Leg Swelling

Vein Center
Vein Conditions
Leg Swelling

Swollen legs and ankles can be a nuisance to deal with. While the swelling often goes away with simple at-home treatment for most people. Some individuals have a more severe case of swelling in legs and feet that elevation or wearing compression socks simply will not cure. 

What are Common Leg Swelling Causes? 

Many varying factors can lead to swelling of the legs and feet. Leg swelling is generally caused by the retention of fluid in the leg tissues. That is also commonly known as peripheral edema. Many different health conditions can create it. However, the underlying cause for most edema is the venous circulation system.

While this is the primary cause of leg swelling, there are other reasons you can have fluid buildup. Being overweight, sitting or standing for long periods, or being inactive can also lead to mild or severe swelling in the legs. 

What Factors Could Be Related to Fluid Buildup?

Some of the health factors that are often related to fluid buildup in the legs include the following. 

  • Heart Failure
  • Taking part in chemotherapy
  • Acute kidney failure
  • Cardiomyopathy or problems with the heart muscles
  • Cirrhosis
  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
  • Lymphedema which is blockage of the lymph system
  • Obesity
  • Taking pain relievers regularly such as ibuprofen or naproxen
  • Pregnancy
  • Taking prescription medication such as those used for high blood pressure or diabetes
  • Standing or sitting for long periods at work or while during a flight 
  • Venous insufficiency 
  • Thrombophlebitis which is a blood clot that occurs in the legs

Can Leg Swelling Be the Sign of Another More serious Condition? 

Leg swelling or edema is caused by the buildup of additional fluid in the veins. As discussed, this can be due to an issue with the kidneys and other organs, the lymphatic system, or the circulatory system. When swelling is caused by venous insufficiency, varicose veins are often present. 

What is Venous Insufficiency?

Venous insufficiency is a condition where the blood will not flow properly through the leg veins up to the heart. Instead, the blood stays in the legs and begins to pool in the weak veins. When blood starts to pool instead of circulating, there is a higher risk of developing a clot in their legs. If this problem is left untreated, it could lead to more pain, swelling, and leg ulcers. It is most often seen in those who are obese, pregnant or anyone who has a family history of vein problems. 

What are Varicose Veins? 

Varicose veins are one of the most common causes of swollen legs. Many vein problems begin when the valves of the veins in the legs do not work as they should. These valves are supposed to help keep the blood moving up to the heart. But if they become weak or damaged, they can cause the blood to flow backward instead. It causes the veins to hold the blood at a much higher pressure than before. The pressure causes the veins to start to bulge or twist, making them visible. The fluid is forced into the surrounding tissue of the veins. That can also cause the legs to feel heavier than usual. 

Swollen legs are often misdiagnosed as heart or kidney failure, therefore you must see a professional if you start to notice your legs swelling more than usual. 

Get Help with Leg Swelling Issues By Visiting Bass Vein Center 

If you are in Danville, Walnut Creek, Lafayette, or the surrounding cities and need help with swelling in legs and feet, get in touch with us. Our team of vein specialists at the BASS Vein Center is here to help you find the underlying cause of your swollen legs and discuss successful treatment options. 

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