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What foods Help with Swollen Feet?

 
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Are there foods or herbs that help with swollen feet?  My ankles do not appear to be swollen just my feet and not the toe area, either. This has been going on for about a month and some days it is better.

I have been trying for the last year to drink as much water as possible. I know I drink at least 64 oz, plus more since I add ice.  I am sure this is probably not enough water though I am doing the best I can.  Sometimes I get so sick of water ...

Since we are still doing self-quarantine and I see no end in my future, I need recommendations of things that can be purchased online.

My blood pressure meds contain 12.5 mg and I do have a previous prescription for 25mg hydrochlorothiazide.  I have not taken the extra yet.

I understand about raising my legs above my heart, which I will start doing tonight.  I purchased compression socks that will be here in the middle of next week.

I thought I would try wearing my compression pants tomorrow to see if they will help.

I will be grateful for any suggestions.





 
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I know some blood pressure medicines have swollen ankles as a side effect but I don't know about swollen feet. Magnesium supplements or magnesium rich foods might help.
 
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Sleep: 8hrs of sleep, 9:50 to 6am, and a 20minutes nap at 2pm if possible
Water: Drink 1gallons per day, we can safely drink 5gallons per day.
Exercise: Do flexibility ones. Alot of folks have gained weight during covid due to being less active so do some cardio ones,
Food: Try less processed food, and more fruits, greens, mushrooms and live ferments.
Herbal: Mint/Thyme family, Garlic/Onion family, celery family, mushroom kingdom
 
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There are TONS of herbal diuretics.  If that is what you need, let me know.  Otherwise, have you ever tried putting ferns in your shoes and your socks while you sleep?  It sounds crazy, I know, but it is an old German Folk Medicine remedy that people swear by.  Any kind of fern seems to work.  I don't know why... but it does.
 
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I use fennel seeds, just chewing them up. I love the simplicity. I also, at seperate times made a tea with  burdock leaves or parsley.
 
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manganese is supposed to be good to reduce swelling, oatmeal has manganese
 
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What has changed in the past month...if this is new, I would be personally wondering what had changed and caused the swelling.

Is there any chance the water is the issue (salt from a well/softner?).

Is there a health issue that may be worsening that needs attention?

For me, I would want to know the "why" before I "treated" symptoms.

When you say swollen, is there an indentation left when you poke it with your finger? If so, this is potentially serious (can be or lead to cellulitis) and should ideally be checked out by an MD through some blood work.

My spouse was having edema issues causing swelling in the lower extremities, compression socks have made a huge issue, but his meds DID need adjusting, as well.
 
Anne Miller
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Thanks, everyone for the suggestions.

I take a magnesium pill every day and used a spray of magnesium bath salts on my legs last night.

After elevating my feet for three hours last night the swelling went down considerably and this morning there is none though I expect as the day goes on it will come back.

Before posting the only foods I had seen were watermelon and cucumber which are not available.

Joylynn, I will see if I can get fennel as I know I don't have that one.

Lorinne said, "What has changed in the past month...if this is new, I would be personally wondering what had changed and caused the swelling.

Is there any chance the water is the issue (salt from a well/softner?).



I thought of that ... the only thing I added was 1/2 cup of coffee to make mocha since water is so boring and venison summer sausage. As of today, the sausage will be gone and I did not fix the mocha.

Our water is well water that is reverse osmosis.  Would it be good to add some minerals?  If so how and which ones?
 
Lorinne Anderson
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Sausage: was this an unusual staple? Could it have had a high sodium content; at least more so than was normal in your diet?

Well water: my mention of that was that some areas have hard water; salt is often used as a softener.

My thoughts were, had your sodium intake possibly increased/changed due to diet or circumstances.   It seems everywhere has been over warm and dry this year; increased sodium, warmer temps, different or higher levels of physical activity may be an explanation for your symptoms.
 
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Not a food recommendation but an action that might help.

Look into dry brushing, there are lots of youtube videos on how to do it. You can just use your hands or a washcloth instead of a brush and using very very light pressure move your hand/brush from your toes to your knees. It seems like it couldn’t help but it does move lymph fluid (and the waste in contains) past the lymph systems valves and on its way out of your body. Dry brushing is usually promoted for beautiful skin, a combination of exfoliating and lymph movement.

I’ve got lymphedema in my lower legs (my legs swell up until the skin leaks lymphatic fluid) and drybrushing helps a lot. The lymphatic system is ancient and moves fluid by using the small movements you make all the time. In the case of raising your legs above you, by gravity. There are tiny one way valves along the way keeping fluid from draining back. Moving your feet and legs more might also help.

So to keep this kitchen-y use a small glass and get a drink of water more frequently, the walk will help move that fluid along.
 
