6 Ways to Deal with Edema

Edema is the medical term for swelling due to an accumulation of fluid. You may notice that your feet and ankles are swollen after a long day at your desk or being on your feet. Swollen feet are fairly common, especially if you are pregnant or elderly. In both conditions, your circulation may be weakened, which is a contributing factor to fluid buildup.

At Edmond Norman Foot & Ankle, we’d like to offer you some simple solutions to swollen feet and ankles:

  1. Put Your Feet Up—If you are prone to swelling in your lower legs and ankles or you are already experiencing edema, sit or lay down and raise your feet higher than your heart. This will help reduce swelling.
  2. Watch the Elastic—Avoid wearing socks, leggings or other clothes that restrict circulation on your legs and feet. A good rule of thumb: If it’s leaving a mark, chances are it’s too tight.
  3. Lower the Sodium—Too much salt in your diet causes you to retain fluid. If swelling is a problem for you, limit your sodium intake.
  4. Take Breaks—Staying in one position for an extended period of time can cause fluids to pool in your legs and feet. If you are stuck at your desk or traveling by car or plane, for example, take time out and walk around to get blood and fluids flowing.
  5. Exercise Regularly—A consistent exercise or fitness regimen is a contributing factor to good circulation and overall health.
  6. Stay Hydrated—It sounds counterintuitive, but drinking lots of water actually helps flush excess fluid from your body and reduces swelling.

If you notice that incidents of your lower legs, ankles and feet swelling are increasing, it’s time to make an appointment to see our board certified foot and ankle surgeon, Dr. A. Bil Buksh. Swelling can be an indicator of a serious medical condition involving your kidneys, liver, heart, circulatory or lymphatic system, or it can be a reaction to medication. If you have concerns about edema, contact our Edmond or Norman office.