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Swollen Legs, Ankles and Feet: Causes and Proven Remedies (Including Parsley Tea Recipe)

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Top 10 Natural Remedies for Swollen Ankles, Legs and Feet

Swollen ankles, legs, and feet cause discomfort and even pain for many people. If you are one of these people who suffer from puffiness around your ankles, you probably wonder what you can do to reduce the ankle swelling and ease discomfort.

Swelling in the ankles, legs, and feet is caused by an accumulation of fluid around the base of your legs. This swelling (called edema) can be caused by something as simple as being on your feet or sitting down for too long. You may also feel that the area around the base of your legs swells and becomes puffy in hot weather.

However, sometimes fluid can build up and cause swelling around the ankles, legs, and feet due to an underlying serious health condition like problems with your kidneys, heart, or blood circulation. Some medications can also cause a buildup of fluid in your body resulting in swollen ankles and feet. Also, if one leg looks swollen, while the other one appears normal, see a doctor, as this unevenness could be a sign of deep vein thrombosis.


It is important to tell the difference between swollen ankles caused by “everyday” activities, and edema that requires treatment by a doctor. Generally, harmless ankle and leg swelling occurs on both legs and doesn’t have other ominous symptoms like shortness of breath, chest pain, or bluish skin (cyanosis).

In this article, we will look at some of the best home remedies for swollen ankles. Because treatment depends on the underlying cause of leg edema, we will also look at the reasons for fluid retention that causes leg swelling. This will help you know if you should see a doctor for swollen ankles or swollen feet and legs.

At the end of the article you will find a recipe for parsley tea to reduce swollen ankles and feet.

What Causes Ankles, Legs, and Feet to Swell

Swollen ankles and swollen feet occur because of fluid retention around the base of your leg. According to doctors from the Mayo Clinic, certain conditions can cause fluid to leak from capillaries which then builds up in the surrounding tissues.1

Here are some common reasons for ankle, leg, and feet swelling.

Standing or sitting for too long

One of the most common reasons for swelling around the ankles is standing or sitting for too long. According to doctors from the Cleveland Clinic, edema around the feet and ankles happens because gravity pulls fluid down to your feet. This can result in puffiness around your ankles that have the appearance of shiny skin. You may also notice that the skin retains a dimple when pressed.2

Too much salt in your diet

Having too much salt in your diet can cause edema because it makes it harder for your body to get rid of excess fluid. This fluid usually builds up around your ankles and feet causing swelling and puffiness.


According to Dr. John Chuna on MedicineNet, the kidneys are responsible for removing salt from your body. If your kidneys aren’t working properly, then more salt will be retained in the body and this will cause edema.3


Suffering from swollen ankles, feet, and legs is something that happens to most women who are pregnant. According to the American Pregnancy Association, swelling around the ankles, feet, and hands is normal during pregnancy. Other factors like hot weather, standing for long periods of time, or not being physically active can all increase swelling around your feet when you’re pregnant.4

While some swelling around the base of your legs is normal during pregnancy, doctors from the Mayo Clinic warn that sudden swelling around your ankles and hands can be a sign of preeclampsia.5

Hot weather

You may find that your ankles, feet, and bottom part of your legs swell more during hot weather. Doctors say that the body is less efficient at removing fluid from tissues when the weather is hot. 6

Varicose veins

Swollen ankles, feet, and legs are often a complication of varicose veins. The classic symptom of varicose veins is knotted bluish veins on your legs or spider veins.

The journal Seminars in Interventional Radiology says that varicose veins often cause ankle edema which may get worse as the day goes on. If you experience severe swelling in the ankles, you should see a doctor for a proper evaluation.7

Deep vein thrombosis

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a serious circulatory problem that may cause ankle swelling in just one leg. A common cause of DVT is long-haul air travel. Dr. Sheldon Sheps from the Mayo Clinic says that short-term foot swelling is usually not a serious problem. However, if the swelling in and around your ankles persists long after your flight and it is painful, you should visit your doctor promptly.8

Serious medical conditions that cause edema

There are more serious medical conditions that cause foot edema and ankle swelling. Dr. Suzanne R. Steinbaum on WebMD says that some of the reasons for swollen ankles that requires medical supervision are: 9

Heart disease. When the heart can’t pump enough blood around your body, fluid can build up in your legs, lungs, and abdomen.

Liver disease. Liver disease causes problems with the liver function that can lead to swelling in the abdomen and legs.

Kidney disease. When your kidney function slows down, more fluid is retained in the body. This can even lead to whole body edema.

Home Remedies for Swollen Ankles, Legs, and Feet

There are many effective home remedies to reduce swelling in your ankles, legs, and feet. These natural methods can help to relieve occasional bouts of leg swelling and give you welcome relief from the discomfort that ankle edema causes.

