Leg swelling is a common instance, especially in pregnant women or due to reaction to medication. However, leg swelling as an independent sign might be telling you something about your overall wellness. A standard indication of the condition is that blood circulation in your legs is inefficient. The valves in the legs’ veins might malfunction because of various reasons, including deterioration due to aging, causing blood to pool instead of flowing to your heart. Port Saint Lucie leg swelling should be probed further if it accompanies other symptoms like chest pains.
What do swollen legs indicate?
You are less likely to have a heart condition if you are 60 years and above and have swollen and painful legs. The most common explanation your healthcare provider might have is that the symptoms result from reduced blood flow through your leg veins. As you age, the valves in your blood vessels deteriorate, minimizing blood flow back to your heart. As a result, blood starts pooling back in the vessels instead of circulating, resulting in leg swelling. The most common causes of leg swelling in older adults include venous insufficiency and reaction to specific medications. In other instances, heart problems may result from leg swelling. If the swelling results from a heart condition, you are likely to have symptoms like:
- Chest pains
- Swelling in other parts of your body, including your hands
- Breath shortness
- Irregular heart rhythm
Is fluid overload an emergency?
Leg swelling without any other health associations is not always an urgent case. However, chronic leg swelling because of a venous problem can be dangerous. Vein-related leg swelling could be a sign of pulmonary hypertension. In such a case, the first thing the medical expert will recommend is to conduct an ultrasound of your leg veins and an echocardiogram to assess the condition of your heart. If the assessment indicates that the blood vessels in your legs are significantly deteriorating, your doctor may suggest venous ablation to prevent the damaged vein from causing the swelling by sealing it off permanently. On the other hand, if the swelling results from pulmonary hypertension, the medical expert might suggest other tests to devise the best treatment. Though medications may help alleviate your symptoms, your cardiologist might recommend a surgical approach to address heart failure and pulmonary hypertension issues.
Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) is also a condition you are likely to have with chronic leg swelling. The condition causes you to experience pain and weakness in your legs, making mobility difficult. Other signs you should watch out for with PVD include:
- Leg numbness
- Change in the complexion of your legs or the affected leg
- Sores or wounds (on your legs) that take a long time to heal
Leg swelling, especially as an independent symptom, is not a sign to ignore, lasting more than a few days. Though pregnancy and reaction to medication are primary causes of leg swelling, a significant percentage of the condition is related to vein complications that could be life-threatening if you fail to seek professional assistance on time. Visit a vein expert to know if the leg swelling is vein-related or an issue that will soon resolve independently without medical intervention.