Edema, swollen legs, or water retention, is a condition that affects many people. However, if you are not sure of its cause, you might need to visit your doctor and address the issue on time.
These are the 6 most common causes of swollen legs and here is how to treat them:
1. Physical inactivity
Sedentary lifestyles often cause water retention and fluid buildup. In most cases, swelling is a result of minor circulation issues due to physical inactivity. Therefore, the easiest way to fix this is to get more exercise or spend at least 30 minutes walking daily.
2. Heart issues
Heart troubles can cause swellings in the legs too since the heart is not able to properly pump the blood needed to circulate throughout the body. This symptom can also be accompanied by shortness of breath when lying down flat or after even minimal exercise. In this case, you should consult your doctor for a suitable treatment.
3. PMS and pregnancy
During PMS, numerous women experience swollen legs. This is also common during pregnancy.
In these cases, you will benefit a lot from the consumption of warm parsley tea. Chop parsley leaves and roots finely, pour boiled water over them and allow to infuse for about 5 minutes. Strain, and lemon juice and honey, and drink it.
4. Kidney or liver problems
Edema can also affect the face and hands as well, and in these cases, it is usually caused by problems with the function of the kidneys or the liver. This is a serious issue that needs to be treated immediately, as it can cause protein from the blood to leak into the urine and reduce the overall protein in the body.
5. Blood clots
Blood clots in the legs, or venous insufficiency, are not a serious health issue, but if left untreated, they can be dangerous. Actually, the walls of the veins inside the legs start to lose their strength, so the one-way valves that lead to the heart face damage.
In turn, the veins fill with blood. To treat this issue, make sure you regularly keep the legs elevated while you sleep, sit, or lie down. There are also support stockings that can alleviate the issue.
6. A poor diet
One of the most common causes of leg swelling is a poor diet, or the excessive intake of salt, as sodium retains water.
According to Dr. Josh Axe, DNM, DC, CNS:
“If water retention is an ongoing problem for you, you should start by altering your diet. Your circulatory and lymphatic systems are responsible for bodily fluid balance, so to keep them working properly be sure to:
- load up on essential vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, and antioxidants
- avoid processed and packaged foods that are usually high in sodium
- focus on eating fresh fruits and vegetables, like potassium-rich avocados (which help to balance your sodium levels) and leafy greens that supply plenty of magnesium
- eat foods like organic, grass-fed beef, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats (like coconut oil) that are nutrient-dense and help to improve circulation and decrease inflammation”
Additionally, Rachael Link, MS, RD, lists the most powerful natural diuretic herbs and supplements:
- Green Tea
- Black Tea
- Bell Peppers
- Hawthorn Berry
- Juniper Berry
Therefore, even though the swellings in the body cause pain and discomfort, they are not always an indication of a serious health issue. You just need to identify the underlying cause, in order to find out the best option to treat them afterward.