Swelling of the legs is one of the most common health issues. A lot of people have to face this condition due to various reasons. Not only do swollen legs cause physical discomfort, but one also has to deal with the aesthetic side of the issue. In any case, this condition shouldn’t be ignored whether it’s a symptom of a minor complication within your body or a sign of a serious disease.
Why do people’s legs swell?
You may experience swelling in your legs and feet for two major reasons:
- Inflammatory process. When the tissues of one’s muscles are damaged or inflamed, swelling is a natural response to these conditions. Legs also swell when bones are broken or tendons or ligaments are torn. Increased size of one’s legs is also known as one of the symptoms of inflammatory diseases like osteoarthritis.
- Build-up of fluid in lower limbs. You can observe this condition when the tissues of your muscles or blood vessels retain more liquid than they were supposed to. It often occurs when a person happened to stand or sit for a long period of time. People with excess weight are especially prone to this problem. Fluid build-up can also signal a lack of physical exercise or a certain disease.
As you can see, there are lots of factors causing your legs to feel heavy and swollen. It’s not always easy to determine the cause and go for the right treatment. That’s why it’s important to consult your healthcare professional before you take any medication.
When are you most likely to suffer from swelling in your legs?
There are certain conditions when you are more likely to experience fluid build-up in your legs. Let’s talk about some of the common causes.
Climatic changes affect different people in different ways. You may find your legs swell up in summertime when the weather is hot. Usually, it’s just a temporary effect, and things get back to normal when it gets cooler. You don’t have to bother going to the doctor or asking for a medical practitioner’s advice. To ease this condition, it’s recommended to put our legs up for at least fifteen minutes a day. If you have a chance to stay in an air-conditioned environment, it’s advised to do so, especially during the heat waves in the summer.
Long trips or being immobile
If you have to sit for extended periods of time without moving, you’re likely to experience swollen legs. This condition can be easily explained – when you sit motionless for hours on end, your muscles don’t function properly and there is no sufficient movement of the blood in vessels. As a result, gravity pulls the fluids down, and they remain in the spaces between the vessels. It’s strongly recommended to move around if possible. Walking for a few minutes every two hours will prevent your legs from swelling. In any case, it’s a temporary condition, and you’ll likely get back to normal when you start walking again and sleep overnight.
Expecting a baby
Swelling is one of the most common conditions during pregnancy. In the third trimester, most women suffer from swollen legs because of increased volumes of fluids in the body. It’s not a cause for concern, but in any case, it’s necessary to go for regular check-ups and make sure this condition is not caused by a blood pressure problem.
If your heart fails to pump blood as effectively as required, the fluids get collected in the tissues of the lower limbs. Apart from swollen legs, you may experience difficulties breathing, especially when walking, running, or lying down in bed.
If your legs feel heavy and swollen, and the reasons for this condition are not obvious, it’s recommended to consult a doctor. They may ask you to undergo some tests to make sure you don’t develop kidney disease.
Lack of thyroid hormone in your bloodstream
If your legs swell, you feel tired all the time without any particular reason, and your weight increases in geometric progression, you may suffer from low levels of thyroid hormone in your system.
Effective ways of taking the swelling down
Needless to say, treatment depends on a particular case. If the cause of your swollen legs is excess fluid, doctors usually prescribe diuretics medications, commonly known as “water pills”. They are meant to enlarge the volume of fluids filtered by your kidneys. As a result, a person passes an increased amount of urine. This way your body gets rid of excess liquids, and the swelling goes down.
The second option is preferable since the online services offer doorstep delivery and competitive prices. Besides, you can read reviews and see the ratings when choosing a healthcare product.
Water pills, though, are not suitable in some cases. You shouldn’t take them lightly without consulting a knowledgeable healthcare practitioner. For example, if you suffer from blood clotting, which results in swollen legs, you’ll have to go for medicine to make your blood thinner. These medications are usually prescribed by a doctor.
The same goes for heart failure. Your healthcare practitioner will prescribe various drugs to improve this condition. Taking solely diuretic medications, in this case, would be a mistake. Infections of the skin and bones are treated with antibacterial medications.
When should you urgently visit a healthcare practitioner?
Since there are some rather serious causes for swelling of the legs, sometimes you need to visit a medical practitioner as an emergency. Needless to say, this should be done in case of infections and injuries.
The same should be done if you believe you’re developing a thrombus (blood clot). If only one of your legs or feet is swollen and the calf feels tender and warm, you’ve probably got a DVT (deep vein thrombosis).
Also, you should schedule a doctor’s appointment at the earliest possible time if you have a high fever, suffer from pain, and notice a yellowish tinge to your skin.
Swollen legs cause a lot of discomfort, and sometimes even represent a danger of developing a disease. That’s why it’s important to start on treatment the moment your doctor figures out the cause of the swelling.