- stay on your feet too long
- poorly fitting shoes
- lifestyle factors
- certain medical conditions
When fluid accumulates in the tissues, it is called edema. While edema usually gets better on its own, there are some home remedies that can reduce swelling more quickly and increase your comfort. Here are 10 to try.
Drink 8-10 glasses of water daily
Although it may seem counterintuitive, consuming enough fluids actually helps reduce swelling. When your body is not adequately hydrated, it retains the fluid it has. This contributes to inflammation.
Buy Compression Socks
Compression socks can be found at a drug or grocery store or even purchased online. Start with compression socks that are between 12 and 15 mm or 15 to 20 mm of mercury.
They come in a variety of weights and compressions, so it may be best to start with lighter-weight socks and then find the type that provides the most relief.
Soak in the Epsom salt bath for about 15 to 20 minutes
Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) can not only help with muscle pain. It can also reduce swelling and inflammation. The theory is that Epsom salt draws out toxins and enhances relaxation.
Just be sure to get Epsom salts marked with the USP designation. This means that it meets the standards set by the US Food and Drug Administration and is safe to use.
Investigate Your Feet, Preferably Above Your Heart
While sleeping, place your feet on things like cushions, pillows or phone books. If you want to reduce leg swelling while pregnant, try elevating your legs several times a day. Aim for about 20 minutes at a time, even in an ottoman or chair.
Try to avoid standing for long periods of time and stay off your feet whenever possible.
If you sit or stand in the same area for a long time (such as at work), this can lead to swollen feet. Try to move around a bit every hour, whether it’s a walk to the break room, a walk around the block at lunchtime, bending your knees and ankles, or a lap around the office.
Magnesium Supplements May Be Helpful for Some People
If you retain water, you may have a magnesium deficiency. Eating foods rich in magnesium can help. One should include Magnesium-rich foods to diet from the following:
- dark chocolate
Taking 200 to 400 milligrams of magnesium daily may help with bloating. But before you take any kind of supplement, be sure to ask your doctor. Magnesium supplements aren’t right for everyone, especially if you have kidney or heart conditions.
Make Some Diet Changes
Reducing your sodium intake can help reduce swelling in your body, including your feet. Opt for low-sodium versions of your favorite foods, and try to refrain from adding salt to food.
Lose Weight If You Are Overweight
Being overweight can reduce blood circulation, which can lead to swelling in the lower extremities. This can also put extra pressure on the feet, which can lead to pain while walking. This can result in becoming more immobile – which can also lead to fluid buildup in the legs.
Losing weight can help reduce strain on your feet and possibly even leg swelling. Talk to your doctor about whether you need to lose weight and find healthy ways to do so.
Massage Your Feet
Massage can be great for swollen feet and can also promote relaxation. Massage your feet with firm strokes and some pressure toward your heart (or have someone massage for them!) This can help flush fluid out of the area and reduce swelling.
Increase your intake of potassium-rich foods
Potassium deficiency can contribute to high blood pressure and water retention. If you don’t have any dietary restrictions, consider eating potassium-rich foods. Some potassium-rich foods include:
- sweet potatoes
- white beans
Try drinking orange juice or low-fat milk instead of soda. If you have a medical condition, especially kidney problems, talk to your doctor before adding lots of potassium to your diet.
When to see your doctor
Every person is different. Depending on the cause of the swelling, some of these remedies may not be effective for everyone all the time. If one doesn’t work, don’t hesitate to try the other or use one in conjunction with the other.