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Summer officially arrives this week! The Houston, TX area typically sees temperatures in the nineties during the summer months, and the feet and ankles feel the heat. One common problem related to hot weather is the swelling (also known as heat edema) of these areas. While annoying, this condition typically resolves without serious effects. However, it should never be ignored.
Retaining water is a common response of the body when it is exposed to the heat for long periods. The body’s blood vessels actually open up during this process, and the excess fluids that pass through are pulled down into the extremities by gravity. Pregnant women, older individuals, and those who are overweight may experience this condition more readily.
The good news is that there are steps you can take to minimize heat related swelling. The most obvious is avoiding being out in the hot weather for an extended time. However, that’s often not possible. Moving around is one of the best things you can do, because long periods of inactivity allows fluids to collect in the lower extremities. Putting your feet up is another way to counteract edema.
Swelling of the feet and legs should never be ignored, because it can be a symptom of a dangerous medical condition. If you experience sudden swelling, or symptoms such as fever, difficulty breathing, chest pains, or infrequent urination, seek medical attention immediately. Concerned about the health of your feet this summer? Call Dr. Marco Vargas today, or schedule an appointment online at one of our three Texas locations: Sugar Land, Missouri City, or Houston, TX.
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