Leg swelling is very common. It can happen in one or both legs and be sudden or gradual. Depending on the cause, it can be a minor annoyance or a sign of a more serious problem, especially when it occurs in only one leg. Whatever is behind the swelling you experience, however, it’s a condition that you don’t want to ignore. Our team at South Texas Vein Institute in Edinburg can help you treat leg swelling.
The Mechanism Behind Swelling
The process that leads to leg swelling is essentially the same: fluid is caught in your body. Your capillaries may have begun to leak fluid or the veins in your legs may not offer adequate transport of fluid back up into the rest of your body. Excess fluid leads to leg swelling.
In milder cases, you might see swelling of your feet and ankles in hot weather. In milder cases, mild compression stockings may help.
Leg swelling due to the veins in your leg is a sign of venous insufficiency. In other words, your veins are not functioning in a sufficient way to transport blood properly back up to the heart. You may see veins that bulge, and you may or may not have pain. Standing for too long, and being obese or pregnant, are risk factors because these all place undue pressure on your leg veins. Older people tend to have a higher risk, too.
Varicose veins can lead to complications such as leg ulcers or even bleeding, and you may have a higher risk of developing blood clots in your legs, which can be fatal. At the very least, you’re putting yourself at risk of having more pain and discomfort.