Are there foods that reduce swelling in feet and ankles? – DIABETIC SOCK CLUB

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focused on the health benefits of proper foot care for those living with diabetes.

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Are there foods that reduce swelling in feet and ankles?

Many reasons might cause swelling. Diabetes is one prevalent health issue that could be the root of the problem. You could occasionally feel swollen feet and ankles if you have the disease.


What causes swollen feet and ankles with diabetes?


For any diabetic patient, you must consult a doctor if you find any changes in your body. Because diabetes has so many risks, so a patient who has had the disease for a while needs to be especially cautious. These could be a few causes if you have diabetes and have recently experienced leg swelling.


  1. Peripheral edema is the primary cause of leg swelling in people with diabetes. The accumulation of fluid can occur everywhere on the body, but it most frequently affects the hands, arms, legs, feet, and ankles. If neglected, this ailment can get extremely bad. It is imperative to see a doctor for advice.
  2. Suffering from diabetic neuropathy is also common for people with diabetes. This is a condition that causes numbness in the legs and feet. Because of this, a person with diabetes may be unable to feel an injury, possibly even something serious like a sprain or fracture, and continue to use the limb. However, the swelling brought on by the damage will create anxiety, which is why seeing a doctor becomes crucial.
  3. Diabetes lowers immunity to infections, and your swelling may indicate that your leg is infected. In addition to the node, a low fever and redness may indicate an infection.
  4. Sometimes, as fluid accumulates within body tissues, high blood pressure can also cause leg edema. Congestive heart failure symptoms include weariness and difficulty breathing; therefore, you should seek immediate medical attention if you have any of these symptoms.
  5. Even though most of us know about Diabetes Type 1 and Type 2, very few people know the risks associated with gestational diabetes. This type of diabetes mainly affects pregnant women and usually goes away once the baby is born. Even if the pregnancy itself can contribute to the accumulated fluids in the legs that cause swelling, swelling in the legs is frequently related to gestational diabetes.
  6. Thiazolidinediones, prescribed if you have type 2 diabetes, may cause leg edema. If the swelling in your legs is significant, go to your doctor. He might be able to modify your prescription to help you feel better.

Other potential causes for swelling in the feet, legs, and ankles include specific medical problems, circumstances, or body changes, such as:


  • Long periods of sitting or standing. The body cannot pump bodily fluids back toward the heart when the muscles are resting. Swelling in the legs can be brought on by the retention of blood and water.
  • Natural hormonal changes. Fluctuating progesterone and estrogen can restrict blood flow to the legs, leading to edema. These alterations in hormone levels can take place during menstruation and pregnancy.
  • Blood clot in the leg. A blood clot is a collection of solidified blood. Blood flow may be impeded when a blood clot develops in a leg vein, resulting in discomfort and swelling.
  • Injury or infection. Blood flow to the foot, leg, or ankle increases in the event of an injury or illness. Swelling is how this appears.
  • Venous insufficiency. Blood pools in the legs due to this condition, which is brought on by inadequate blood pumping of the veins.
  • Pericarditis. This is a chronic inflammation of the pericardium, the membrane that encloses the heart in a sac-like structure. In addition to severe, chronic swelling in the legs and ankles, the illness makes breathing difficult.
  • Lymphedema. Also known as lymphatic obstruction, it obstructs the lymphatic system. Blood vessels and lymph nodes make up this system, which aids in fluid movement throughout the body. Swelling of the arms and legs results from fluid-filled tissues brought on by an obstruction in the lymphatic system.
  • Preeclampsia. During pregnancy, this condition raises blood pressure. Increased blood pressure and poor circulation can bring swelling in the hands, legs, and face.
  • Cirrhosis. This term is for extensive liver scarring, frequently brought on by alcohol addiction or an infection (hepatitis B or C). High blood pressure and impaired circulation in the feet, legs, and ankles may be symptoms of the illness.

Consult your doctor to check for injuries and discuss any other medical issues you might be having or prescription drugs you might be taking that could affect your swollen feet. 


Symptoms of swelling


Sometimes, instances of slight swelling might go overlooked. Other symptoms arena aren't necessarily brought on by swelling. Skin or muscle enlargement is typically apparent for external edema. Swelling on the exterior might be localized or widespread.


The condition is localized swelling when only one location is swollen. On the other hand, widespread edema affects a large portion of the body. This typically indicates severe sickness. Often, an allergic reaction or fluid retention is a cause.


Meanwhile, internal swelling is harder to determine. An enlarged organ, muscle, or bone can be seen during an imaging scan, which can assist with diagnosis.


