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Swollen legs - Definition


Swollen legs are due to the stagnation of body fluid in the lower limbs: this is called edema of the lower or limbs. In general, it affects both legs evenly, is less severe in the morning, worsens throughout the day, and is more severe at night. It can be accompanied by feelings of weight gain, leg heaviness, or pain. Edema in the lower limbs may be due to venous insufficiency, as the blood is stagnant when the patient is standing. It can also be a symptom of a disease such as renal nephrotic syndrome in which a loss of proteins by the defective kidney disturbs the regulation of water which is then reabsorbed by the kidney. Heart failure, liver failure, and certain treatments are some other causes. Lymphatic drainage and wearing compression stockings promote venous and lymphatic circulation and reduce swelling due to stasis of these liquids. The treatment of the cause of edema is necessary and taking diuretic drugs promotes the removal of water by the kidney. If one leg is swollen, phlebitis or an erysipelas-type infection are most frequently suspected.