31 answers

I'm Swollen Especially My Feet and Ankles

I have noticed that my feet and ankles have been very swollen lately. I then noticed that my whole body looks swollen. I went to a new doctor and told him about this and he said it was fine and just make sure I stay away from salt. Well, I do stay away from salt and it is still happening. I don't know what to do. I can feel how swollen I am and sometimes it hurts in my feet and ankles and they are so shiney because of being swollen. Could coffee make you swollen? Does anyone have any suggestions or anything to tell me why this is happening and how to stop it????? This is really bothering me. Thank you.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Well, the test results came back and everything is normal. Now, I don't know what is wrong with me. The swelling started to go down last week after the doctor gave me water pills and I am still taking them, but I'm swelling up again. I'm going to go to the doctor this week and see what he thinks. I'll keep you all informed on what happens. Thanks to all!! L.

Featured Answers

When it's hot, I get swollen. Drinking water helps but you have to do it all the time, not after you notice swelling at the end of the day or something like that.

1 mom found this helpful

I would go to a different doctor. I have heard it can be a sign of liver or kidney problems. Good luck! J. (Mom of 3)

1 mom found this helpful

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I am extremely concerned with the Dr's lack of response to that! When this happened to my dad, he was diagnosed with Cirrhosis. Granted, he was an alcoholic, but the swelling was called Edema. It is a build-up of fluid in your body(I think between the skin and organs.) It has also happened to my mom, which turned out to also be Edema caused from cancer in the liver and breasts. She has ALWAYS been the perfect picture of health. Never drank, never smoked, ate a perfect diet, and the Dr's overlooked hers until the cancer had spread. She was blown off for months or longer as only having a cold or allergies(the edema was affecting her breathing.) The cancer started in her breasts and had already progressed to her liver and spine before it was caught. She now undergoes these horrible treatments, and I cant' help but wonder if someone would have taken a little more time to find out what was going on to begin with if she would stand more of a chance. Please don't accept no for an answer. Get any Dr to listen!

1 mom found this helpful

How was your blood pressure. Sometimes swelling in the ankles and feet is a sign of elevated BP. Definitely get a second opinion. It's not normal and although staying away from salt is a good suggestion, I think it needed to be looked into a little more. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I'd skip the over the counter water pill and check with the doctor again. You don't want to mask the symptoms before finding out the cause. Tell him you've stayed away from salt and you are still swelling. Edema can be caused by too many things to list - some innocent and some not so innocent. If the dr blows you off again, think about a second opinion.

1 mom found this helpful

When it's hot, I get swollen. Drinking water helps but you have to do it all the time, not after you notice swelling at the end of the day or something like that.

1 mom found this helpful

The first question I would ask is "are you drinking enough water?" If you're not, your body will store and retain it thus making you swollen. So, make sure you are getting enough. You should probably try to drink twice what you think you should to make sure that you are getting enough. The next question I would ask is "are you exercising?" and if so, "how often." Walking is best as it helps w/ the circulation and elimination of waste. Doesn't have to be much but should be something each day. If you are still swollen after trying this for a week, then see a different Dr and start researching what others have said about organ function.

1 mom found this helpful

i'd see another dr. swelling is not normal, no matter what. means you are retaining fluids for some reason. did they check your blood pressure?

1 mom found this helpful

Perhaps this is a glandular problem. This could be serious. I suggest you contact your family doctor or find a specialist. Request testing.

Are you swelling and pregnant? This could be a sign of a more serious condition. Again, you would require some sort of testing. If the family doctor will not help you, find a different doctor. If you're in Fort Wayne, my family doctor is Andreanna Hodgini. She is great. The other doctors in her office are very good as well.

You might try finding an internist if this is a problem and the family doctor does not want to do anything. Internists queue into symptoms and are willing to look beyond the obvious.

1 mom found this helpful

I had problems with edema for years. The periods of edema seemed to be linked to my mirgraines, so my traditional doctor had me on a prescription diuretic. I ended up with a massive kidney stone tht required surgery to blast it into small pieces that took about three weeks to pass. Not fun! Diurtics can cause kidney stones, so be very careful witht them.

I have been seeing an M.D. who takes a naturopthic approach with her patients, and she has helped me tremendously. Her name is Sandra Pinkham if you are interested in talking to her. She will recommend an extremely healthy diet. I've been following her diet for four months now, and I feel better than I have in 15 years or more. I am now able to exercise daily because I am no longer limited by the pain of diagnosed fibro myalgia. I also take the supplements she recommended for me.

This is a basic anti-inflamatory/anti-allergy diet, and it really works. Since I've been on it, my body mass index has improved dramatically. I've lost the equivalent of over 30 lbs (22 actual lbs., but the fat/muscle trade off makes it more like 30 lbs in fat loss). My blood pressure has gone from 130/80 to 110/70. My only changes have been my diet and the supplements Dr. Pinkham recommended. Also, my migraines and fibro myalgia symptoms have all but disappeared completely!

