It’s important year-round to live a healthy lifestyle to prevent varicose veins — one of the common symptoms of varicose veins, caused by venous insufficiency, is leg swelling. Leg swelling can affect men as well as women.

Leg swelling can be a symptom of varicose veinsPainless swelling of the feet and ankles can be a common problem, especially among older people. But for some people, abnormal buildup of fluid in the ankles, feet, and legs is called edema, and it can be a result of a blood clot in the leg or veins in the legs that cannot properly pump blood back to the heart.

As we approach the warmer months of summer, this condition can get much worse. With upcoming holidays such as Father’s Day and Fourth of July, there will be temptations to eat grilled meats, potato chips, and other snack foods that contain a lot of salt. Cold-cuts, which are used in sandwiches and popular at picnics, are also high in sodium.

Even though salads are healthy, salad dressing is also high in salt. Also, many people become more sedentary during the warmer months, taking long road trips or wanting to spend time sitting indoors in the cool air-conditioning instead of walking outside.

Tips to Reduce Leg Swelling

  • Raise your legs above your heart while lying down.
  • Exercise your legs. This helps pump fluid from your legs back to your heart. Join a gym or go swimming if it’s too hot outside!
  • Follow a low-salt diet, which may reduce fluid buildup and swelling.
  • Wear support stockings (sold at most drug and medical supply stores).
  • When traveling, especially on road trips, take breaks often to stand up and move around.
  • Avoid wearing tight clothing or garters around your thighs.
  • Lose weight if you need to.

If you are experiencing leg swelling and feel that it may be due to varicose veins or venous insufficiency, call (512) 726-0599 or learn more about our free screening.

Photo Credit: James Heilman via Wikimedia Creative Commons cc

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