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How Do Diabetics Reduce Swollen Feet

What Can Be Done About Edema

7 Tips For Diabetics To Reduce Swelling In The Feet – Diabetic Tips For Health

The primary course of action should be addressing the underlying conditions that are contributing to your edema. This includes proper management of diabetes and related conditions.

Our podiatry practice is well equipped to help with matters affecting circulation, as we possess our own vascular screening lab staffed by a cardiologist.

When it comes to relieving the symptoms of edema itself, we can certainly help you develop a plan that will work best for your individual needs and lifestyle. It may include many things you can often take care of easily at home, such as:

Keep Your Feet Elevated

If youre going to be seated for long periods of time, try to elevate your feet as much as possible. While the best way to do this is to elevate your feet above the heart, this isnt always feasible. Use an ottoman or consider getting a foot hammock that you can install under your desk. If youre relaxing on the couch or in bed, elevate your feet using pillows or a special elevation device.

Other Common Causes Of Ankle Swelling

Fluid retention from diabetes can also result from the following underlying conditions that commonly occur with the disease, especially if poorly controlled.

Congestive heart failure

Congestive heart failure is a condition in which one or more chambers of your heart become less effective at pumping blood. This causes blood to back up in the legs, feet, arms, and other extremities.

Congestive heart failure can also cause swelling in the abdomen and fluid accumulation in the lungs , resulting in shortness of breath.

Kidney disease

Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney disease and affects 20% to 40%¹ of people with diabetes. Excessive blood glucose affects the delicate blood vessels and filtering system in the kidneys, which reduces their effectiveness in removing excess fluid and waste from the body.

Since the kidneys play a central role in regulating fluids in the body, kidney disease causes fluid retention, mostly in the arms, legs, and lungs. It can also cause other problems such as high blood pressure, excessive potassium levels, damage to the blood vessels in the back of the eyes , and foot sores, among others.

Damage to the veins

High blood sugar levels can weaken veins and the one-way valves in them. Obesity-associated with diabetes also causes additional strain on veins deep inside the body, leading to a condition known as venous insufficiency.

Inadequate lymphatic system

Cirrhosis and liver damage

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Swollen Feet And Magnesium Deficiency

Water retention in the lower limbs and swelling can be a sign of a magnesium deficiency. In that case, treatments including magnesium-rich foods or magnesium supplements usually work great. Men are recommended to have 400-420 milligrams of magnesium a day. For women, the recommendations are 310-320 milligrams a day. Theres a great amount of magnesium in foods like nuts, legumes, spinach, beans, tuna, dark chocolate, or bananas for example. Choose mineral water that has a higher level of magnesium. If thats not enough, ask for your doctors advice about magnesium supplements. Note: If you live with diabetes, always ask for your doctors advice before changing your diet or taking any food supplements.


About the Author

Im Laura. Type 1 diabetic. Mother. Traveler. Writer. Researcher. I started this blog 5 years ago to investigate diabetes-related topics and share different views on the subject. I hope you find it useful! You can contact me here, and read my partner diabetes organizations around the World here.

SweetTrip is reader-supported and I sometimes use affiliate links. When you buy a product through these links, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed are my own.

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What Are The Signs Of Ankle Swelling

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Ankle swelling due to diabetes is easy to diagnose. Some of its signs include:

  • Skin that is stretched, shiny, or puffy

  • Skin with pits that is, it stays dimpled for several seconds after pressing

  • Aching limbs

  • Pain or loss of sensitivity in your hands or feet

  • Your hands or feet feel heavy and hard to move

You should make an appointment with your doctor if you notice any of these signs as a diabetic. Your doctor may conduct further tests to confirm the diagnosis or understand its underlying causes, including ordering an X-ray, an electrocardiogram , blood tests, or a urine test .

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The Relationship Between Peripheral Edema And Diabetes

Peripheral edema is swelling in the feet, ankles, and legs. It can occur in one or both of your lower limbs. If you have diabetes, you need to take extra precautions when you have edema.

Fluid can build up when tiny blood vessels are damaged or when they leak into surrounding tissues. The result is swelling.

People with diabetes often have problems with blood flow. When blood doesn’t circulate well, wounds heal slowly or not at all. Swelling makes it harder for wounds to heal. That’s why it’s so important to control it.

This article explains how diabetes and other health conditions could cause your lower legs to swell. It also offers some advice on how to treat it and when to get medical care.

If you have edema, you may notice:

  • Stretched or shiny skin
  • Skin that pits when you press it
  • Swelling that stays firm and doesn’t pit

Give Your Feet Some Loving Care

Written by Bhakti Paun Sharma | Updated : October 30, 2015 4:25 PM IST

Read this in Hindi.