I agree that you should steer clear of coffee and other caffeinated beverages, and all forms of pop. Avoid sugar as much as possible, and do the same with dairy products and wheat. Sugar, dairy, and wheat are all irritants of inflamation and allergies. It's basically a vegan style diet (avoiding all animal products), but you can eat meat in limited quantities if you don't want to give it up. I eat a lot of fish (4-5 servings a week), wild caught whenever possible.

For grain, oats are marvellous. I have two servings of either oatmeal or granola daily, with a little bit of honey (on the oatmeal). I use Trader Joe's Light Coconut Milk in place of cow's milk. I often add a little fressh fruit and organic grated coconut (available in the bulk foods section at Whole Foods).

This is a basic, healthy diet for anyone with any condition, so it's good advice for all of us to follow.

Good luck, and please keep us posted on what your doctor recommends and how you're doing.

1 mom found this helpful

Are you drinking enough water? Sometimes we don't drink enough water to cleanse the system and swelling happens as the body stores water to stay hydrated. I always swell up some when it is extremely humid and we have had a tremendous amount of humidity lately!!! Can't get my rings on and it was torture getting them off!!!
You might just be retaining fluids and a diaretic would help. I think you can get them over the counter, check with your pharmacy. A pill a day will help remove the excess water from your system too.
I switch to tea when I have this problem, green tea is good to help cleanse the system.
I wouldn't mess around with it for too long it could be a sign of something else going on. A second opinion wouldn't hurt if it continues and I would recommend one. Swelling to the point of shiny skin is not a good sign!! It could be High Blood pressure, or a variety of other things, and I am not trying to frighten you.

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L.,

I'm not sure exactly what might be causing it, but it doesn't seem that you should be swelling for no reason. I would press your doctor for maybe some lab tests or something. Have you looked online for possible causes? I know they say you shouldn't do that, but if your doctor isn't going to offer ideas, then perhaps you should look yourself. You are your own best patient advocate. Good luck! Hope you find your answers!!

1 mom found this helpful

I would recommend MonaVie, a juice that gives you the fruit you need in your diet for optimal health. When your body gets what it needs, it will function the way it is supposed to. It is helping people with all types of things as a result. May the Lord Jesus give you healing...

1 mom found this helpful

As a nurse, my recommendation would be to have some bloodwork done. Sounds simple, if your Dr. isn't willing then you need to find another, you are your best health advocate!! There are many causes for edema, but if there is something going on with your heart drinking too many fluids can exacerbate the problem. Your body will tell you it's dehydrated by making you feel thirsty, so follow your instincts and drink when you are thirsty but don't overload on fluids. Caffeinated beverages are diuretics, so make sure you are drinking fluids other than coffee, tea and others with caffeine. Until you can get a full physical with bloodwork done, get rest, take time to put your feet up, and you can give your circulation a hand by wearing compression stockings/hose (I know that's a bummer in the heat). Any store that sells scrubs carries them, they're not that expensive and nurses wear them all the time since we are on our feet so much. Best wishes to you!

1 mom found this helpful

L.,

Get a second opinion. "Shiny" swollen is definitely a concern. You need a different doctor.

1 mom found this helpful

L.,
I'm not a human physician, but that is not normal. Generalized edema can be a symptom of many different things. I would seek out a second opinion and insist on bloodwotk and a blood pressure. Hopefully you are just retaining fluid for some reason, but if there is something else going on, it's definitely better to find out earlier than later. Also, depending on what's going on, there are likely treatments to help! Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Our bodies do things to tell us something is WRONG. You could try a over the counter water pill.If that fails to help seek a new Dr. for a complete check up.Heart, kidneys , lungs everything. We don't swell up for no reason.

1 mom found this helpful

Make sure your doctor checks your blood pressure, sometimes high blood pressure can cause swelling. And you may want to try a water pill. It will take the excess fluid out of your body which may reduce your swelling. Please check with your doctor first.

S.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi L.,
I have the same problem. My Family practitioner did not find it but my Pain Specialist did.(suffer from pain from a broken back 1990 car accident). He let her know that I was retaining liquid in my body. After a battery of test she found nothing but told me sometimes people do this and it can't be explained. She then put me on a water pill and I lost about 5 pound. I felt good. Don't take no for an answer. Find someone to listen. The pain docter pressed on my legs with his finger starting at my ankles. When he did my skin stayed depressed for a few seconds. He did this all the way up my leg until it dno longer pitted. Try it on yourself and see how far up the pitting goes. The higher it is the more water you are retaining. Then perhaps you can tell your doctor about this.
Hope this helps. I am a Granny too. Getting older sometimes is a pain in the kutush. :)

