Puffiness is an unhealthy symptom. This condition is not an independent disease, but always signals about malfunctions in the body of an elderly person. Puffiness is a collection of fluid in a specific part of the body. Elderly people often suffer from swelling in the legs: the foot, ankle and knees. Do not be afraid of this symptom – you just need to draw conclusions about possible diseases and proceed to their treatment.
Chronic diseases and propensity for swelling of the legs
Most often it is a signal of the appearance of chronic diseases characteristic of the elderly. The inability of the heart to pump thousands of liters of blood, as in former times, leads to the accumulation and stagnation of fluid below the belt. In chronic diseases of the cardiovascular system, there may be swelling in the knees, ankles, even toes.
Kidney problems – neglected pyelonephritis, glomerulonephritis, urolithiasis – can also cause swelling. Often there is an option when, due to diabetes mellitus of the second type, kidney cell death begins, renal failure progresses – one serious disease entails another, no less terrible. In both of these cases, the patient will suffer from swelling of the lower limbs. In diabetes and kidney failure, it is a frequent and significant symptom in treatment.
Photos of leg edema in older people:
The causes of edema in the elderly
Here are the most frequent, relatively safe causes of lower limb edema in old age:
- traces after wearing tight socks, clothes or shoes;
- water retention in tissues due to chronic diseases;
- long legs being in a position above the heart region;
- varicose veins obstructs blood flow and leads to puffiness;
- a large amount of salty and spicy food eaten on the eve;
- excessive alcohol replenishment can hold up to three extra liters of fluid in the body.
If the body is healthy – all the waste water through the capillaries must be transported from the intercellular space through the venous bed. Problems with blood pressure in peripheral vessels, with permeability of vessel walls can prevent this process. The process of fluid retention also affects the absorption of proteins and the presence of sodium in the blood.
Treatment of lymphatic edema
Puffiness of the legs in elderly people (the causes and treatment are discussed in this material) may occur not only due to water retention, but also due to impaired lymph flow. Such a process in medicine is called lymphostasis. In the process of malfunction of the outflow of the lymphatic fluid substance in the elderly, the feet and ankles can be severely swollen.
Lymphatic swelling of the foot is called lymphedema. Based on statistics, you can call this symptom rather rare. Only about 7% of the elderly and 3% of the young suffer from chronic lymphostasis.
The loss of former tone and patency of the lymphatic vessels is observed during lymphadenitis and leads to their expansion. As a result, the normal operation of the valves of other vessels is disrupted. As a result, stagnation of lymph occurs and there is a strong swelling. Such processes are usually associated with malfunctions of the kidneys and the cardiovascular system.
With the wrong treatment, this disease can progress, the legs will become less and less mobile and the case may end up for the patient with lifelong disability.
Kidney disease is the most common cause of leg swelling in an elderly person. Treatment in such cases is serious. First you need to go to the hospital – there using special tests, daily urine collection, doctors will find out how much the kidneys have retained their function. Most often, a sick person is prescribed a strict diet with a low content of salt and protein (table number 7). If inflammation is found in the kidney tissue, antibacterial therapy is necessary. If there are stones, a diuretic is prescribed and in some cases a surgical treatment. If it came to kidney failure, then hemodialysis is necessary. You should not be afraid of problems with the kidneys – the sooner the patient goes to the doctor, the easier and more successful the treatment will be.
Preparations for treating leg edema in elderly people with kidney problems: Canephron, Ursofalk, Renel, Fitolysin. On taking any medication, you should first consult with your doctor, general practitioner or nephrologist.
What signals swelling feet
The list of the most common reasons why old feet are swollen:
- Diseases of the blood vessels, acute and chronic disorders of the venous blood flow.
- Problems with joints – polyarthritis, osteoarthrosis.
- Diseases of the internal organs caused by insufficient blood circulation – pathologies of the heart, liver, endocrine disorders.
Puffiness of the feet in the elderly, in particular the feet, should not be allowed to drift. Needless to say, this condition will not pass, whether it is a violation of the water-salt balance or lymphostasis. Be sure to consult at least with a therapist and pass basic blood and urine tests.
Swelling of the feet in the elderly: treatment for diabetes
Diabetes is an incurable disease characterized by once and for all impaired carbohydrate metabolism. Edema in diabetes – a frequent satellite. Usually, it is not only the lower limbs that suffer, but also the hands and face.
Puffiness of legs in elderly people and blue limbs in diabetes are more common in the course of the first type of disease. Be careful: blue areas of the body are also characteristic of microstrokes. If the patient has difficulty breathing and speaking – do not hesitate and immediately call an ambulance!
Treatment of leg edema in elderly people with reddening of the extremities should be carried out under the supervision of doctors. Redness and the appearance of the vascular network is characteristic of type 2 diabetics. But sometimes it may just be a manifestation of chronic venous insufficiency.
