7 Sneaky Reasons Why Your Legs Are Bloated Right Now
You’re about to wear your favorite denim skinny jeans
You place your feet inside the jeans, lift it up, and jump like a frog until the pair of pants reaches your waistline. Though you have successfully fitted in your jeans, something feels uncomfortable. It’s as if your thick legs force your jeans to explode sooner or later. The struggle is real.
So is your pair of jeans shrinking or are your legs swelling? In most cases, it is the latter.
Sometimes, bloated legs have nothing to do with just weight gain. Leg swelling, also called peripheral edema, is caused by the retention of fluid in the leg tissues. According to Adrienne Youdin, M.D., author of The Clinician’s Guide to the Treatment of Obesity, salt draws fluid out of the arteries, veins, and capillaries, and sends it into your tissues, causing you to retain water. The gravity pulls the retained fluid downward, causing it to pool in your calves, ankles, and feet.
Bloated legs? Read on to know 7 possible reasons why your legs are bloated right now and what you should do about it.
To learn more, we’ll break down possible reasons why your legs are bloating right now and what you should do about it.
1. You’d rather eat out than cook
No time to cook? Let’s just go to the nearest restaurant for an instant, no-hassle lunch, they say. However, the sodium content of an average restaurant meal will be your legs’ enemy. Lurking inside your single tasty meal are a thousand milligrams of salt, which should be your daily sodium limit according to FDA.
In a busy and demanding world we live in, it’s hard to find the time in preparing homemade meals, forcing you to eat out often. But if you don’t ditch the habit, you might suffer not just from leg swelling but also from kidney and cardiovascular diseases in the long run. You can fight water retention by hydrating yourself with the recommended daily amount of H2O and cooking your own meals to control your sodium intake.
2. You heavily snack on processed foods
Again, sodium. We’re not just talking about your salt-heavy potato chips and fries, but your every day “ready to eat” and “just heat it” meals. Aside from instant noodles and cured meat, the seemingly “healthy” food such as canned soups and salad dressing are also sprinkling extra table salt and preservatives on your body.
To eliminate salt overload, focus on the nutritional facts of your go-to packaged foods. Pinpoint the ones with 650 mg of sodium or more and take them out of your diet.
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3. You sit or stand all day
Are you one of the 21st-century workers whose sedentary jobs glue them on desks all day? If you are, then you are likely to puff your feet. Dr. Youdim explains that the more static you are, whether sitting or standing, the more fluid pools in your legs. You might also be at risk of varicose veins and circulatory problems.
You should get up from your warmed seat every hour or two to prevent water retention and improve your blood flow. You may also elevate your feet slightly by placing a stool under your desk to help push blood back up your body.
4. You’re on an airplane
Traveling on airplane forces you to sit for long hours on a narrow seat but that’s not just the cause. Oftentimes, the cabin pressure is the culprit. The cabin pressure changes, as well as the dry air, can push more fluid from your veins and arteries into your tissue. Beat leg bloat while on a flight by taking a stroll down the aisle whenever you can.
5. You’re expecting a baby
If you’re pregnant in your third trimester, you are likely to have swollen legs. According to the American Pregnancy Association, pregnancy allows your body to produce 50 percent more fluids and blood to support the baby and condition the pelvic region for delivery. As a result, your legs and feet expand.
While it’s a pretty normal and temporary condition, you can comfort yourself by wearing comfortable shoes and elevating your feet all ways possible.
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6. You have Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
Swollen legs are a symptom of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). It is the formation of a blood clot (thrombus) within a large, deep vein, usually in your lower leg or thigh. If left untreated, the blood clot may break loose, travel through your bloodstream, and lodge in your lungs, hindering the blood flow, which can be fatal. Usually, only one leg is affected by DVT and it is painful.
7. Or other serious medical issues
Legs as bloated as balloons may also be a symptom of heart disease. It has something to do with a circulatory problem wherein the veins fail to pump blood back to the heart quickly enough. Other illnesses may include acute and chronic kidney failure, Nephrotic syndrome, Lymphedema, Pericarditis, and Cirrhosis. (Source: Mayo Clinic)
If the swollen legs get worse and more painful, you may consider seeking medical help for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Carmina Natividad is one of the daytime writers for North Shore Vein Clinic, a prominent group of vein specialists based in Sydney, Australia. Her articles mainly include practical tips on health, fitness