“No More Swollen Feet!!”
Updated: Aug 24, 2022
Disclaimer: These healthy lifestyle tips do not substitute for a medical diagnosis or treatment. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Do not stop taking the medication prescribed by your doctor. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine. You may want to discuss the advice in this blog with your doctor. If your doctor requests it, we would be happy to send the blog link.
Lately, you may have noticed that your feet and ankles are swollen. There may be a mark at the ankle from your socks. The skin of your feet may be shiny, itchy and uncomfortable. If you press your finger for a few seconds into the ankle region, you may see a pitting depression. In the afternoon, shoes can feel tight. You may have ingrown toenails, athlete’s foot fungal infection, corns, callus and other painful conditions of the feet that are a result of tight shoes.
Swollen feet are heavy and make walking tiresome, carrying an extra 5 or 10 pounds of fluid in each foot. This can discourage walking, lead to lowered activity level, becoming more home bound, gaining weight, or just a sense of having no energy anymore. The swelling leaves less room for arteries and there is less blood delivered to the feet. The feet may feel cold, numb, or weak. Less blood flow means less oxygen and can lead to cramping.
Over time, swelling in the feet can cause a number of problems.
· The nerves can be pinched when there’s a lot of swelling, leaving feet feeling numb, an impairment of sensation, or tingling. Over time, the problem with the nerves can become quite painful and increase the risk of falling.
· Difficulty walking
· Stretched skin, which can become itchy and uncomfortable
· Increased risk of infection in the swollen area
· Scarring between layers of tissue
· Decreased blood circulation
· Decreased elasticity of arteries, veins, joints and muscles
· Increased risk of skin ulcers
Swelling in the feet, without proper treatment, gets worse over time. It is an important thing to treat and the sooner, the better. If you haven’t already, be sure to tell your primary physician about this situation. The “No More Swollen Feet” program is for patients who have already been working with their doctor to manage this problem and the underlying causes have already been discovered.
The medical word for swelling is edema and you can understand how edema leads to problems down the road. Basically, edema makes it harder to walk and hard to get things done.
Standard Medical Treatment for Ankle Edema:
The typical medical treatment for edema is tight, medical grade socks or stockings that come in numbers indicating how tight they are. The higher the number, the tighter they are.
Another medical treatment is diuretic medicine that makes you urinate a lot.
You also may have been told to elevate your feet. When I meet a new patient with swollen feet, they often say something like, “I’m supposed to take a diuretic every day, but I have to skip it if I go out because otherwise, I am searching desperately for a bathroom.” Or they say, “I’m supposed to be wearing tight medical stockings, but they are hard to get on and by the afternoon, they really hurt!” And few patients want to sit around all day with their feet up in the air. Not only is that not practical, the minute you put them down, the swelling is right back.
After 30 years of private practice, I have collected together a set of useful tips and treatments that help reduce quite a bit of edema. I have helped thousands of patients with my “No More Swollen Feet!” plan. I have lectured on this in community and senior centers, as well.
Most patients see results fairly quickly and I often see patients only a few weeks into the program, and they are already amazed. They signed up, but their expectations were still skeptical. “Wow! This really works!” And the more you stick to the plan, the better the result you will see. It may not be possible to get rid of all the swelling, especially if the problem has existed for some time, or because it comes from something that cannot be fixed, but the goal is to get to the point where you have reduced the swelling enough to be able to walk around comfortably and you feel like you are more your old self again.