Several symptoms could be present if your swelling was caused by an accident, sting, or disease. These include:


  • itching
  • pain in the affected area
  • vomiting
  • flatulence

The following symptoms could manifest if the swelling is internal or not visible, and these need immediate medical attention:


  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • dizziness
  • chest pain
  • fever
  • fatigue
  • insomnia

Diagnosis of swollen feet


To identify the source of your swelling, a range of tests may be performed by your physician. Before performing a comprehensive physical examination, they will review your symptoms, check your medical history, and pay close attention to your heart, lungs, belly, lymph nodes, legs, and feet. Be prepared to explain:


  • where you can notice the swelling
  • the times of day when the swelling tends to be worse
  • any further signs you might be experiencing
  • any factors that seem to improve or worsen the swelling

The physical examination should give the doctor a solid notion of the cause of your swollen feet. However, they might suggest that you undergo specific diagnostic exams to assist in identifying the origin of the swelling. Your physician might recommend one or more of the following exams:


  • blood tests, including blood count, examine the various organs, such as blood counts, kidney and liver function tests, and electrolytes
  • X-rays to view and examine the bones and other tissues.
  • ultrasound to examine the tissues, blood vessels, and organs
  • electrocardiogram to assess heart function

An imaging test, like an ultrasound, can provide more details regarding the origin of the swelling. An MRI or CT scan, which are more specialized exams, may also identify the reason for the swelling.


Imaging tests may show:


  • blockages in your arteries and veins
  • inflamed muscle or tissue
  • bone fractures

They can also indicate whether you have an affected colon or are fluid-retained. Additionally, your healthcare provider will perform tests on your blood and urine to see if the swelling results from an illness. Your doctor will probably advise home remedies like choosing meals that reduce swelling, as swelling usually results from certain lifestyle factors.


Foods that reduce swelling in feet and ankles


Poor dietary habits can adversely affect one's health, including fluid retention and swollen feet and ankles. You can follow these food recommendations to help with your condition.


Reduce Salt


People experiencing swelling on their feet and ankles should avoid salt above all other ingredients to reduce edema in the feet. A diet high in salt causes your body to retain too much water, which results in bloating and edema. Replace salty foods, including soups, sauces, potato chips, crackers, and pretzels, with low-sodium or reduced-salt versions. Reduce your intake of sauce, condiments, and table salt, which are high in sodium.


You can add flavor without increasing your sodium intake by substituting other seasonings. Consider salt substitutes like lemon pepper, dried onion or onion powder, nutritional yeast, dill, garlic, smoked paprika, ginger, rosemary, red pepper flakes, cinnamon, sage, tarragon, coconut aminos, dried herbs, or cilantro.


Increase Potassium


Potassium aids in the body's balance of electrolytes and fluids. This, in turn, controls the body's water retention. Leg and calf cramps, as well as persistent ankle swelling, are symptoms of a potassium deficiency.


Consuming foods high in potassium can help control your fluid retention. A minimum of five servings of fruits and vegetables per day are recommended. Potassium can be found in the following foods: spinach, sweet potatoes, watermelon, winter squash, apricots, avocados, bananas, leafy greens, broccoli, cantaloupe, dates, mushrooms, oranges, parsnips, potatoes, prunes, raisins, lentils, peas, almonds, peanuts, milk, and yogurt. Making a healthy salad or smoothie can not only benefit you if you are struggling with your weight but will also assist in reducing the swelling in your ankles.


Add Magnesium


Because the body can't get the blood and lymph to move freely throughout the body, feet often swell. A lack of magnesium frequently brings this on. This is because this mineral also aids in lowering water retention.


Adding magnesium-rich food such as nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, green leafy vegetables, and dark chocolate can help reduce the swelling in your ankles.


Prevent Inflammation


Inflammation is one of the leading causes of swollen feet, and its frequently connected to the foods we eat. Diabetes patients should pay extra attention to their diets because it benefits their health and causes foot issues. If not controlled by diet and medical care, foot inflammation might quickly get out of hand in those with diabetes who cannot control their blood sugar without medication.


The body converts Omega-3 fatty acids in wild fish into compounds that fight inflammation. Omega-6 fatty acids, found in abundance in animal meats, cheese, and butter fats, are transformed by the body into substances that promote inflammation. You can reduce the inflammation in your body and assist in reducing lower limb edema by eating more fish and less saturated fats like butter and domestic animal meat. Mackerel, salmon, bluefish, albacore tuna, sturgeon, and trout are the fish with the highest concentrations of anti-inflammatory Omega-3 fatty acids.


Prevention of swelling on feet and ankles


Along with this diet, you can also try a few home remedies if your feet, legs, and ankles frequently swell. When swelling occurs, these treatments can aid in its relief:


  • Drink Lots of Water. To assist your body and eliminate extra sodium and other waste that may contribute to edema, make sure you drink the recommended 8–12 glasses of water daily.
  • Elevate your legs whenever you're lying down or whenever you get the chance to lift your feet while sitting, do it. Raise the legs so they are over your heart. You might put a pillow under your legs to make it more comfortable.
  • Massage. The lymphatic system can benefit from therapeutic massage.
  • Keep moving while concentrating on stretching and leg movement.
  • Avoid wearing garters and other types of restrictive clothing around your thighs.
  • At least once each hour, get up and walk around, especially if you've been sitting or standing stationary for a while. To begin, set aside 15 to 30 minutes daily to stroll about your area.
  • Put on compression or support socks. Supportive socks, tights, or stockings can be beneficial for reducing swelling. You can check out these compression socks or stockings that are available to help with various edema and peripheral neuropathy symptoms here:

There are numerous reasons why your feet could be swollen. After a long day, you might need to give them a break. Or it can be a symptom of something more serious. With the help of your healthcare provider, you can decide the best course of action for your symptoms.

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