what type of doctor to see?


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Old 08-09-15, 05:47 AM
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what type of doctor to see?

My wife's left foot and ankle has been swollen for several years. Her doctor doesn't have a clue although he did send her out for tests resulting in seeing 2 different specialist and while they've found minor things of concern - nobody seems to know anything about the swelling. Now her right leg is swollen [for the last 10 days] No pain, just swelling. Something needs to be done but who should she see?
 
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Old 08-09-15, 05:51 AM
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Swelling like that can be diet related. Too much sodium/salt can cause swelling (edema). I would look at that first.
 
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Old 08-09-15, 05:57 AM
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She thinks it's caused by fried foods but cutting out fried foods doesn't make the swelling go away. I've been fussing at her for years about using too much salt but I'll try again.
 
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Old 08-09-15, 06:19 AM
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My ankles were terrible, almost straight down from my calves to my feet and those feet were also swollen. Only attempt from the doctor was a water pill and it did little. THEN, when I decided I had to take off a bunch of weight and went low card I also threw away the salt shaker. Within weeks I saw a big change in the swelling and I could see it come back a bit any time I relented and allowed myself more salt than what my normal foods contained.

I can't say for sure that her issue is salt related, but but I have learned our bodies change. Where salt never bothered me before, it is now like a poison. We do need some, but many of the foods I eat already contain too much so I try to read the labels but I rarely switch to the no salt.

I have also learned that my taste buds have changed. By switching to natural seasoning, Mrs Dash, oregano, parsley, onions, garlic, and other non salt seasonings I was able to find combinations to get me by. In time those seasonings have become more than enough and if I try some salt it is far more powerful than I remember. Basically, once we get off the salt we don't need/want it anywhere near as much.

If weight is also an issue, reducing the carbs can help both.

I also found that wrapping my lower legs and ankles with an ace bandage over night would push that water out and give the cells a chance to recover. It is like that water gets stored there and never retrieved.

BTW, the Doc was shocked at my progress. He did want me to stay on half of a Lasix pill to help with blood pressure.

Bud
 
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Old 08-09-15, 06:59 AM
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It can also be heart related. Grandma had congestive heart failure and had swollen feet and ankles, they took fluid off her by the time it was getting worse. Another woman who has been a long time friend of the family has something similar, she actually had fluid LEAKING out before she sought help.
 
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Old 08-09-15, 07:00 AM
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That sounds like a case of Phlebitis, like President Nixon suffered from during and following his time in Office.
 
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Old 08-09-15, 09:32 AM
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She went to a heart doctor a few months ago when they ordered a series of tests because she once again complained about the swelling. Her heart is good, the only concern that doctor had was family history. She has been on a fluid pill for several years. While she is slightly overweight - nothing near obese. It looks like she has one skinny leg and one fat leg. No redness, just swollen. Hopefully she can wean herself off of salt!
 
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Old 08-09-15, 10:46 AM
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Mine started with one leg much more than the other, but then they both got bad. When I pressed my thumb into the swelling or just my socks it would create a huge dent when the fluid was pushed away.

Just my opinion, but making any change gradually never works as well as going totally off the salt for the first couple of weeks. Really tough, but you get through it and to the other side much easier. Getting off the carbs was a huge challenge for me as I love everything that is loaded with them, pasta, bread, corn, to name some favorites. After you purge your body you will notice a change in tastes and desires. I almost choke now on a burger so I toss 90% of the bun and enjoy the rest. I make a loaded meat sauce and use only a small bit of pasta and for it is great.

The good news is, if it is salt, it is solvable and we should all be using less salt.

Bud
 
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Old 08-09-15, 03:29 PM
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She claims she's backed off on the salt. Her leg doesn't seem to be as swollen this evening as it was this morning but it is definitely noticeable. What really gets me is her doctor along with the specialists she's seen all act like it nothing because they don't see anything wrong other than the swelling.
 
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Old 08-09-15, 03:54 PM
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Try some compression sleeves for the legs. Or compression socks. I don't mean the type for old folks, but the type for athletes. Online or in most good sports stores.

I think that's a common attitude when doctors really don't have a clue. Run all the tests and if they come back ok, it's all good.

As I've gotten older my lower legs swell down to where my short socks fit. Probably a circulation issue I imagine. BP is a bit high. When I wear the calf sleeves they don't seem to swell and my legs feel better.

Has she ever had her arm and leg blood pressures compared?
 
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Old 08-09-15, 04:00 PM
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I didn't know you could take BP in the leg ..... but she said the answer is no, never had them compared.
Her right leg is swollen all the way up, looks like her leg belongs to a fat woman on one side and a skinny gal on the other.
 
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Old 08-09-15, 04:06 PM
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Her leg doesn't seem to be as swollen this evening as it was this morning but it is definitely noticeable. What really gets me is her doctor along with the specialists she's seen all act like it nothing because they don't see anything wrong other than the swelling.
To me, a doctor is the last resort. There is so much that we can do for ourselves. It all has to do with balance. The swelling will disappear once it's restored.
 
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Old 08-09-15, 05:43 PM
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Lymphedema is swelling in one or more extremities that results from impaired flow of the lymphatic system.