Please remember, that if you have any chronic leg swelling or you have swelling in only one leg that is accompanied with pain, you should see your doctor for proper medical advice.


1. Exercise

Regular physical exercise is a great way to stimulate your blood circulation and stop fluid retention in your legs and ankles. For example, swimming is a great way to take pressure off your feet and, at the same time, boost your circulation.

The journal International Archives of Medicine reported that exercising was an efficient way to reduce lower limb edema. This can help reduce ankle swelling if you have a sedentary lifestyle or if your swollen feet and ankles are due to aging.10

2. Raise your legs

Another effective way to reduce fluid retention in your legs and ankles is to raise your legs above the level of your heart.

For example, the journal Angiology reported that raised-leg exercises helped many elderly people reduce the size of their swollen ankles. They exercised for 20 minutes, 3 times a day and results were seen within a 4-week period.11

One easy way to keep your legs raised for an extended period of time to reduce leg edema is to sleep on your back with a pillow under your ankles. This will help to drain excess fluid that has built up around your ankles and feet.

3. Walk around

If you have swollen ankles and feet from standing or sitting for too long, you should get up every so often and walk around. This helps to stimulate your circulation and prevent too much fluid accumulating in your ankles.

The International Journal of Vascular Medicine reported that walking helps to reduce the volume of fluid that builds up in the base of the leg. The researchers found that walking for 50 minutes in the afternoon can help reduce edema and leg pain during the day. The results were enhanced by wearing compression socks.12

Doctors from the Cleveland Clinic also recommend that to prevent fluid retention and ankle swelling you shouldn’t sit or stand in one place for too long without moving.2

4. Compression socks

Compression stockings can help to reduce foot swelling if you have to sit or stand for long periods of time. In fact, compression socks help also to prevent swollen ankles and feet and can make going about your daily activities much easier. Compression stockings help to get rid of the symptoms of fluid retention in the legs by forcing the blood and excess fluid back up the body.

In fact, the journal Dermatologic Surgery published a study showing the effectiveness of compression stockings if you have to sit for long periods of time. It was found that the compression stockings helped to reduce ankle and leg size in the evening and were recommended for people who have to sit or stand for their job.13

Compression stocking can be useful to prevent leg and ankle swelling if you are pregnant or have to fly a long distance.

5. Foot massage

To help reduce ankle and foot swelling while you are pregnant, you can try a relaxing foot massage. Massage therapy is a great way to naturally stimulate circulation and help reduce the signs and symptoms of edema.

The International Journal of Nursing Practice reported that foot massage helps to remove a buildup of fluid in the lower-leg area. In the study, women who were pregnant received foot massages for 20 minutes a day for 5 days. This was found to decrease swelling in the legs and ankles naturally.14

You can do your own foot massage or have someone do it for you. This will not only help get rid of ankle swelling but also help relax you and act as a natural stress reliever.


6. Reduce salt intake

If you find that your ankles and legs are swollen, you should reduce your salt intake to prevent accumulation of fluid. Your body needs a little salt for it to function properly, but too much salt can have a detrimental effect on your heart, kidney, and cardiovascular system.

Doctors from the American Academy of Family Physicians recommend reducing salt intake if you are getting treated for edema.15 In fact, the Cleveland Clinic says that reducing the amount of salt (sodium) in your diet helps to prevent a buildup of fluid in your legs, heart, and lungs.16

7. Stop smoking

To keep healthy, it’s important that you stop smoking now. Smoking can cause many health problems that lead to serious diseases like various cancers, heart disease, and lung disease. Quitting smoking will also improve your circulation and prevent hand, leg, and ankle edema.

The Journal of the American Medical Association published a study that found that smoking increases the risk of peripheral artery disease (PAD) – a condition that affects blood flow in your body.17 According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, PAD usually affects blood flow to your legs.18

8. Soak in Epsom salts

Soaking in Epsom salts is a great way to relax and relieve aching muscles in your legs and feet. There is some anecdotal evidence that having a foot bath in Epsom salts could also relieve swelling in your ankles.

The British Medical Journal published comments from a retired nurse that used Epsom salt soaks to reduce leg swelling. The nurse reported that it is well-known that Epsom salts are an effective remedy for swollen feet. She used an Epsom salt bath to increase blood circulation and reduce discomfort in swollen legs caused by heart disease.19

To find out how to make a therapeutic foot bath with Epsom salt, please read my article on the benefits of Epsom salts for your feet.

