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Any hope that Primal will help my edema?

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  • Any hope that Primal will help my edema?

    Hi everyone...

    I've been doing Primal (probably achieving 85-90% on food, now gradually improving my compliance on exercise!) for about 6 weeks now. So far, I love it. The roll of fat around my middle is diminishing, I feel better, improved mood ... I could go on. But...there is this one thing. Forgive me, I'm going to go on at a little length to give the background.

    The one single most persistent problem I have been struggling with for the past 15 years now is severely swollen ankles. Not edema all over my body, just my ankles. In the past this has persisted regardless of weight loss and weight gain, regardless of low-sodium or no-sodium diet, regardless of most CW on the topic. I have asked doctors in respect of possible coronary/congestive heart problems and they have dismissed this (not sure I entirely trust them but that's a different story!). I have had ultrasounds for veinous/circulatory problems and this has been dismissed. I've basically been told by any number of doctors that I should accept this as my cross to bear because "it's only cosmetic and you're 54 anyway so why does it matter what you look like" ... which makes me feel oh, so, special!

    Matters are further complicated by my living in Great Britain and having my healthcare provided by the NHS, so my options for tests, new treatments, anything "elective" in fact, are pretty limited.

    My big problem though is that it is not "just" cosmetic. It hurts, it makes exercising difficult, it stops me from stage/jazz dancing (which I used to love) because any shoe with straps or heels makes it worse. The only time it gets better is when I've been completely horizontal (i.e. asleep in bed) for at least 5-6 hours. Then when I get up within 30 minutes it's back to swollen. And I don't mean mild swelling, I mean severe. They've identified that I am retaining up to 2 kilos worth of water weight in my ankles alone (which makes me look, frankly, deformed -- a hard thing to swallow for someone who used to take pride in having "good legs"!).

    I would love to think that the new lifestyle (food/exercise/etc) will help, but do not hold out a lot of hope. Thought I would ask if anyone has any experience with anything like this though...?? Have any of you biochemistry whizzes out there heard of any interesting studies in respect of this kind of thing?

    I'll look forward to any comments or suggestions or commiserations! Thanks for listening!

  • #2
    I wish I had answers for you! I hope that you find help, or at least see enough successes with the PB to stick with it long enough to see if it helps with your legs.
    Newcomers: If you haven't read the book, at least read this thread ... and all the links!

    Jan. 1, 2011: 186.6 lbs PBSW Mar. 1, 2011: 175.8 lbs
    CW: 146.8 lbs
    GW 140 lbs
    A proud member of PETA: People Eating Tasty Animals


    • #3
      Hi, thanks for the reply! I don't have much doubt that I'll stick with the PB -- I really like what's happening in all the other aspects of my health. If anything were to improve the ongoing ankle swelling I'd consider that a bonus! Just thought I'd throw the issue out there and see if anyone had any thoughts.

      Thanks again!!


      • #4
        Try drinking more water. I used to have edema in the knees and it went away when I upped my water intake. The body holds on to water if you aren't drinking enough.
        Primal eating in a nutshell: If you are hungry, eat Primal food until you are satisfied (not stuffed). Then stop. Wait until you're hungry again. Repeat.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Griff View Post
          Try drinking more water. I used to have edema in the knees and it went away when I upped my water intake. The body holds on to water if you aren't drinking enough.
          Conversely the body holds on to water if your salt levels are too low. My edema is lessening and i had to up my water intake. I have had my edema for 30 years. If you are a low salt intake person and have had edema for longer than 5 years have your blood salts checked.

          my n=1 means that i have had to add 1 teaspoon of salt to my morning water and my edema is starting to drop.

          blood work is best, but as long as you dont have any kidney issues you body will drop excess salt, it just wont allow you to drop excess water if by doing so it will lower your salt ratio. too little sodium in the blood/interstiial fluid is instant death. ( by brain stem collapse i suspect it doenst feel good)
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          • #6
            I have periodic swelling in my calves, which increases when I eat non-food or am not getting sufficient rest. Water intake also contributes. When I'm eating real food, moving around at a moderate pace, getting sufficient sleep, and drinking enough water, the swelling goes away. It's only my n=1, but it's been proven effective so far.
            Started PB late 2008, lost 50 lbs by late 2009. Have been plateaued, but that thing may just be biting the dust: more on that later.


            • #7
              There is hope, I have swelling in my ankles as well. However I am paleo for quite a long time now, and still struggle to loose it. It is getting better very slowly. I had some positive results with high salt/mineral intake (seaweed and salt), salt baths and histamine low food. Once I even lost them completly on a holyday in Ireland... I have no idea how though. Some days they are gone again, and then they are back. I might be allergic to something that I haven't identified yet. But the swelling has gone down majorly since paleo.


              • #8
                I had it bad for a few years before going paleo and after 3 months of near 100% it faded, the doc had no idea why as I did not have heart issues but I did have persistent high BP, that may have been it. I have dropped 120 lbs now and the swelling is all gone. Give it time and walk as much as you can.

                You are special btw, screw the idiot doc who said that, think of everyone who would have a hole in their life without you.
                Primal since April 2012 Male 6' 3" SW 345lbs CW 240lbs GW 220lbs and when I get there I am getting a utlikilt. This one actually.

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