Heat has many effects on us. We sweat, we need more fluids, we feel more tired, we sleep more… Summer is a time of year that can be uncomfortable, especially for the elderly and those who have There is no disease. One of the most common consequences of heat is the accumulation of fluid. It can affect different parts of the body, but especially the lower extremities (feet, ankles and feet). High temperatures cause blood vessels to dilate, so they lose elasticity and fluid in the legs becomes more difficult to move correctly through the body.
Sometimes that fluid leaks out of the blood vessels and accumulates in the surrounding tissues. The lymphatic system is in charge of eliminating it before it accumulates, but it is not always successful. The result is that the hands and feet swell and feel heavy, uncomfortable and painful. The term by which this effect is known is peripheral edema.
Although heat is one of the main reasons why peripheral edema appears, there are many others, which are aggravated by temperature. The experts at Vaccine Home Solutions explain what can make our feet and legs swollen.
Staying in one position for long periods of time without moving makes it more difficult for body fluids to flow normally. This is why peripheral edema tends to affect people who have mobility problems and spend a lot of time without movement. It is also common in people who work long hours on their feet and those who are obese.
Women suffer more from this problem as hormones play an important role. Hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy, menopause or menstruation can dilate blood vessels and thus complicate circulation.
In the specific case of pregnancy, it is added that the size of the intestine, which is increasing, compresses the lower abdomen. This makes it difficult to move between the upper and lower body.
Certain diseases and medicines
Peripheral edema is more common in people with diabetes, kidney, heart, or lymphatic disease. Similarly, it can be a side effect of some medicines.
Diets rich in sodium (foods with a lot of salt) can affect our circulation. Sodium causes an increase in blood pressure, i.e. the veins and arteries become narrow and hence, the blood does not flow easily.
Thus, from Vaccines Home Solutions they explain that people who meet any of these characteristics are at risk of developing swollen feet and legs. To try to avoid it, in addition to finding out why it appears (which may require a visit to a doctor, who will assess whether it is due to a disease or problem that needs to be monitored), they We offer a series of simple tips to follow during this summer.
1. Maintain Good Hydration
It is important to drink water without waiting to feel thirsty. If there is not enough fluid in the body, blood pressure drops, resulting in poor circulation.
2. Avoid the hottest hours
The hottest period in Spain is between about 1:00 am and 5:00 pm. Since high temperatures are a risk factor, you should avoid being outside during those hours.
3. Balanced Diet
Excess salt and other foods that contribute to fluid retention, such as alcoholic beverages or coffee, should be excluded from our diet.
4. Compression Stockings
There are certain garments that help improve circulation in the legs, such as compression stockings. They squeeze gently to force the blood back toward the heart.
5. Be Active
The World Health Organization also recommends 150 to 300 minutes of moderate or vigorous physical activity per week for people with disabilities or chronic illness. A sedentary lifestyle favors the accumulation of fluid in the lower limbs, promoting obesity.
People who spend a lot of time in one position (for example, working while standing) should move the joints and muscles of the feet regularly. A little walk every thirty minutes or an hour may be enough to get circulation working properly again.
6. Elevate your legs and relax
To promote the return of blood to the heart, it is helpful to rest them for about 15 or 20 minutes and keep them slightly elevated. People who work sitting down may benefit from using a footrest that allows them to elevate slightly.
In addition to being very soothing, they will help decongest the area and promote circulation. They are especially useful with creams or other moisturizing products that provide freshness. This advice is especially important for people with mobility problems.