Other Ways to reduce Swollen Ankles, Legs, and Feet

9. Drink plenty of water

We are all guilty of often not drinking enough fluids. By drinking water throughout the day, we hydrate our tissues and detox the body. Sodium and caffeine, which contribute to feet inflammation, get diluted if we water ourselves sufficiently. Eight to ten glasses a day should be the norm. So make sure you carry that water bottle with you. For added antioxidant value, squeeze some lemon or lime in or prepare your own flavored water.

10. Consume enough magnesium

Often feet inflammation, which can result in painful swelling, is connected to magnesium deficiency. Please read my article about magnesium deficiency in which you will find information about how to identify a magnesium deficiency and how to stay magnesium sufficient.

How To Make Parsley Tea for Swollen Ankles, Legs and Feet

Parsley looks great as a garnish, so many have forgotten that this beautiful plant can also be used in many other ways. Eating an abundance of parsley has always been equated to health and this herb is believed to protect from various diseases.


Not long ago, parsley tea was frequently used to treat different maladies. It is now being revived as a powerful herbal remedy. One of the conditions parsley can help with is leg edema or swollen legs.

Parsley Tea and Leg Swelling

Parsley is a known natural diuretic. It helps the body get rid of excess water and salts by improving kidney function and taking more water from the blood.

A study published in 2002 in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, provided substantial evidence for the use of parsley as a powerful diuretic. The study was done on rats (humans and rats have the same basic physiology). Rats that were offered parsley seed extract to drink produced significantly more urine over a period of 24 hours compared to when they were drinking only water.

Scientists believe that this herb acts in a diuretic way by inhibiting the sodium and potassium ion pumps, influencing the process of osmosis and increasing the flow of urine.

Parsley is rich in potassium. A lot of the chemically produced diuretic drugs lower potassium levels in the body, which is their negative side effect. If you use the simple parsley, you avoid this adverse effect as body’s potassium supply is not depleted.

Parsley is also a powerful antioxidant and I’ve already mentioned it my article about the 9 amazing antioxidants for great health. Parsley is rich in vitamins A and C and is a good source of folic acid, which is one of the top 14 foods and nutrients that protect against cancer development.

Parsley Tea Recipe for Edema (Swollen Legs)

Dr. John R. Christopher, an authority in the field of herbalism, suggests drinking at least two quarts of strong parsley tea per day. The dose can be increased to a cup of tea every hour.

When making your tea, use the fresh light-green leaves, along with roots and seeds (if you can get them).

  1. Chop the leaves and roots
  2. Place approximately ¼ cup of parsley into an infusion basket.
  3. Pour over a cup of boiled water or submerge into a tea pot.
  4. Let it steep for 5 to 7 minutes.
  5. Remove the basket or strain the tea.

You can use honey and lemon to enhance the tea’s flavor (you can also use honey and lemon to transform your health).

Also, don’t forget to combine tea consumption with other techniques for swelling reduction, such as leg elevation. You can also use 10 other natural remedies for edema.

Important note: Before using parsley tea as a diuretic, you might want to consult your doctor, especially if there is an underlying health condition that needs to be considered or if you are pregnant. Parsley tea may stimulate uterine contractions and increase the risk of miscarriage if you have it in large amounts.

Swollen Ankles, Legs and Feet – When to See a Doctor

Usually, if your legs or ankles swell after standing a lot or sitting for extended periods of time, there is nothing to worry about. However, if swelling at the bottom part of either of your legs is accompanied by other symptoms, you should see a doctor.

Doctors from the Mayo Clinic recommend visiting a medical professional for leg or ankle swelling if it is accompanied by one or more of the following symptoms:20

  • Just one leg or ankle swells suddenly
  • You have chest pain and difficulty breathing
  • You have shortness of breath when laying down or engaging in physical activity
  • You feel dizzy or lightheaded
  • The swelling occurs suddenly for no apparent reason

Even if you think that leg swelling doesn’t have a serious underlying cause, it is still best to have a doctor check out any kind of swelling that causes you concern.

Read my other related articles:

Article Sources

  1. MayoClinic. Edema.
  2. ClevelandClinic. Edema.
  3. MedicineNet. Does salt intake affect edema?
  4. AmericanPregnancy. Swelling during pregnancy.
  5. MayoClinic. Preeclampsia.
  6. BetterHealth. Fluid retention.
  7. Semin Intervent Radiol. 2005 Sep; 22(3): 162–168.
  8. MayoClinic. Edema.
  9. WebMD. Edema overview.
  10. Int Arch Med. 2009; 2: 18
  11. Angiology. 1995 Jan;46(1):19-25.
  12. Int J Vasc Med. 2015; 2015: 648074.
  13. Dermatol Surg. 2004 May;30(5):737-43; discussion 743.
  14. Int J Nurs Pract. 2010 Oct;16(5):454-60.
  15. AAFP. Treatment of edema.
  16. ClevelandClinic. Your sodium-controlled diet.
  17. JAMA. 2012;308(16):1660-1667.
  18. NHLBI. What is peripheral artery disease?
  19. BMJ. Simple risk-free reduction of pitting edema in congestive heart failure patients.
  20. MayoClinic. Leg swelling.
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78 Responses to Swollen Legs, Ankles and Feet: Causes and Proven Remedies (Including Parsley Tea Recipe)

  1. alyx says:

    your list No. 9 you need to put in a caution for dieabetics as they should NOT soak their feet for prolonged periods of time for fear of infection

    • JEANNINE says:

      Please, let me know how you came by this information.

