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How to reduce Swelling feet among the Elderly

To reduce swelling feet the elderly should visit a doctor and consult. What else you can do? Increase fluid intake and eat healthy meals, consider compression therapy and use proper socks. Put your feet up during the day, exercise as much as you can. Before you take any supplement to reduce swelling feet talk to your doctor. For more tips read further.

Swelling in the legs and feet is very common when growing old.  Luckily there are a few self-help treatments you can try to attempt to alleviate the pain and symptoms experienced with swollen feet. We are all different so what works for one person may not work for another.

Don’t be discouraged, just try another until you find one that makes a difference. If you’ve gone through the whole list of home remedies and you still have problems then consult your doctor. You might have something that needs a medical professional on board.

While we’re talking about doctors, keep an eye on what symptoms you experience with your swelling. And, if you experience pain in the chest or any other symptoms such as ulcerations, consult a doctor immediately.

When you start using these self-help methods, you mustn’t stop taking any prescribed medication, even if you think that this is the cause. Talk to a doctor first before changing your dosage.

Some of the commoner prescribed medicines that can cause or aggravate water retention include:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • High blood pressure medications
  • Steroids
  • Estrogen
  • Testosterone
  • Anti-depressants such as Amitriptyline

How to reduce Leg Swelling in the Elderly?

Eat healthy Meals

People who are overweight often experience swelling in the feet and legs. Reduce portion size, eat plenty of fruit, whole grains, and vegetables. Eat low-fat protein like fish, skinless poultry and lean meat.  Junk food, canned foods and many ready made frozen meals contain a lot of salt.

Reduce your sodium levels (salt) and sugar intake and above all increase the amount of water you drink. When you change your diet and continue to lose weight, you’ll find that not only do you feel better and fitter, you’ll also reduce the swelling.

If you find it difficult to reduce the portion size, drink one or two glasses of water before the meal. Drinking water will not only decrease the hunger pangs but will also flush toxins out of your body.

Increase Fluid Intake

Surprisingly, increasing the amount of water you drink will decrease your body’s water retention. An adult should drink at least eight to ten glasses of water every day. Drinking more water also has the added advantage of flushing toxins from your body and cleaning your kidneys. 

If you’re like many seniors and have problems with bladder control during the night, have your extra fluid during the day and don’t drink anything during the two hours before bedtime.

Compression Therapy

Using compression socks is a good way to relieve the problems associated with leg and foot swelling. They’re available from pharmacies, shoe stores or from online retailers. They provide pain relief and prevent the build-up of fluid in the lower limbs. They come in ‘lightweight’, ‘medium’ and ‘heavyweight’.

But, when you start using them, begin with lightweight and gradually work towards the heavyweight. Don’t choose socks that are too tight, you don’t want to cut off the blood supply to your feet, do you? Only wear them for as long as you can tolerate them. When they become uncomfortable, take them off.


Both sitting and standing in one place for too long can aggravate swelling. If you work at an office desk or stand behind a counter for hours on end, flex your ankles and knees to keep them moving. Non-weight bearing exercises like swimming, cycling, and yoga are great for reducing swelling, while swimming can also soothe your skin.

Having said all this, taking a short gentle stroll every hour will definitely help. Maybe you can leave what you’re doing and walk to the kitchen to make a hot drink or get a glass of water. You’ll be increasing your fluid intake at the same time as exercising. And, that can’t be bad. For more useful information about exercising for seniors visit this link.

Soak Your Feet

After a long tiring day on your feet, there is nothing better than soaking them in a bowl of warm water with Epsom salts for about 15 minutes. Unfortunately, some seniors suffer from neuropathy associated with diabetes. If this is you, always check the water temperature with your hand before immersing your feet.

Take Supplements Under Medical Supervision

Certain supplements can help reduce water retention. Adding 200 to 400mg of magnesium can help but talk to your doctor first as you shouldn’t use this supplement if you have a kidney or heart problem. A safer way to increase your magnesium intake is to eat a few bananas every day.

Condition the Skin

Swelling in the lower limbs often goes hand in hand with dry skin and eczema around the affected areas. Moisturize the skin daily using a reputable brand of un-perfumed moisturizer. This helps to keep the skin supple and flexible and reduces dryness. Check the lotions for older skin.

Some people use essential oils such as lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, and chamomile and add these to a footbath. Or you can add them to an inert carrier oil such as coconut or olive and gently massage them into the skin. If you’re new to using essential oils, consult a qualified aromatherapist first as some are very concentrated and can cause problems if applied incorrectly.

Put Your Feet Up

You can do this in two ways. Firstly, put some heavy books or bricks under the foot of your bed so your feet are elevated at night. This will be a matter of trial and error before you find a comfortable height. Secondly, When you sit down to read or watch television, consider putting your feet on a footstool. Some yoga postures are good too, such as lying on your back with your feet in the air pressing against a wall.

The combination of a raised bed and putting your feet up during the day will help reduce swelling.

Watch for Unusual Symptoms

All these self-help methods won’t do you any harm if you’re sensible about them. However, if you notice anything out of the ordinary or your swelling appears to become worse, you should always contact your doctor for advice. For example:

  • Leg ulcerations and blisters can lead to bacterial infections.
  • If swelling only occurs on one side, the problem may be a deep vein thrombosis. This will need medical attention immediately.
  • Leg and ankle swelling could be caused by sprains, broken bones, osteoarthritis, or gout.
  • Fluid retention can be caused by kidney disease or damage.
  • Lower limb swelling can be caused by problems with the lymphatic system.

What’s next?

Now that you know more about how to reduce swelling feet you should take some action. As I mentioned a few times it is always a good idea to contact your doctor for advice.

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