Edema (or swelling) of the lower limbs is common in older adults. The most common cause (about 70%) of leg edema is due to Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI). Other serious causes of edema include congestive heart failure, kidney disease, and liver disease.
When should I be concerned about leg swelling?
Seek medical care right away if your legs swell for no apparent reason, especially if you have unexplained leg pain, difficulty breathing, chest pain or other warning signs of a blood clot in your lungs or a heart condition. Many factors — varying greatly in severity — can cause leg swelling.
Why would an elderly person’s legs swell?
Legs, ankles, and feet swell when excess fluid is pulled down by gravity and builds up in the lower body. This is called edema and it’s common in older adults and usually happens on both sides of the body. It can be caused by a variety of health conditions including heart failure, kidney disease, gout, and arthritis.
How do you reduce swelling in the elderly?
Any form of cold therapy can be beneficial, such as: ice packs, ice baths, and ice machines that deliver cold water to wraps. Ice should be used a few times a day for about 20-30 minutes at a time to reduce swelling effectively. Pressure on an injury helps constrict blood flow and excess fluid from reaching the injury.
Is edema in the legs life threatening?
Most of the time, the edema is not a serious illness, but it may be a sign for one. Here are some examples: Venous insufficiency can cause edema in the feet and ankles, because the veins are having trouble transporting enough blood all the way to the feet and back to the heart.
What helps with swollen legs in elderly?
But again, most leg swelling in aging adults is chronic venous insufficiency. The ideal management of this chronic condition includes “lifestyle” measures such as elevating the legs regularly, using compression stockings, reducing salt intake, and doing exercises which improve fluid movement in the legs.
Can dehydration cause leg swelling?
The kidneys start to react by retaining more sodium and water. The fluid then builds up in surrounding tissues, leading to swelling.
How do you drain fluid from your legs?
Hold the swollen part of your body above the level of your heart several times a day. In some cases, elevating the affected body part while you sleep may be helpful. Massage. Stroking the affected area toward your heart using firm, but not painful, pressure may help move the excess fluid out of that area.
Does walking help swollen legs?
The best weapon in the fight against swollen legs is a simple one: walking. Getting your legs moving means circulation is improved which will sweep up that collected fluid and get it shifted.
What can elderly eat for weak legs?
10 Foods to Help Seniors Build Strong Muscles
- Meat. Animal meats are rich in protein and valuable in senior health, supplying an approximate 7 grams of protein per one ounce.
- Fatty Fish.
What is a home remedy for swollen legs?
- Put your legs on pillows to raise them above your heart while lying down.
- Exercise your legs.
- Follow a low-salt diet, which may reduce fluid buildup and swelling.
- Wear support stockings (sold at most drugstores and medical supply stores).
- When traveling, take breaks often to stand up and move around.
What medicine makes swelling go down?
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): Ibuprofen, such as Advil or Motrin. Naproxen, such as Aleve or Naprosyn.
What foods are bad for edema?
Avoid refined foods, such as white breads, pastas, and sugar. Eat fewer red meats and more lean meats, cold-water fish, tofu (soy, if no allergy), or beans for protein. Use healthy cooking oils, such as olive oil.
Will drinking more water help with edema?
Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water per day Though it might seem counterintuitive, getting enough fluids actually helps reduce swelling. When your body isn’t hydrated enough, it holds onto the fluid it does have. This contributes to swelling.
What happens if edema is left untreated?
If left untreated, edema can lead to increasingly painful swelling, stiffness, difficulty walking, stretched or itchy skin, skin ulcers, scarring, and decreased blood circulation.
When should you go to the hospital for swollen feet and legs?
You should seek emergency care if you have sudden, unexplained swelling in just one limb or if it occurs along with chest pain, trouble breathing, coughing up blood, fever, or skin that is red and warm to the touch.