      • Carol says:

        My doctor at the wound center told me it’s not recommended.

      • carol johnson says:

        My doctor says keep feet dry if diabetic. Even to the point of drying between toes after a shower. I have also been advised not to have manicures/ peds for same reason and in the event the bowls have not been cleaned properly.

        • Sharon Stewart says:

          Evidently you have an open wound on your foot, in that case you would not want to soak your feet. If there are no open areas on your feet, soaking is ok.
          Same thing with pedicures, if you have an open area on your foot it increases risk of infection or if someone cuts your toenails and clips some skin, this increases chance of infection.

        • Robbie says:

          I am diabetic too, and have been doing my own pedicures, and love too, I know my feet and just how deep to cut the toenails without cutting the quick and yes we must be cautious as well as the nail techs. If one goes to a nail salon then ask them to clean there bowls and instruments in your presence. They want your business and will accommodate your wishes. One thing for sure if you go to one early before it’s your turn, watch what they do in between customers and that will let you know how sanitized they are, and you can decide if there’s is the one for you.

        • divabroker says:

          I am also a diabetic and have, also, been instructed not to soak feet with or without an infection. However, if you do have an open wound you should keep it wrapped in gauze dampened with a prescription saline solution to help pull the infection out; and, see a doctor.

    • Cynthia Amis says:

      soaking will only hurt diabetics if they have open wounds.
      I am a diabetic and this is what my doctor told me with regards to soaking with salts and such.

    • Carolin says:

      No, you must always keep your feet moisturized or they will be prone to dryness and cracking. This would be an invitation to infection! You should soak feet regularly and immediately apply moisturizer to insure proper absorption. Although it’s a good idea to blot in between the toes with tissue to remove excess moisture, that may become a breeding ground for fungus. Do not allow feet become dried out under any circumstances. Only after your feet have been soaking for awhile, should you trim nails or remove dead skin. This will insure a clean trim and smoother process altogether!

  2. Elvis Agbortian says:

    I am glad to be one of your fans in HEALTHY and NATURAL WORLD. I got connected by a friend who knew i had edema problem,and having read about swollen legs issue, i got some new tips which i am putting into practice already. I have been on some tablets in the last 3years hoping that the problem would come to an end long before now, but alas, i am still on the tablets up till date. These tablets are; WARFARIN,FUROSIMIDE,SPIRINOLACTONE,DIGOXIN,CARDIVINOL.What is your advice on these drugs? I am going to be on drugs for life? I am 56years old now. Please respond appropriately.

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Elvis, unfortunately I don’t have the knowledge about these medicines. Every person needs to be evaluated by his/her doctor according to his/her specific situation, buy since I’m not a doctor, I don’t have the appropriate knowledge for that.

    • JEANNINE says:

      Hi Elvis……Have you googled these drugs..I did for all the ones I’m on..And I was put on Furosimide for my swelling and it made my legs and feet blow up like tight balloons…They say every body is different…I stopped the furosimide and find my swelling get much worse with eating anything in a can or a box…….So it’s lots of fruit and veggies for me. I am diabetic and 72yrs old……….I also have pain 24/7 throughout my body when I was put on a cholesteral med…..I got hooked up with a great supplement shop and they started me on CoQ10, Red Rice yeast, and Chelated Magnesium. Yes, it’s more expensive for me than a $6 a month prescription, but so worth it..Be blessed young man. I google info on everything at least 7 times a week.

  3. Narendra says:

    Thanks for interesting suggestions.
    Please also share on FB if you have suggestions for swollen arm ?


    • JEANNINE says:

      hi Narendra…..Have you googled swollen arm? It might enlighten you.

    • Kla says:

      With a swollen arm you should find a lymphedema specialist.
      I can’t believe this article has no mention of it!
      ***Lymphedema affects approximately 140 million people worldwide.***

      • Jenny says:

        The article specifically says that every case of swelling needs to be considered in its context to make sure you’re not missing a potentially serious condition.

