February 24, 2024 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Getting A Leg Up On Lower-Extremity Swelling:

Do you ever wonder why your socks leave an indentation where the elastic top rests against your skin? Could it be that your socks are too small? What’s more likely is that you have some degree of what doctors call “edema.”

Edema is a fancy word for swelling. It can happen anywhere, but my patients most commonly ask, “Why do I have swelling in my feet and legs?”  

There are many reasons for edema and knowing why is crucial to finding the correct treatment plan. While some causes of edema can be signs of a serious medical illness, edema also can be from age-related wear and tear on our blood vessels. This column will review both serious and common causes of edema and treatment options.   

Heart Failure

When your heart is not pumping as efficiently as it should, this can lead to fluid backup in the lungs, legs or both. Because edema in the lungs can cause shortness of breath, your doctor might ask if you have experienced any difficulty breathing when walking or lying flat.

Liver Disease

Liver disease is also known as “cirrhosis.” The liver is an important producer of protein that our bodies use and when it is unable to make enough protein, edema can occur.  

Kidney Disease

With some types of kidney disease, protein leaks into the urine, which lowers protein levels in your blood and causes edema. Your doctor might ask if you have noticed any changes in your urine as the presence of protein can result in foamy urine.

One thing people with heart failure, cirrhosis and kidney disease have in common is their bodies retain sodium and water, which also contributes to edema in these conditions.

Blood Clots

Sudden onset of one-sided leg swelling should bring you immediately to your doctor to be evaluated for a blood clot. Blood clots, also known as “deep-vein thrombosis” or DVT, for short, block the flow of blood back to the heart and cause swelling, often with pain.

Venous Insufficiency

Our veins play an important role in bringing blood back to the heart. Venous insufficiency occurs when veins are not working as well as they should, leading to fluid backup and edema. This can also occur with reduced mobility. When we are active, our calf muscles help squeeze the blood in our veins back up to the heart. Prolonged sitting or standing can worsen edema from vein insufficiency.  

Your doctor may ask you if the swelling is better in the morning and worse as the day goes on, as this is a common feature of venous insufficiency. Legs may also feel achy or tired. Risk factors for this type of swelling include age over 50, smoking, prolonged standing or sitting, obesity, a history of leg blood clots and varicose veins.  

Lymphedema

Your lymph system works in parallel with your veins and is involved in helping to transport your immune cells to and from areas where needed. Lymphedema commonly occurs after a surgery when lymph nodes are removed.

Medications

Some medications cause edema as a side effect. Common medications that can cause edema include some blood pressure medications (amlodipine and nifedipine), steroids, anti-inflammatory medications (ibuprofen and naproxen), hormones, some diabetes medications (pioglitazone and rosiglitazone) and even a medication (pramipexole) used to treat restless-leg syndrome. Although some medications can cause edema, it could be even more dangerous to stop these medications. Be sure to discuss any concerns with your primary care doctor before stopping any medications.

Other, less common reasons for lower-extremity swelling include allergic reactions, thyroid disease and malnutrition.

Treatment

Now that you know why we get edema, you will be glad to hear that there are effective treatments for this condition. These treatments will vary depending on the cause of the swelling.

The mainstay treatment for edema caused by vein insufficiency is to replica watches increase exercise, elevate the legs, and use special, high-pressure stockings called “compression socks.” Edema from other causes can also benefit from these maneuvers.  Special wraps or a manual lymph massage are also used to treat swelling caused by lymphedema.  

Edema from heart failure, liver, and kidney disease involves a dietary approach often combined with medications. Your doctor may advise you to limit the amount of sodium in your diet to help reduce swelling. In addition, medications called “diuretics” can be used to remove additional fluid from your body.

While you know how important it is for your doctor to listen to your lungs and heart during a checkup, now you know why examining your legs could provide vital clues to how your heart, liver, kidneys and blood vessels are functioning.

If you have concerns about swelling in your legs, be sure to discuss them with your doctor. He or she can diagnose why you are experiencing edema and come up a treatment plan that will work just swell!

