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  • Swollen feet/water retention

    Does anyone have any ideas on something I can try that might help with this? I saw a doctor about it several times who just cycled through a few different kinds of water pills, and none of it helped, so I eventually stopped going.

    I've tried dousing my feet with very cold water at the end of taking a shower (I've heard that's supposed to help get the circulation going) for a week or two, that didn't help.

    I'm sure it's caused by the fact that I sit at a desk all day and plus I like salt and haven't given up processed food, so I probably get too much sodium as well. I do go for walks (usually 25 minutes or so), so it's not like I don't get any exercise.

    I was hoping it'd go away once I started losing weight, but I've lost 34 lbs and the situation with my feet has barely changed if at all.

    Admittedly, I have not tried elevating my feet (can't sleep on my back and I don't have time to sit around with my feet up--I wish), and I haven't tried compression socks because they're so expensive.

    Any ideas? (other than giving up salt--not ready to do that just yet)
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  • #2
    You seem to have given all your own answers. Try those.
    "When the search for truth is confused with political advocacy, the pursuit of knowledge is reduced to the quest for power." - Alston Chase

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    • #3
      I have a coworker with edema and I don't think it has much to do with her weight. She just takes a water pill.

      Put your feet up for a little while, try lower salt....it sounds like you know the common treatments.

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      • #4
        I have the same problem, been on RX diuretics for years to my detriment. Lowering sodium definitely helps, but you should also increase your potassium. Saunas and sauna suits or just old fashioned sweaty exercise helps. Hanging upside down on an inversion table might help as well.

        Understand that whatever you do is managing the symptoms of some other underlying problem. Could be anything from hormones to low albumin to digestive issues or all of the above.
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        • #5
          I hadn't heard about the potassium, or the sauna idea--I'll try those.
          My Blog where I talk about my experiences with improving my health and life
          (I try to update ... once in awhile)


          Rimmer - Step up to Red Alert!
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          • #6
            It's not plain edema, it's a circulatory issue. I have the same thing. You might find compression hose work. I have used them on airplane trips. For me, the solution was a footrest at my desk.

            A separate issue (that may or may not be related) is ankle or foot swelling caused by dietary sensitivity. Boiled milk or some wine will cause my feet and ankles to swell, and it will take days for the swelling to go down. I know someone who has this happen when she eats shellfish. In this case I think benadryl ought to help, but the solution would be to avoid that thing you are sensitive to.

            I've found that the thinner I get, the less it is an issue. But it's still there.

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            • #7
              why are you still eating processed food? it's not just the sodium that can cause swelling, but the dyes, preservatives, krap oils and even krappier grains.

              i had some foot and knee issues and needed to sleep with my legs elevated. can only sleep on my stomach so it was a learning curve and i never woke up that way, but it still helped.
              Last edited by noodletoy; 07-10-2013, 06:24 AM.
              As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.

              – Ernest Hemingway

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              • #8
                I agree with noodletoy

                you need to eat Primal properly and be patient.....it can take a while for underlying issues to resolve.....nothing will change if you keep eating crap

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                • #9
                  As someone else said, get a foot rest. A foot rest that rocks encourages you to keep moving your legs. Making sure you get up and walk at least once per hour is also important.
                  “In God we trust; all others must bring data.” W. Edwards Deming
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by eKatherine View Post
                    For me, the solution was a footrest at my desk.
                    I suppose I could try keeping my feet up while they're under my desk. In fact, I had a box under my desk that isn't being used, so it's now being used as a footrest =P

                    A separate issue (that may or may not be related) is ankle or foot swelling caused by dietary sensitivity. Boiled milk or some wine will cause my feet and ankles to swell, and it will take days for the swelling to go down. I know someone who has this happen when she eats shellfish. In this case I think benadryl ought to help, but the solution would be to avoid that thing you are sensitive to.
                    I've been thinking about giving up dairy (at least for while, just to see what happens) due to other issues it might be causing--I guess this would be another reason to try that. Benadryl might be worth trying, again, just to see what happens.