  4. dhytzz abejo says:

    i used to have these swollen ankles,legs & feet before, due to venous thrombosis,though i underwent vein stripping,i still have the swelling of my ankles legs & feet.i was prescribed with anti-inflammatory medicines but the remedy is just temporary,and i might be drug,nowadays, i switched to natural herbs,i have these plant called “ashitaba”,everyday before breakfast i usually munch 5 leaves till it is so small to swallow with 1 glass of water.the pain is gone and the swelling as well.these plant is featured in YouTube where you could get more informations and other health benefits.

  5. Cindy says:

    My feet swell a lot, and have bluish color to them, feels like I’m walking on hot coals. The pain goes up my legs, resulting in calves of my legs to swell. My heart skips beats and I am always out of breath

    • sharon kocpek says:


  6. Nalini Naraine says:

    Hi,having swollen feet and my heels is blistering when I am on my feet for long ,can you say what problem is that and some advice how to treat it

    • Jenny says:

      According to Mayo Clinic website, you may experience swelling due to fluid buildup after sitting or standing for a long time. Leg swelling caused by the retention of fluid in leg tissues is known as peripheral edema. It can be caused by a problem with the circulatory system, the lymphatic system, the kidneys and more. As mentioned in the article, every case of swelling needs to be considered in its context to make sure you’re not missing a potentially serious condition. For harmless edema do the recommendation in the article. If you suspect your edema could be a sign of heart, liver, kidney problems etc, visit you doctor.

  7. Nashim umar says:

    Ive had dis problem since i was feet and ankles swell and sometime get very painful. Doc told me d veins were narrow and thus the constant now using aloe vera but there is that unexplainable pain.

    • Alexia Ramos says:

      How do you use the aloe vera ? my grandma has had swollen ankles and frequent leg cramps of course major age difference feels awful to watch and be helpless. If possible any comfort I can bring with the help of natural remedies is what I’m hoping to do any suggestions that you found helpfull please and thanks if u reply

    • Bm says:

      Have you tried a vein doctor who does corrections for varicose vein dilation? Maybe they can help you. Also uva has a gait clinic, so maybe a teaching hospital near you has one or just call uva and ask for a referral on your area. Maybe they have seen patients with your condition and can help you. Also watch Dr Ken Berry and Dr Eric Berg on youtube for suggestions.

  8. Dawn Thomas says:

    I also believe it is a lack of proteins in blood to pull fluid from tissues. Years ago I went on low carb diet (fairly high protein) and problem solved.

  9. Diago Fernandes says:

    Can you highlight on the subject of bone growth or spurs on the heel
    If there is any way to reduce the pain naturally

    • Linda Crowley says:

      Hi, my foot doctor just had me buy “Dansko clogs” I can’t believe it but the pain is gone from the heel spures and tendinitis in aquilies tendons. .I’m shocked

    • Bm says:

      Things that helped me. Custom inserts ($280), not paid by insurance and only lasted for 10months. I’ve never bought another pair bc my feet felt better. Shoes from running store where the owner tested where my knee feel over my toes. And podiatrist suggested frozen water in coke bottle to roll feet over for swelling and stretching the tendon. Blessings.

  10. Barbara says:

    I had a double lung transplant 12/3/2011 so my immune system is compromised. I am not allowed to take anything that will strengthen my immunity or my body will reject the lungs.
    Having said that, I have high blood pressure, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and am on 5 ltrs of oxygen 24/7. My feet and really all over swelling but my feet are huge. My doctor is trying to change my BP meds to eliminate hydrolozine and add clonidine. I also take lobetolol. At one point my BP was 210/105 in the hospital so I have major problems. I tried to buy and download a book on natural BP to get off the BP meds but the website was horrible and so was the service. I never got the book. My son tagged me on Facebook to you. Sorry to write so much but I really need help.

    • BM says:

      Try watching Dr Ken Berry and Dr Eric Berg on youtube. Also look into Dr Michael Greger. Also books can be found at your local library. Call them and have them hold the books for you to pick up. They should also be willing to bring out to your car. Try 200mg of coq10 as suggested by Dr Ken Berry. #1 for the heart. Also, there is a book total written about coq10. Blessings.

    • B M says:

      With regards to the swelling, could you try manual lymph massage and wrapping with ace bandage at night, tighter at toes, looser as you wrap up. Also coban provides light compression that may help. Here’s example of it being used on a finger, which was my problem.

  11. Jenny says:

    Hi Barbara, I understand your need for help. The problem is that I am not a doctor and you have multiple health issues. Cases like yours require knowing your medical history and performing medical tests and it is impossible to do it over the internet. I really apologize I cannot be of any help.

