Dr. Giuseppe De Matteis, Biologist who works as a Nutritionist Biologist and professor of herbal medicine, dermatology, trichology and cosmetology in Taranto, illustrates the causes, remedies and advice in case of swollen legs.
Swollen legs, a typically female disorder, is very common at all ages but especially in the mature one. Swelling in the legs, in medical terms, is called edema and occurs when the lymphatic system is unable to dispose of the fluid leaking from the capillaries.
The most frequent cause of leg swelling in people over the age of 50 is represented by venous insufficiency , a condition that afflicts more than 30% of the population.
For a diagnosis of the underlying cause of leg swelling it is important to distinguish whether the edema is localized only in the lower limbs or whether it is generalized, affecting the whole organism.
Swelling that is localized only in the legs can be caused by:
- Obstruction of venous drainage .
- Obstruction of lymphatic drainage
- Musculoskeletal disorders (sprains, dislocations, fractures)
- Chronic venous insufficiency, varicose veins
- Some pathologies (renal insufficiency, liver pathologies, etc.)
- Some drugs (antihypertensive, NSAID and cortisone)
In some cases, the medical history carried out by the doctor through an interview and a clinical visit is sufficient, while in other cases more in-depth tests such as blood tests, urine tests and instrumental tests may be necessary.
In the case of chronic swelling, the most common one, we can distinguish several cases based on whether pain is associated:
- Deep vein thrombosis and thrombophlebitis
- Deep venous insufficiency
Deep vein thrombosis and thrombophlebitis cause pain, lymphedema does not cause pain, while chronic venous insufficiency can cause light pain and heaviness in the legs, but sometimes occurs without symptoms.
The risk factors that facilitate thrombus formation are the following:
- chronic venous insufficiency
- varicose veins
- cigarette smoke
- overweight or obesity
- taking the contraceptive pill or hormone replacement therapy
- hereditary or acquired bleeding disorders
- systemic autoimmune diseases (Lupus type)
- some tumors
Thrombophlebitis or phlebitis
Thrombophlebitis is inflammation of one or more veins associated with a swelling caused by a blood clot, most commonly affecting the veins in the legs.
Lymphedema is a buildup of lymph caused by an abnormality of the lymphatic system. It is caused by the interruption of normal lymphatic flow, due to trauma, infection or surgery. In lymphedema, the skin appears thickened, hard, with folds and a lumpy appearance.
Chronic venous insufficiency
In chronic venous insufficiency there may be brownish spots, eczema, varices and ulcers, the latter especially on the inside of the ankle.
THE MOST INDICATED ACTIVE INGREDIENTS
As often happens, nature comes to meet us with extraordinary remedies. Here are some plants that are particularly effective for swollen legs:
- Horse chestnut
- Red grapevine
Horse chestnut contains an active ingredient called escin which has an extraordinary anti -edematous effect, also increases venous and arterial tone and strengthens the capillary wall . In short, at the same time it strengthens the blood vessels and reduces edema. It also contains flavonoids with a good anti-inflammatory power and also inhibits the action of two enzymes - elastase and hyaluronidase - which can degrade the walls of blood vessels.
Butcher's broom contains steroid saponins, essential oils and resins, which possess vasoprotective and anti- inflammatory properties. Furthermore, its ruscogenins possess a marked phlebotonic activity, making the walls of the vessels more elastic. Finally, it has anti- edema activity.
The berries contain: flavonoids, anthocyanids, tannins, organic acids ( both malic and citric, aspartic and glutamic acids are present), Vitamins A, C, B, E, K, folate and mineral salts.
The set of these active ingredients have the ability to strengthen the vessel wall , improving elasticity and tone. They also possess anti- inflammatory properties.
The leaves of the red vine contain polyphenols such as bioflavonoids which possess a powerful antioxidant , anti-inflammatory, vasotonic and vasoprotective action, reducing vascular permeability. The seeds and skin of the berries contain flavonoids, anthocyanins, polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamin P, with properties to improve blood and lymphatic circulation , preventing edema and swelling.
Horse chestnut, Butcher's broom, Blueberry and Red Vine can be found in the product: HEALTHY LEGS