Leg swelling, known as peripheral edema, is the swelling of the lower extremities. This issue can be an indication of a problem in the venous circulation system due to vein damage or diseased vein valves that are not functioning properly. Due to the damage, gravity pulls bodily fluids down into your legs causing them to swell.
Call your primary physician immediately if you are experiencing pain, increasing leg swelling, excessive weight gain, chest pain or heart palpitation.
Venous insufficiency is another term that is used to diagnose damaged or weak veins that cannot pump amble blood back toward the heart and thus causes the blood to pool into the lower portion of the legs, ankles, and feet. This condition can be inherited by more women than men.
Because of the damaged valves, blood cannot effectively return to the heart and pools in the lower, ankles and feet. This results in higher than normal pressure (venous hypertension) and causes the lower extremities to swell.
There are a variety of factors that can cause leg swelling. Some of these issues can be temporary such as:
Pregnancy: Typically goes away after birth. Pregnancy women experience edema because their bodies retain the extra fluids that are needed for the fetus.
Sedentary: Standing or sitting for long periods of time can cause lower extremities to swell because the inactive muscles cannot properly pump fluids back to the heart.
Salt: Eating excess salty foods can off balance the sodium to water ratio that is needed in the body. The human body typically secretes the extra sodium through the urine, but the body can also retain fluid if there is too much in the bloodstream.
Other factors that can cause leg swelling are an indication of more chronic conditions such as:
Heart Failure: Occurs when a side of your heart is not efficiently pumping blood throughout the body. Less blood pumping will cause fluid retention in the lower extremities.
Our practice is experienced with offering the most progressive approaches in treating patients with advanced symptoms of venous reflux disease including the diseases mentioned above. Consult with our physician today to learn more.