Anti aging guide

Problem of Water-Logged



Is it common to be water-logged and how to treat it ?

We are all familiar with the puffy, swollen ankles so often associated with advancing years. If you press with a finger on such an ankle, it will leave a dent as the fluid in the underlying tissue is displaced; if it does not, the ankle is simply fat. This accumulation of fluid used to be called dropsy and afflicted such celebrities as Henry VIII. It is associated in the medical mind with chronic heart failure and too often results in prescriptions for diuretics which, if brisk in action, can convert fluid in the ankles to urine in the slippers. The fluid also accumulates in the lungs in acute heart failure and causes severe breathlessness.

There are many others causes of fluid accumulation in the feet and legs, and the commonest is perhaps simply sitting in a chair all day, when the effect of gravity is combined with a lack of muscular activity which normally helps pump the blood back to the heart. Many of us have experienced arriving at our destination after a long flight with swelling of the feet and ankles, and here an additional factor is the pressure of the seat on the veins in the thigh and at the back of the knee. There is a small but real danger that this pressure may not only compress the veins but actually encourage the formation of blood clots, or thromboses, within them. By the time the hapless airline passengers are prized out of their cramped battery-chicken-class seats and massaged out of the rigid Z-shape into which their bodies have congealed, they may have developed not only pressure sores and jet lag but ankle swelling and venous thrombosis as well! Sound health advice for anyone of middle age or beyond who is contemplating a long airline flight would be to watch a travel program on the television instead. To sound a slightly more positive note, it helps to stretch the legs and walk to the toilet from time to time, and it also helps to choose a fairly empty flight or to pay the considerable extra cost for a first-class, ticket.

A venous thrombosis is certainly another cause of swollen ankles, but this is usually confined to one leg. When both are affected, other conditions which need to be considered include kidney diseases which limit water excretion and, more commonly, certain drugs which can have the same effect, including steroids and many anti-inflammatory drugs used in the treatment of arthritis.

Posted by Carol Hudgens - April 27, 2012 at 11:42 am