As summer continues and theÂ weather starts to warm up, physician offices are inundadedÂ with people complaining about their feet swelling. They start outÂ okay in the morning when first arising from sleep but swell as they go throughout the day.
What’s going on? What is the cause of all this swelling and water retention? SALT!!! I know, “I don’t eat much salt.” I hear that every time. And it is true, BUT it doesn’t take much salt to make this happen.
The body has an established homeostasis as far as osmolality is concerned. Sorry if that sounds like a lot of big words. What it means is that it won’t let you dry yourself out too much or thingsÂ will go badly as far as body systems are concerned.Â So, if you add salt–either with the salt shaker or just eating food in America where salt is the mainstay of preservatives, the body retains water toÂ counteract that.Â That excess water now needs to go somewhere.
Water then flows downhill. During the night, it spreads throughout the body and makes it so our face feels puffy in the morning and we can’t take our rings off. But as we start ambulating around in the morning getting the newspaper, or texting, or facebooking, etc…the water starts flowing down hill and ends up in your legs and feet by the end of the day. Physicians call that pedal edema–an accumulation of water in the feet.
So the answer on getting rid of it is? Don’t eat salt!!! You can elevate your legs in the meantime. Your body will eventually make you pee that excess water out where it should be anyway–in the toilet, behind the tree, or in the neighbors swimming pool when no one is looking.