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swollen lower legs and ankles. any suggestions?

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  • swollen lower legs and ankles. any suggestions?

    I have been primal for over a year and close to 100% most of the time.

    I decided to have a couple of pieces of homemade gluten free pizza last night, only I think our house guest(who cooked) mixed them up when she pointed out which one was Gf.

    I didn't suffer digestive problems today but my calves, shins and ankles have blown up immensely. I can poke a finger into my shin and a huge dent will appear and stay there due to the amount of fluid. It feels like plastercene and just uncomfortable!

    I can only put it down to the gluten as nothing else I have done is different except for exercising hard two days ago.

    Even when im 100 percent grain and gluten free I have swollen ankles, but its particularly bad tonight.

    Does anyone else suffer from this? Ive tried herbal diuretics but they don't really do the job. Any suggestions? (Besides staying gluten free which I plan on doing)

  • #2
    Holy pitting edema, Rueben. What was your sodium intake last night? What has your fluid intake been? Does it diminish if you elevate your legs for a while? Do you take any meds on a regular basis? BP issues?
    More info, please .
    Some people just need a sympathetic pat... On the head... With a hammer.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Rueben View Post
      I have been primal for over a year and close to 100% most of the time.

      I decided to have a couple of pieces of homemade gluten free pizza last night, only I think our house guest(who cooked) mixed them up when she pointed out which one was Gf.

      I didn't suffer digestive problems today but my calves, shins and ankles have blown up immensely. I can poke a finger into my shin and a huge dent will appear and stay there due to the amount of fluid. It feels like plastercene and just uncomfortable!

      I can only put it down to the gluten as nothing else I have done is different except for exercising hard two days ago.

      Even when im 100 percent grain and gluten free I have swollen ankles, but its particularly bad tonight.

      Does anyone else suffer from this? Ive tried herbal diuretics but they don't really do the job. Any suggestions? (Besides staying gluten free which I plan on doing)
      Not to sound alarmist but it sounds like edema which should most definitely be checked out by a doctor ASAP.

      Edema - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by AuroraB View Post
        Holy pitting edema, Rueben. What was your sodium intake last night? What has your fluid intake been? Does it diminish if you elevate your legs for a while? Do you take any meds on a regular basis? BP issues?
        More info, please .
        It's not the sodium. It's the wheat. When I gave up wheat, NO edema was the first health improvement I noticed and I used to get it bad.
        Sandra
        *My obligatory intro

        There are no cheat days. There are days when you eat primal and days you don't. As soon as you label a day a cheat day, you're on a diet. Don't be on a diet. ~~ Fernaldo

        DAINTY CAN KISS MY PRIMAL BACKSIDE. ~~ Crabcakes

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Sandra in BC View Post
          It's not the sodium. It's the wheat. When I gave up wheat, NO edema was the first health improvement I noticed and I used to get it bad.
          The OP said that they have the edema EVEN WHEN they are "100% grain and gluten free". That's why I asked. They could have a heart condition that may need immediate attention and that's what led to my questions.

          I agree with MikeB, btw.
          Some people just need a sympathetic pat... On the head... With a hammer.

          Comment


          • #6
            I would get swelling from wheat, but even more so from dairy.

            Comment


            • #7
              Pitting edema is the first warning sign of bad things happening in the body and can be a very dangerous symptom. Though this may have been triggered by gluten, the reaction could have triggered or exacerbated a bad underlying condition. You need to go to a doctor if this doesn't relieve itself within a day. It could mean extreme problems with your heart, liver, or kidneys. If your legs stay that swollen for long you risk developing ulcers or necrosis because the tissue isn't going to be getting the blood flow/oxygen it needs and it's going to break down.

              To try to reduce this symptom now, elevate your legs, have someone massage your legs (have them massage as if they are pushing the fluid upwards), go to the drug store and get compression stockings, take a diuretic (if you don't have a prescription, try to find diuretic teas or eat diuretic foods like asparagus), drink lots of water, limit sodium, and eat lots of high water foods (watermelon, tomatoes, cucumber, etc.).

              I know I am making this sound horrible, but it more depends on your age and health status. I work with seniors and this is the first warning sign that horrible things are happening in the body and I need to fix them asap to prevent a hospital visit. If your in your 30's or younger, you can maybe go a couple days like this, but the pitting is what is worrying me. Pitting means that there's a lot of fluid and your body can swell a lot before pitting.

              The gluten reaction is definitely horrible and I hope it passes through you quickly, but keep in mind that even a little gluten can damage your intestines and cause a long term delayed reaction.