Dr. Maija Sanna is a board-certified geriatrician with the highly regarded UCLA Geriatrics Program in Santa Monica and Westwood. For more information, call 310.319.4371 or visit www.uclahealth.org.

in News
Related Posts

(Video) Baltaire’s DJ Brunch is Ready to Make Your Weekend Fabulous

February 23, 2024

February 23, 2024

Baltaire is America’s Favorite Neighborhood Steakhouse. A Contemporary Restaurant in Brentwood With Classic Genes, Baltaire Is Where to Enjoy Brunch...

During Lean Times for the City, Certain Staff Members Slated to Get Hefty Raises

February 23, 2024

February 23, 2024

Proposed Equity Adjustments Raise Questions Amid Budgetary Concerns The next Santa Monica City Council Meeting will be held on Tuesday,...

Blue Bus Seeks Input on How to Improve Service

February 22, 2024

February 22, 2024

Through Brighter Blue, Big Blue Bus Aims to Develop a Strategic Plan for Implementing System Enhancements Over Five Years Santa...

Amid Delays, House of Pies Sets New Opening Date for Venice Spot

February 22, 2024

February 22, 2024

For About a Year, the Development’s Construction Has Seemingly Been Inactive By Zach Armstrong House of Pies, a popular L.A....

(Video) Russian River’s Pliny the Younger 2024 at Father’s Office in Culver City

February 22, 2024

February 22, 2024

Russian River’s Pliny the Younger 2024  at Father’s Office in Culver City. The ticket got you two pours of the...

Culinary Bliss Awaits: Los Angeles Wine & Food Festival Debuts in Santa Monica

February 21, 2024

February 21, 2024

Santa Monica Pier Welcomes the Inaugural Los Angeles Wine & Food Festival Santa Monica is set to become the birthplace...

Indulge Your Cookie Cravings and Support Local Scouts: Girl Scout Cookie® Sales Now Open

February 21, 2024

February 21, 2024

Multiple Ways to Purchase Iconic Cookies and Make a Difference You can satisfy your Girl Scout Cookie® cravings this season...

Popular Coffee & Tea Franchise Opens Another Santa Monica Spot

February 21, 2024

February 21, 2024

The News Comes Four Months After the Announcement of Its Third Santa Monica Outpost By Zach Armstrong Coffee Bean &...

Bruce Lurie Gallery Unveils “Give Us Our Flowers” Exhibition

February 21, 2024

February 21, 2024

Philoche’s painting style incorporates vintage subjects to convey a tribute to the resilience of human spirit.  Bruce Lurie Gallery presents...

Portraiture Masterclass with Renowned Photographer Coming to Venice Beach

February 21, 2024

February 21, 2024

Participants will explore the boardwalk alongside Alan, honing their creativity and engaging with the local community. Renowned photographer Alan Shapiro...

“Women in Jazz” Event at the Moss Theater to Benefit College Scholarship Program

February 20, 2024

February 20, 2024

The Scholarship Trains Students to be Ambassadors for Antiracist Learning and Teaching Los Angeles-based jazz vocalist Amber Weekes, an alumna...

Countdown to the 30th Annual SAG Awards: Celebrating Excellence in Film and TV

February 20, 2024

February 20, 2024

SAG Awards Ceremony Set for Feb. 24, 2024, to be Globally Streamed on Netflix The anticipation for the 30th Annual...

“20’s/20s” Exhibit at ARCANE to Showcase Emerging Artists’ Work

February 20, 2024

February 20, 2024

The Featured Artists Were All in Their Twenties During the 2020s ARCANE Space is set to host an exhibition showcasing...

(Video) If Not Now Los Angeles Protest at Vice President Kamala Harris’ Home in Brentwood

February 20, 2024

February 20, 2024

The group held a Shiva or Jewish mourning ceremony as a protest. @smmirrornews If Not Now Los Angeles Protest at...

Atmospheric River Update for Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and Malibu for February 19

February 19, 2024

February 19, 2024

Road Closures, Mudslides, and Heaviest Rainfall of This Storm Still on the Way The City of Los Angeles intensified its...