  12. Dalene says:

    I have been told I need a double hip replacement at 67 years old because my hips are bone to bone but no doctor will touch me because they say my BMI has to be between 30-40 and right now it is 42. I am barely able to walk due to the pain in my hips, leg bones and upper thighs. My muscle enzymes have been elevated a couple time between 800 and almost 1200 and they thought I may have myasitis or even MD but I had a muscle biopsy done that ruled both of those out and although a nerve conduction study showed my nerves to be fine there was signs of muscle deterioation but that didn’t show in the biopsy. Because I can barely walk because it causes like spasms in my thighs I am not getting much excercise. I did do some aqua therapy but the pain after getting out was bad and I was barely able to dress myself in the lockeroom and walk back to my car. I use a cane or walker. I haven’t found a doctor who can figure out what is really wrong. I do sit in a recliner or lay in bed but try to get up and walk a little as often as I can. I have swelling in my thighs and often in my ankles. I don’t know where to go, or a doctor to see that can help me. I don’t sleep most nights due to the pain. This has been going on for two years and only getting worse. I have seen a back surgeon who told me that there is nothing wrong with my back only arthritis but no more than anybody else my age…..can anyone give me any suggestions or ideas of something to try to stop the pain and get me moving again? I know I need to lose weight and have even been on a appetite suppressant but no excercise the weight doesn’t move much. I have tried every OTC cream and pill available….even used horse linement for the pain. Help me please!! Email me with a response if you can at [email protected]. Thank you!

    • Jenny Pepper says:

      Look at the replies from dhytzz abejo posted Aug 14 and Dawn Thomas posted Nov 14. They may help with your problem, and were posted before your comment, so I am very surprised that you didn’t see or read them. As the owner of this website states, they are not a doctor, so would be unable to solve these problems. Google the 5 / 2 diet. Lots of people have lost weight sucessfully with this method, as it just means two consecutive days without carbs. Which shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Sugars are more likely to be responsible for your weight gain than fat. Remember, when you do any exercise, because your body is not used to it, toxins would’ve built up in your tissues, and cause pain. But if you repeat the exercise a few times throughout the day, the pain will actually lessen, because you will be building muscle and allowing more blood flow. Hope this helps.

    • Christine says:


      I put off bilateral hip replacement as long as I could. I understand that you cannot exercise to lose the weight required because of your lack of mobility. I was young when I had to have replacements. I put it off as long as possible because of my age. While waiting to get older and have the technology improve, I swam every weekday for nine years. No other exercise was possible, as I finally could only get around by wheel chair. SWIM even though you might only be able to move your upper body, but it will take off weight and give you the upper body strength you will need to make recovery easier. The buoyancy of the water will feel so good. I used a therapeutic pool which keeps the water at LEAST to 89 degrees F. Hospitals and rehabs have them for those who really need it. Good luck. You have to do what you have to do. It is not easy, but can be done. The BMI is important to all surgeons. The results will be tricky unless you can get the BMI down. You can do it, and God Bless.

  13. Momo says:

    My left ankle Swellin on n off. Start end of nov 2010 TIL now about 4yrs ready. Went to about 6to 7 specialist. All dont knw what is happening to my leg.

    • marie hardy says:

      I ment the above advice for Momo but i guess it can ony help to stop drinking diet soda and eating fast food look at salt amounts in the food you buy. Alot of hidden salt if food now days.

  14. MA says:

    I learned this from experience. The Drs had me on Lasix and such for years because of my swollen legs.I did all the elevation and no salt etc. Also soaking legs can make them swell even more. All the Lasix managed to do was swell my legs more and give me horrible leg cramps. It wasn’t until I got in the hospital because my swollen legs began to get blisters and drain..that they found out it was lymphedema. Lasix does NOTHING for Lymphedema. Lasix is for water retaining in your legs, Lymph fluid is not affected by the swelling will never go down this way.There is special treatment needed for this…including wrapping the legs.
    If none of the article idea’s help ….
    Go to your Dr and find out if it is possible you may have early stages of lymphedema instead. SAME for the person with the SWOLLEN ARM.

  15. Mary A. says:

    The advice about swollen legs. what about home remedy for LYMPHA EDEMA? Is there some king of remedy for this. I’m a diabetic since I was 17, both parents were diabetic, and died due the compacations. I have this edema on my left leg, and just started. Any ideas?? Thank you.

  16. Jeanne says:

    I had for a long time had problems with swollen feet and water retention in my legs…when i found out i had diabetes i went on a low carb diet. the first thing i did was to eliminate bread from my diet completely …within a week the swelling and water retention went down to almost normal..first time in a decade of just living with it. surprised the heck out of me…i now maintain my diet with very little to no bread, low carbs and that seems to have done the trick. i know that was it because if i ever (on occasion) eat more bread then i should the swelling comes back immediately. just thought it might help someone else…give it a try see what happens.

