What is Diabetes Swollen Feet? Factors in Diabetes and Swollen Feet|

Medically Reviewed By DR. ANUPAM GHOSE, MBBS, Diabetes Care & Education Specialist November 26, 2023

In the realm of diabetes, the impact on various parts of the body is a constant concern. One common diabetes complication that you can develop is diabetes swollen feet. This condition not only causes discomfort but also serves as a potential indicator of more serious complications. Mannier times diabetes is detected after encountering sugar patient leg swelling. Understanding the complexities of puffy feet diabetes complications is crucial for individuals navigating this chronic condition. This blog delves into the causes, symptoms, and management of diabetes swollen feet, shedding light on a lesser-explored aspect of diabetic care.

What is Diabetes Swollen Feet?

In medical terms, diabetes swollen feet are called edema. In edema, swelling occurs due to injury, inflammation or fluid accumulation. It can happen to any body part, in both small and big areas. 

Since we are talking of diabetic edema in legs, it is called peripheral edema. In this, your legs swell up near the ankles and above areas. The skin may look shiny, and even a small cut or bruise will make the extra fluid leak. 

Moreover, when pressing it, you may feel the indentation. The feet in this state will feel heavy, and you’ll have a sensation of itchiness and discomfort. Some will experience diabetes leg swelling and redness. There are also cases of swelling in one leg diabetes patients.

Diabetes and Foot Swelling

Diabetes and Foot Swelling

Diabetes patient leg swelling is a diabetes-related complication. The inflamed feet diabetes complication happens when the blood sugar level remains on the higher side for some time. 

As in diabetes, the cells aren’t able to absorb sugar. The blood carries a high amount of sugar. High blood glucose damages the lining of small blood vessels, which results in irregular blood flow and poor circulation. Therefore, the higher the sugar level, the more damage it’ll cause to blood vessels.

Long-term diabetes-related complications like kidney and heart ailments also contribute to diabetes swollen feet. Below are the top contributing factors in sugar patient leg swelling:

  • Poor Blood Flow
  • Blood clotting
  • Heart diseases
  • Kidney ailments
  • Specific medications

Poor Blood Flow

With time, if the diabetes remains untreated and uncontrolled sugar levels stay in your body, there is a high chance of blood sugar damaging the blood vessel linings. 

The blood vessels have tiny valves that stop the downward flow of blood due to gravity. This phenomenon is also called venous insufficiency. When the vessel linings are damaged, blood pools in your lower body parts. This makes your feet, i.e. legs and ankles, swollen and itchy. Patients with swollen toes diabetes complications, swollen ankles and diabetes all suffer the difficulty of painful walking.

Diabetic neuropathy is another name for blood vessel damage. You can also witness a loss of sense in your legs. So, if there is a leg wound or cut and you feel less or no pain, don’t overlook it.  When type two diabetes swollen feet, it can cause more fluid to accumulate in your feet. This occurs because the body is trying to heal the wound.

Blood Clotting

Talking of contributing factors or causes of feet swelling in diabetics, now comes blood clots. Diabetes patients have a high chance of deep vein thrombosis. It is a kind of blood clot that helps in the formation of diabetes inflamed feet in patients. 

The blood clots in diabetes patients are dangerous, as if they get loose. They can reach your lungs and cause life-threatening conditions. This lung condition is called pulmonary embolism. Blood clotting causes swelling in one leg diabetes patients. 

Heart Diseases

Heart or cardiovascular disorders are common in diabetes patients who have uncontrolled diabetes. Heart diseases and puffy feet diabetes patients have a close link.

Kidney Ailments

Diabetes swollen feet also happen due to kidney dysfunction. Kidney ailments disrupt the body’s fluid balance and can cause diabetes and foot swelling.

Specific Medication

Diabetes and foot swelling can also happen due to the intake of specific medications. Diabetic edema in legs is a side effect of diabetic medicines like:

  • Pioglitazone or Actos
  • Rosiglitazone or Avandia
  • Specific blood pressure medicines
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pills

Read More: What Is Diabetes Leg Pain?

Treatment of Puffy Feet Diabetes Patients

Treatment of Puffy Feet Diabetes Patients

There are some natural as well as medical diabetic leg swelling treatments. There are also some diabetes leg swelling home remedies, which you can also include:

Using Compression socks or hose

The compression socks maintain optimum pressure on your feet and legs. A study found these socks enhance blood flow and help reduce diabetes swollen feet. Using compression hoses is among the top diabetes leg swelling home remedies.

