How to Reduce Feet Swelling with Oral Vitamins
Swelling in your feet is known medically as edema. It occurs when fluid becomes trapped in the tissue. Edema is a symptom, and should not be just dismissed. Causes of this swelling vary, but one key component may be water retention. If you are a woman, this retention may occur just prior to your period. Other possible culprits include high blood pressure and heart disease. Evaluation will help identify the initiating medical cause of the problem. In order to treat the symptom and reduce the swelling in your feet, you probably need to change your diet. Some oral vitamins may help reduce water retention, but should only be taken after you know what is causing the edema. Always consult your doctor.
Take a daily calcium supplement of 1,200 mg. According to the Mayo Clinic, calcium supplements may reduce the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and help eliminate water from tissue. You should not take extra calcium if you have been diagnosed with any kidney illness, such as nephritis or kidney disease, without talking to your doctor.
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Add a magnesium supplement of 200 to 400 mg per day to your diet. The Mayo Clinic reports that extra magnesium may reduce water retention. However, the clinic does advise that magnesium will cause problems for those diagnosed with heart or kidney disease.
Purchase a multivitamin that contains 1,200 mg of calcium and 200 mg of magnesium as an alternative. Check the labels of the vitamins to ensure they offer both minerals in the proper quantities. Do not take two pills to get the right dosage of calcium and magnesium. If necessary, purchase separate supplements of these two minerals to add to what is available in the multivitamin. The Harvard School of Public Health also recommends extra vitamin D for overall health to possibly prevent some of the illnesses that may cause edema 3.
Monitor your salt intake. This is the most important step in controlling water retention. Sodium is what pulls water into cell tissue. Excess salt on your food will cause extra water in tissue and lead to edema. The Mayo Clinic warns you should not add additional salt to your plate, and you should restrict your diet to low-sodium foods. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Water will help flush out the sodium and relieve retention. Elevate your feet to help reduce edema by putting your legs up on pillows when resting.
Talk to your doctor about adding dietary supplements or vitamins to your diet. Severe edema needs to be evaluated. Swelling in the feet can be a sign of high blood pressure or other serious conditions. If you have diabetes, see your doctor immediately if you have edema in your feet or ankles. Taking oral vitamins is not the answer to reducing edema, and may cause more problems by interfering with prescription medication or aggravating your condition. Seek medical help and allow your doctor to establish a program to treat the swelling.
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- MayoClinic.com: Edema
- MayoClinic: Women's Health: Water Retention: Relieve this Premenstrual Symptom
- Harvard School of Public Health: The Nutrition Source
- Rosanoff, A., Weaver, C. M., & Rude, R. K. (2012). Suboptimal magnesium status in the United States: are the health consequences underestimated?. Nutrition Reviews, 70(3), 153-164.
- Dupont, C., Campagne, A., & Constant, F. (2014). Efficacy and safety of a magnesium sulfateârich natural mineral water for patients with functional constipation. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 12(8), 1280-1287.
- D'Angelo, E. K., Singer, H. A., & Rembold, C. M. (1992). Magnesium relaxes arterial smooth muscle by decreasing intracellular Ca2+ without changing intracellular Mg2+. The Journal of Clinical Investigation, 89(6), 1988-1994.
- Sojka, J. E. (1995). Magnesium supplementation and osteoporosis. Nutrition Reviews, 53(3), 71-74.
Writing since 1999, Darla Ferrara is an award-winning author who specializes in health, diet, fitness and computer technology. She has been published in "Mezzo Magazine" and Diet Spotlight, as well as various online magazines. Ferrara studied biology and emergency medical technology at the University of Nebraska and Southeast Community College.