Let me know how this turns out.
Bev

1 mom found this helpful

I don't think it has anything to do with salt because I am the same way. I do not cook with sale and only use it on potatoes.
I swell when it is hot. The warmer the weather the more I swell.
Last fall I had to have quad by-pass (I am 52) and they took the artery for the by-pass out of my right leg. Talk about already having problems now that it is warming up in Cincinnati. I really have never gotten over the discomfort at the main cut nor the ankle where there was a tiny whole. Now I am swelling more.
They gave me Lycra for the pain and guess what side effect I had. MORE SWELLING. Which is why the pain (I feel). They have tried a couple of water pills which I also have to take for the heart. Not much is helping.
Just keep plugging along. Actually caffine is a natural diaretic and should help with the water retention. I wanted a more natural way to shed water and was told caffine would help. So keep drinking the coffee.

1 mom found this helpful

I have had the same problem for years (since at least high school and I am now in my 30's).

In fact, I get more swollen as the day goes on and am noticeably "thinner" when I wake up in the morning. I will sometimes even lose up to 4 lbs of water weight overnight.

I don't know what causes this, but I do have a remedy. Drink water. LOTS of water. More water than you would ever want to consume naturally. I noticed that the more dehydrated I get, the more swollen I get. So for every cup of caffeine or alcohol you drink, drink an equal amount of water.

Do not use water pills (been there, done that) it actually makes the problem worse in a couple days. Do not consume too much caffeine, and definitely watch salt in fast foods, processed foods, or canned foods - these seem to be the worst culprits.

You may not even realize you are dehydrated, but if you wake in the middle of the night thirsty, that's a good indication. You may want to be checked for diabetes as well. I was diagnosed as being glucose-intolerant which is a pre-diabetes state.

1 mom found this helpful

L.:
Are you on any kind of medication that may have steroids in it?
I had a bout where I had to go into the hospital. I was already on medication with steroids in them and at the hospital the specialist put me on two more medications that were in high dosages with stronger steroids than my daily meds. They were so strong I had to be weaned off them by degrees.
To make a long story short - I started swelling in my feet, ankles and legs and have continued to do so even tho I am totally off the stronger meds laced with steroids. I also have pain in both my feet and ankles. I think these medications are the cause of my swellings and pain.
Remember also that FDA has given big dairy conglomerates permission to inject the cows with growth hormones to increase milk production. How many dairy products can you name that you injest and is made with treated milk? Ice cream - cheese (all forms) yogart - the list goes on and on. Also the big hatcheries are allowed to inject chickens with the same (steriod) growth hormones for the production of more eggs. Again how many items can you name made with milk and eggs?
They never learned with penicillin - the cure all wonder drug.
They learned the hard way any thing we put into our bodies may help a lot and also may kill some too.
They punish athletes for using steroids but it's ok to feed them to the public and get our babies onto them while they are still in diapers. They must have longer shelf life - more productivity and all in the name of higher profits.
If the public would do a little homework and learn just what the food processing manufacturers and processing plants are allowed to put into the food we consume - I think we would all start raising and canning our own food. Do you have any idea of what the meat processors are allowed to put into our Government inspected meats, delivered to our stores for consumers to purchase and put on our tables to eat? Fast foods are worse yet.
Look up floride and while you are at it look up the chemical found in natural bodies of water that can become a lethal poison if it comes in contact with the water treated with floride.
Of course scientist have just learned that in all the water we drink their are all kinds of medication in it. Improper disposal of medicines - BY WHOM?
By the way Kroger and UDF are two stores who do not want hormone treated milk and they have their suppliers sign an affidavit that they will not deliver treated milk to them. Wish they would do that with hatcheries also.
Do a little homework and help undo a lot of wrongs that are being done - all for bigger profits of big business.
Humans start trying to correct wrongs at the wrong end of the spectrum. We need to start at the beginning of problems - not at the tail end if we want to make a difference.
D. Y.

1 mom found this helpful

It can be a number of things. It is not unusual this time of year to experience these type of sysptoms. I would suggest trying drinking the recommended amount of water per day...ease your way into it. The recommended is 1/2 your body weight in ounces NOT 8 cups (if you weigh 150 that is 75 ounces). Also green tea can help tremendously, a cup a day will help flush out any extra toxins in your body. If this does not help press your doctor to begin checking out other possiblities.

1 mom found this helpful

I would go to a different doctor. I have heard it can be a sign of liver or kidney problems. Good luck! J. (Mom of 3)

1 mom found this helpful

it sounds like edema. stay away rom caffinated drinks, pops, tea, and salt. propel fitness water has niacin in it & is a natural diuretic(makes you pee). that'll help flush the excess water fromyour body. also prop your feet up as much as possible at least 6in. above your heart. you might also want to consider finding a new doctor. edema is usually a warning sign of something more serious.