Putting your feet up

According to the National Health Service, lifting your feet above the heart level lessens the fluid accumulation. It also helps reduce swelling. In this, the wall yoga pose is very beneficial. Try lifting your feet more and more when sitting or lying in bed.

Regular exercising

Exercising and working out are not only beneficial for diabetes but also for inflamed feet diabetes complications. There are many studies to support this claim. Some aerobic and muscle-building workouts will enhance blood flow and lessen diabetic edema in legs.

Weight management 

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends maintaining an ideal BMI range of body weight. The appropriate weight helps in better management of diabetes. When your sugar levels are in control, the damage to blood vessels will be less. Therefore, the chances of diabetes swollen feet will lessen.

Lowering salt intake

When under diabetic leg swelling treatment, you need to cut your daily salt intake. According to the U.S. Dietary Guidelines, daily salt intake should be under 2300 mg. The best way to do that is to stop using processed and canned foods. You will also have to avoid raw salt.

Taking magnesium supplements

Magnesium helps regulate nerve functioning and lowers sugar levels. As per NHS data, an adult male requires 400 mg to 420 mg of magnesium. Females need between 310 mg and 360 mg. However, consult with your doctor before taking any kind of magnesium supplements

Applying specific oils

Another diabetes swollen feet remedy is applying oils from herbs. Studies suggest using Hyptis Martiusi oil helps in reducing swelling and itchiness. Another oil that can be used is Lavender oil. Studies have also found lavender oil helps manage blood glucose and protects against oxidative stress.

Soaking feet in Epsom salt

During diabetic leg swelling treatment, you can use Epsom salt. Put some amount of Epsom salt in lukewarm water. Soaking your feet in this water will relieve your pain and swelling.

Read More: 15 Foods To Lower Blood Sugar Levels

When to seek medical advice

When you have diabetes and foot swelling, it is a severe health complication. You can try puffy feet diabetes home remedies. However, if the swelling remains even after lifting your legs, soaking your legs in Epsom salt, etc. Immediately consult with your doctor. If the swelling is not reduced, it can be a sign of very high sugar levels. 

Also, if there is swelling in one leg diabetes complication, you should get in touch with your doctor ASAP. One leg swelling happens when you have blood clotting, which can be fatal.

Read More: What Is Type 2 Diabetes Management?


In conclusion, diabetes swollen feet pose a significant challenge for those managing this complex condition. Defined by fluid retention and compromised circulation, understanding the root causes is paramount. From neuropathy to kidney dysfunction, diabetes can manifest in various ways, and swollen feet serve as a poignant signal. From proper foot care routines to lifestyle adjustments, the path to managing diabetes-related swollen feet is multifaceted. Each case is unique, and tailored guidance ensures a comprehensive approach to diabetic care. Therefore, being in constant touch with your doctor is necessary. 

Read More: Best Diabetes Diet Plan – Dietary Guidelines For Diabetic Patients

FAQs (Frequently Asked Question)

Can Type 2 diabetes cause swelling in legs?

Yes, inflamed feet diabetes complication is a long-term diabetes complication. It develops when you have uncontrolled sugar levels. High sugar in the blood damages the lining of blood vessels, which disturbs the blood flow. When the blood flow gets disturbed in the lower body parts, you have diabetes swollen feet.

How do you stop diabetic feet from swelling?

Here are 10 diabetes swollen feet reduction tips that you can follow:

Staying hydrated
Keeping your legs up
Using compression socks
Dipping your feet in Epsom salt
Minimising salt usage
Keep moving
Weight management
Proper diet

What is the best vitamin for swollen feet?

The best vitamin for type 2 diabetes swollen feet is vitamin B. However, your doctor is the best person to determine the quantity of this vitamin.

Does walking help swollen legs?

Yes, constant movement in the legs helps in enhancing blood flow. So, taking frequent and small walking sessions will really help in diabetic leg swelling treatment.

What foods to avoid for swelling?

Following foods, you should avoid if you have diabetic edema in legs:

Red meat
Processed foods and meat
Bread and pasta
Bakery products
Fried foods
And all foods that cause inflammation

Last Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal 


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