The lymphatic system is a network of specialized vessels (lymph vessels) throughout the body whose purpose is to collect excess lymph fluid with proteins, lipids, and waste products from the tissues. This fluid is then carried to the lymph nodes, which filter waste products and contain infection-fighting cells called lymphocytes. The excess fluid in the lymph vessels is eventually returned to the bloodstream. When the lymph vessels are blocked or unable to carry lymph fluid away from the tissues, localized swelling (lymphedema) is the result.

Lymphedema most often affects a single arm or leg, but in uncommon situations both limbs are affected.
Source:Lymphedema: Symptoms, Pictures, Treatments and Exercises

I have seen ads on TV for clinics that treat just lymphedema. Has lymphedema been ruled out?

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Old 08-10-15, 03:04 AM
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Thankfully my wife's condition isn't that severe. She had an ultra sound back in the spring that I think was supposed to rule that out but that does seem to closer resemble what she has than anything else.
 
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Old 08-10-15, 03:49 AM
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Possible causes can be found here maybe: WebMD - Better information. Better health.

Hope the link is correct... or any medical info site might provide advice.

Basic solution is lower body movement. Specifically walking.
Along with all the other dietary suggestions.
Might also notice slight under arm on same side swelling. Puffy lymph glands. Those too often decrease in size with walking along with reduction or absence of foot swelling.

Dieting, low salts and fats intake also helps reduce both foot, leg and underarm swelling too.
Doctor says Exercise helps too. But I can't attest to that because that word doesn't exist in my dictionary......Doc says exercise??? My exact reply: What's that???? Doc learning he needs to get or have a sense of humor too.... Learning from each other helps us both...LOL!
 
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Old 08-10-15, 07:24 AM
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As with X, my first thought is congestive heart failure. This is accompanied by what's known as pitting edema. This means if you hold your thumb or something in the swelling for a minute or two so as to cause a dent, the dent will remain for a while (several minutes) after you remove your thumb.

Walking in a swimming pool is a great way to force fluid back up the legs and into the body for absorption due to the increasing pressure as you get deeper in the water - been doing this myself in the last couple weeks since I have a lot of swelling in one foot from a broken ankle.
 
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Old 08-10-15, 11:49 AM
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She went to the lung doctor today and got to the see the trainee doctor. He was very concerned when he saw her leg and had the regular doctor come in .... who basically said, he was a lung doctor and if she wanted the leg looked at she should go back to her regular doctor [who doesn't seem to have a clue] The trainee said it could be caused by a blood clot. Back in the spring her heart doctor said her heart was in great shape.

My wife seems to think the swelling is going down and it doesn't seem to be as swollen as it was yesterday. She looks for excuses to not go to the doctor.

I'm not about to tell her about the pool! She's always looking for an excuse for me to take her back to the beach
 
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Old 08-10-15, 12:48 PM
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More or less equal swelling of the feet/ankles/legs is definitely a sign of heart failure, formerly called congestive heart failure. I have that problem and the cardiologist I see states it is because I have a slightly enlarged left ventricle. Other than that my heart is in fine shape and he told me (after several EKG tests as well as nuclear testing) that my chances of a heart attack were less than one percent. He has me on a low-dosage diuretic and a slow release potassium supplement (because potassium is less prevalent in the food we eat yet it is removed by the diuretic) and he advocates exercise.

BUT, unequal swelling to me would indicate a problem in the leg or connecting vessels is causing the problem. I would continue asking additional doctors until I got a reasonable answer.

AND, that lung doctor that said he was a lung doctor...I'd fire him.
 
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Old 08-13-15, 01:13 AM
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Swelling in the legs can also be caused by conditions related to type II diabetes I know because I am a type II diabetic and while my legs don't swell a great deal all of the time they can get quite painful at times especially if I haven't had enough exercise. If she is diabetic definitely cutting back or even eliminating sugar entirely as well as a reduction in carbs will help her. Don't remove all carbs though but start eating whole wheat instead of white bread and whole wheat pasta. So if she hasn't yet been tested she should be tested with a 4 hour glucose tolerance test for accuracy in diagnosis.

Beware though some diabetes drugs can cause swelling of the feet and ankles and also some associated medication that is sometimes given to diabetics such as statins. Statins not only can cause swelling but can also cause extreme weakness of your legs as well as chest pains in severe cases. Statins though are not the only medications that can cause swelling some high blood pressure medication as well as heart medication which is also used to control high blood pressure can cause swelling. Check her medications online and then have a talk with her doctor.
 
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Old 08-13-15, 03:35 AM
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She's not a diabetic and as stated previously, the swelling is only on one leg. It is getting better, while that leg still looks bigger than the other, the skin isn't tight like it was. She's convinced it's connected to fried food and is blaming it on fried chicken since her and a couple of other gals have went out to eat chicken several times prior to her leg swelling. She's since cut out fried foods and is convinced that is why the swelling is going down - I don't know but understand why she is hesitant to go back to her doctor and complain as last time he ordered a series of test that required her to see several specialist, none of which know anything about the swelling.
 
 

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