From The Mailbag: Swollen Feet Solutions and Coffee’s Greatest Perk

  • Discover how getting your heels above your heart can help ease your pain
  • One more reason to enjoy your morning cup of joe. Find out more…

Dear Living Well Daily Reader,

[Ed. Note: We’re going to answer your questions as we do every Thursday,  but we also have something very special to share with you. So be sure to read on after we answer your important questions. You won’t want to miss this!]

You’ve got questions…

We’ve got answers!

Today, we’ve got a very important question about swollen feet and coffee’s role in alzheimer’s.

Let’s dive in…

--Swollen Feet Solutions

Hey Natalie,

I’m a type 2 diabetic and I’m wondering if there’s something I can do to help reduce swelling in my feet. Are there certain foods I should eat or home treatments I can use to decrease this painful swelling?

Thank you very much,

Paul

Thanks for your very important question, Paul.

Swelling of the feet, ankles and legs, also called peripheral edema, is a problem that plagues many folks, not just diabetics. Many of us experience this type of uncomfortable and annoying swelling, myself included.

Peripheral edema has many causes — prolonged sitting or standing in one position, medication, genetics, obesity and pregnancy are among the top triggers. Added pressure on the lower limbs makes the tiny blood vessels in your legs, ankles and feet leak fluid into body tissue and make the surrounding areas swell.

These leaky vessels cause higher levels of sodium and water to accumulate in the kidneys, which in turn causes more capillary leakage and more swelling — creating a cycle. This means reducing your sodium intake and increasing your movement (i.e., exercise) is the first line of defense when trying to keep this cycle from perpetuating.

In addition, there are lots of home remedies out there for swollen feet and ankles — anything from tonic water soaks to inversion tables — but I have found only two that work for me.

The first is elevating my feet above my heart. Doing this helps increase circulation and reduce swelling. I sometimes do this by putting my legs against the wall for 10 minutes at a time. If you’re familiar with yoga, this pose is often called “legs up the wall.”

If this position is uncomfortable or unattainable for you, you can prop your feet up using pillows, blankets or a piece of furniture. Before I could do legs up the wall, I used a wedge pillow like this:

Source: Amazon.com

I would prop my feet on this pillow for about 30 minutes and experience a significant decrease in swelling. I could actually feel the circulation increase and my legs seemed less heavy. During especially bad bouts, I would sleep with my feet propped on the pillow. You can purchase a pillow like this here.

If your swelling is chronic or related to a medical condition, ask your doctor to write a prescription for the pillow. In some cases, your insurance company will cover the cost of the pillow with a doctor’s prescription.

The other thing that seems to help with my swelling is drinking plenty of water with a few slices of lemon or lime. Water is vital to proper circulation and kidney function, so the more water you drink, the better these systems will work. And since citrus is a natural diuretic, it seems to help reduce extra water in the body.

If you suddenly start experiencing swelling of the legs, feet and ankles, you should seek medical advice. Edema can be symptomatic of a more serious health condition like heart failure, kidney dysfunction, liver disease and diabetes.

If you have any tips on how to reduce foot swelling, please share them: namoore@lfb.org.

--Coffee and Alzheimer’s

Dear Natalie,

I’ve heard that drinking coffee can protect you from alzheimer’s. Is this true? I’ve been drinking a cappuccino everyday since I heard this a few months ago. Just curious if it’s actually doing anything for my brain.

Thanks!

June

Thanks, June. We get lots of questions about coffee in the mailbag, and its effect on Alzheimer’s is something of interest for several readers.

According to research done on folks over the age of 65 in Florida, drinking coffee daily may delay the onset of or help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

The study found that folks with higher levels of caffeine in their blood dodged the onset of Alzheimer’s during the two–four-year duration of the study.

According to Dr. Chuanhai Cao, a neuroscientist at the University of South Florida, the results suggest that older adults who suffer from mild memory impairment will not end up with Alzheimer’s disease or experience a substantial delay prior to being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s if they are drinking moderate levels of coffee — about three cups a day.

In addition, Cao reported, “The results from this study, along with our earlier studies in Alzheimer’s mice, are very consistent in indicating that moderate daily caffeine/coffee intake throughout adulthood should appreciably protect against Alzheimer’s disease later in life.”