                    Originally posted by noodletoy View Post
                    why are you still eating processed food? it's not just the sodium that can cause swelling, but the dyes, preservatives, krap oils and even krappier grains.
                    Well, I pretty much avoid the crap oils and grains--just because I haven't 100% given up processed foods doesn't mean I'm living on SAD junk all the time and that I don't read labels. Right now, I cannot make from scratch every little scrap of food I eat because I work a full-time job and I live in someone else's house where I usually don't get access to their stove in the evening--I will be moving in August and that will change, but for right now, I need to rely on SOME stuff that's convenient, otherwise I'd have to switch to being a raw vegan and I think that'd be worse for me (not that I'd want to anyway).

                    i had some foot and knee issues and needed to sleep with my legs elevated. can only sleep on my stomach so it was a learning curve and i never woke up that way, but it still helped.
                    I should specify that I get some pretty intense back pain if I sleep on my back (thanks to scholiosis, probably)--it's not just that I can't sleep in that position.

                    Originally posted by loafingcactus View Post
                    Making sure you get up and walk at least once per hour is also important.
                    That's a good point, especially right now when there's no work to do. Normally, I'd be getting up to use the copy machine or scanner every once in awhile, but when there's no work to do, I just read stuff on the internet all day and don't even think to get out of my chair.

                    Thanks for the ideas, guys--even if it seems like I'm being difficult, I appreciate it.
                    Last edited by Cyborcat; 07-10-2013, 08:14 AM.
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                    • #11
                      I always had it too and found that any time I stopped eating flour it went away. I could eat salt licks for breakfast, lunch and dinner and not get any fluid retention, but give me a muffin and I can't get my shoes on.

                      You might try skin brushing. It really gets the lymphatic fluids moving and really seemed to help a lot with water retention for me.
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                      • #12
                        I pretty much avoid anything with flour in it these days already.

                        But I'd never heard of skin brushing--had to look that up. I can see how that could improve circulation. Will have to try that. Thanks.
                        My Blog where I talk about my experiences with improving my health and life
                        (I try to update ... once in awhile)


                        Rimmer - Step up to Red Alert!
                        Kryten - Sir ... are you absolutely sure? It does mean changing the bulb.
                        (Red Dwarf)

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                        • #13
                          I posted about the same thing a few months ago. When I eat clean, no processed foods or grains or seed oils my edema goes down. I can actually see my ankle bones again and I can't stop looking at my awesomely slim feet!

                          I had a piece of pizza with quite a thick crust and I could make dents in my shins. I think grains make me swell but yeast just makes it far, far worse.

                          I think eating clean once you are able to will make a huge difference.

                          I use a sauna suit too. Fabulous thing. One of the only things I brought with me when I moved to Australia from New Zealand with two suitcases only. .. :-)

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                          • #14
                            Interesting to know, thanks for the comment. Clean unprocessed food is my goal, it just isn't possible right now.

                            But it's good to hear that it does--or at least can--help with this, from someone who has been there.
                            My Blog where I talk about my experiences with improving my health and life
                            (I try to update ... once in awhile)


                            Rimmer - Step up to Red Alert!
                            Kryten - Sir ... are you absolutely sure? It does mean changing the bulb.
                            (Red Dwarf)

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                            • #15
                              I have the same problem:

                              ankle and lower leg swelling, backpain, when I sleep on my back.. and a many many other issues of which most of them have resolved through strict paleo. the water retention seems to be due to hormonal issues (imbalace/too much estrogen)/dietary factors(food intolerance)/stress(adrenal fatigue). I try to be mostly autoimmune and low histamine paleo, I eat a lot of bone broth. I avoid milk, flour, nightshades, coffee, black tea and alkohol like the devil. recently I found out that lemon water on an empty stomach in the morning helps me. Also if I eat too little for a long time, the swelling gets much worse. what definitely helps are epsom salt baths (mark recently did an article on them) in combination with skin brushing. so you need to look closely at all the factors that contribute to your problem. most of the times I feel very well and the swelling is minor, just sometimes I seem to have worse days.


                              All my health problems all of a sudden became very bad, when some things happened in my family, that were very stressfull for me. I am still under major stress at the moment but I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. I tell that because I believe that "stress" ist also a big contributor to unsolvable medical issues.

                              so:
                              -try to eat enough (important)
                              -get adequate minerals, trace elements and vitamins (I add seawed to my diet, eat plenty of leafy greens, and diffenet veggies, and watch out if your body doesn't seem to like one)
                              -move slowly
                              -reduce stress (important), start meditation or yoga, or anything that helps you to relax and look at your life from a distance
                              -get diagnosed by a doctor if you can

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