Health In today’s society, we know that staying active and eating healthy are important. With a balanced diet and regular physical activity you can reduce your risk of developing conditions ranging from heart disease to diabetes, and even cancer.
What you might not know is that your diet can significantly impact your lower leg health specifically. A diet that is high in sodium is dangerous for many reasons. Excessive salt consumption can cause swelling in your feet and ankles, a medical condition known as edema.
Being mostly sedentary can also cause problems, with venous insufficiency being a risk if you are overweight and spend long periods sitting or standing.
As an award-winning podiatry in Boca Raton, FL, we can diagnose and treat problems in the feet and lower legs. Understanding how salt and a lack of exercise impacts your health can help you to stay protected from serious complications.
Salt and the Health of Your Feet, Explained by Your Foot and Ankle Doctor Boynton Beach
If your feet or ankles begin to swell, you could be suffering from edema. This condition is caused by excessive fluid buildup between cells. It is common in the ankles and feet. The skin around your lower extremities can begin to look stretched and dry. Even gently applying pressure for more than ten seconds will leave a visible indentation when you are suffering from edema.
If you consume a diet that’s high in sodium, your body will retain water to dilute and process it. This can trigger edema or make it worse if you’re already suffering from the condition.
The average American should limit daily sodium consumption to 1,500 milligrams. Cutting down high-sodium foods like potato chips, fast food, processed meat, and heavily seasoned meat and vegetables can help to keep your sodium levels within a healthy range. This may also help to ease swelling in the feet and ankles.
Simply cutting down your intake won’t always be enough to stop swelling. Other underlying conditions could cause edema. If you adjust your diet and see no improvement, it’s time to talk to your foot and ankle doctor Boynton Beach.
How a Lack of Exercise Contributes to Swelling in the Lower Legs and Feet
Swelling in your legs and feet could be related to venous insufficiency. This condition is characterized by pain, inflammation, swelling, cramps, changes in skin appearance, varicose veins, and leg ulcers in the worst cases.
If untreated, venous insufficiency can become seriously painful and debilitating,
Many factors cause venous insufficiency. Being overweight and sedentary are two of the leading causes. Others include pregnancy, a family history of the condition, smoking, high blood pressure, and sitting down or standing for extended periods.
Here we can find an interesting link to sodium. Consuming too much sodium over a long period of time can cause you to develop high blood pressure. This will significantly increase the chance of developing venous insufficiency, particularly if you are overweight.
Venous insufficiency is treatable with your foot and ankle doctor Boynton beach. Improving blood flow, losing weight, taking specific medicines, or having procedures like laser ablation can reroute blood flow to healthy veins. With treatment and changes in lifestyle, you can overcome venous insufficiency and the suffering that it causes.
When Should You Talk to Your Foot and Ankle Doctor Boynton Beach?
If you consume a diet that’s high in sodium, and if you don’t perform moderate exercise for at least 30 minutes every day, you’ll be more at risk of developing edema and venous insufficiency. Being sedentary can also weaken your bones, which could make you more susceptible to foot and ankle fractures.
Even if you don’t have symptoms today, it’s recommended that you make lifestyle changes to protect your health. If you do have symptoms like swelling, frequent lower leg cramps, pain, fatigued legs, or visible varicose veins, then it’s time to talk to your foot and ankle doctor Boynton Beach today.
At the Foot, Ankle & Leg Vein Center, you can get treatment from the most experienced podiatrists in South Florida. We are a unique boutique medical practice, offering innovative treatments and medical care that restores your comfort, mobility, and overall lower leg health.
Don’t wait for problems to worsen. Schedule an appointment now if you are experiencing any kind of pain, swelling, or lack of mobility in your lower legs.