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Hi, and thank you for coming to JustAnswer.com with your question.
Do you have any known medical problems?
Do you take any medications?
Do you smoke?
Do you drink?
Do you have a history of any medical problems or surgeries?
You mentioned long-haul flights, can you tel me what you do?
No medical problems, I don't take any medication, non smoker, I do drink at weekends but not excessively
Are you on your feet a lot?
no I work in an office
Are you feeling that puffiness right now?
Do you have (or know what) varicose veins (are)?
after long haul flights it can take a couple of days for swelling to go down so I just massage them regularly
no varicose veins no
Are you feeling the puffiness right now?
just my ankles
I'd like you to do a quick test. Put your thumb on the front of your shin - about half way down. Push down hard on it for about 30 seconds.
When you release your thumb I'd like to know if there is still an indentation 10 seconds later.
Can you tell me about how long it takes to come up?
another few seconds after that
Do you eat a lot of salt foods?
I wouldn't say so
I cook everything from scratch and don't add a lot of salt
Okay. Usually leg swelling has to do with the heart, but I doubt it in this case.
I would agree, I feel pretty healthy and exercise regularly
The first thing I would say to try is reducing your salt, You'd be shocked to see how much salt is put into foods - even those you prepare at home. (The first thing that comes to my mind is pasta, also, canned foods tend to have VERY high levels of sodium)
ah ok pasta
Another thing I would suggest is to get support hose. These come in different levels of support. I think, from what you are describing, that the lowest level of compression would be helpful.
ok what is that?
(Check all foods -- salt is hidden where you don't think of looking. For example - unsalted pretzels means that there is no salt on the surface of the pretzel - the pretzel itself is still made with salt)
I'm not sure in the UK exactly how it works, but in the US you can go to a surgical supply store (or some pharmacies carry them) and ask for support hose. They usually come in different lengths (ie knee high, thigh high, or complete hose).
You might also notice swings with your cycle, where you get more bloated and puffy before your cycle and then better once it starts.
When you are hot - such as in hiking - blood everywhere in your body is trying to get to the surface. (Part of the temperature regulation in humans is that the blood comes closer to the skin when we are hot, and moves away from the skin when we are cold. By doing this the body is either letting off heat into the environment, or retaining heat by having less "contact" with the environment)
OK great, I'll definitely try to reduce my salt and try get some support hose
Feel free to come back with any more questions!
thank you very much for your advice!
(Even after you rate my answer - hopefully excellent - you can come back with more follow-up)
great, thanks again