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How to Reduce Edema

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Here are some effective and simple ways to reduce edema.

Swelling of the legs, hands, or ankles is a condition that can affect anyone at any stage of life. The clinical term for this condition is edema and it may be caused by excess weight, injury, trauma, certain medications, or complications of the heart or kidneys. 

Some women experience edema symptoms during their menstrual period. Swelling of the legs or ankles in pregnant women may indicate preeclampsia, a serious condition. 

Identifying the cause of your edema is the first step for treatment. Your doctor should be able to tell you what caused water retention in your body and recommend an appropriate treatment plan.

Here are 3 videos that show how to reduce edema and prevent it from coming back:

Video 1: 6 Steps to Reduce Swelling

In this video, learn how to reduce swelling in your legs, feet, and hands through these 6 steps: take a break, see a doctor, follow a healthy diet, apply ice, do exercise, stay in a cool environment, and increase your fluid intake

  • If the swelling is caused by sports or activities, take a break from them for at least a few days. Avoid sitting or standing in the same position for extended periods of time. If you are tied to a job that doesn’t allow you to exercise or walk too often, try doing some seated exercises. Elevate your legs using a pillow while lying down so that your legs are higher than your heart. This helps in reducing the swelling and improving circulation.
  • Make an appointment with the doctor and talk to him about the medications that you can take and exercises you may do to promote circulation and reduce swelling. 
  • Lower your sodium and caffeine intake, and add more fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet. You should also avoid foods that are high in fat.
  • Apply ice to the swollen area to reduce the pain and inflammation.
  • You should keep your skin cool when you are in a hot environment. Stay in places that are air-conditioned or relax in a pool to reduce the swelling.
  • Drink plenty of fluids, such as plain water to flush out the toxins and excess water from your body.

Video 2: Edema in Pregnant Women

In this video, Dr. Cathy shows you an enjoyable way to reduce swelling in your feet and ankles during your pregnancy. Make sure you drink lots of water and keep those feet moving as much as possible, and elevated while resting. 

Nearly 2 to 3 pounds of weight that you gain during pregnancy is due to the increased fluids in your body. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, recommends regular exercise during pregnancy to reduce this swelling and bloating. 

Video 3: What Causes Swelling

This is a brief video that describes the major pressures in capillary filtration and also explains how those pressures are changed in edema. The four main causes of edema are: capillary permeability decreased osmotic pressure, increased hydrostatic pressure, and lymphatic blockage. Further discussion includes major pathologies that influence these causes of edema.

Next Article: Edema Diet: Foods to Avoid for Edema