Legs, ankles, and feet swell when excess fluid is pulled down by gravity and builds up in the lower body. This is called edema and it’s common in older adults and usually happens on both sides of the body. It can be caused by a variety of health conditions including heart failure, kidney disease, gout, and arthritis.
Some tips that may help reduce swelling:
When should you call the doctor? “Report your symptoms to your doctor if there’s so much swelling that it leaves an indentation if you press your finger into it, or if it has developed suddenly, lasts for more than a few days, affects just one foot, or is accompanied by pain or discoloration of the skin,” Dr.
Other ways to alleviate swollen feet include:
If left untreated, edema can lead to increasingly painful swelling, stiffness, difficulty walking, stretched or itchy skin, skin ulcers, scarring, and decreased blood circulation.
The best weapon in the fight against swollen legs is a simple one: walking. Getting your legs moving means circulation is improved which will sweep up that collected fluid and get it shifted.
Stay Hydrated – dehydration causes the constriction of blood vessels leading to the forcing of fluids into the extracellular spaces between cells leading to retention particularly in the lower limbs.
If your swelling is accompanied by other symptoms, including fatigue, loss of appetite, and weight gain, see your doctor right away. If you feel short of breath or have chest pain, pressure, or tightness, call 911.
The abnormal buildup of fluid in the body is called edema. Edema is commonly seen in the feet and ankles, because of the effect of gravity, swelling is particularly noticeable in these locations. Common causes of edema are prolonged standing, prolonged sitting, pregnancy, being overweight, and increase in age.
Applying an ice-pack or cold compress to an injury is the fastest way to deal with immediate swelling. It helps reduce swelling by restricting blood flow to the area and slowing down cellular metabolism. Cold therapy systems and ice baths are other methods you can use to apply cold to the area.
Foods that can cause inflammation
ACV is known to have a high potassium content, which in turn can help reduce fluid retention. Soak a clean cotton towel in a tub filled with equal parts of ACV and warm water. After squeezing out the excess, wrap your feet in the towel, sit back and relax for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water per day Though it might seem counterintuitive, getting enough fluids actually helps reduce swelling. When your body isn’t hydrated enough, it holds onto the fluid it does have. This contributes to swelling.
“Signs like ankle swelling or weight gain do not necessarily mean you have heart disease, but taken together with other symptoms of heart disease, laboratory studies, and family history, they are an important part of making a diagnosis of heart disease or heart failure,” says Carl E.
Causes of edema in seniors are wide ranging, minor to extreme. Most cases of mild edema in seniors are side effects of medications for high blood pressure, steroids, diabetes, or estrogens. Other mild causes of edema could include sitting or staying in one position for too long or eating too much salty food.