Swollen Legs: Why Does It Happen? Treatment, Diet and Home Remedies

Inflammation of the legs is an abnormal condition and a symptom of a variety of mild to severe diseases, disorders and conditions.

Swelling of the legs, also called edema, can result from infection, inflammation, trauma, and circulatory disorders and cardiac disorders and other abnormal processes.

Depending on the cause, the swelling of the legs can be short-term and disappear quickly, as when it occurs due to long time sitting during a long plane flight.

Chronic leg swelling often indicates a potentially serious disorder, such as congestive heart failure.

Other serious conditions that can cause inflammation of the legs include blood clots (deep vein thrombosis), kidney disease, preeclampsia, or liver disease.

What can cause swelling in the legs?

Wearing inappropriate shoes: shoes or boots that squeeze or press at our feet or that we wear for too many hours at a time.

The inactivity, the lack of exercise.

For many women it is normal to retain fluids for days before menstruation. This condition is more visible on the feet and ankles.

Consuming a large amount of salt can also cause fluid retention.

  • Kidney problems
  • Bowels full of toxins.
  • Varices, edema.
  • Osteoarthritis

Weak veins that can impede efficient circulation: this causes blood to accumulate.

  • Excess weight or obesity.
  • Old age, especially when accompanied or followed by an inadequate diet or a sedentary lifestyle.
  • The obstruction of the lymph nodes.
  • Birth control of contraceptives, medicines for stress, depression, etc.


The treatment of inflammation of the legs depends on the cause. Can be; cardiac, kidney and liver disorders that are treated by doctors.

Protein deficiency is treated with nutritional supplementation, either orally, enterally or intravenously.

Infectious conditions are treated with antibiotics with or without surgical drainage. Non-specific measures that help in the treatment of the swollen leg include the use of elastic compression stockings, lifting and massage.

Home remedies to treat swollen legs

First and foremost we must emphasize the importance of consulting your doctor in the case of possibly serious conditions.

If the medical analysis indicates that your problem of inflammation is not due to heart or kidney problems, conditions that will need other types of specialized intervention, you can consider the following tips to help relieve that common and annoying discomfort.

What diet can I follow?

Your diet is the most basic factor in cleaning your system or accumulating toxins. A symptom like swollen legs should mean to us that something is not working properly and that your tissues are weakening and therefore fluid is accumulating.

Toxins accumulate in the lining of the intestines, causing various conditions in the stomach and acidification of the blood. In order to avoid all this, you should consider eliminating the following items from your daily diet:

  • Salty foods
  • Refined, fried, or very spicy foods.
  • Vinegar and mustard.
  • The products with refined flour.
  • Avoid the consumption of foods that contain a large amount of sugar
  • Red meat.
  • Milk and cow products with cow’s milk.
  • Exercise to resolve inflammation

When you lead a sedentary life, the veins become fragile and your organs stop working as they should, the blood stops circulating properly and all this can make you feel heavy, bloated, and cause the accumulation of fluids.

How to avoid this?

Dedicate at least one hour of each day for some type of exercise. While it is true that it can be very difficult to find the time and energy for this type of activity, when your body is suffering you should know how to listen to it.

Rest the legs

Whenever possible, whenever you find a moment in the middle of your daily routine, raise your legs, either in a chair or on the wall. This allows blood and excess fluid to flow properly and not stagnate at your extremities.

The massages are also excellent for this type of irritation, especially with almonds or olive oil. Soaking your feet in warm water and sea salt is also a wonderful way to relieve the feeling of heaviness and swelling.


The elevation of the simple leg relieves the edema by reducing the intravascular hydrostatic pressure. First, patients should elevate the affected limb above the level of the hip each time they feel swollen.

The limb should be raised horizontally whenever possible and, if possible, the patient should lie on the floor with the legs upright against a wall for 15-20 minutes several times a day.

This may not be practical for many patients, but it should be advised and encouraged. Second, when patients are standing, they should avoid standing still and should be encouraged to exercise the calf muscles and walk with a support medium.

Third, the foot of the bed should be raised by at least 10 cm.


Massage the extremity towards the hip, the use of a soft oil on the surface of the leg reduces the inflammation of the subcutaneous tissue and helps to maintain the skin and subcutaneous tissues soft and flexible.

Treatment with diuretics and fluid restriction

Treatment with diuretics and fluid restriction are indicated in congestive heart failure and in some kidney and liver diseases, and may be of value in some cases of limb inflammation due to local causes.

However, care must be taken not to induce significant electrolyte disturbances or dehydration.