    • Andrea Ritchie says:

      The same thing happens to me. When I watch my carbs and keep them very low, my leg swelling goes down substantially. When I overload on them (especially white bread),my legs swell, under my eyes gets puffy and my rings get tight. Less carbs or no carbs and lots of water make them feel sensational!

  17. Donald Holman says:

    I’m just finishing up my BSN. Bachelor of Nursing degree. I can tell you this, having worked with alot of doctors. They don’t know everything. Its called a medical practice for a reason. If you have several doctors that don’t know what it is, that doesn’t mean you won’t find one that does. With any peripheral edema, you HAVE to rule out the big stuff like Heart, kidney or liver issues. Those 3 things cause a majority of the edema in legs and ankles. BUT, it can be the beginnings of Lymphedema, or some other vascular disease. But before you use holistic remedies, go to a healthcare provider and make sure they rule out problems of the heart, kidneys and liver. I too just started to have swollen feet and ankles, I just took test for my kidneys to rule those out. i’ve never had heart issues so, I don’t know what’s causing it. but I am playing it safe and ruling out the important stuff. Good luck to you all and I hope that it is nothing serious.

    • BM says:

      Could it be hypothyroid? Heard this can do it. Just go to a natural doctor who knows subclinical hypothyroidism. Let us know what you find is the cause or not the cause. Good luck.

  18. gman says:

    my leg & foot swelled up so large last week for several days I didn’t know what was up so I called my endo & he said that the actos (type 2 ) medication is causing the swelling & to drink more water & use compression socks & if this doesn’t solve the problem to call him & he’ll take me off the actos but I’m afraid at that point he is going to put me on insulin–that’s not good cause I’m a professional driver & if your taking insulin as a driver the state won’t allow you to be issued a DOT license to drive & I’m 58 & there’s a terrible thing these days at least here in minnesota called age discrimination & employers discriminate against people for it all the time.

  19. Jane says:

    i had accident on my left leg nd d swollen was too much, hw can i get rid of it?

    • Jenny says:

      Swelling is a normal reaction of the body to an injury. I’m not sure when you had the injury, but if it’s recent and happened in the last 48 hours, you can apply ice pack (see more in my article about When to Use Cold or Heat Therapy). Otherwise rest the leg as not to move it in a painful way and elevate it. If your swelling lasts longer and you see no improvement, you should see your doctor.

  20. Raine says:

    The swelling or lymphedema, could also be a post byproduct of cancer treatments or surgery as is the case with my swelling. I also find massage and dry brushing to be very helpful for reducing the swelling.

  21. Kelly says:

    I have heart failure (40’s age group) and have swelling in several areas. Prescription diuretics cause pain even while taking magnesium and potassium. My leg calves were once swollen an inch and weeping red hot itchy and painful. Dermatologist put calamine lotion wrapped with zinc oxide gauze then a layer of ace wraps tighter at feet looser toward knee. 5 days in that wrap and the skin healed. (called unna boot). When my legs swell now I put calamine and diaper rash highest content zinc oxide and wrap with stretchy tube fabric (physical therapists use) and put compression sock over it. I also swing my legs regularly sitting on edge of bed. I have shortness of breath exercise intolerance. This moves the fluids out then you can put your legs straight feet up on the wall up to 30 minutes. Work up to it gradually. Apple cider vinegar 1 tsp in 6-8 oz water acts like a diuretic. It will make you drop water from your body quite a lot so use in moderation, caution, and ask your doctor if its okay for any of these methods. DRibose is a supplement that helps exercise tolerance and has helped me improve activity and quality of life. I learned about it from Dr. Sinatra and Dr. Gundry two well known heart specialists.

  22. Bebot Magpantay says:

    6 egg whites daily 2 each every meal would be a big help. Based on my own experience when I underwent operation and suffered from edema of my two legs & feet.

  23. Kelsey Weber says:

    Drink lots of ginger tea!! Increases blood circulation and helps reduce edema (water retention). Works like a charm!

