Swollen ankles happen for different reasons. During menopause swollen ankles are primarily due to retention of body fluids. The most common reason is due to the presence of gravity.
As we get older, our bodies don’t function the same as it did in our 20’s or even 30’s. This is the time to concentrate on a healthier lifestyle. Keeping a healthy lifestyle should include a healthier diet and exercise along with making small changes to things we aren’t necessarily aware of.
Reducing your sodium intake can be one of the easiest ways to help reduce and alleviate swollen ankles during menopause.
What You Should Know About Salt
- Sodium, or salt, is over consumed in many countries. It is the most common dietary source. 40 percent is sodium and 60% is chloride.
- The recommended intake is <2,300 mg/day for adults. This equals about ONE teaspoon.
- Processed foods contain high amounts of sodium.
- Too much salt can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease and swollen ankles during menopause.
- Low levels of salt CAN be dangerous. Sodium is necessary for the body to function normally.
- Sodium IS important as it is an electrolyte and plays a key role in hydration.
MY 15 WAYS to REDUCE MENOPAUSE SWOLLEN ANKLES
1. Diet: choose foods that are not high in sodium. Try to eliminate processed foods. Choose healthy foods
2. Sodium Intake: keep your salt intake to its recommended amount. If you have high blood pressure, it should be reduced to 1,500 mg or ¾ teaspoon. You should also follow your physician’s recommendation.
3. Healthy Sources: choose foods that have less sodium. AVOID processed or canned foods; they contain excess calories, saturated and trans fats and preservatives.
4. Dining Out: be careful and choose wisely when eating out. Many foods are marinated with high salt for taste or tenderizing purposes.
5. Exercise: for those who exercise, make sure to keep hydrated. Sweating causes sodium loss. Exercise, specifically leg exercises, can help reduce or alleviate swollen ankles. Exercising for 30 minutes approximately 4 times a week will help boost circulation in the legs and feet.
6. Walk: Increase muscle activity by walking. This can help reduce the symptom of swollen ankles.
7. Avoid Sitting: if you have a job that entails prolonged periods of time sitting, get up and walk every hour.
8. Avoid Standing: if you have a job that requires you to stand on your feet all day, consider wearing support hose.
9. Hydration: keep hydrated. Dehydration can cause you to become fatigued and have thought confusion or loss. The recommended amount of water is 6-8 cups of water daily but depending on your lifestyle, you may need more. This will help flush out extra salt from your body and reduce ankle or leg swelling.
10. Rest: take a 15-30 rest. Lying on a sofa or recliner, straighten your legs, place several pillows under your feet keeping them above heart level. Try keeping two pillows under your feet while sleeping. Keeping your legs elevated will help reduce swelling.
11. Weight: Since many women gain weight during menopause, keeping your weight at the normal range for your body type and height will greatly help alleviate swollen ankles during menopause and in general.
NATURAL WAYS TO REDUCE MENOPAUSE SWOLLEN ANKLES
12. Use a cold pack on your ankles, as it warms up refreeze to reapply.
13. Cucumber-place slices of cucumber on the ankles and cover it with a cotton cloth. Cucumber helps absorb fluid.
14. Vinegar- has been known to reduce ankle swelling pain. Soak a towel in vinegar and equal parts of warm water, wring towel, wrap around ankle. Let sit for 5 minutes, then mix equal parts of cold water and vinegar and follow the same procedure as above.
15. Potato-use well cleaned, boiled potato peels. Add three tablespoons of this strained liquid to a glass of water and drink for two weeks.
Until next time, Be empowered, Stay motivated, Be connected…AnnaMaria
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