Legs, ankles, and feet swell when excess fluid is pulled down by gravity and builds up in the lower body. This is called edema and it’s common in older adults and usually happens on both sides of the body. It can be caused by a variety of health conditions including heart failure, kidney disease, gout, and arthritis.
To reduce the swelling from a foot or ankle injury, rest to avoid walking on the injured ankle or foot, use ice packs, wrap the foot or ankle with compression bandage, and elevate the foot on a stool or pillow. If swelling and pain is severe or doesn’t improve with home treatment, see your doctor.
7 Helpful Ways to Reduce Swollen Feet and Ankles
Edema (or swelling) of the lower limbs is common in older adults. The most common cause (about 70%) of leg edema is due to Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI). Other serious causes of edema include congestive heart failure, kidney disease, and liver disease.
Tips to reduce ankle and foot swelling Simple lifestyle changes — such as exercise and weight loss — also can help reduce or prevent swelling while also improving your overall health, says Dr. Botek. She suggested activities such as walking and swimming.
Potassium deficiency leads to high blood pressure and water retention. If one is not on any dietary restrictions, then consume potassium-rich foods to reduce swelling. Sweet potatoes, bananas, salmon, chicken, white beans are rich in potassium and should be eaten in case of foot swelling.
Stay Hydrated – dehydration causes the constriction of blood vessels leading to the forcing of fluids into the extracellular spaces between cells leading to retention particularly in the lower limbs.
Here are 10 to try.
People with a sedentary lifestyle are more likely to have swollen ankles or feet, so “the best way out is through” in the long term for those who are just beginning to get active. Dehydration can make swelling during activity worse. For those who are obese, swelling is more frequent with less physical activity.
Hold the swollen part of your body above the level of your heart several times a day. In some cases, elevating the affected body part while you sleep may be helpful. Massage. Stroking the affected area toward your heart using firm, but not painful, pressure may help move the excess fluid out of that area.
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To reduce swelling all over your body, podiatrist, Dr. Paul Ross near Rockville, MD recommends that you avoid fast food, potato chips and packaged sweets. Watch out for sneaky sources of sodium like condiments, sauces and canned food. Fruits and veggies are a staple of a bloat-free diet.
Swelling of the feet is a common sign of heart failure. You may also notice swelling in your legs, ankles, and stomach. Many things can cause swelling, so it’s important to see your doctor to diagnose the cause.
Medications that may cause the feet to swell include: