When fluids get accumulated in the space between the cells of your legs, or ankles, it causes your feet to sweat. There are various reasons as to why this can happen, some of which are quite serious, while others are minor or transient. The swelling in your legs is a condition known as peripheral edema, and this condition is usually painless, unless caused by an injury or accident. This usually affects the lower body more than the upper body due to gravitational force. Older people experience this more often due to age related issues. Usually a swollen foot doesn’t pose any health risks, but it is better to see a doctor for the swelling, to rule out any serious underlying health issues. Lets look at some of the possible causes of a swollen leg:
There are many different reasons that can trigger swelling on your foot, ankle or leg, which range from natural changes in the body, lifestyle conditions to use of certain medications. Lets take a further look at the causes of a swollen leg:
Age: it is quite common in elderly people to develop a swelling in the leg due to age related conditions
Being overweight: being overweight puts a lot of pressure on your knees, which may lead to a clot or compression of a vital nerve
Condition of the liver, heart, or kidney: these conditions tend to secrete too much fluid in the body, which gets accumulated in our legs
Varicose veins: this is a condition in which the vein is unable to properly pump blood back to the heart, which causes slight pain and discomfort.
Side effects of medicines: allergic reactions and side effects of certain medicines may cause inflammation in your leg
Pregnancy: pregnant women often experience swelling in their legs due to the hormonal changes their body undergoes
Excess sodium: consuming too much salt or any other foods that contain a high amounts of sodium can cause swelling in the body.
Some symptoms are minor and you don’t have to worry about them, while on the other hand some symptoms may be pointing out to major issues. Lets take a look at some mild symptoms:
Here are some symptoms that may indicate a more serious issue
Your physician may ask you to take some tests, which will help him diagnose your symptoms better. Here are some common forms of diagnosing a swollen leg:
Blood test: you will be asked to perform a complete blood count (CBC) or blood chemistry test
Imaging studies: an X-ray or extremity X-ray will help your physician determine any damage to bones.
Ultrasound examination: to study the veins in your leg
Urinalysis: test that detects various compounds that pass through the urine
There are various ways you can treat a swollen leg. Treatment depends on the severity of the injury or ailment. Here are some forms of treatment that you can perform at home:
Cut sodium: cutting your sodium intake will help reduce inflammation
Rest: you need to give your body time to rest for it to heal properly
Elevate the affected area: while you lie down or sit, make sure to keep your affected leg as elevated as possible, which will prevent blood accumulating there
Apply modalities: ice packs and heat packs are the best way to reduce inflammation. Make sure to apply an ice pack for 20 minutes, 3 times a day. You can also apply a heat pack when the symptoms start to reduce
NSAIDs: prescribed medication to help you with the pain and swelling
Physical therapy: a variety of exercises that will restore strength, flexibility and range of motion in your affected area
If your condition is critical, you may be asked to undergo surgery. This could be due to a major ailment. If you find yourself experiencing any of these symptoms and your not sure how it has triggered, consult professionals to get the best possible remedies.