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What to Do For Swollen Feet

For various reasons, individuals often experience foot swelling. This swelling is due to a buildup in the body of fluid in the tissues and due to the natural pull of gravity, this fluid is drawn to the ankles and feet. Other than the obvious swelling that can be seen an individual will also have a fast weight gain in a short amount of time due to the extra fluid. This may occur if a person stands or sits for a long period of time and those who are obese are more at risk. As people age, their risk of having swollen feet also increases. Many pregnant women suffer with a condition called preeclampsia and with this their feet may swell excessively. Some serious conditions such as heart failure, liver failure, and kidney failure may also cause swollen feet and ankles.

Treatment for Swelling

There are some options for treating swollen feet but the course of treatment will depend upon the cause. Most medical professional first advise that anyone with swollen feet should elevate the lower extremities to a level above the heart. Often the use of an anti-inflammatory medicine will aid in the reduction of fluid. Some other treatments that may be beneficial to the condition are as follows:
• Wear shoes and socks that properly fit and are not binding or tight.
• Dependent upon the amount of pressure needed to treat the edema, there are many gradients of support stockings and support socks to help reduce and prevent swelling. There are also many different lengths available in cases where the entire lower extremity may be swollen.
• Place a leg wedge pillow under the extremities for more efficient elevation while asleep in bed. When swelling of the feet persists, individuals should seek the advice of their doctor. Often swelling will cause shortness of breath and sometimes ulcerations of the skin. Immediate attention should be sought in these cases.

Additional Tips

Often there are things that can be done at home to prevent swelling from occurring or from worsening. Many of the following tips will accompany the treatment that an individual’s physician has ordered as a plan of care. These tips are as follows:
• Limit the intake of salt in the diet.
• Try drinking lots of water.
• Rest with feet at a minimum of twelve inches above heart level for at least ten to fifteen minutes at a time and try to do this at least three to four times each day.
• Never over use laxatives.
• Wear compression stockings. Put these on in the mornings when first getting up to begin daily activities. Apply these by rolling them on in order to promote circulation and limit the gravitational pull of fluid to the lower extremities.
• To improve circulation, exercise on a regular basis.
• Do not stand for an extensive amount of time in one place.
• Try to lose some weight as this extra weight will only cause body fluids to circulate slowly and also cause more pressure on the veins.
• Walk to stimulate activity of the muscles.
• Avoid a sedentary lifestyle. Individuals should try to walk around for a few minutes every hour or so.
• As some medications that an individual may be taking for another medical condition could cause swelling of the feet, individuals should have their physician to review all the medicines that they are currently taking.

When an individual finds that all of the self help remedies are not working they should see their doctor for treatment. The doctor will probably take a thorough history of the individual and perform an examination. The main focus of the exam will more than likely be the lungs, heart, abdomen, feet, and legs.
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