Peripheral edema of the legs is commonly treated by lifestyle changes or home remedies, says Healthline. A doctor may prescribe diuretics to encourage urine flow and keep fluids from collecting in the legs. However, treatment varies depending on the underlying cause of the edema, which can sometimes be a serious condition.
Home treatments and lifestyle changes can include the reduction of sodium in the diet, states Healthline. Sodium absorbs water, keeping it in the body instead of passing it naturally in urine. Diuretics help to remove the fluid from the body and reduce swelling in the legs, but there are side effects that can be harmful, depending on the underlying condition of the edema. Exercising regularly and staying active also helps to keep fluids flowing instead of collecting in the legs. Maintaining body weight or losing weight is another possible lifestyle change.
Sometimes edema is caused by a more serious health condition that needs to be treated in order to reduce swelling, WebMD states. For instance, blood clots or tumors in the legs can interfere with blood flow. These need to be removed. Edemas can also be caused by allergic reactions, which are treated with corticosteroids and antihistamines. In addition, certain medications such as calcium channel blockers and pioglitazone can cause edemas. A patient needs to consult with a doctor first before taking any actions.