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.
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.
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.
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.
What causes extreme swelling in lower legs and feet?
Fluid buildup (edema): It happens when the tissues or blood vessels in your legs hold more fluid than they should. This can happen if you simply spend a long day on your feet or sit for too long. But it may also be a sign that you’re overweight or don’t get enough exercise, or of more serious medical conditions.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Can edema in legs cause death?
It is a serious condition, it can be a medical emergency, and it can lead to respiratory failure and death. Cerebral edema: This occurs in the brain. It can happen for a range of reasons, many of which are potentially life threatening.
What medications can cause leg swelling?
Many medicines can cause edema, including:
- NSAIDs (such as ibuprofen and naproxen)
- Calcium channel blockers.
- Corticosteroids (like prednisone and methylprednisolone)
- Pioglitazone and rosiglitazone.
What medications cause swollen feet?
Medications that may cause the feet to swell include:
- hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone.
- calcium-channel blockers that help control blood pressure.
- steroids, both androgenic and anabolic, and corticosteroids.
- nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
- medication to help manage diabetes.
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.
What does severe edema look like?
Signs of edema include: Swelling or puffiness of the tissue directly under your skin, especially in your legs or arms. Stretched or shiny skin. Skin that retains a dimple (pits), after being pressed for several seconds.
How do you get rid of swollen legs fast?
Some tips that may help reduce swelling:
- 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).
Can dehydration cause swollen ankles?
Stay Hydrated – dehydration causes the constriction of blood vessels leading to the forcing of fluids into the extracellular spaces between cells leading to retention particularly in the lower limbs.