Amelia Grant

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Author: AmeliaGrant

5 Shocking Causes and Treatments for Leg Swelling

Swelling is a widespread issue that can happen to everyone. Occasional leg swelling may happen when you simply spend a long day on your feet or sit for too long. But if your legs are regularly swollen, this can be a symptom of a serious underlying condition. Because of swelling, you may experience leg pain, numbness, redness, and itching. Unmanaged leg swelling can contribute to stiffness and difficulty walking. 

To manage leg swelling, it is important to find out the root cause of edema accumulation. Below are some of the common reasons for leg swelling.

1. Arthritis 
Arthritis involves several conditions that cause pain and inflammation of the joints. The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The causes of these conditions are different, but both of them cause inflammation and may contribute to leg swelling. If left untreated, inflammation and swelling can aggravate and even cause joint deformity. 

In the case of arthritis, treating the disease is crucial to relieve swelling and improve your quality of life. Heat and cold therapy can help you get temporary relief from pain and swelling of your legs. A doctor may recommend that you visit a physical therapy clinic to achieve long-term relief and improve the quality of your life. 

2. Congestive heart failure
Congestive heart failure is a condition in which your heart cannot pump enough blood to supply all body parts, including the kidney. This can result in fluid accumulation, especially in the lower limbs and abdomen. Other symptoms include congested lungs, fatigue, irregular heartbeat, and dizziness. 

There are a wide variety of treatments for congestive heart failure. These include both conservative and invasive treatment options. Lifestyle changes(diet, regular exercise, managing stress, and others) may also help improve the symptoms of congestive heart failure and relieve leg swelling. 

3. Kidney failure
The kidney is an important organ that filters excess fluid and waste from your blood, eliminating them through the urine. Loss of kidney function can cause the accumulation of excessive waste and fluid in your body, which leads to edema in your feet and ankles. Other symptoms of kidney failure include nausea, chest pain, high blood pressure, and nerve damage. 

The treatment of kidney failure usually relieves the symptoms and diminishes leg swelling. There is no cure for kidney disease, but your doctor may suggest oral medications and lifestyle or diet changes. In severe cases, you may need dialysis(the procedure that replicates certain kidney functions) or a kidney transplant. 

4. Deep vein thrombosis
Deep vein thrombosis is a health condition when clots form in one or several veins of your leg. This is a very serious health problem because clots can break loose and travel within your body. When a clot gets to your heart, it can block blood flow and cause a heart attack. Clots in the leg veins interfere with normal blood flow and can contribute to leg swelling, pain, skin discolorations, and warmth. 

The treatment of deep vein thrombosis usually includes taking blood thinners, thrombolytics, wearing compression stockings, and lifestyle changes. These remedies prevent the worsening of the clots and relieve the symptoms, including leg swelling. 

5. Cellulitis
Cellulitis is a dangerous infection that can affect your skin. The areas affected by cellulitis become swollen, inflamed, painful, and warm to the touch. This infection usually affects the skin of the lower legs. Untreated cellulitis can enter the bloodstream and spread within the body. In this case, this infection may rapidly become life-threatening. Some of the common complications of cellulitis include damage to the lymphatic drainage system and chronic swelling. 

Just like any infection, the treatment of cellulitis usually includes the prescription of antibiotics. The therapy lasts between 5-10 days. Elevating the affected area may help speed up the recovery. 

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