Swollen Feet – Risk Factors, Prevention And Causes
In the hot days of summer, at high temperatures, the body reacts in different ways. In hot weather, some parts of the body retain excess water and swell.Â Under the effect ofÂ gravity, swelling is most obvious in the lower part ofÂ the legs: leg, ankle and foot. Even though this event is temporary, swollen feet can cause discomfortÂ duringÂ summertime. Fortunately, there are several ways to reduce this inconvenience.
Swollen feet, sole and ankle, without this being associated with pain, is called peripheral edema. When swelling occurs, especially in conditions of heat,Â it is called heat edema. This swelling occurs due toÂ heat especially when blood vessels dilate, and the person concerned maintainedÂ positions ofÂ standing or sitting for long intervals. The result is fluid retention in the legs.
Risk factors and ways to prevent swollen feet
Peripheral edema is common and is often rather uncomfortable looking, but a serious health condition. Some people, such as elderly, pregnant women, the childbearing period, overweight, are more likely to experience this condition. They can take extra precautions to prevent swelling occurred during the summer.
To prevent swelling triggered by warm weather, try to avoid high temperatures, as much as possible. Maintaining low levelsÂ of body heatÂ will reduce vasodilation, and by this wayÂ theÂ feel pressure in the legs. Equally important is to avoid prolonged standing or sitting in theÂ upright position. Immobility causes accumulation of fluid in the legs, ankles and feet. If a person needs to make a long trip by car, train or plane and has to stay a long time, sitting in the same position, it is important, when possible, to change its position or make short walks. If walking is not possible moving orÂ elevating the feetÂ from the ground a few inches is recommended.
Also, consumption of salt predisposes to water retention. Therefore the patient will limitÂ the salt intake, especially in hot weather to maintain a healthy balance of body health.
Ways to reduce swollen feet
Swollen feet can be reduced even by measures that can be applied at home.
As long standing is one of the causes that cause swelling in hot periods, avoiding it prevents swelling of the feet. Also, lifting feet off the ground counteracts the effects of gravity and fluid flow normalizes.
Exercise helps the heart to pump liquidsÂ thatÂ due toÂ physical inactivity have accumulated in the lower limbs. WalkingÂ and other simple movementsÂ that areÂ involvingÂ the legs can diminish swelling. Also, medical stockings with supportive role, can reduce theÂ swollen feetÂ symptoms.
When it is necessary to treat peripheral edema?
Although edema is a common symptom, it can sometimes be a sign of aÂ more serious condition.
A person should seek medical assistance when fever, swollen feet, oliguria (decreased amount of urine) occurs orÂ suffered in the past or currently manifests aÂ liver disease.
A pregnant woman should tellÂ the doctor if sudden worsening of theÂ feet edema occurs. In addition, everyone should seek emergency medical service if home measures do not suceed in reducing the swelling, especially if these events are associated withÂ breathing difficulties or chest pain.
Peripheral edema is the result of abnormal fluid retention in tissues and leg muscles. Gravity naturally contributes to the concentration of water in the lowerÂ regionsÂ ofÂ the bodyÂ and theÂ standingÂ position amplifies the effects of gravity, resulting in swollen legs, ankles and feet.
Edema can occur as a result of obstruction, injury or pressure on the existing capillaries, which forces the fluid to drain into the interstitial spaces – and the effect is swelling.
Chronic venous insufficiency. Normally, the heart pumps bloodÂ sufficient for major systems and cellsÂ of the body through arteries. In case ofÂ edema, insufficient bloodÂ is pumped from the extremities to the lungs and heart. To stimulate blood flow to the heart from the extremeties area, calf muscles and other muscles of the legs contract and push theÂ blood up. In addition, leg veins are equipped with valves that open in one direction and which are designed to prevent backflow of blood that might occur due to gravity. Thus, blood flows in one direction: from the periphery to the heart. In the case of chronic venous insufficiency, the valves are damaged, allowing blood to flow back and accumulate in legs tissues. Swollen legs and ankles are the first signs of chronic venous insufficiency.
Congestive heart failure. Congestive heart failure is a diseaseÂ in which the heartÂ muscles are weak, the heart being unable to effectively pump theÂ blood amountÂ that theÂ body needs. The condition can be caused by a heart attack, damage to valves and other cardiovascular disorders, hypertension, inflammation of heart muscle, etc… Specific symptoms are legs, ankles and feet swelling,Â shortness of breath, fatigue and fast or irregular heartbeat.
Lymphedema. Lymphedema is a condition characterized by swelling of the hands and feet, caused by blockage or dysfunction of the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is part of the immune system and is composed of tissue, lymph nodes and lymph vessels.The lymphatic vesselsÂ collects lymph throughout the body and drains it into the circulatory system.Â Blockage inÂ lymphatic drainage of lymph system dysfunctionÂ Â leads to lymphÂ concentration in theÂ interstitial space: the result is inflammation of the hands and feet.