Swelling of the legs is an excessive accumulation of fluid in the lower limbs. About 70% of men and women face this problem. Swelling of the legs can be a symptom of various diseases. All edema is divided into species:
- Hydramic. Occur as a result of accumulation of excess fluid in renal failure.
- Stagnant. Formed with the permeability of blood vessels, reducing the pressure in the capillaries and protein in the blood.
- Cachectic. Occur with exhaustion of the body or cardiovascular diseases.
- Mechanical. Appear as a result of injuries, can occur during pregnancy and tumors.
- Allergic - deep cutaneous edema.
- Neuropathic. Arise with diabetes and alcoholism.
There are a lot of reasons why your legs swell. It can be general diseases, and pathologies of the lower extremities. Swelling is one-sided and bilateral, can have a different degree of severity. Based on these signs and other additional symptoms, the patient is diagnosed.
Foot swelling: causes of
Physiological causes of
Swelling can occur in healthy people. They are associated with excessive consumption of water and salt. In summer, leg swelling due to the fact that a person consumes a lot of fluid that enters the blood, excreted in the urine and then out of the body does not have time. A large amount of salt contributes to the stagnation of fluid in the tissues. As a result, the heart can not cope with the increased amount of blood, which begins to stagnate in the lower limbs. If the ankles of the legs swell, the reasons for this can be very different. For example, wearing uncomfortable shoes, a sedentary lifestyle, excessive body weight, unusual physical activity, prolonged sitting on very low or soft seats, flat feet, metabolic disorders.
Swelling of the legs occurs with varicose veins of the legs, post-thrombophlebitis syndrome, deep vein thrombophlebitis, lower vena cava syndrome. If the legs swell in the evening, the reasons for this, most likely, lie in the violation of venous outflow. With varicose the appearance of puffiness is preceded by aching pains, a feeling of heaviness in the legs, convulsive muscle contractions at night. There may be an expansion of the subcutaneous veins and itching. Swelling is most pronounced in the evening, and by morning they decrease. In some cases, dermatitis, eczema, trophic ulcers appear on the legs.
In thrombophlebitis of the deep veins of the shins, pains in the calf muscles are observed, which increase with movement in the ankle joint. One of the reasons why the ankles are swollen is thrombophlebitis. In addition, in the region of the shins, there may be a local increase in body temperature, as well as soreness with palpation.
The reason for the left or right swelling may be post-thrombophlebitic syndrome, which usually occurs in women 30-60 years of age. For this pathology, swelling of the legs on the lower legs, sometimes on the thighs, is characteristic. Such swelling increases with prolonged standing, and decreases in lying position. Most often, swelling is observed on one leg. It is accompanied by traumatic pains that increase with physical activity and a feeling of heaviness in the leg. If you press, the holes will not remain. On the affected leg, the skin becomes thinner, while the scalp disappears, and brown pigmentation and cyanosis develop.
Syndrome of the inferior vena cava is formed as a result of blood flow disturbance. In this case, swelling covers the legs completely, extending to the genitals, buttocks, anterior abdominal wall. Trophic ulcers on the legs are observed, which are not amenable to conservative treatment.
Swelling of the legs with heart failure is very common. They arise as a result of such diseases as aneurysm of the heart vessels, myocardial infarction, heart defects, atherosclerotic cardiosclerosis, hypertension. Puffiness can be accompanied by an increase in the size of the heart, liver, heart arrhythmia.
Similar swellings are located symmetrically and grow slowly, spreading from the bottom up. In the evening they intensify. When pressing, the hole remains for a long time. Skin over the zone of edema is cyanotic and cold. If a person is in a lying position for a long time( for example, with a fracture of the spine), then swelling on the legs can pass completely, but new ones will appear in the waist region.
Disturbance of lymph drainage of
The reason why the right leg or left is swelling may be lymphangitis, a lymphatic vascular injury that is a complication of purulent-inflammatory foot disease. There is swelling, redness, fever. Edema of the extremity is due to the involvement of deep lymph vessels in the process.
