things even worse is the lack of online information regarding cankles. As a result, many people suffering from this condition are even more afraid to visit a doctor and get help. Fortunately, we are here to shed some light on cankles and see what you can do about them.

What Are Cankles?

What Are Cankles

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A cankle is a slang term that combines the words ankle and calf. The term was created to better illustrate the appearance of a lack of ankle definition. In other words, people refer to an ankle that looks like a trunk or a continuous cylinder as a cankle.

However, some people might also call them “sausage legs.” So, if you haven’t seen your calves and ankles in years, you could be dealing with cankles.

What Causes Them?

What Causes Them

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There is still some debate on the main cause of cankles, yet doctors believe that genetic predisposition plays an important role. Additionally, dietary habits and even medication can increase the risk of developing cankles. Let’s check the possible causes and see which one applies to your specific case.

1. Genetic Predisposition

People suffering from cankles have noticed similar traits in their mothers, sisters, or other relatives. Therefore, just like obesity, it might seem that some people are more prone to cankles. Unfortunately, structural differences in appearance are hereditary, meaning that there is only so much you can do to alter them using natural methods.

In fact, if your cankles are the result of a genetic predisposition, exercising and following weight loss regimes can be futile.

2. Dietary Habits

Foods that are high in sodium can make your body store more water, which could lead to cankles. And since almost 80% of wellness and health is tied to what you eat, you should keep an eye on your eating habits, especially if you want to avoid cankles.

3. Medications

In some rare cases, certain types of surgeries and medications can make your ankles swell. As a matter of fact, the gradual swelling of your legs is a symptom of cankles, so be on the lookout for them. And, if you notice anything strange, contact your doctor immediately, as he will change your prescription to one that doesn’t cause cankles.

4. Deep Vein Thrombosis

Deep vein thrombosis is a condition in which the deep veins of one or both of your legs become obstructed by blood clots. More often than not, that can result in the reddening and swelling of the legs. If ignored, this condition can lead to pulmonary embolism and other similar, dangerous health issues.

5. Varicose Veins

Varicose veins occur when the valves of the blood vessels become weak and allow blood to pool in the leg. The pooling blood will usually lead to swelling, which can eventually lead to cankles.

6. Lymphedema

More often than not, problems in the lymphatic system may prevent the drainage of lymph from your body. That can manifest as swelling anywhere in the body, including the legs, feet, and ankles.

7. Pregnancy

Last but not least, pregnant women can experience cankles due to poor blood circulation. That frequently happens during the third trimester when they sit or stand for long periods of time. Fortunately, a bit of physical activity can lower the risk of cankles for pregnant women.

How Can I Get Rid of Cankles?

Depending on their cause, you can get rid of cankles through a variety of methods. For instance, if they are the result of liquid retention or weight gain, switching to a healthy diet can slim down cankles. You should prioritize foods with a high fiber count, leafy green vegetables, and lean proteins. That way, your body will store less fat and allow you to get rid of cankles.

Additionally, exercises that target calf and leg muscles can slow down and even prevent the development of cankles. Such exercises include lunges, plié squats, jumping rope, and calf raises.

However, sometimes, no matter how hard you try to change your habits, you won’t get rid of cankles. If that’s the case, you might want to give liposuction a try, which is a procedure that focuses on extracting excess fatty tissue in the area where the calf meets the ankle. And while the result is a more lean and attractive look, liposuction can be quite expensive.

Featured image source: Pinterest.com

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