9. Exercise and Physical Activities
Those who lead a sedentary lifestyle are more prone to edema. Exercise and other physical activities can help prevent it as well as reduce the intensity of symptoms when edema occurs.
- Move the muscles in the affected body part as much as possible. This will help dissipate the fluid out of the tissues.
- Enjoy jogging or brisk walking for 30 minutes a day.
- Do some yoga daily to help improve your circulation and prevent edema.
- Go swimming several times a week to reduce edema symptoms.
You can also consult your doctor about exercises you can do that may reduce swelling.
10. Reduce Salt Intake
High salt intake puts you at a higher risk for edema. High amounts of sodium contribute to water retention in the tissues.
Health experts recommend eating less than 2,300 mg of sodium (about 1 teaspoon of salt) daily. However, talk to your doctor about the specific amount of sodium you should be taking every day.
- Limit your intake of salty foods, such as prepackaged snacks and fast food.
- Instead of eating out, cook your food at home. This will help you monitor the amount of salt you are consuming.
- Eat fresh fruits and vegetables instead of canned versions, which often contain added salt to preserve color and freshness.
- Enhance the taste of food with herbs instead of salt.
- For swelling in the lower limbs, soak your feet in warm water for about 5 minutes, then soak in cold water for about 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times daily for the best results.
- You can use a cold compress to alleviate swelling on the feet due to pregnancy.
- For edema in the hands or arms, rest your arms above the level of your heart for about 30 minutes, 3 times a day.
- For leg edema, use pillows to raise your legs above the level of your heart for 30 minutes, a few times daily.
- Stop smoking and excessive drinking to prevent edema.
- Use compression stockings, sleeves and gloves to keep pressure on the limbs and prevent fluid from collecting in the tissues.
- Take vitamin B6 supplements (50 mg) twice daily. Consult your doctor first.
- Magnesium deficiency can contribute to edema, so taking a supplement can help reduce symptoms. Consult your doctor for proper dosage.
- Eat foods that are high in potassium like bananas, raisins, tomato paste and juice, white beans, soybeans and kidney beans. Potassium helps eliminate excess fluid from the body.
- Drink plenty of water daily to combat edema quickly. Along with water, eat fruits and vegetables high in water content.
- Drink warm beverages like herbal teas a few times a day.
- Keep the affected areas clean, moisturized and free from injury.
- Avoid drinking caffeinated and carbonated beverages.
- Avoid sudden changes in temperature as it can worsen the condition.
- Avoid prolonged sitting and standing as it promotes the pooling of fluids in your feet.