Heat has many effects on us. We sweat, we need more liquids, we feel more tired, we sleep less well… summer It’s a time of year that can be uncomfortable, especially for the elderly and the sick. One of the most common consequences of heat is fluid buildup. It can affect different parts of the body, but especially the lower limbs (feet, ankles and legs). High temperatures cause blood vessels to dilate, which lose their elasticity and it becomes more difficult for fluids from the legs to move properly through the body.
Sometimes this fluid leaks out of blood vessels and collects in surrounding tissue. The lymphatic system he is tasked with eliminating it before it accumulates, but he doesn’t always succeed. The result is that the extremities swell and feel heavy, uncomfortable and painful. The term by which this effect is known is peripheral edema.
“Swollen feet are a really annoying consequence, but very common at this time of year”
Experts from TK Home Solutions, the leader in home stairlifts, explain why our feet and legs can swell: “Swollen feet are a really annoying consequence, but very common at this time of year. This is something that becomes more complicated in the case of people with reduced mobility. The blood does not circulate in the best possible way, which causes the feet and legs to swell, feel heavy and even hurt,” he explains. Leandre Palomoresponsible for company health and safety.
CAUSES OF INFLATION
1. Sedentary lifestyle
Staying in the same position for a long time, without moving, makes it more difficult for the normal circulation of bodily fluids. This is why peripheral edema affects more those who have mobility problems and spend a lot of time without moving. It is also common in people who work long hours on their feet and those who are obese.
2. Hormonal changes
Women tend to suffer more from this problem because hormones play an important role. Hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy, menopause where to menstruation can cause dilation of the blood vessels and, with it, circulation becomes more complicated.
In addition, it must be taken into account that, for example in the specific case of pregnancy, it is added that the size of the belly, which increases, leads to compression of the lower abdomen. This makes circulation between the upper and lower body difficult.
3. Certain illnesses and medications
The peripheral edema It is more common in people with Diabetesdiseases related to the kidneys, heart or lymphatic system. Likewise, it can be a side effect of certain medications.
A diet very high in sodium (very salty foods) can influence our circulation. Sodium causes an increase in arterial pressurethat is, the veins and arteries they shrink and therefore the blood does not flow as easily.
From the company, they explain that people who meet any of these characteristics are prone to swollen legs and feet. If so, what can be done to try to avoid it?
TIPS TO IMPROVE INFLAMMATION
Before acting, it is important to know the reason why it may appear. And for this, it is advisable to go to the doctor, who will assess whether it is due to a disease or a problem that needs to be monitored.
1. Maintain proper hydration
It is important to drink water without waiting to feel thirsty. If the body does not have enough fluids, there is a drop in blood pressure, which in turn leads to poor circulation.
2. Avoid the hottest hours
Approximately between 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. is the hottest period in Spain. Since high temperatures are a risk factor, you should avoid being outdoors during these hours.
3. Balanced diet
Excess salt and other foods that contribute to water retention, such as alcoholic beverages or coffee, should be excluded from our diet.
4. Compression stockings
Certain garments help improve circulation in the legs, such as compression stockings. They squeeze gently to force the blood back to the heart.
5. Stay active
The World Health Organization He recommends getting between 150 and 300 minutes of moderate or vigorous physical activity per week, even for people with disabilities or chronic illnesses. The sedentary lifestyle promotes the accumulation of fluids in the lower limbs, while promoting obesity.
Those who spend a lot of time in the same position (for example, working standing up) need to regularly move the joints and muscles of the legs. It may be enough to walk a little every thirty minutes or every hour to get the circulation working properly again.
Peripheral edema affects more those who spend a lot of time without moving.
6. Rest with your legs up
It is useful to rest them and keep them slightly elevated for about 15 or 20 minutes, in order to promote the return of blood to the heart. People who work while seated can benefit from a footrest that allows them to raise themselves up a little.
In addition to being very pleasant, they will help deflate the area and boost circulation. They are particularly useful with creams or other moisturizing products that provide freshness. This advice is particularly important in the case of people with reduced mobility.