Do you suffer from swollen feet regularly? This situation surely demands attention. There are many causes for the swelling. It can be as simple as tiredness due to standing or sitting for a long time or due to an underlying condition like diabetes. Pregnant women and old people also complain of swollen feet often. In most cases, all your feet need is some rest. Natural remedies or age-old home remedies work best and can help relieve not just the pain and discomfort but also help reduce swelling. Here s what you can do:

Epsom salt soak: This is the most effective remedy to provide relief to tired legs and feet. In a tub, make a warm water soak with half cup Epsom salt and 2 litres of water. The water should not be hot. Soak your feet in the water for 20 minutes twice a day to reduce swelling. Epsom salts are anti-inflammatory and are effective in reducing swelling and easing aches and pains. They are also rich in magnesium sulfate which soothes muscle pain. For more such rejuvenating baths and soaks, read this.

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Diabetic Legs Swelling Causes And Remedies

Many people suffering from diabetes complain about swelling in legs and feet. Usually, this swelling is painless and due to retention of fluid. There can be numerous reasons leading to such retention, from very high and uncontrolled sugar levels to the secondary complications of diabetes. Usually, fluid retention indicates that either heart of a diabetic person has become weak. Thus there is a poor flow of fluids, or kidneys are not functioning properly. In some cases, it may be due to liver disease or some anti-diabetic medications. Other reasons of such swelling could be a disease of blood vessels, or deficit of certain micronutrients and electrolytes.

Let us look in detail at some leading causes of swelling of legs in diabetes.

How Can Diabetes Affect My Feet

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Diabetes can cause two problems that can affect your feet:

  • Diabetic neuropathy. Uncontrolled diabetes can damage your nerves. If you have damaged nerves in your legs and feet, you might not feel heat, cold, or pain there. This lack of feeling is called “sensory diabetic neuropathy.” If you do not feel a cut or sore on your foot because of neuropathy, the cut could get worse and become infected. The muscles of your foot may not work properly because nerves to the muscles are damaged. This could cause your foot to not align properly and create too much pressure on one part of your foot.
  • Peripheral vascular disease. Diabetes also affects the flow of blood. Without good blood flow, it takes longer for a sore or cut to heal. Poor blood flow in the arms and legs is called “peripheral vascular disease.” If you have an infection that will not heal because of poor blood flow, you are at risk for developing ulcers or gangrene .

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Give Yourself An Epsom Soak

Epsom salt has been shown to help relieve swelling-associated pain and reduce inflammation in the body. For best results, put a sufficient amount of Epsom salt in a foot bath of cool water. If you have diabetic neuropathyin your feet, make sure that you double check the water temperature to avoid exposure to extreme temperature. Proceed to soak your feet and ankles for about 15 to 20 minutes.

What To Do About Painful Or Uncomfortable Swelling In Diabetic Feet

It can be disconcerting to look down at your feet and ankles and almost wonder if they are truly yours!

They may look swollen or puffy, and the skin may look stretched and shiny. You might even see some pitting in the swollen area.

This swelling in the lower extremities, also known as peripheral edema, can be an uncomfortable condition. It may even interfere with your ease of movement and bring on other detrimental symptoms as well.

Edema can be especially concerning to those who live with diabetes. It is often related to conditions that can slow and impede wound healing, and the presence of swelling itself can also significantly interfere with this process. If you have diabetes, you ideally want to keep swelling in the feet and ankles to a minimum.

To best do so, it helps to understand just what is going on when your feet and ankles swell up.

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Symptoms Of Adiabetic Foot

Diabetic foot symptoms can significantly vary from one patient to another. Moreover, the symptoms may be influenced by other health conditions the patient may be suffering from. Nonetheless, some of the prevalent diabetic foot symptoms include

  • Losing feeling in one or both feet
  • Constant tingling or numbing sensation
  • Red streaks
  • Blisters and wounds form without pain
  • The skin changes color according to the temperature

Additionally, if there is an infection, you may be prone to signs like fever, shaking, redness, shock, and uncontrollable blood sugar. If you have diabetes and experience any of these symptoms, please see a podiatrist for further care.

What Signs And Symptoms Are Associated With Swollen Feet And Ankles

SWOLLEN Diabetic Foot From Circulation Issue?

The symptoms of swollen feet and swollen ankles depend on the underlying causes mentioned above.

  • In general, swelling caused by dependent edema, pregnancy, medications, and most diseases produce swelling that is bilateral and usually begins as a soft, puffy skin enlargement in the feet that spreads rapidly to the ankles.
  • The skin is easily indented when pressed down with a finger and slowly returns to its more puffy state when the finger pressure is removed.
  • Indentations seen in the puffy skin when shoes or socks are removed are classic signs of swelling.
  • The skin color with this swelling is often normal or slightly pale indentation marks are slightly darker than the surrounding swollen tissue.
  • Many individuals can simply position themselves on their backs, elevate their feet and ankles higher than their hearts, and after some time , the swelling may resolve completely. However, in some chronic diseases and with some medications taken for long time periods, the swelling becomes chronic and the skin becomes more rigid, reddish and sometimes mildly discolored or mottled and will not return to normal after a few hours of elevation. For example, many people with chronic congestive heart failure will have chronic bilateral swelling of feet and ankles with skin changes.

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Tips For Healthy Feet

Get to the bottom of any foot problems by using a mirror or asking for help.

