How to – Prevent swollen limbs
HOW TO PREVENT SWOLLEN FEET AND LEGS IN HOT WEATHER
12 TOP TIPS
When our bodies encounter warm or hot weather, it is a natural reaction for the blood vessels to widen. This widening of the blood vessels leads to swelling, which is a mechanism our bodies use to help us cool down. This swelling, however natural, can be very uncomfortable or even painful. Read the following article to learn how to prevent swelling in hot weather as well as some easy remedies to reduce swelling should it occur.
1. Stay as cool as possible during warm weather months.
Find shade when outside and don’t sit in the direct sunlight when possible. Wear light-colored, loose-fitting and breathable clothing.
2. Exercise or stay active.
It doesn’t have to be rigorous or intense exercise. Walking is one of the best options available, as it generally gets your blood flowing without overheating you. Swelling due to hot weather is directly related to blood flow. The more you exercise, the more you encourage your blood to flow quickly. This should prevent swelling in hot weather.
3. Avoid salty foods when you know you’ll be exposed to hot weather as salt intake can cause or exacerbate swelling.
4. Follow a healthy dietary routine.
Drinking plenty of water, reducing your salt intake and incorporating lots of fruits and vegetables into daily eating habits can reduce the chances of swelling in hot weather.
5. Elevate the swollen limbs. Legs are most commonly affected, but arms, hands and upper extremities can also become swollen.
6. Lie down and raise the affected limbs on pillows. Avoid bending at the knees, elbow or stomach, as this will inhibit blood flow.
7. Wear elastic bandages, support stockings or other forms of support garments. These will prevent fluid from pooling in the extremities and generally can stop swelling in hot weather.
8. Wear the support garments when you expect to experience swelling. This includes hot weather and airplane travel.
9. Massage the arms, legs, hands or feet.
10. Massage will encourage movement of fluid out of the swollen tissue and throughout the rest of the body.11 Have somebody else do the massage. This allows you to continue lying down, which will not inhibit blood flow.
12. Identify and treat any underlying causes of swelling in addition to heat. This could include obesity, drug or alcohol addiction or varicose veins.
There are a lot of posts lately about swollen hands and feet ie water retention and a lot of people recommending the use of Furosemide.
Please be very very careful taking this drug, it is used to make you wee more often and you will be loosing a lot of sodium and potassium which in this heat is not good for you and can make you feel worse. Fluid retention is the bodies way of protecting itself so you could be doing more harm than good.
Furosemide will actually lower your blood pressure too so never take it if you have problems with your blood pressure and never take it if you are on any other medication without seeing your GP first. If you do take it make sure you drink lots and lots of water to compensate or you could end up in hospital with a kidney infection, heat stroke or de-hydration.
Furosemide tablets may cause you to become sunburned more easily. Avoid the sun. Use a sunscreen or wear protective clothing if you must be outside for more than a short time.
The best way to deal with water retention is to drink more water (strange I know), also drink things like Cranberry Juice and aqua-tonic drinks etc which will help keep the sodium levels correct in your body.
DO NOT TAKE IF YOU ARE DIABETIC
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); blurred vision; calf or leg pain, swelling, redness, or tenderness; chest pain; coughing up blood; fainting; fever, chills, or sore throat; numbness, burning, or tingling sensation; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; ringing in the ears or other hearing problems (eg, hearing loss); severe or persistent dizziness; severe stomach or back pain (with or without nausea or vomiting); shortness of breath; symptoms of fluid or electrolyte problems (eg, confusion; dry mouth or eyes; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; mental or mood changes; muscle aches, cramps, pain, spasms, or weakness; not able to pass urine or change in how much urine is passed; seizures; severe dizziness; severe or persistent loss of appetite, nausea, or vomiting; unusual tiredness or weakness); symptoms of high blood sugar (eg, increased thirst, hunger, or urination; confusion; drowsiness); symptoms of liver problems (eg, dark urine, loss of appetite, pale stools, severe stomach pain, yellowing of the skin or eyes); unusual bleeding or bruising; unusual tiredness or weakness; vein inflammation; yellow vision.
x Please take care of yourselves in the high temperatures read our sun safety page x