Swelling or puffiness of a body part is known as edema. Edema usually happens in the feet, ankles, and legs because blood that made its way down there (from the heart) now has to fight its way up against gravity and there’s no other blood pumping mechanism in your extremities other than the contraction of your leg muscles when you walk or go for a run.
Thus swollen feet are greatly marked in people with venous insufficiency, and conditions that make this state worse (e.g. obesity, diabetes, pregnancy, sitting or standing for long periods of time), which can compromise venous tone.
Your feet may “feel” swollen, but it does not necessarily mean you have edema. True edema can be due to congestive heart failure and liver, kidney, and thyroid diseases.
Changes in the chemistry of the blood can also cause edema for example, imbalance in electrolytes (e.g. too much salt; too little protein). It may be worth to point out that you cannot catch edema from other people. It is also not hereditary (i.e. does not run in families). While working long hours at your desk or making a long trip by car, bus or plane, you might notice your legs become swollen.
Symptoms of swelling feet
Symptoms are subjective (e.g. you may feel pain, numbness), and signs are objective (e.g. swelling and redness of your feet). Your doctor can tell by examining you whether you have edema.
The skin over the swollen area may be stretched and shiny (this is a sign). Pushing gently on the swollen area for a few seconds will leave a dimple, and if this happens, your doctor might want to do tests to see what is causing the edema.
It is important to recognize that swollen feet can also be a sign of serious, underlying conditions like kidney disease and congestive heart failure (accompanied by symptoms like fatigue, shortness of breath, inability to sleep lying flat, etc.). If you are pregnant and you notice edema, or if you have trouble breathing see your doctor right away. But in today’s article we shall be discussing the best wars to prevent the occurrence of swelling feet ;
- Reduce salt intake:
Cut down on the salt in your diet. Too much sodium causes fluid to build up and can lead to swelling. Avoid adding excess salt to your meals and minimize the amount of processed foods you consume. Eat a well-balanced diet featuring healthy foods from each of the food groups. Lose weight if your doctor tells you that you’re overweight or obese, as this can also lead to swelling of the feet.
Drink plenty of water before and after your walk to stay hydrated, flush out your system and reduce the amount of water your body retains. Drink at least 50 percent of your body weight in ounces of water each day — if you weigh 150 pounds, drink one hundred and fifty ounces of water. If you’re very active, increase that amount to seventy five percent of your body weight. If water is just too boring and you can’t bring yourself to drink that much each day, try making it more exciting by dropping lemon, cucumber or orange slices in for a nice change.
- Keep your style loose:
Avoid wearing tight workout clothing when you walk, especially pants or shorts that are too snug at the thighs. Clothing that’s tight around the thighs can decrease your circulation and cause more swelling of your feet. Wear shoes that fit well and aren’t too tight. Tight shoes aren’t only uncomfortable, they can increase swelling as well. Invest in some compression socks or stockings. Compression stockings can improve your leg’s blood flow, preventing swelling and blood clots. You’ll find a variety of compression stockings that range in length and in the amount of pressure they create. Your doctor can recommend the best kind for you.
- Leg extensions:
Elevating your feet above the heart to reverse the flow of fluids is the first line of defense for swollen legs. Propping your feet up on your desk or on the back of the airplane seat in front of you, though, probably isn’t going to go over well. Instead, with what little room you have, try some simple leg extensions. Start with your feet flat on the floor. Extend your right leg as straight as you can. If you have room to lift the leg, do so. Hold for a count of one, then return to the starting position. Now, switch sides, extending and lifting the left leg.
- Knee lifts:
If you don’t have room to extend your legs for leg extensions, you can do knee lifts. These work flexion in your hips and knees to promote circulation. Lift one foot off the floor bringing the knee toward the chest. You don’t have to bring it all the way up, but you certainly can. As you do so, contract all the muscles in your thighs. Lower the leg back down, and do the other leg.
- Elevate your feet:
Elevate your feet when you come in from your walk. Lie on your back and place a pillow under your feet and ankles to prop them up higher than your heart. This strategy improves your blood flow and reduces the amount of fluid that collects in your feet..
- Ankle circle:
Often swollen legs are worse around the calves, ankles and feet, where gravity causes fluids to pool. Rotating your ankles can help get some of that fluid moving. Ankle circles are easy and inconspicuous great for doing during long meetings or seminars. Simply lift one foot off the ground slightly. Begin to roll the ankle clockwise, drawing an imaginary circle on the floor with your toes. Go in one direction for ten full circles, then switch directions. Replace the foot on the floor, and do the exercise with the other foot.
- Keep walking:
When sitting or standing in one position for a long time, stretch your legs and move around every couple of hour, to get your blood flowing. Try doing this several times each hour to prevent swelling in the feet and legs.
The above listed are preventive majors for swelling feet, and in situations where one is suffering from a swollen foot, one should seek for remedies or in severe cases it’s best to seek medical attention.