How MLD may help you to reduce swelling caused by high temperatures

It’s summertime and uncomfortable swollen legs, feet and ankles are now part of your day. If you spend a lot of time on your feet, swollen legs are a common problem. Besides, It becomes more common as you age because some of the conditions that cause it tend to occur as you get older. At the clinic, during the summer, we treat many patients with inflammation in different parts of their bodies, specially legs, ankles, belly, hands and feet. This condition is called edema. In addition, high temperatures play a big role in this condition.

Let ‘s see why.  

What is edema?

Edema is an abnormal fluid buildup. The fluid flows downhill and stays in the lowest parts of your body. Fluid retention can be triggered by different things, some of them are:

  • Venous insufficiency. It’s when your veins have difficulty pushing blood against gravity back toward your heart.
  • High intake of sodium (salt).
  • Overweight.
  •  Hot weather.
  • Alcohol intake.
  • Standing for a long period of time.
  • Some medications such as antidepressants, steroids
  • Some types of blood pressure medications
  • Hormones, like those found in postmenopausal hormone therapy or birth control pills.
  • Lymphatic problems
  • Certain medical conditions such as lung, kidney, liver, and heart disease.These kinds of disease really needs advanced therapies. 
  • Kidney problems that affect the urinary tract should be evaluated by a urologist
  •  Older adults and pregnant women.

How do I know that I have edema?

Press with your finger/s the area where you think edema is located (swollen area), and if your fingerprint remains marked on the skin for a few seconds that is the place where you  retain more fluid (edema).

Why is the fluid retained?

You retain fluid because your lymphatic system is not working well. Your lymphatic system is responsible for draining a fluid called lymph. Then, it filters it into the bloodstream, but sometimes this process becomes slower or ineffective and, as a result, the fluid accumulates between the tissues instead of returning to the bloodstream.

Your lymph and blood need movement to circulate well through your body. The longer you sit or stand, the more they accumulate. Also, factors like heat are triggers of edema.

Why are my legs swollen during the summer?

In addition to the functioning of the lymphatic system or your level of activity, there are external factors that determine the appearance and intensity of fluid retention. The main one is the heat that accompanies us during these summer days.

When the weather is hot  and your body rises its temperature, it has to lose that excess heat to regulate metabolism, so blood vessels dilate, vein walls lose elasticity, there is slower and worse blood circulation and, consequently, greater retention and accumulation of blood and fluids is generated.

How can Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) reduce swelling?

During summer, you may start feeling tired, heavy, swollen  and sometimes even bloated. As we mentioned before, heat has an influence on water retention as the body tries to balance fluid metabolism in order to keep  internal body temperature. One effectives way to deal with swelling legs is with MLD, because it acts directly on the lymphatic system and removes the excess of fluid from the affected area. 

 MLD is a light skin -stretching massage that helps to promote the movement of the lymphatic fluid away from swollen areas. It uses gentle movements to move the fluid from the affected area towards the near lymph node, where it can be absorbed. These movements help to eliminate excess fluids, toxins and wastes that accumulate in your body.  Hospital have been using MLD for decades to treat patients with lymphedema (a permanent accumulation of fluids due to a damage in the Lymphatic system).

MLD reduces edema and improves circulation to the entire lymphatic system. In Pc (Perea Clinic), MLD is usually part of a decongestant treatment that we tailor according to your needs. It is especially recommended that this treatment should be performed by a professional specialised in the lymphatic system. 

We hope this information is useful. If you need advice or have any questions about our treatments, please contact us. You can find us in Mill Hill Broadway and Islington. We are always glad to help.

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