Swollen feet or legs often occurs when the muscles in the feet retains an unusually high amount of liquids. Swelling of the feet is often referred to as edema and may occur for a variety of reasons. One of these reasons is good old fashioned gravity. When there is excessive fluid in the body gravity pulls it down causing the majority of the effects to be evident in the feet, legs or ankles. This however can have an effect on many other parts of the body as well. There are many issues which may lead to swelling of the feet, legs or ankles including the following:
Injury to the area
Prolonged sitting or standing
Excessive salt or carbohydrate intake
Improper use of laxatives or diuretics
Disorders of the muscular system
Poor blood circulation
Use of certain medications
The symptoms of swollen legs, feet and ankles include the obvious signs as well as increased pain in these areas. In some cases a person experiencing this type of swelling may also have difficulty walking and stiffness of the feet.
There are several ways in which swollen feet or legs may be treated. One of the first recommendations that your health care provider will most likely make is to sit with your feet elevated above heart level. Other options may include staying off your feet as much as possible, changing your eating habits and reducing the amount of salt you use. It is important to know that what specific treatment is used for swollen feet is dependent on what specifically causes the problem.
Frequently changing positions, exercise, low salt diet and weight loss are all very effective ways of preventing swelling of the feet. It is important to remember that with any problem prevention is always the best course whenever possible. There are times however when prevention is not possible. When this is the case you should seek medical treatment to determine the cause of the problem and discuss various treatment options with your health care provider.
When swelling of the feet occurs from things that cannot be prevented such as advancement of age or menstruation cycles there are ways to alleviate the problem. One of these is to use a ‘water pill’ supplement which reduces the amount of fluid that a person’s body retains. This in conjunction with the other recommendations of your health care provider will most likely make the problem more bearable until it passes or you otherwise get it more under control.
Regardless of the specific problem it is important to understand that your health care provider can recommend the best ways to treat this problem based on the cause. In some cases this treatment may be more effective than others. Again this is largely dependent on the specific cause of the problem.