Swollen ankles and feet are not typical. If you find that your lower extremities are filling with fluid, known as edema, there is a reason. You may be suffering with high blood pressure or kidney problems, you may be pregnant, or you may even be dehydrated.
While edema can occur in any part of the body, it is most often seen in the legs, ankles, feet, arms and hands. Edema is not normally painful, but it can be uncomfortable. It can cause socks to feel too tight and shoes to start pinching. The good news is that if you are suffering with edema, there are ways you can take care of it at home.
1. Limit Salt Intake
If you regularly experience edema, try limiting your salt intake. Don’t add extra salt to your food when you are cooking or eating, and look for low-sodium options at the grocery store.
2. Drink More Water
You may think that the last thing you want to do is add more water to your body, but edema can be a sign that you are dehydrated and your body is trying to hold onto the water it has. Make an attempt to drink at least eight glasses of water each day, preferably 10 if you can. Drinking any less than eight glasses can promote swelling in your feet and ankles.
3. Movement and Elevation
If your feet and ankles begin to swell, determine whether you have been on your feet for a long period of time. If you have, take a break and put your feet up. This will help decrease swelling. You can also try a few yoga positions. One of the best if you are trying to reduce swelling is lying on your back with your back end against the wall. Put your legs straight up, propped against the wall.
4. Mint Bath
Try to relax your feet in a soothing mint bath. You will need 4 cups of water and 1/2 cup of mint leaves. Put the leaves and water in a pot and heat it for about 10 minutes. When you remove it from the heat, give it a chance to cool for another 10 minutes. Pour the water in a shallow pan or bucket and soak your feet. Try to soak for about 30 minutes if you have the time.
5. Tonic Water Soak
Tonic water is fantastic for reducing swelling in the feet and ankles. Fill a bucket or shallow pan with cold or room temperature tonic water. Soak your feet for 30 minutes or more if you wish.
Don’t let swollen feet and ankles stop you from enjoying your day. Try one or more of these remedies to see which one is best for you. If you would prefer medical intervention or the home remedies aren’t enough, reach out to Dr. Elizabeth Auger in Salt Lake City. Dr. Auger is an experienced podiatrist and ready to help you determine why you are being affected by edema and will work to relieve your discomfort.