Anne Miller
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Lorinne Anderson wrote:Sausage: was this an unusual staple? Could it have had a high sodium content; at least more so than was normal in your diet?



It was a Christmas gift from one of our hunters so this is not something normal in my diet.  It did not taste salty. It was venison from our ranch that had been processed at a deer processor that makes sausage as a sideline.

Well water: my mention of that was that some areas have hard water; salt is often used as a softener.



We don't have a water softener now though I understand as we have had them in the past.

My thoughts were, had your sodium intake possibly increased/changed due to diet or circumstances.   It seems everywhere has been over warm and dry this year; increased sodium, warmer temps, different or higher levels of physical activity may be an explanation for your symptoms.



Unlike everyone else, we have had a cooler summer, more rain, etc. No higher physical activities, etc,

Actually, I have cut back on the salty stuff I was eating.

So far no problems today.  I made some jello with cranberry sauce and the other things that I did that might be helping.
 
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I know some time has passed, so hopefully this issue has resolved, but I wanted to add the think that helps me most with swollen feet is nettle tea.
 
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Changing your diet to cut out the foods and food additives that cause you to have swelling and other inflammatory responses.  I don't think there is a one size fits all when it comes to food and diet.  The hard part is figuring out what is low inflammatory to you and sticking with it.  

I did a Low FODMAP elimination diet to manage some of my health issues.  It was suggested to me to manage some food motility issues I have with my digestive system. It  works really well for that and it had some additional benefits.  I managed over 6 months to figure out that 28 different foods and food additives aggravated various digestive issues and it also reduced my  chronic joint pain, skin problems, allergies,  bloating  and swelling in my feet.   Basically I figured out what my body needs as a low inflammatory diet.  It is not easy to do unless you are comfortable truly cooking everything from scratch but it is so worth it to feel better on day to day basis.   It is also keeping me off of 5 or 6 medications that are normally used to manage these symptoms.  
 
Anne Miller
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Marisa Lee wrote:I know some time has passed, so hopefully this issue has resolved, but I wanted to add the think that helps me most with swollen feet is nettle tea.



Thank you, Marisa!  Something like this is what I was hoping to find.

Does anyone know of any other herbs that will help?

I am sure the only problem foods are those with nitrates which is good because those are very seldom eaten.

The compression socks I bought work well to reduce the swelling.
 
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Another one that comes to mind is dandelion root - I do not particularly enjoy dandelion root tea when it is just made of dry, roasted roots and hot water. But when I was pregnant with my second, I found some commercial tea (like Traditional Medicinals or similar brand) that included dandelion root in a blend. That was much more palatable.

With the nettle tea, I put an inch of dried nettles in a jar and fill the jar with very hot water, cover and let it steep on the counter overnight. Then I strain it in the morning and drink it cold all day. It makes a dark, strong tea/infusion and I like it on ice. I haven’t drunk it hot and think the shorter steeping time might not extract all the nettly goodness.

Hope it helps! I may have to try the compression socks next time this pops up for me (other than pregnancy, I noticed flying seems to be an issue for me, and extended hot, humid weather). Of course, when it’s hot out, I also love a brat or hot dog, so… haha. I may need to watch out for that too.
 
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Good to hear that you're feeling better Anne. One of the things I like about Permies is the creative way that people think about challenges. To inspire your imagination, you may enjoy reading about how giraffes have evolved to manage issues related to swelling and sudden blood pressure changes. This memorable article in BBC struck me as an example of thinking in new and unusual ways:
https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20210803-how-giraffes-deal-with-sky-high-blood-pressure
Regarding foods and herbs, giraffes eat buds and leaves; they avoid grasses and foods that are high in tannins:
https://giraffeconservation.org/facts/how-much-do-giraffe-eat-in-a-day-what-does-their-diet-consist-of/
Any creative connections?
Have a happy day Anne!
 
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The nitrites could well have been the issue. Dandelion - any/ all parts of it are considered a liver cleaner/tonic. So, dandelion greens (if you're not getting any in your yard now, some stores still have them), for salads, in soups, or sautéed in a little oil, butter, or ghee, with garlic and onion. Dandelion root can be cleaned, sliced, and cooked like any root veggie, or minced and used as a tea. The bitters in dandelions are a big part of what makes it work, but it's great for digestion, as well as cleansing the liver.
 
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Anne Miller wrote:Are there foods or herbs that help with swollen feet?  My ankles do not appear to be swollen just my feet and not the toe area, either. This has been going on for about a month and some days it is better.

I have been trying for the last year to drink as much water as possible. I know I drink at least 64 oz, plus more since I add ice.  I am sure this is probably not enough water though I am doing the best I can.  Sometimes I get so sick of water ...


