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Plucky's avatar

Any home remedies for alleviating swollen feet, from a medical condition?

Asked by Plucky (10232 points ) July 14th, 2011

My partner has Lupus (SLE) – Lupus Nephritis. She was on a maintenance drug called Imuran, which she was taken off of when the flare up occurred (explained in the next paragraph).

In the last 4 months, she’s had a flare up and was put on different medications. Her left foot/ankle has started to swell up in the last 2 days. Yes, she has talked to her doctor about it. We are to keep an eye on it for change in colour or further swelling (the doctor was concerned because it’s only one foot and that it may be a blood clot).

Anyways, she forgot to ask how to help alleviate the discomfort and pain from the swelling, if possible. I’d like to leave her a note in the morning, before she goes to work, so she can try to ease the condition throughout the day. I hate seeing her in pain.
So far, all I’ve found through internet searches was to drink lots of water and rest the foot above her heart. She wanted to know if I should try to massage it – but it is painful to touch.

If the condition was caused by a blood clot, will she still be able to alleviate the swelling (even if by a small amount)? Or would the clot have to go away on its own first (presuming it’s not a large one)?

I’m going to give a list of her medications. I don’t know if the medication will make the attempt at alleviating the condition futile – I’m hoping someone else may know more. We don’t think the medication is causing the condition though.

She is currently taking (per day):
Prednisone – 7.5mg (down from 30mg a couple weeks ago).
Cellcept – 1000mg
Coversyl – 2mg (blood pressure).
Etidrocal
Vitamin D

Thank you for taking the time to read my question. And, yes, I have her full approval to post this information. :)

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23 Answers

augustlan's avatar

If there’s any chance it is a blood clot, do NOT massage it.

Plucky's avatar

@augustlan Ok, thank you very much for the link.

augustlan's avatar

The only things I know that might actually help are those that you mentioned… keeping the foot up, and staying hydrated. Good luck to your partner. :)

Plucky's avatar

I’m wondering, as well, if she should reduce her sodium intake.

@augustlan Thank you. :)

Cruiser's avatar

Have her lay on the floor with her feet/legs up against a wall. Take a heavy towel, roll it up and place it under her lower back. Have her breath into her belly….slowly….and just relax.

Kayak8's avatar

She could just call his/her office and ask the nurse how to address the swelling in this specific situation.

Plucky's avatar

@Cruiser Thank you. What does the towel under the back and breathing into the belly do?

@Kayak8 Yes, I know. But I know she will most likely forget to call (while she’s at work) unless it gets worse during the day. I’m alway on her about this stuff – I just have to keep bugging her. I was just hoping there would be some general information, regarding arthritic-like swelling, that others could share. Thank you for replying.

janbb's avatar

Normally, the raising the water, hydrating and reducing sodium would alleviate the swelling some. i don’t know if it is a blood clot whether it will.

wilma's avatar

If it is warm and humid I find my ankles swell. When I’m in air conditioning they I don’t seem to have as much problem, also the elevating them above the heart and drinking water.

john65pennington's avatar

I see every medication on her drug list, except a dieritic or water pill. Most people, with a heart condition, will swell in their ankles. My grandmother did this. Her doctor prescribed a dieritic and potassium to take once a day, in the morning. This helped her to keep her swollen ankle in check, plus the heart medications she was prescribed.

This may be your partner’s problem.

Check it out.

SpatzieLover's avatar

When edema makes my ankles swell, I wrap them tightly with ACE bandages for an hour or so at a time. While they’re wrapped I keep them inclined (on an ottoman, but pillows will work). I take Epsom salt baths.

Since she has Lupus and is in a Flare, is she getting enough sleep? If not, encourage her to get a good nap in.

Cruiser's avatar

@Plucky The towel lifts up the lower back and further elevates the feet as well and creates a nice gentle pressure on the lower back she will appreciate. More than likely she is having to compensate in her gait because of the swollen feet and often the hips and lower back take a beating because of this.