Check your feet every day for cuts, redness, swelling, sores, blisters, corns, calluses, or any other change to the skin or nails. Use a mirror if you cant see the bottom of your feet, or ask a family member to help.

Wash your feet every day in warm water. Dont soak your feet. Dry your feet completely and apply lotion to the top and bottombut not between your toes, which could lead to infection.

Never go barefoot. Always wear shoes and socks or slippers, even inside, to avoid injury. Check that there arent any pebbles or other objects inside your shoes and that the lining is smooth.

Wear shoes that fit well. For the best fit, try on new shoes at the end of the day when your feet tend to be largest. Break in your new shoes slowlywear them for an hour or two a day at first until theyre completely comfortable. Always wear socks with your shoes.

Trim your toenails straight across and gently smooth any sharp edges with a nail file. Have your foot doctor trim your toenails if you cant see or reach your feet.

Dont remove corns or calluses yourself, and especially dont use over-the-counter products to remove themthey could burn your skin.

Get your feet checked at every health care visit. Also, visit your foot doctor every year for a complete exam, which will include checking for feeling and blood flow in your feet.

Be sure to ask your doctor what else you can do to keep your feet healthy.

How To Treat Swollen Feet Due To Diabetes

If you have diabetes, you may experience swollen feet from time to time. This is because diabetes can cause a condition called peripheral edema which can be uncomfortable and painful. Peripheral edema is the swelling of the extremities, such as the feet and ankles. In this article, we will discuss what diabetes is, what are the symptoms of diabetes and peripheral edema, how diabetes causes peripheral edema, and its other causes too. We will also provide tips on how you can help reduce swelling in your feet to improve your quality of life and get back to being your old self.

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Are You Suffering From Swollen Feet Due To Diabetes Here Are A Few Tips To Help You Deal With It

Written by Shraddha Rupavate | Updated : June 5, 2015 3:10 PM IST

Most patients suffering from diabetes complain of swelling in the feet and legs. The main reason for this problem is improper blood circulation due to damaged blood capillaries as a result of increased pressure. Damaged capillaries cause peripheral oedema, leakage of fluids into surrounding tissues, which causes swelling. But, there can be several other reasons that could cause swelling in the feet. Therefore proper diagnosis is important.

Poor circulation is also one of the reasons why wounds in diabetic patients don’t heal quickly. Mr Bhushan Hemade of Diaped, a chain of multi-disciplinary foot clinics says ‘Foot problems are common in people with diabetes and can quickly become serious.’ They increases the risk of infections and severe complications like foot ulcers and gangrene that can even lead to limb amputation. That’s why, you should not ignore even minor swelling in your feet. In most cases, when the swelling has just started, simple lifestyle changes can reduce swelling and provide relief to a great extent.

1. Exercise regularly: Mr Hemade says ‘Regular exercise will improve bone and joint health in your feet and legs, improve circulation to your legs, and will also help to stabilize your blood sugar levels. But you should consult your doctor prior to beginning any exercise program.’ Do not practice rigorous exercises as it can lead to exercise-induced oedema.

Diabetes And Your Feet

Do Your Feet Swell? Watch This! How To Get Rid Of Swollen Feet And Diabetic Foot

Get your feet checked at every health care visit.

If you have diabetes, heres a way to keep standing on your own two feet: check them every dayeven if they feel fineand see your doctor if you have a cut or blister that wont heal.

Theres a lot to manage if you have diabetes: checking your blood sugar, making healthy food, finding time to be active, taking medicines, going to doctors appointments. With all that, your feet might be the last thing on your mind. But daily care is one of the best ways to prevent foot complications.

About half of all people with diabetes have some kind of nerve damage. You can have nerve damage in any part of your body, but nerves in your feet and legs are most often affected. Nerve damage can cause you to lose feeling in your feet.

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How To Reduce The Swelling

Once your doctor has diagnosed the problem and the underlying causes, you can incorporate the following home remedies to reduce swelling in your ankles.

Keep your feet elevated

Standing for long periods of time causes blood and other fluids to pool at the lower extremities. When seated or lying down, put your feet up in an elevated position above the level of the heart.

For this, consider getting an ottoman or a foot hammock that you can put under your desk at work. You can also use pillows or special elevation devices in bed to keep your feet elevated and help the blood to flow back into the heart.

Wear compression socks

Compression socks are garments made of elastic materials that gently squeeze the legs. They help boost circulation by supporting the veins and reducing the backup of fluids. Compression socks are consumer-grade, so you can buy them online or from various stores.

Keep in mind that compression socks have different levels of compression. Talk to your doctor, who will determine the exact level of compression you need to manage your swollen feet and how to use them correctly.


Even though it might sound counterintuitive, drinking more water helps you get rid of edema and swollen feet. Thats because insufficient hydration causes the body to retain water in the cells and tissue while drinking more water helps it flush out excess fluids.

Reduce your sodium intake

Exercise more often

Increase your magnesium intake

Get an Epsom soak

Manage your weight


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