Shoes! One of the essential pieces of an outfit, Yeah, everyone has something beautiful to say when your shoe game is on point! But, and, a big BUT, they can be a bother sometimes, especially when they are bugging you, and you look down, and whoops, you have swollen feet, what happened?!
Swelling or medically, edema is a medical term for swelling due to fluid accumulation. The accumulation usually occurs in any part of the body but is often more evident in the feet or legs. Steven Lamm, M.D says Swollen legs between young and middle-aged people are not usually a cause for concern.
However, it’s noteworthy to know what’s going on with your body. This post sheds light on the causes of swollen feet, some home remedies that can help reduce the swollen feet, and importantly when its time to see a doctor about your feet.
Some causes of swollen feet
1) Embarking on a long trip.
Going on a long road trip or flight trips can lead to swollen legs. Dr. Lamm says that when one is sitting for a longer duration, the veins are not so efficient in circulating blood back to the heart. Dr. Lamm goes further to say that the upright seated posture has two impacts on an individual. Firstly, it decreases muscle contraction, which helps bring blood back to the heart. Secondly, being in that position squeezes the veins in your legs, which decreases blood circulation.
For someone embarking on a long trip, it is vital to get up and flex to reduce or quite possibly prevent swelling. On long flights, one should move around every hour or two. Also, experts recommend compression socks as they can keep fluid from building up in the legs. In addition, research suggests a supplement called pycnogenol, a pine bark extract that minimizes inflammation, according to the reports on people who have been on flights for at least 7 hours.
2) Your exercise meter is low.
Almost all of us would profit from walking or being active more often; this will help us in getting more exercise into our lifestyle. Scheduled sessions at the gym also help in increasing the exercise meter accordingly. A sedentary lifestyle has many adverse effects, including lower blood circulation, which allows the feet to swell.
Alex McDonald, MD, CAQSM, who is a family physician in San Bernardino, California, suggests taking frequent exercise or relaxing breaks throughout the day to reduce swelling.
3) Consuming too much salt.
Indulging in salty foods or adding too much of it to your diet can cause water retention, which can lead to swollen ankles, and legs, explains Dr. Lamm.
Reducing the daily intake of salt will help to reduce the swelling of the lower leg.
4) You are suffering from a sprained your ankle.
Instant swelling occurs when an ankle is sprained; this swelling of a sprained ankle is the body’s natural way of responding to the injury.
A physical therapist can help rehabilitate the injury
5) Hot weather.
During hot weather, the legs will swell as their muscles extend to cool the skin. This system can allow fluid to leak into the surrounding tissue. Storing of fluids in the feet and thighs can also occur.
Consuming plenty of water and wearing comfortable shoes that allow some circulation may help prevent the legs from swelling in warm weather.
A side effect of medication
Some medications can result in feet swelling, mainly if they cause water retention.
Here are lists of medications that may cause swollen feet:
- Diabetes management medication
- Calcium-channel blockers that help control blood pressure
- Hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone
- Steroids, both androgenic and anabolic, and corticosteroids
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
Anyone who thinks that their drug triggers their feet to swell should talk to their doctor. A doctor should be able to alter the dosage or recommend a different type of medication.
General home remedies for swollen feet
The following are several remedies for swollen feet.
- Soaking the feet in cold water
- Drinking plenty of water
- Placing the feet on pillows when sleeping
- Staying active
- Wearing compression socks
- Massaging the feet
- Eating a healthful diet and watching salt intake
- Losing weight if overweight
- Consuming a high amount of potassium-rich foods, as these can help reduce water retention
When to see a specialist
Most instances with swollen feet often resolve without medical attention, while home remedies and lifestyle changes may help to reduce swelling.
However, if the swelling happens too frequently or does not go down, you should see your doctor. So he/she can assess whether there is an underlying cause of your swelling.
If swollen legs occur alongside shortness of breath, chest pain, or chest pressure, call emergency services immediately.
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FAQ ON SWOLLEN FEET
What is the definition of swelling?
Swelling occurs as a result of fluid accumulation that occurs in any part of the body.
How does taking a long trip contribute to swollen feet?
The upright seated posture that one assumes when on a trip has two impacts on an individual. Firstly, it decreases muscle contraction, which helps bring blood back to the heart. Secondly, it squeezes the veins in your legs, which lowers blood circulation resulting in swollen feet.
What medications can lead to your feet swelling?
Medications such as antidepressants, Calcium-channel blockers for blood pressure control, hormones, steroids, e.t.c
When to see a doctor for swollen feet?
You should see a doctor if the swelling happens too frequently or does not go down, for a proper assessment, and determination of the underlying cause.
When do swollen feet indicate an emergency?
If swollen legs occur alongside shortness of breath, chest pain, or chest pressure, it is an emergency.