Belly breathing is a natural way to relax the body and will help her take the focus off her feet and just foster a relaxing feeling to help reduce any discomfort she is feeling. A small towel gently rolled up can be placed under her neck for additional comfort and support in this position. Feet up the wall is something everybody should do for 15–30 minutes a day. Very therapeutic!

Pandora's avatar

I agree with @SpatzieLover about the epsom salt and @Cruiser about the feet up on the wall.
You can also try witch hazel poured into a towel and put it on her feet. It is also very good for swelling.
Hope they feel better soon.

gorillapaws's avatar

Is she wearing prescription compression stockings? Does she have a history of veinous disease? Any visible varicose/spider veins? Has she had a doppler ultrasound study of the veins in her legs? These would all be questions you might want to discuss with her doctor. Best wishes.

YARNLADY's avatar

Ask for a referral to the specialist, sometimes the GP doesn’t know the answer, but won’t tell you that.

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

Hi, Plucky!

No kidding the GP’s don’t know….I’ve learned that the hard way @YARNLADY!

I swear by Apple Cider Vinegar…but it has to be the “organic” kind and with “the mother” unfiltered and I recommend “Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar”. I take a tablespoon in water, three times a day, but there are a lot of ways to take it (you can see it on the site below for “Edema”.) I take it for just overall health, but it does help swelling. It is sold in the UK (along with other good stuff) here: link I like this shop because it is run by a dad who was told his son had no chances of recovery from a terminal illness and dad took it upon himself to find out everything about curing his son. His story is amazing, his son recovered and he now helps others through this site (UK site.) Plucky, I thought you were in UK, but you are in Canada…I will still leave the above for UK browsers. You can find Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar in Canada at most health food shops! Which is great!

Here are natural cures for edema:link

Here is a page from the same great site on how to treat Lupus naturally (or at least alleviate some of the symptoms naturally): link

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Plucky's avatar

@Cruiser Ahh ok, thank you. That makes sense. I’m wondering if walking around helps too (she basically sits in an office all day).

@john65pennington Yes, I was reading about diuretics. I am going to put that on the list for her to ask her doctor about. Thank you for mentioning it.

@SpatzieLover and @Pandora We do have epsom salt, I’ll suggest that as well. I’ve never heard of witch hazel ..I’ll look into that. Thank you both.

@gorillapaws I just found information on the compression socks this morning – another thing I’m adding to the list. As for the veins, she has never had any veinous diseases, varicous or spider vein issues. She has not had a doppler ultrasound of the veins in her legs – I’m thinking that would be something the doctor would recommend if it worsens. Thank you for your reply.

@YARNLADY and @DarlingRhadamanthus The doctor of which I’m speaking is actually her lupus specialist or kidney specialist (I can’t remember which one now – she has both). We generally don’t deal with the GP for these issues. I will look into the Apple Cider Vinegar and see what I come up with. Thank you for the advice and the links – they will help.

Thank you everyone for your responses. I did make a list this morning that consisted of the raising of the feet, drinking lots of water, diuretics and compression socks. I’ll be adding some things from this thread as well. Hopefully, I can get her to call the doctor before the weekend starts – then she can ask about diuretics, compression socks, apple cider vinegar and witch hazel. I also made sure to let her know about not massaging it as @augustlan suggested. I’m going to have to crack the whip on my partner. ;)

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
augustlan's avatar

[mod says] Let’s get back to answering the question, folks.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Pandora's avatar

@Plucky, You can find witch hazel next to peroxide or rubbing alcohol in any major drug store or even walmarts pharmacy section. Buy TN Dickinson’s Witch hazel. It is made from 100% witch hazel. Some of the others are very diluted.
When I was 17 I went on a 20 mile walkothon. My legs were so swollen my mom had to wrap my legs with cloths soaked in witch hazel for the first day. The second day she used epsom salt. My legs looked like elephant trunks. The witch hazel helped with the swelling and helped cool off my legs. She didn’t use the epsom salt at first because she would have to use warm water and it was the last thing I wanted on my legs at the time.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)

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