Leg Water Retention? How to get rid of edema!

What is Edema (water retention/fluid retention)?

Edema means swelling (when a part of your body increases in size). Edema (water retention) is produced when your capillaries (tinny blood vessels) leak fluid which starts to build up in the surrounding tissues.

Water retention might happen in any part of your body, but is most seen in legs, ankles and feet.

Why do I have water retention in legs?

There are many reasons why you might have fluid retention, next, I´ll mention some of thew most common:

  • Surgery (for that reason is important to start your post-surgery treatment as soon as possible or even before surgery).
  • Lymphatic system malfunction.
  • Being in the same position for a long period of time (sitting/standing up, etc.).
  • Excess of sodio ((Na) too much salt in your food).
  • Pregnancy. You might notice it some days before menstruate. 
  • Age, most seen in older adults.
  • Lack of proteins in your diet for a long period of time.

Some conditions can lead to retain water, too, some of them are:

  • Congestive heart failure- your blood is not well pumped so it goes back to your legs, ankles and feet.
  •  Cirrhosis (liver damage/malfunction.
  • Lymphatic system damage.
  • More…

Some medicines can lead to swelling, for example:

  • Medicines for high blood pressure.
  • Steroids
  • Strogens

How do I know if I have leg edema?

There is a test that is also made by professionals to know if you are retaining water. First, use a finger to press the swollen area (in this case your leg) for 15 seconds; then,  release. If a dimple (little hole) appears on your skin that indicates fluid retention.

Is leg water retention curable?

Yes, it is. According to the cause, you just need the proper treatment -specially Manual Lymphatic Drainage- performed by professionals who treat you better, and do some changes in your lifestyle (see how bellow). Severe cases may need to ask your GP first.

How do I get rid of water retention in legs (edema)?

Lifestyle changes:

  • Reduce salt intake.
  • Don´t smoke.
  • Move more often, avoid being on the same position for long periods of time.
  • Elevate your legs when lying down or sitting.
  • Wear compression socks.
  • Avoid extreme (high) temperatures.
  • Exercise (cycling, walk, Swimm, etc.).

 Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) to get rid of swollen legs

 MLD acts directly on the lymphatic system and removes the excess of fluids from the affected area. It´s a light skin -stretching massage that helps to promote the movement of the lymphatic fluid. It uses gentle movements to move the fluid from the affected area towards the nearest lymph node, where it can be absorbed and eliminated through urine. These fluids contain toxins and wastes that your body has been accumulating.  Hospitals/clinics have been using MLD for decades to treat patients with lymphedema (a permanent accumulation of fluids due to a damage in the Lymphatic system). So, why don´t you give it a chance with those who treat you best?

We hope this information is useful for you. 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 happy to help.

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