Swollen legs may occur for a myriad of reasons. The more important causes in the elderly includes: Venous insufficiency where the leg veins are compromised and the blood from the legs cannot return to the heart efficiently. It is due to conditions like varicose veins where the valves in the veins are inadequate and the veins bulge.
Extreme swelling , often in the feet, ankles and legs, can lead to skin ulcers (wounds), weeping edema and dangerous skin infections like cellulitis. Family caregivers who suspect edema should address the concern immediately with a physician.
Edema occurs when tiny blood vessels in your body (capillaries) leak fluid . The fluid builds up in surrounding tissues, leading to swelling . Mild cases of edema may result from: Sitting or staying in one position for too long.
Lifestyle and home remedies Movement. Moving and using the muscles in the part of your body affected by edema , especially your legs , may help pump the excess fluid back toward your heart. Elevation. Massage. Compression. Protection. Reduce salt intake.
Right side failure causes fluid to back up in the veins and capillaries in your body. This backup can cause pressure on the capillaries and fluid seeps out into the tissue causing swelling and even “ weeping ” of tissue, especially in the legs and feet. You can experience both types of heart failure at the same time.
1. 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.
Some edema can be expected, such as swollen ankles when you’re pregnant or a traumatic ankle sprain; but edema can be caused by life – threatening conditions, such as heart disease or kidney failure.
Medications, pregnancy, infections, and many other medical problems can cause edema. Edema happens when your small blood vessels leak fluid into nearby tissues. That extra fluid builds up, which makes the tissue swell. It can happen almost anywhere in the body.
When treating excessive lower extremity drainage due to edema , complete decongestive therapy can go a long way to resolve a “ weepy leg .” The management of excessive lower extremity drainage is often difficult.
Edema left untreated can cause skin stretching to a point of pruritus and discomfort accompanied by painful swelling, stiffness, and difficulty walking. Swollen areas are at increased risk of skin ulcers and infection.
Sometimes, swelling is so extreme that a person has difficulty moving. Swelling can become so severe that fluid will leak out directly from the skin. This is known as weeping edema . Pitting edema may also develop.
Home Care Put your legs on pillows to raise them above your heart while lying down. Exercise your legs . Follow a low-salt diet, which may reduce fluid buildup and swelling. Wear support stockings (sold at most drugstores and medical supply stores). When traveling, take breaks often to stand up and move around.
Seek medical care right away if your legs swell for no apparent reason, especially if you have unexplained leg pain, difficulty breathing, chest pain or other warning signs of a blood clot in your lungs or a heart condition. Many factors — varying greatly in severity — can cause leg swelling .
Heart failure signs and symptoms may include: Shortness of breath ( dyspnea ) when you exert yourself or when you lie down. Fatigue and weakness . Swelling ( edema ) in your legs, ankles and feet. Rapid or irregular heartbeat. Reduced ability to exercise. Persistent cough or wheezing with white or pink blood-tinged phlegm.
The symptoms of end-stage congestive heart failure include dyspnea , chronic cough or wheezing, edema , nausea or lack of appetite , a high heart rate, and confusion or impaired thinking. Learn about the hospice eligibility requirements for end-stage heart failure.
There are four stages of heart failure (Stage A, B, C and D). The stages range from “high risk of developing heart failure” to “advanced heart failure,” and provide treatment plans.