Hey, usually it's a bad idea to drink water when you feel sick of drinking water, regulating water intake is a really fundamental priority to all animals, and even though we humans walk on two legs that sick feeling we get from doing such a fundamental thing is a warning sign that it might not be a good idea. Practically speaking drinking a lot of water can lead to electrolytes (and B vitamins) getting flushed out of your system, which means that intercellular potassium concentration becomes too low to exert enough osmotic pressure on extracellular fluid to maintain basic human shape (hypokalemia->edema) and it can lead to low blood natrium which forces the body to substitute other electrolytes in confusing ways in order to maintain ph and some circulation. If you feel dizzy, confused or sick of drinking water, or dizzy when standing up, please take a moment and listen to your body, does your body crave to munch on something salty? If so at least consider that the salt it craves is what it thinks it needs and consider discussing it with your doctor if he is someone you can talk with.

In general edema is an electrolyte problem and can be helped with sensible electrolytes, but that electrolyte problem might be driven by other things like diabetes, thiamine deficiency, high cortisol, PH issues, or by a combination of electrolyte problems and circulatory problems.
This guy has a decent video on signs and symptoms for edema:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZLo_-jXwPw

 
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Hey Anne,

With the innovations to tele health, this being remote doctors appointments via zoom.
I would advise seeing a qualified medical Practitioner who can see and diagnose your condition.

I worry about the potential risks of taking advise from strangers on the internet.

With respect,
Alex
 
Anne Miller
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Alex Moffitt said, "With the innovations to tele health, this being remote doctors appointments via zoom.
I would advise seeing a qualified medical Practitioner who can see and diagnose your condition.

I worry about the potential risks of taking advise from strangers on the internet.



In 2020, we decided that there would be no clinic or hospital visits in our lives.  Of course, this doesn't mean a life-threatening situation but it does mean staying as healthy as possible and taking precautions to stay healthy.

We have never been given the option of a "virtual office visit".  In 2020, we got a smartphone exactly for this reason.  Added the app and learned how to use a smartphone.

Doctor refused.  Several months later, he agreed to a phone visit, just talking on the phone.

We forgot how to use the smartphone by the time the doctor agreed to a "virtual office visit.

For almost 2 years, the phone sat in a drawer, I charged it weekly until I notice something was eating my premade minutes.  I called the phone company and realized that spammers were calling me using my minutes without me answering the phone or even knowing the phone was ringing.  I turned the phone off to protect my prepaid balance.

I also believe in alternative medicine.  I find ways to treat the problems and make them go away.

I need to refill my blood pressure medication, I explained about no clinic or hospital visits so they offered a car visit.

Interestingly to see how this works out.  When I make the appointment, I am going to ask how do I pay?  How do I get blood pressure taken, and then the doctor comes to the car?

 
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Celery is good, nettle will help with all kinds of stuff. I'll give it some more thought, and come back in a while. Big day here, and I need to get outside and meet it's challenges, as fast as possible(now that I'm done with my coffee!).
 
Anne Miller
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Simon Olesen wrote:  usually it's a bad idea to drink water when you feel sick of drinking water, regulating water intake is a really fundamental priority to all animals, and even though we humans walk on two legs that sick feeling we get from doing such a fundamental thing is a warning sign that it might not be a good idea. Practically speaking drinking a lot of water can lead to electrolytes (and B vitamins) getting flushed out of your system, which means that intercellular potassium concentration becomes too low to exert enough osmotic pressure on extracellular fluid to maintain basic human shape (hypokalemia->edema) and it can lead to low blood natrium which forces the body to substitute other electrolytes in confusing ways in order to maintain ph and some circulation.



Simon, thank you for your concern.

I don't really feel sick of drinking water. It is more like I am bored of drinking water.  I would rather have a soft drink, juice, coffee or tea.  Just tired of trying to drink water!

I have a medical condition that requires that I drink water.

Unfortunatley, what used to be the daily requirement of 64 oz. is now "drink 8 oz every 15 minutes."  Which is almost impossible for me to do.

If you feel dizzy, confused or sick of drinking water, or dizzy when standing up, please take a moment and listen to your body, does your body crave to munch on something salty? If so at least consider that the salt it craves is what it thinks it needs and consider discussing it with your doctor if he is someone you can talk with.



I never feel dizzy or confused, just bored.

In general edema is an electrolyte problem and can be helped with sensible electrolytes, but that electrolyte problem might be driven by other things like diabetes, thiamine deficiency, high cortisol, PH issues, or by a combination of electrolyte problems and circulatory problems.



I don't feel I have edema or an electrolyte problem.

I research using electrolytes to help my condition and what I researched said they would not help.

Again, thank you for your consern.
 
Simon Olesen
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I've had my own runaround in the medical system, it was hard to keep my bearings through it all, I wish you all the best👍
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