5 Tips to Help Reduce Oedema

“The Swelling in my legs meant that I felt uncomfortable walking long distances.  Walking around the shops had become hard. I was beginning to have cramp like pains in my legs which meant that I had to be able to sit down when this happened, so this began to limit my time outside the house” T Byrne

Oedema – A condition characterised by an excess of watery fluid collecting in the cavities or tissues of the body. Any tissue or organ can be affected, particularly the hands, feet and around the eyes. It’s your kidneys’ job to eliminate excess fluids from your body in your urine. If they fail to do this properly then fluid can soon build up in your tissues and result in swelling.

Swelling of the legs often happens during pregnancy or with weight gain. Shock can result in us holding fluid and the lymph system.
Painful fluid retention can be relieved. Think of the bottom of your shower tray where the shampoo and hair collect and block the drain. Well, the same happens to the lymph system.

Blockages prevent it from draining and then the fluid builds up. Hands on pressure along the fluid-filled area can force the blocks to move thus relieving the balloon-like swelling under the skin.

The lymph system has no pump like the circulatory system so physical movement is our pump and if this decreases over time then the system gets blocked.

So what can you do to reduce these swellings?

1. Dandelion tea. Dandelion is renowned for its diuretic action. Dandelion It reduces water content in the blood, which also helps to reduce blood pressure. Aim for 2 cups of this tea a day.

So do your puffy ankles or legs a favour and get them moving to rid yourself of fluid retention.

2. Reduce salt intake and increase potassium. Your Kidneys use sodium to draw water in and potassium to help remove it from the body. When you consider all the hidden salt in foods we have too much of it (hence the puffy ankles) and need to rebalance. Potassium rich foods such as green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits and sunflower seeds all have lots of natural potassium.

3. Nettle tea. nettleNettle leaves are also effective against oedema. Nettle leaf extract can increase diuresis by up to 84%. Nettle leaves are in season right now with lots of new growth happening if you are out foraging this weekend or you can just pick up some tea bags.
4. Fresh parsley is also a natural diuretic which helps to clean your blood. So that sprig of garnish on your dinner isn’t just for show…
5. Drink lots of water. We know it seems counter-intuitive to drink more when you are retaining water, but water helps your kidneys to function and ideally we should be drinking between 1.5 and 2 litres a day.

If that isn’t helping then lymphatic drainage massage really does wonders.

To book an introductory appointment with Caitriona or any of our clinic’s therapists please call 01 677 9859 or email info@the-elbowroom.com.

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