Edema is a swelling due to build-up of fluid in body tissues. It usually occurs in the feet, ankles and legs but may include the entire body as well. Edema can be caused by excessive intake of salt, use of certain medications and diseases such as heart failure, kidney disease, liver cirrhosis etc.
Symptoms of edema may vary and are determined by the cause of fluid retention. Common edema symptoms include puffy eyelids, weight gain, swelling of the legs, increased blood pressure and pulse rate. There may also be visible veins in the hands and neck and increased abdominal size.
Edema cannot be cured but swelling can be reduced with the help of different natural remedies. Given below are various tips and remedies you can use to treat edema.
Edema RemediesSwelling of the legs can be lessened by putting a pillow under the legs while lying down. This way the feet and legs are raised above the heart which decreases edema. You can also wear elastic compression stockings that are available at most drugstores. These stockings help to push fluid back into the circulatory system. They should be worn all day.
If you are suffering from edema, you should not sit or stand for long periods of time without moving. Move around and use muscles in the affected part of the body. Reduce salt intake and increase protein and fat in the diet to prevent water retention.
Physical activities like swimming are also recommended for reduction of edema. Drink plenty of water and avoid temperature extremes.
Nutritional Therapy for Edema
Dietary changes can also help in treatment of edema. This involves limited consumption of table salt and salty foods such as olives, soy sauce and pickles. Canned foods, processed meat, frozen meals, snacks, salad dressings and fast food contain lots of salt and should be avoided as well.
Alcohol, caffeine, sugar and dairies should be restricted too. On the other hand, whole grains, cucumbers, apples, potatoes, grapes, onions, cabbage and oranges should be consumed in large amounts. Vitamin and mineral supplements should be used on a daily basis. Herbal Remedies for EdemaEdema can be relieved with diuretic herbs such as dandelion (Taraxacum mongolicum). Diuretics along with water eliminate potassium from the body so it must be substituted to avoid deficiency of this mineral. Dandelion is for this purpose particularly good as it contains lot of potassium.
Flax seeds can be also used in treatment of edema. Flax seeds should be crushed and either consumed or applied on the affected area. You can also benefit from apple cider vinegar as it has natural diuretic properties.