Edema is the correct term for swelling of the feet and ankles and is usually a cause of fluid buildup in the ankle tissues. This type of swelling is known more commonly in elder people and can be related to heart, renal and liver failure. Pain is our body’s way of telling us we are in trouble so we need to rely on other noticeable signs for good health.
Although we see edema more commonly in our elders, we also see it in pregnant woman and people who are inactive, overweight and/or obese. The American Heart Association says that persistent swollen ankles are most commonly related to heart complications which can also be a silent problem in some cases.
Let’s change gears and talk about diet for a moment. We already know that food is fuel but if we are putting in the wrong type of fuel into our body then we are damaging rather than helping.
Here are a few items that you may want to reduce or eliminate from your diet:
- Sodium ~ promotes swelling. If the edema is not severe we can attribute some of the swelling to sodium/salt
- Caffeine ~ can trick the body into thinking that it may be dehydrated. In turn the body may retain water
- Alcohol ~ this can interfere with kidney and liver function. Chronic alcohol intake can result in many diseases plus induce ankle swelling
Exercise and massage, on the other hand, can reduce swelling in ankles because it improves blood flow and restarts the lymphatic system (which rids the body of toxins). Massaging helps to drain the fluid from the swollen area and can be done regularly at home.
The best way to determine if you have edema is if your feet or ankles are swollen and you do not have any pain in those swollen areas. If this is the case contact us at 480-732-0033 to get treatment.