Swelling of Legs And Feet: Causes, Treatment for Swollen Legs, Foot

Question: Can low protein cause your legs and feet to swell?
Answer: 60% of the protein in the body is in the form of albumin. It acts as a binding agent to many drugs, hormones, and minerals and nutrients of the body.

Causes of Legs and Foot Swelling

There are many causes of swollen of legs and feet, and among them one of the causes is low protein level.

It is also known as hypoproteinemia or hypoalbuminemia. One of the causes is excess of protein in urine (protienuria) which can be a medical disease called nephrotic syndrome. Hypoalbuminemia results in tissue edema.

Hypoalbuminemia is a specific form of low protein disease where there is low albumin level in the blood stream.

Albumin is synthesized in liver, and if the liver is not in a good shape, it can result in hypoalbuminemia. Low protein can be a result due to nephrotic syndrome, a type of kidney disease where there is loss of proteins through urine due to damage in the kidney. Chronic malnutrition in case of kwashiorkor can result in hypoalbuminemia.

Generalized or dependent edema can result due to hypoproteinemia due to decrease in osmotic pressure.

Treatment for Swollen Legs and Feet

So in bilateral lower foot edema blood investigation for liver and kidney are necessary. If edema is due to malnutrition then it can be corrected by proper supplement of proteins in the food. Extra supplementary protein fortified diet can also be prescribed in such cases.

Food rich in protein:

  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Butter
  • Soyamilk
  • Yogurt
  • Meat, fish, eggs, chicken
  • Grains
  • Legumes
  • Nuts and seeds

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