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How can I treat my swollen legs at home?

ANSWER

Cut back on salty foods

  • Wear compression stockings
  • Exercise every day
  • Switch positions and stop for breaks as often as you can during long car rides
  • Get up from your seat and move around as much as possible when you fly
  • Raise your legs above your heart level for half an hour, several times a day

But since leg swelling can be a sign of something serious, don't ignore it. If you notice other symptoms, especially leg pain, shortness of breath, or extreme fatigue, call your doctor right away.

SOURCES:

Alicia Groft, MD, associate professor of medicine, Dartmouth Medical School.

CDC: "National Chronic Kidney Disease Fact Sheet."

Ely, J.W. Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, March-April 2006.

March of Dimes: "Swelling."

Mayo Clinic: “Leg Swelling.”

National Blood Clot Alliance: "Signs and Symptoms of Blood Clots." 

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: "What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Heart Failure?"

National Institutes of Health: "Varicose Veins and Venous Insufficiency."

Nationwide Children's Hospital: "Swelling: The Body's Reaction to Injury."

Reviewed by James Beckerman on July 15, 2020

SOURCES:

Alicia Groft, MD, associate professor of medicine, Dartmouth Medical School.

CDC: "National Chronic Kidney Disease Fact Sheet."

Ely, J.W. Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, March-April 2006.

March of Dimes: "Swelling."

Mayo Clinic: “Leg Swelling.”

National Blood Clot Alliance: "Signs and Symptoms of Blood Clots." 

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: "What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Heart Failure?"

National Institutes of Health: "Varicose Veins and Venous Insufficiency."

Nationwide Children's Hospital: "Swelling: The Body's Reaction to Injury."

Reviewed by James Beckerman on July 15, 2020

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