Q/ 1. Hello Doctor, my legs started swelling out of the blue especially when the weather is hot. At first it was not painful, but I recently started feeling pain whenever I am walking. What could be the cause and how do I stop this? Pax.
A/ Dear Pax,
Leg swelling, medically known as lower limb edema; occurs because of an abnormal accumulation of fluid in the tissues of the lower extremity.
Fluid (plasma or liquid part of blood) escape from the blood vessels and lymphatic system and accumulate in the tissues.
Congestive heart failure: This happens when the condition of the heart weakens, and it fails to pump blood as needed by the body.
It leads to fluid buildup especially in the legs. Other signs of congestive heart failure include shortness of breath or trouble breathing, easily getting tired on doing a slight exercise, dry cough.
Natural hormonal changes. Fluctuating levels of estrogen and progesterone can cause reduced circulation in the legs, resulting in swelling.
These changes in hormone levels may occur during pregnancy and a woman’s menstrual cycle.
Blood clot in the leg. A blood clot is a clump of blood that is in a solid state.
When a blood clot forms in a vein of the leg, it can impair blood flow, leading to swelling and discomfort.
Venous insufficiency. This condition occurs when the veins are unable to pump blood adequately, causing blood to pool in the legs.
Cirrhosis. This refers to severe scarring of the liver, which is often caused by alcohol abuse or infection. The condition can cause high blood pressure and poor circulation in the feet, legs, and ankles.
What to do
Reduce on salty foods or adding table salt in foods.
Wear compression stockings
Get exercise every day.
On long car rides, switch positions and stop for breaks as often as you can.
Get up from your seat and move around as much as possible.
Raise your legs above your body level for half an hour, several times a day while lying down.
Since leg swelling can be a sign of something serious, do not ignore it.
If you notice other symptoms, especially leg pain, shortness of breath, or extreme fatigue, visit a doctor straight away for further assessment.
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