  24. Aanchal says:

    I m having swelling in my feet n ankles since from two weeks..previous to this I was having boils in my legs from 2 days having lot of I took prescribed medicine and tube from later in two days I recovered from boils n inflammation.. But all of sudden I had swelling in my foot n ankle..again later I took prescribed medicine from Dr ..but still since from two weeks I m not recovering from it…can anyone help me out the necessary steps to be taken to get rid of this swelling..thank you

    • BM says:

      Did you find a solution? If u are a women, it could be menopause. Go to youtube and look for videos about manual lymph drainage in feet and try to lightly massage out. Also wrap with ace bandage. Start at toes, work up, wrap tighter at toes, looser as u move up. You sound mineral deficient/imbalanced. Potassium, magnesium, sodium (believe it or not). Dr Ken Berry has good advice on youtube, including salt. Find someone who can do ARL hair analysis., this will show imbalances in minerals. If doc doesnt know how to interpret the ratios between the minerals, go to someone else who does. Dr Carolyn Dean, excellent. Google and sign up for her newsletter. Liver might be congested. Choline and eggs can help with congestion. Btm66 at yahoo .com, Blessings

  25. Lina Di Marco says:

    Hi my name is Lina and I have multiple sclerosis. I have swollen feet and ankles, have tried horse chestnut for weeks with no success. I realize there is a circulation problem due to being wheelchair bound most of the day. I have heard that Cq10 may help and different vitamins; still searching; I agree that stretching and exercise help immensely!

    • BM says:

      Read my comment above about what may help. Also, look into electric cell signaling for the legs. My mother has something similar to ms. We just found out about this. Sounds promising. Btm66
      at yahoo .com

  26. donna says:

    i am a 46 yr old female with 3 herniated discs in low back for 9 yrs. all my pa wants to do is keep me pills. gone to other drs, they do same. i have ALOT of allergies to meds so drs are now afraid to treat me. my right foot & leg have been swollen since febuary 2017. my dr has tested for blood clots & stuff(?)with nothing found. put on lasix 2 times, once helped for 3 days. now dont know what to do. both feet hurt/itch.due to back injury hard to move around. noticed, in mornings my face & hands are swollen,feet not so much. in 30 min of getting up swelling moves to legs/feet.i’m starting to worry!!!

    • Jenny Hills says:

      Hi Donna, I’m not a doctor and cannot give specific advice, but you can find more information that might be relevant for you in my article about 16 Warning Signs of Poor Blood Circulation, as well as possible causes for it. You can also find some ideas of How to Improve Blood Circulation Naturally. Off course this cannot replace a professional medical treatment that is suitable for your specific case.

    • BM says:

      Hope you have found some help by now. Wonder if you have tried a incline bench like a teeter inversion table or a cheaper walmart version without cushioning which may prevent separation. Some chirps do decompression therapy. If you live near VA. My mother had her disks operated on at UVA by Dr.
      Hamid Hassanzadeh | Orthopaedic Surgery. He’s great. Her disks were fused at 4-5. She has less pain now a year later, but also less after she healed from the surgery. She had bone on bone. Dont wait. Blessings

  27. Lorie says:

    H. I was put on spironolactone for the edema in my legs (cankles). What I WASN’T told was the med was a steroid. My weight gain has greatly depressed\frustrated me, especially finding out on my own I was on a steroid all this time, that wasn’t really helping. I was already taking magnesium because I learned it helps with TMJ, mine is now gone, and I take dandelion pills that are a natural water reduction treatment. I feel like my legs and ankles look and feel better, but from what I read it takes about a year to get the spiro out of your system, preventing any real weight loss.

  28. Isabel Mc Mahon says:

    Nothing is helping me. I have a pump and it still isn’t helping.
    My legs are getting bigger and bigger. I use a wrap around but
    now it doesn’t grab any more. So I cannot use them any more.

  29. Eunice says:


    my legs have been swollen from late 2014. i did all the test and the doctor conclusion was edema around the feet and ankles. i have tried prescribed medicines to no avail. advise the best remedy or herb that can stop swelling.


    • Jenny Hills, Medical Writer and Researcher says:

      Apart from the suggestions mentioned in the article, you can try parsley tea to reduce edema – see more information HERE.

  30. Sana says:

    Which doctor should I look for?which specialist????if swollen persistence in only one leg!

    • Jenny Hills, Medical Writer and Researcher says:

      For non-emergency condition – Probably go first to your family doctor. He/She will be able to refer you to a specialist (if needed) based on your other symptoms, medical history and other tests if required. Mayo Clinic website describe emergency condition in which the leg swelling is accompanied with other symptoms – see more information HERE.

  31. debbie says:

    should be in nl canada my wife was dianosed with diabetis 7 years ago then 2 years ago her legs and feet stated to swell white stuff then green started pouring out of her legs for 7 months we had 9 specialists could not figure out what was wrong with her one even said that we were alcholics,we don,t drink then xmas eve morning she was sat at the table her eyes rolled back in her head and she stopped breathing i did cpr on her got her breathing again called paramedics we ended up in hospital for50 days when they checked her sugars it was 43 the day before it was 7.9,the last dr. that seen her found out she had edema ,neurpathy,venus stasis,nine month,s later her legs and feet are still swollen,her sugars are down to under 9 and she still can,t walk and she is on 11 different pills down from 16 pills i think the dr,s and the pill,s are the problem

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