Hi L.,
First of all, get a different new doctor. Call a nurse friend from your local hospital and get the name of a "good" Dr. If you don't have a nurse friend, call your local hospital and ask for one of the nursing units and talk to someone that has been there for a while and ask them. I am a nurse and I have people ask me all the time for info.
Many things could be causing swelling. According to your age, it may be hormonal, it could be cardiac related, high blood pressure, vascular problems, endocrine problems (thyroid, diabetes, etc). But for a Dr to say "it's fine, stay away from salt" just isn't enough. You need to have a good Dr that will run some tests to get to the real cause of the swelling.

The main thing that I would suggest is drinking lots of water. It sounds like you may be retaining water and drinking lots of water will help you urinate more and it will clean out your system. Also, for the ankle swelling put 2-3 pillows underneath your feet so that they are elevated and that should also help the swelling. My feet and ankles swelled up really bad after I had my last son it took over a month for the swelling to go down. I kept my feet propped up and drank a lot of water and soaked my feet in warm water 3 times a day. It took a while but the swelling finally went down. I have never heard of coffee making you swell but I suppose anything is possible. Cut back on the caffeine too and see if it helps any.
D.

I am 31 and have been married for almost 12 yrs. My husband and I have 3 boys ages 10,7 and 4.

I read that coffee was being proven to be a great health benefit. I have never liked coffee but figured I'd go ahead and try it since it sounded so healthful (and still does, I do still believe it can help greatly with various health issues).

I didn't have more than a couple cups a day, in the morning.

A couple months later I was into the doctor because my feet, ankles, and eventually my lower legs were terribly swollen.

She started me on water pills which I wasn't happy about that since it could cause complications with my (no longer existent - [yay!]) diabetes and they didn't work.

She had me get some of those compression hose/socks but they didn't work.

I started elevating my legs in the evening and in bed, still no luck.

So I started trying to trace back to when the swelling had started. It seemed to correlate with the time I started drinking the coffee (and I should mention that I do drink caffeinated soda so caffeine isn't "foreign" to my body).

So I stopped drinking the coffee to see and within just a couple days my swelling was gone (and it has not come back).

I'm certain it was the coffee causing it. Maybe because there's more caffeine in coffee (?) but whatever it was, it stopped when I quit drinking the coffee.

I hope that helps! :)

Watch your carb intake, ESPECIALLY refined ones. For EVERY gram of carbs you intake, your body HOLDS 3-4 grms of WATER! So.....if you have 50g of carbs.....your body holds 150-200g of water! That's why bodybuilders deplete carbs. NOT so much about fat, as lean, which keeps you from holding water! Now....injesting water is different. You need it to flush and need it for EVERY function in your body. You need at LEAST half your body weight in ounces of water DAILY. COFFFE, sodas, etc do NOT count. Stay AWAY from sodas...even if they are caffeine & sugar free. THe chemicals are ALSO part of the problem, not just the sugar, etc.

Take a piece of bread and pay attention it the weight, etc. Now.....put it in water and pick it up again......LOTS heavier!

Secondly, EXERCISE!!! It helps blood flow which will help the circulation.

Lastly, you need to go to the EGOSCUE website and pull off a couple of e-cises for that. I do one called STATIC BACK PULLBACKS for clients with the same issue. It works...in MINUTES.....IT WORKS!!! Increasing blood flow to specific areas and getting the feet vertical. DONT rely on meds to get rid of it. You're NOT really taking care of the problem and will likely have more isses as a result of the meds. THEN....you'll have to take more meds, etc etc etc. ADDRESS IT NOW! Improper alignment can be a huge contributor here! Makes sense......restricts blood flow, neurological function, etc.

Hi L.. Yes, coffe can add to this. Anything that does not add to your water intake that includes sodium can add to your swelling. Drink lots of water and stay away from any sodas, anything with sodium in it or salt and try and stay off of your feet and keep them elevated if possible.

I swell with ALL foods. I take lasix w/ potassium, and hydrochlorothiazide. I found out what it was and that is that my artery is more collapsed. Now, with your ankles and feet swelling, I would see a cardiologist and/or vascular dr to make sure you do not have PAD or any other type of medical condition because your feet and ankles swelling are can be symptoms of CHF. I know the date you commented, but just in case you are still suffering, here is my advice. Good luck!

Do you sit a lot during the day at a desk/computer, table? Or do you notice the swelling after having sat at a desk or table for a while? If so, make sure that you get up ever half-our or so and take a short walk or something to stretch our your legs. (People who fly international flights can end up with blood clots from sitting bent-legged for so long.) Your chair might be impeeding blood flow. You can try a different chair or one of those things to elevate your feet under your desk (a small stationary box will do the trick, too). Elevating your legs by laying on the floor with your feet on a box or sitting reclined in a recliner - will at least help ease the swelling till you find out what's causing it.

You should see another dr.

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