              Comment


              • #8
                Are you taking any mineral supplements? I'm dealing with the same issue right now, although my swelling's not just in my legs and ankles...in the morning my whole body is swollen (puffy face, can't get rings on) and by the afternoon when I've been up and moving all day it settles in my lower body. Taking my socks off at the end of the day always leaves me with big grooves and indents around my ankles.
                For me, it's been an issue since later last summer - July or August, maybe, when the scale popped up 10 or so pounds in a week. It got worse when I went on vacation to the Caribbean in November, but the additional swelling went away when I got home, leaving the original 10 pounds. I've been to my GP, an internal medicine specialist and a neurologist about it and while none of them have hit on any answers, none of them seem terribly excited about it either, likely because I'm a young, relatively fit, otherwise healthy woman.
                My suspicion is it has to do with electrolyte imbalances...I started supplementing with magnesium, calcium and potassium to try and get wicked leg cramps sorted out starting about Nov 2011. While I still get leg cramps from time to time they're mostly under control and I'm wondering about (and experimenting with) cutting back on the supplements to see if they're the cause of the swelling. I quit taking the potassium a week ago and haven't noticed a difference so far...I plan to decrease how much magnesium I take starting tomorrow.
                I also eat mostly gluten and grain free though when I do willingly eat either or, I don't react to them other than some minor tummy trouble.
                I absolutely second the suggestion to see a doctor about this, though...I've been through a raft of blood and urine tests, a neurological exam and am awaiting an ultrasound appointment to check heart function to rule out some of the more concerning issues that could be causing this. Best of luck figuring it out!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Grains are much more than just gluten. Don't play around with them.
                  I had bad swelling in hot weather, mild - in normal. Till I dropped all grains.

                  Lemontwisst: have you checked for varicose veins? Those cause leg cramps quite often and if the deep (i.e. invisible ones) are the problem, you may not know it for long time, and it becomes really bad.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MikeB View Post
                    Not to sound alarmist but it sounds like edema which should most definitely be checked out by a doctor ASAP. Edema - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
                    Originally posted by AuroraB View Post
                    The OP said that they have the edema EVEN WHEN they are "100% grain and gluten free". That's why I asked. They could have a heart condition that may need immediate attention and that's what led to my questions.
                    Originally posted by stevie View Post
                    Pitting edema is the first warning sign of bad things happening in the body and can be a very dangerous symptom. Though this may have been triggered by gluten, the reaction could have triggered or exacerbated a bad underlying condition. You need to go to a doctor if this doesn't relieve itself within a day. It could mean extreme problems with your heart, liver, or kidneys. If your legs stay that swollen for long you risk developing ulcers or necrosis because the tissue isn't going to be getting the blood flow/oxygen it needs and it's going to break down.

                    I know I am making this sound horrible, but it more depends on your age and health status. I work with seniors and this is the first warning sign that horrible things are happening in the body and I need to fix them asap to prevent a hospital visit. If your in your 30's or younger, you can maybe go a couple days like this, but the pitting is what is worrying me. Pitting means that there's a lot of fluid and your body can swell a lot before pitting.
                    Pitting edema is nothing to screw around with. Please see a doctor.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Check your blood pressure, renal function and electrolyte balances.

                      Any history (family/personal) of type 2 diabetes?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by StephenHLi View Post
                        Check your blood pressure, renal function and electrolyte balances.

                        Any history (family/personal) of type 2 diabetes?
                        Thank you all for your suggestions and concern. I should have said that I have already mentioned this to 2 doctors - my GP and my Integrative Doctor, plus my naturopath. they have checked everything - kidney function fine, liver enzymes were up before I went grain free but those are now OK, blood pressure is always excellent. I had a fasting glucose test of 5.5 so I am keeping an eye on this and am sugar free as my elderly mother (82) is diabetic. I don't think they have checked my electrolyte balance though.

                        I am taking Dr Wilson's supplements for Adrenal Fatigue so this may be part of an electrolyte imbalance. I think maybe I don't get enough salt. I am taking magnesium and potassium, selenium etc, etc, but don't eat any processed food and would salt my food probably only 3 times a week.

                        I have moved to a much hotter climate than I am used to and sweat everyday much more than normal. I am sporadic with my water intake - some days I have enough, other days not so much - so could improve here.

                        This also happened in the last few weeks of pregnancy and every time I mention it to my doctors they really don't seem interested...

                        After my original post I elevated my legs and the swelling was gone over night - it is now back to a bit of fluid in my ankles which the doctors have seen many times..

                        So thanks all - I'm going to improve my water intake, try cutting out dairy, make sure I'm 100% grain free and up my salt intake.

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