Do you suffer from fluid retention in your feet? If so, it is normal for your feet to be swollen and feel heaviness and less flexibility in the ankle joint. This accumulation of fluid can be the consequence of multiple causes, from circulatory problems or poor postural or eating habits to hormonal changes, overweight, or more severe diseases. First, it is crucial to identify what causes fluid retention in the feet to start the appropriate treatment in each case. Likewise, there are a series of measures that we can quickly adapt daily to reduce foot swelling caused by fluid accumulation, such as pressotherapy.
In this FastlyHealarticle, we explain in detail which ones with the symptoms and causes of fluid retention in the feet and the most recommended home remedies for their relief.
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What is fluid retention in the feet?
According to the Spanish Heart Foundation, fluid retention, medically known as edema, increases the volume of interstitial fluid, which results in excess fluid accumulated in the body’s tissues.
Although it can affect any part of the body, it often manifests itself in the feet, ankles, legs, hands, and arms. Fluid retention is usually a frequent reason for consultation in aesthetic centers, in which treatments such as pressotherapy are carried out because, among others, they stimulate the elimination of excess body fluids.
Symptoms of fluid retention in the feet
In this article, we talk about fluid retention in the feet. Let’s see below what symptoms are those that can occur when you suffer from this condition:
- Swelling or inflammation of the tissue under the skin.
- More stretched or shiny skin.
- Feeling of heaviness
- Grooves when pressing the skin of the foot.
- Rapid or sudden weight gain
- Less flexibility in the ankle joint.
- Feeling that the shoes are too tight or tight to the feet.
- Reduction in the amount of urine.
If you suspect that you have fluid retention in your legs and your feet, we advise you to read this other article on Swollen legs: causes and remedies.
What Causes Fluid Retention in Feet?
The causes of fluid retention in the feet can be diverse, including the following:
- Remain sitting or in one position for long periods.
- Eat a diet rich in sodium.
- Obesity or being overweight.
- Hormonal changes, such as those that occur in pregnancy or menopause.
- Circulatory problems
- Lymphatic gland malfunctions may be due to genetic factors, infections, surgery, or cancer treatments.
- Kidney, liver, or heart failure.
- Chronic venous insufficiency or damage to the veins in the legs
- The side effect of some medications, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, steroids, and estrogens, are those prescribed for diabetes or high blood pressure.
- Idiopathic cyclic edema: fluid retention that occurs from unknown causes.
What to do to eliminate fluid retention in the feet
In the first place, it is essential to know the cause of fluid retention in the feet since, depending on it, one treatment or another must be carried out. When an underlying disease or pathology causes edema, it is essential to receive the appropriate treatment and complement it with the measures shown below or with the drugs indicated by the doctor in each case.
When the edema is mild, to help the body eliminate fluid retention in the feet, it is advisable to adopt a series of measures and lifestyle changes. The most important things that help prevent and combat swollen feet due to fluid accumulation are mentioned below.
Changes in diet
- Reduce salt intake, as a high sodium diet increases fluid retention and worsens edema symptoms.
- Drink plenty of water, between 1.5 and 2 liters a day. It is crucial that before buying mineral water, we verify on the label that it contains less than 50 mg/liter of sodium.
- Cook and prepare different foods steamed, papillote, baked, or grilled.
- Preferably consume unsalted dairy products and limit the intake of aged and semi-aged cheeses.
- As for meats, I prefer lean and fresh ones, avoiding, on the contrary, sausages, smoked meats, patés, sobrasadas … and, ultimately, all those that contain a high content of salt and preservatives.
- As for fish, those salty, canned, or smoked should be avoided.
- Also, avoid ready-made foods, fast food, commercial sauces, and concentrated broths.
- Limit the consumption of bread, cookies, and snacks with salt, replacing them with others without salt.
- Increase the consumption of vegetables and fruits in the diet. Only canned vegetables should be limited, as they contain many high-sodium preservatives.
- Avoiding a sedentary life and exercising regularly is essential to keep your legs moving and help pump excess fluid to your heart.
- Keeping the legs elevated above the heart level when resting or sleeping will help eliminate fluid retention in the feet and legs.
- Avoid sitting or standing in the same position for long periods.
Other tips for fluid retention in the feet
- Massage the swollen feet with firm, upward movements toward the heart to help remove fluid build-up in that area.
- Avoid wearing shoes that are too tight or tight to the foot that can worsen inflammation and hinder blood circulation.
- They resort to professional treatments to eliminate fluid retention, such as lymphatic drainage or pressotherapy. They are ideal for improving blood circulation and eliminating accumulated fluid.
Only in the most severe cases can the doctor prescribe the use of diuretic medications, which help to expel the excess fluid accumulated through the urine. He may also recommend, if necessary, the use of compression stockings once the swelling has disappeared so that it does not reappear.
Home remedies for fluid retention in feet
All the recommendations can be complemented with home remedies to eliminate fluid retention in the feet more quickly and effectively. Those that provide the best results are:
- Infusions with diuretic and cleansing properties include horsetail, green tea, dandelion, birch, or boldo. In the following article, we show in detail which is the most diuretic medicinal plant.
- Consume diuretic foods, such as watermelon, cucumber, grapefruit, pineapple, carrots, parsley, grape, papaya … These foods can be combined to perfection, preparing effective juices to combat fluid retention.
- Perform foot baths with salt or oatmeal for about 10 or 15 minutes to reduce inflammation of the area and reactivate blood circulation.
- Self-massage swollen feet using olive oil or another oil that has anti-inflammatory properties.
- To combat swelling, please perform the following foot exercise: place a small ball (a tennis ball) on the sole and slide it from the toes to the heel in circular motions against the ground.
Swollen ankles and fluid retention in pregnancy
Fluid retention in the feet is common in pregnant women, especially in the last weeks of gestation. In addition to an excessive accumulation of fluid under the tissues due to the hormonal changes that the female body undergoes, changes also take place in the properties of the blood, and the blood flow becomes slower, factors that end up favoring the retention of that fluid.
Although, as we have mentioned, fluid retention in the feet is common in pregnant women, it is essential to see a doctor if symptoms such as an inflamed face or eyes, severe foot swelling, or severe pain occur.
To properly relieve swollen feet in pregnancy and enjoy a healthy pregnancy, it is essential to carry out some day-to-day care and know which natural remedies are the best to combat the symptoms. We explain this care in detail in the article Home remedies for swollen feet in pregnancy.
This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor if you present any type of condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Fluid retention in the feet: symptoms, causes, and Remediations, we recommend that you enter our category of Blood, heart, and circulation.
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.