Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Symptoms Evaluation Treatment drugs specialist Home Care low salt diet warning signs Underlying Cause Anatomy

Swelling of Both Legs Home Care

Home care for leg swelling includes:

  • Avoid tight clothing.
  • Eat a low salt diet.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Avoid exposure to secondary smoke.
  • Avoid standing for long periods.
  • Elevate your legs.
  • Follow an exercise plan developed with your doctor.
  • Weight loss if you are overweight
  • Wear elastic support hose.
  • Take prescribed medications as directed:
    • Don't skip doses of your medication. This makes them less effective.
    • Be aware of the common side effects that may be caused by your medication.

Swelling of Both Legs Low Salt Diet

A person with leg swelling may benefit from a low salt diet.

A low salt diet contains less than 1,500 mg (1.5 grams) of salt per day. One teaspoon of salt contains about 2,300 mg of sodium.

Tips on how to reduce your salt consumption:

  • Avoid cooking with salt.
  • Avoid fast food.
  • Avoid salty foods, such as pickles, cured meats, salty snacks, and canned soup.
  • Avoid seasonings that contain sodium, such as soy sauce, steak sauce, garlic and onion salt, and monosodium glutamate.
  • Do not add salt to your food after it is prepared.
  • Read food labels and buy foods that are low in salt.
  • When eating out, ask that your food be prepared without added salt.

Swelling of Both Legs Warning Signs

Notify your doctor if you have a leg swelling and any of the following:

Continue to Swelling of Both Legs Underlying Cause

Last Updated: Mar 7, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Swelling of Both Legs References
  1. Blankfield RP, Finkelhor RS, Alexander JJ, Flocke SA, Maiocco J, Goodwin M, Zyzanski SJ. Etiology and diagnosis of bilateral leg edema in primary care. Am J Med. 1998 Sep;105(3):192-7. [9753021]
  2. Blankfield RP, Zyzanski SJ. Bilateral leg edema, pulmonary hypertension, and obstructive sleep apnea: a cross-sectional study. J Fam Pract. 2002 Jun;51(6):561-4. [12100781]
  3. Ely JW, Osheroff JA, Chambliss ML, Ebell MH. Approach to leg edema of unclear etiology. J Am Board Fam Med. 2006 Mar-Apr;19(2):148-60. [16513903]
  4. O'Brien JG, Chennubhotla SA, Chennubhotla RV. Treatment of edema. Am Fam Physician. 2005 Jun 1;71(11):2111-7. [15952439]
  5. Partsch H, Winiger J, Lun B. Compression stockings reduce occupational leg swelling. Dermatol Surg. 2004 May;30(5):737-43. [15099316]
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