So keep on enjoying those daily cappuccinos, June. Research indicates they’re doing a lot for your brain.

Thanks for your questions! Keep them coming! Send all questions to nmoore@lfb.org.

Live well,

Natalie Moore's Signature

Natalie Moore
Managing editor, Living Well Daily Insider


Sources

[1] Edema: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

[2] Study finds drinking coffee can delay onset of Alzheimer’s

Natalie Moore

Written By Natalie Moore

Natalie Moore is a dedicated health researcher with a passion for finding healthy, natural, and science-based solutions. After a decade of direct healthcare experience in western and natural medicine, she was involved in public health research before joining Living Well Daily.

View More Free Articles

Stamped envelopes.

Mailbag! 10 Tips to Conquer Spinal Arthritis

I have arthritis in my spine. What would you suggest to help manage it? –George from Cedar Rapids, IA George, Believe it or not, many people learn that they have spinal arthritis as they age. It’s very common. There’s a lot you can do to help keep it from advancing or even reverse some of...

Read This

Calm Anxiety WITHOUT Drugs (Easy!)

Dear Living Well Daily Reader, There is a plague of anxiety sweeping the nation. And who could blame us? Anyone with half a brain SHOULD feel anxious about the state of the world. But like any other epidemic, just because something is going around doesn’t mean you should accept it. More importantly, having anxiety does...

Read This

“Food Reboot” HALTS Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms

Dear Living Well Daily Reader, If you or someone you love suffers from multiple sclerosis (MS), you already know how the disease can turn your life upside down. The stiffness and mobility problems slowly strip away your independence… and leave you in pain. Talk to your mainstream doc and he’ll just shrug their shoulders –...

Read This

[Men] Do You Have the Breast Cancer Gene?

Dear Living Well Daily Reader, If you’re a woman, chances are you have heard about the BRCA gene (BReast CAncer gene). Scientists have known for a long time that a mutation in one of two breast cancer genes, BRCA1 or BRCA2, increases the risk of getting breast cancer. But, men, listen up – just because...

Read This

Greek Plant Extract SOOTHES Joint Pain

Dear Living Well Daily Reader, Some people might shrug when you tell them you have knee pain… but that’s only if they haven’t experienced firsthand. Chronic pain from osteoarthritis is no joke— it can destroy your life. Joint pain makes moving incredibly difficult and can keep you from doing the things you love. Before you know it,...

Read This

Deadly Disease 8 TIMES More Likely for Crohn’s Patients

Dear Living Well Daily Reader, Inflammation is supposed to be a normal response for your body. It’s one of the key defenses protecting you. Inflammation can sometimes be our friend… when it helps fight off infections and clears away debris, that is. The problems start when inflammation blazes out of control or lasts longer than...

Read This

Stamped envelopes.

Mailbag! 5 Ways to Soothe Your Psoriasis

I have psoriasis, and I was wondering what supplements or natural treatments there are out there. –Bill from Riverside, CA Bill, As you probably know, psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disease where the body attacks the skin as if it were a foreign invader. Psoriasis affects about two percent of the U.S. population. Normal, healthy...

Read This

Coffee Compound LOWERS Cholesterol

Dear Living Well Daily Reader, I’m on a personal mission to rescue coffee from the hands of the nutritional puritans who think that anything fun is not good for you. Despite what the mainstream would have you believe, the news on coffee has improved in recent years. Researchers have pinpointed many powerful plant nutrients, like...

Read This

“Citric Element” Whips Your Brain into Shape!

Dear Living Well Daily Reader, Some suggest pretty complicated ways to keep your brain healthy as you age. Going back to college… doing complicated puzzles… taking what feels like 30 bottles of pills a day… It can make you feel like giving up before you’ve even started! But what if there was something MUCH easier...

Read This

100-Year-Old Trick STOPS Arthritis Pain

Dear Living Well Daily Reader, If you’re tired constantly refilling pain prescriptions, you’re not alone. And if you’re even MORE tired of the side effects that come with them, who could blame you? For far too long, Big Pharma has held arthritis patients hostage… promising relief while they rob you blind. It’s time for something...

Read This