Diuretics, often referred to as water pills, can help relieve swelling in the legs and feet due to diabetes and diabetes-related illnesses, including heart disease, kidney failure and liver cirrhosis, according to Diabetes.co.uk. The swelling, known as edema, is caused by excess water retention.
Diuretics cause the kidneys to release additional sodium into urine, explains the Mayo Clinic. The increase of sodium then draws water from the blood, which decreases arterial pressure and swelling. In addition to diuretics, regular physical activity, weight loss and a diet low in salt may alleviate edema. Refraining from standing for long periods of time can help prevent edema, according to Diabetes.co.uk.