Treat swollen ankles or peripheral edema caused by diabetes by elevating the leg, eating less sodium and exercising regularly, advises About.com. However, if this occurs, consult a doctor, as it can be a sign of kidney or heart disease, which can be caused by diabetes.
Other possible treatments for swollen ankles include taking diuretics to pass water, antiangiogenesis therapy, oxygen therapy and lucentis, explains Medical News Today. Antiangiogenesis controls blood vessel growth, which can reduce swelling. Lucentis and oxygen therapy are only useful for swelling in the eyes due to diabetes, a conditional called macular edema. Reduce swollen ankles by losing weight, walking often, and never sitting or standing for long periods of time. Massaging the area can also move the excess fluid out of the ankles. Support stockings are a common treatment, and excessive heat or cold may exacerbate the condition.
If peripheral edema goes untreated, it causes pain and stiffness, and it can make it difficult to walk, notes Medical News Today. As the skin stretches, it becomes itchy and can cause infections and ulcers in the skin and scarring in the tissue. It also further impedes blood circulation and damages the joints, arteries and veins. Edema can also lead to ulcers.