Also, the cause of lymph flow defect is elephantiasis. With this disease, protein and water metabolism in tissues is disturbed, lymph gland is formed. As a result, the legs swell, and they become like elephants.
Infectious-inflammatory diseases, snake bites, insects
Foot swelling is formed with inflammatory diseases such as erysipelas, rheumatism, osteomyelitis, infectious arthritis, phlegmon, furuncle. Such swelling is vague, accompanied by pain and redness.
The saliva of some snakes and insects contains allergens or is poisonous. Therefore, after a bite in the leg, it swells. Swelling of the legs may appear after the bite of wasps, bees, poisonous snakes, arachnids.
If you have swelling of your legs, then you should not make a diagnosis yourself, especially if this problem is repeated. It is necessary to consult a therapist, he will give directions to instrumental studies and tests that will help diagnose and determine the treatment. In addition, it may be necessary to consult a specialized specialist: nephrologist, cardiologist, endocrinologist, phlebologist.
Why do pregnant women swell?
Pregnant women are often swollen feet, the reasons for this lie in the large consumption of water. Strong thirst is usually provoked by a changing hormonal background. In addition, in the vessels and other tissues accumulates sodium, which contributes to the retention of water in the body. Usually leg swelling during pregnancy develops in the third trimester and does not pose a serious danger. But there are other more serious causes of swelling of the lower extremities in pregnancy:
- Varicose veins. The uterus gradually grows and presses on large vessels, so the outflow of blood from the legs is broken. As a result, blood-filled veins lead to a strong swelling of the legs.
- Kidney disease. In this case, swelling of the legs can be formed at any time. During pregnancy, the burden on the kidneys increases dramatically and they do not always cope with their task.
- Swelling of the legs in the third trimester may indicate the development of gestosis. Edema is accompanied by high blood pressure and the presence of protein in the urine.
- During pregnancy, either left or right leg can swell. This is due to the fact that the uterus squeezes the iliac vein more from the left or right side, which leads to stagnation of blood in the corresponding leg. If you lie on the opposite side, the swelling will become even.
Swelling of the feet: treatment of
Methods for treating lower extremity edema depend on the cause that caused swelling of the legs. In most cases, you can eliminate swelling by yourself. But if they are a consequence of any serious illness, then medication, specific treatment is required. In order to eliminate the stagnation of fluid in the tissues apply various diuretics and drugs that improve microcirculation. Remember that to reduce fluid intake for the prevention of puffiness should not be( unless it is recommended by a doctor), since this usually contributes to an even more stagnant fluid.
To ease your condition and reduce swelling on your legs, you can resort to the following measures:
- Foot bath with warm water and several tablespoons of sea salt.
- Lie with your legs elevated.
- Massage of legs and feet in a direction from below upwards.
To reduce swelling, foot exercises help:
- When sitting or lying down, press the heel alternately to the floor and raise the sock, and vice versa. Run a few minutes a day.
- To be like your fingers.
- With bare feet try to lift from the floor a small ball or pencil.
- Right foot put on the left. Raise the sock as high as possible, do the exercise with the right foot.
- To make rotational movements with your feet( right to left and left to right).
- Stand a few seconds on your toes. Then make 5-10 jumps on tiptoe.
- Toes bend down, and then sharply straighten them up.
If there are no contraindications, then you can use folk remedies. A good effect is the use of diuretics from field horsetail, spores, birch buds, as well as a decoction of elderberries and flaxseed. Ease puffiness will help the juice of black radish with the addition of honey and parsley. Use natural funds for pregnant women and people with kidney, heart, metabolism can only consult with your doctor.
Foot swelling is not a symptom that requires urgent medical attention. But if they arise due to serious diseases and appear simultaneously with their other symptoms, then emergency help is needed.