How to Ease Leg Swelling

Leg swelling, also referred to as edema, can be painful and embarrassing. It can be caused by various factors like certain diseases, lifestyle choices or medications. Some of the main causes of leg swelling can be:

  • Obesity
  • Prolonged sitting or standing
  • Excessive hormone intake like estrogen or testosterone
  • Taking certain antidepressants or steroids
  • Natural changes during a woman’s menstrual cycle
  • Pregnancy or preeclampsia
  • Blood clots in the leg
  • An infection or injury in the legs
  • Venous insufficiency

Though some of these conditions require medical attention, some types of swelling can be reduced by a few simple tips and changes to your lifestyle.

Wear compression stockings for support

Compression stockings are tight stockings made out of elastic that keep continuous pressure around your lower leg and ankle to prevent fluid buildup.

  • Compression stockings can be worn during normal daily activities and while exercising
  • Some stockings need to be fitted by a physician

Reduce salt intake

Excess salt in the body attracts water to the tissues, so reducing salt consumption can reduce edema. Here are some easy ways to cut back on salt and sodium consumption:

  • Avoid adding table salt to your food. Instead, try using other salt-free seasonings that can add flavor without all the salt.
  • Limit your intake of processed food, which can contain large amounts of hidden sodium.

Get up and move

Prolonged sitting or standing without moving can make your blood more prone to pool in your extremities and result in swelling. By walking about at least once an hour, your leg muscles can expand and contract, which will stimulate the blood flow within the veins.

If you do choose to sit for extended periods of time, or if it is unavoidable, try to keep your legs elevated to prevent blood pooling. Prop your feet up on a stool or ottoman and place a pillow under your legs while resting.

Drink plenty of water

Be sure to drink at least 64 ounces of water every day to help flush out your system and eliminate toxins and added sodium. In addition, some teas with diuretic properties like chamomile or dandelion leaf can speed up the flushing process to help detoxify your body.

The right kind of exercise

Though some types of exercise can aggravate swelling, the right kind of physical activity can actually help relieve leg swelling. If your body isn’t already accustomed to regular exercise, start out slow by incorporating low-impact exercises that don’t put strain on your body, such as swimming or yoga.

If you are experiencing swelling in your legs it could be cause by a serious venous disease. Call the vein specialists at Total Vein Care today at (225) 245-3540 to schedule a screening.

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