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Can diet changes help manage Edema?

Edema can be caused by many things & there are several ways to deal with it. Dietary changes are important in reducing edema. It is often helpful to reduce sodium and increase potassium in your diet.


What is Edema?

Edema occurs when fluids accumulate in the spaces that exist between body cells or within the circulatory system. Edema can cause swelling and puffiness in various parts of the body including the legs, arms, hands, feet, lungs, stomach, or even the feet.

Malnutrition and poor nutrition are also risk factors. The excess sodium in body tissues will retain water to balance the fluid-sodium ratio. The more sodium you eat, the greater the fluid retention. Reduced sodium intake is therefore a necessity. To reduce sodium, you can try to increase your potassium intake. Vitamin B5, Omega-3 fatty acid, and B6 can alleviate symptoms. Nutritional experts advise limiting sodium intake to under 2300mg per day.

Edema can be treated with the right food.

Recommended foods:

  • A higher intake of potassium can help the kidneys eliminate excess fluid and sodium. We recommend that edema patients eat lots of fruits and vegetables rich in potassium such as spinach, lettuce, and broccoli.
  • Vitamin B6 can be recommended for edema. It is a diuretic and helps to eliminate fluids. Vitamin B6 (pyrioxine), is known to aid in reducing water retention. Vitamin B6 is found in brown rice, red meat, and poultry.
  • Take plenty of yeast, cereals, fish, poultry, and nuts.
  • Take enough barley water.
  • Eat a balanced diet and increase your physical activity.
  • Increasing dietary intakes of omega-3 fatty acids found in oily salmon and fish oils – eicosapentaenoic (EPA) or docosahexaenoic (DHA) – can reduce several inflammation markers.
  • Turmeric and Ginger can inhibit pro-inflammatory pathways such as cyclooxygenase, lipooxygenase.
  • By increasing kidney function, vitamin B5, calcium, and magnesium help to remove excess water from the body.

Foods to Moderately Consume:

  • Limit or moderate consumption of animal protein, chocolate, and fried foods.
  • High-fat foods can negatively limit the kidney’s functioning.
  • Some processed meats, dairy products, canned/preserved veggies, legumes, and dairy products may contain high levels of sodium.

Foods you should avoid:

  • Avoid adding salt to food and cooking.
  • Avoid foods that are highly salted, including chips, nuts, and pretzels. Also, avoid processed meats such as sausages, bacon, processed meats, and corned beef.
  • Avoid condiments that are salty, such as soy sauce, packet sauces and
  • Limit your intake of canned and processed foods as they are high in sodium.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol or caffeinated drinks.
  • According to studies, diets high in trans fats, saturated fats, and foods with a high glycemic index can cause inflammation.

Home Remedies:

Massage the affected area using warm mustard oil. This will act as a lubricant and force the fluid to return to the heart.



About The Author

Dr. Gauri Mane
Dr. Gauri Mane Homeopathic Consultant

Dr. Gauri has a B.H.M.S degree from Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, Mumbai. She topped her class and graduated Magna Cum Laude. She is a licensed Homeopath, with over 4 years of clinical experience in Homeopathy, as well as Allopathy. She has also worked as a Research Coordinator for several clinical trials. Besides this, she posseses a Post Graduate Diploma in Hospital and Healthcare management (PGDHHM) from Symbiosis institute, Pune. She is also a certified Nutritionist and Dietician. Dr Gauri can assist you on Home remedies, Diet, Alternative Medicine and Homeopathy. She is thoroughly versed with Biogetica's ground breaking line of full spectrum products. Being a reservoir of information on natural health, she can be of immense help to you in your journey towards health and freedom!

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