Ease Your Edema

Tips to soothe feet, ankles that swell by end of the day

Please note: This article was published more than one year ago. The facts and conclusions presented may have since changed and may no longer be accurate. And "More information" links may no longer work. Questions about personal health should always be referred to a physician or other health care professional.

SATURDAY, Oct. 23, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- Your feet and ankles look normal in the morning, but by the end of the day they're swollen and you can't wait to get your shoes off.

You're suffering from edema, or swelling that happens when gravity pulls fluids down into your feed and ankles, causing them to swell.

The October issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter offers some tips to reduce swelling:

  • Cut back on salt, which contributes to fluid retention.
  • Roll on support stockings, which promote circulation and limit gravitational movement of fluids.
  • Exercise regularly to improve circulation.
  • Lose excess weight, which slows the circulation and puts extra pressure on your veins.
  • Avoid long periods of sitting.
  • Review your medications with your doctor to see if any of them contribute to swelling.

The Mayo Clinic suggests you see a doctor if you have persistent swelling, swelling accompanied by shortness of breath and weight gain, or swelling that damages the skin.

More information

The National Institutes of Health has more about edema.

SOURCES: Mayo Clinic, news release, Oct. 15, 2004

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