A very common place to see edema is in the feet, ankles and lower legs. Edema is fluid build up which may occur in any part of your body. However, due of the effects of gravity, the fluid more commonly appears as painless swelling in the lower legs.
When this happens, it is referred to as peripheral edema. Peripheral Edema Treatment is more effective if the causes are known.
Some Signs of Peripheral Edema
One of the signs is mild to moderate swelling in the lower legs. This also happens to be common with age and so does not always mean the person will need medical treatment. The persons legs may feel tight and heavy. Also, they may notice the skin over the lower legs looking stretched and shiny. If a finger is pressed gently on the swollen area for a few seconds and it leaves an imprint, this is known as “pitting edema”. A trip to the doctor would be the first course of action.
Common Causes of Peripheral Edema
As a person gets on in years, he or she is more likely to have a gathering of edema fluid in their lower legs when they stand or sit too long. They may also see a tightness and swelling the shoes and socks are removed at the end of the day. For the majority, symptoms like these are not serious. However, if the symptoms become more exaggerated, the doctor should be called.
Peripheral Edema Treatment – What Can Be Done
For cases of edema which are not serious, there are some simple steps which can be carried out at home:
- Try not to stand or sit for prolonged amounts of time. Make a habit of walking and moving around to get a good blood flow going.
- Wear support stockings. If you have to sit or stand for long periods. You can buy these stockings from most drug stores and online.
- Try to elevate your legs whenever you can. At anytime when lying down, place a knee wedge pillow under the legs to lift them above your heart.
- Reduce the salt intake. Cut back on the amount of salt you put onto food or use when cooking food. Avoid processed foods that contain high levels of salt. You should not be eating more than 1500mg per day.
If the symptoms of peripheral edema linger, see your doctor. They should be able to treat any underlying conditions that are helping the edema.