Leg Edema – Causes and Treatment

When you feel a swelling sensation on your legs, most likely, you are experiencing water retention in your legs, or what is also known as leg edema. This can be a very uncomfortable feeling and can occur in either legs or one. It is noticeable if the swelling appears in the calves or the lower part of your leg.

What Are The Main Causes of Leg Edema?

Pregnancy. Leg edema commonly manifests during the last trimester of the pregnancy. Due to the growing fetus, force is applied on the vein that transmits blood from the legs, which is known as the vena cava. And since body fluid also increases during pregnancy, any excess fluid accumulates in the feet.

Prolonged sitting or standing position. One of the most common causes of leg edema is sitting or standing for long periods of time. This inhibits the circulation of blood, thus, blood is pushed down the lower leg that causes the swelling.

Side effect of medication. Some medicines, when administered to patients, produce adverse effects like swelling and soreness of the legs and other parts of the body. Examples are anti-inflammatory drugs, anti-depressants, steroids, and maintenance medicines for high blood pressure.

Allergic reaction. Allergies on certain foods or insect bites may also cause soreness. Bee stings, for example, can instantly cause the swelling of the area where a bee stung an individual. The swelling is mainly the body’s response to the histamines produced by the allergic reaction.

Internal injury. In some cases, it can be brought about by an internal injury affecting the legs or failure of the kidney and other internal organs. If there is the presence of blood-clotting, it will also lead to leg edema since there is a blockage in the normal blood flow.

Enlargement of veins. When you develop varicose veins, this means the veins become enlarged, thus, causing leg and ankle swelling, accompanied by throbbing leg pain.

How Do You Treat Leg Edema?

Swelling of the legs is treatable and dependent on the cause of the edema.

Minimize salt intake. Ensure to trim down your salt intake as this is a known factor for water retention. This will include your consumption of junk food such as chips.

Take diuretics. Drinking herbal teas makes you urinate more, thus, you expel excess salt and body fluid from your body.

Elevate legs. Lie down on your bed and prop up your legs on pillows, keeping your legs above heart level. You can do this for about half an hour, 4 times a day.

Walk. Do some brisk walking as this will surely help your blood circulation and send some excess fluid back to the heart.