Diseases of the cardiovascular system and swelling
In medicine this phenomenon is called cardiac edema. Characteristic for men over sixty and women over forty. This is the result of a disruption in the normal concentration of blood components and blood pressure surges. Such problems begin due to circulatory disorders. The fluid, due to gravity, flows to the lowest parts of the body. If a person is standing for a long time – these are his legs, if he is lying – his head and internal organs, if he is sitting – the tailbone.
Treatment of the causes of leg edema in an elderly person is possible only after an accurate diagnosis. On the part of the cardiovascular system, these can be cardiomyopathies of various origins, rheumatism, amyloidosis, pulmonary heart, arrhythmias, cardiosclerosis, congenital heart defects.
Which doctor to contact?
To establish the exact causes of leg edema in the elderly and further treatment, you must first turn to the local therapist. He will prescribe a minimum of tests – a biochemical blood test, urinalysis, ultrasound of the kidneys and organs of the digestive tract. Surely some indicator in the analysis will deviate from the norm.
After this, the therapist will give the direction:
- to the nephrologist – if creatinine or urea levels are increased, there will be sediment, leukocytes or protein in the urine,
- to a cardiologist – if the patient complains of heartache,
- to the endocrinologist – if the blood sugar level is disturbed.
Diet with a tendency to puffiness
To remove fluid retention is very simple with the help of special food. If there are no serious pathologies, then simply reduce to a minimum the salt in the diet. Completely have to strike out spicy and salty dishes, canned food, chips, beer, alcoholic beverages, fried nuts. It is also necessary to reduce the consumption of fried foods.
Preference should be lean meat, stewed and steamed vegetables without adding salt and spices. In the porridge, too, do not add salt. Diet alone is part of the treatment of edema in the elderly. The reasons may be different, but it is necessary to adjust the power in any case.
Approximate diet from leg edema
The optimal diet for treating leg edema in the elderly, the causes of which are fluid retention:
- Breakfast – oatmeal without salt, on water or skimmed milk. For taste, you can add a spoonful of honey, dried fruit.
- Snack – one banana (helps to replenish the potassium reserves for normal functioning of the heart muscle) or an apple. You can eat a handful of raw nuts, the main thing – not fried and not salted.
- Lunch – vegetable soup from potatoes, cauliflower and greens. Chicken fillet goulash Salt can be added to the broth – quite a bit so that you can eat without disgust.
- Snack – a pack of low-fat cottage cheese (a source of calcium, protein, essential amino acids).
- For dinner – skimmed milk with 50 grams of whole grain bread. You can bake your favorite fish in foil, make a turkey steak. All without adding salt, oils, fats, spices, cheese.
Diuretic drugs on the principle of impact are:
Old people often buy cheap diuretics, such as Furosemide, Torasemide, Veroshpiron. Try to explain to your elderly relatives that these drugs are dangerous to health and belong to a class of outdated medicines with many side effects. Before mindlessly swallowing diuretics of the old generation, it is necessary to diagnose and establish the cause of leg edema in the elderly.
Edema most often occurs as a result of impaired activity of the heart muscle or urinary system. To eliminate it, only complex treatment will help, getting rid of the underlying disease. The most popular medications for heart swelling of the legs are:
- diuretics (Piretanid, ethacrynic acid);
- cardiac thiazides (Dichlothiazide);
- loop diuretics.
For edema due to varicose veins, medicines are prescribed to thin the blood. For example, Cardiomagnet, Detralex, Escusan.
Folk recipes against puffiness
At home, you can also very effectively carry out treatment. There are many popular recipes with a mild diuretic effect, contributing to blood thinning.
Folk remedies for leg edema in the elderly, the causes of which are fluid retention, are presented below:
- Every evening, take a foot bath with salt, soda and herbal infusions (clover, chamomile, dandelion). Such procedures will help relieve tired legs and will be especially effective for older people who lead an active lifestyle and spend many hours standing or sitting.
- Improves the water-salt balance decoction of flaxseed. Zaparate boiling water a teaspoon, let it brew. Take half a glass half an hour before meals – in a month the swelling of the limbs will become much less pronounced.
- If the taste of flaxseed broth seems unbearable – try figs. Its infusion has similar properties. In addition, it has a beneficial effect on the flow of bile and, in general, has a generally strengthening effect on the body.
- Add a sprig of mint to your usual tea. Decoction of this plant has blood-thinning properties and helps prevent leg edema.
- Try to raise your legs slightly when resting: put a cushion or roller under them. This will contribute to the outflow of blood from the lower limbs and reduce their swelling. You can ask someone to do a light foot massage, to disperse the blood – this is very useful.
- A decoction of parsley, wild rose, bear ears has excellent diuretic properties. You can mix the crushed dry leaves and fruits of these plants in equal proportions (for example, one tablespoon), and you can use the infusion of only one rosehip or parsley. The main thing is to take such a decoction daily for at least two weeks. Fluid retention will be less, and the swelling will also partially disappear.