Patient Comments: Edema - Effective Treatments

Question:

What kinds of treatments have been effective for edema? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: J Smith, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: August 01

I had edema in my legs for a few years, and it had gotten to the point that I could not stand up (or even sit down) and work for more than a few hours. Even my fingers were a bit puffy, as I couldn't get my wedding ring off most days. The wife was concerned, as she'd seen it in the nursing home where she used to work, and said it may be a sign of impending heart problems. I tried reducing my salt intake (nothing). I tried doing green tea (a known diuretic), still nothing. Support stockings were my only option at that point. I had gained quite a bit of weight a few year earlier, as I had quit smoking cigarettes, and started eating cheesecakes. I decided to lose some weight by doing a ketogenic diet about nine months ago. To date I've lost about 75 pounds, and pretty much all/most of the edema in my legs are gone! Now weight lost may have been a big factor, but I'm convinced, after reading the actual research on PubMed and other sources, it was the excess carbohydrates that was making my blood pressure so high, and causing the edema. I know this because it took 4 or 5 months for most of the edema to disappear, but it took less than a month for my blood pressure (BP) to drop 20 points on the systolic (lower BP means less fluid retention). Now 129/72 is the reading my wife just took (was upwards of 156/95 before diet). Interestingly since I started this LCHF (low-carb, high fat) diet I routinely drink upwards of 12 plus eight ounces of water a day (the liver requires a lot of water to make ketones on this diet). So, much more water intake, lower BP, and the edema disappeared too. Oh by the way, I'm eating upwards of 4 or 5 grams of salt per day to boot (again, something this diet requires is more salt intake). So this proves that salt is not the culprit everyone says it is for high BP. Sure, it can exacerbate it if you already have high BP, but it is not the main driver of it.

Comment from: 35-44 Female (Caregiver) Published: August 01

My mother has had pitting edema since as long as I can remember, in short she's done everything, only relief for her was grapes. Every day 2 to 3 hundred gram grapes worked for her. Even missing to take grapes for a few days makes it severe.

Comment from: mystycal1, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 31

I got edema as a side effect to prednisone, Symbicort and gabapentin; just for your information. I get acupuncture and see a chiropractor and it is almost gone.

Comment from: ed t, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: July 15

I've got edema from lying around in a hospital for 4 weeks. I got no exercise in that time. I was given Lasix intravenous. Trouble is that it wears on your kidneys. Lasix will get some water out of your artery system but not the flesh of your body. My only cure for me is a Lasix 40 a day and lots of sweat producing exercise/yard work. It has taken about 1 1/2 month to get back to somewhat normal.

Comment from: BlasterMaster, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: July 11

I developed lower (feet and ankles) peripheral edema in August, 2013 and as of date, extensive medical testing has yet to identify a cause. Heart, kidney, liver, blood clots, have all been eliminated by extensive ultrasound, x-ray and blood tests. The best guess at this point is weakened valves in the veins in lower legs. I want to see if there is a surgical solution so I don't have to continually use Lasix, which only treats the symptoms.

Comment from: amitriptyline, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: December 02

I have read that amitriptyline can cause or contribute to edema.

Comment from: johanna, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: October 21

I have edema in legs bad. I use Lasix 3/day, potassium 3/day, and amitriptyline at night. I also have HHT (hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia) nose bleeding often. I had many blood transfusion. I take B12, iron supplement and vitamin D. Some medical experts say amitriptyline slows down heart rate. I had all tests done heart, lungs and ultrasound of legs. I am very healthy, thin, walk a lot, but still have fluid build-up. I cannot take any blood thinners due to having HHT nose bleeds.

Comment from: tomdavis778, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: December 31

I have been suffering from chronic edema for 2 years now, and it has progressed through my entire body. Most days my hands are so swollen I look like I am wearing gloves, and my legs and feet are the same. I also developed brown spots / stains on my feet and legs up to my knees. I take 2 Lasix and an additional diuretic, and I am not getting relief. I have seen gastroenterologist, cardiologists, rheumatologists, and none of them can give me an answer. I have wheezing when I breathe, and shortness of breath at times, and am waiting now to see a pulmonary doctor. I am at a loss on what to do at this point.

Comment from: puzzled, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: December 30

I have had edema in my legs for 2 years and had all kinds of tests done but the doctors can't give a solid answer other than that gravity is doing it. Now I came down with a severe cold or flu, so I started taking antibiotics 2 days ago. Now suddenly I can see my calves and ankles again. I don't understand I'm guessing maybe I had some type of infection in my legs the whole time.

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Comment from: duchess48, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 06

In response to the patient who used ginkgo biloba, I have read info from Kaiser that says that the herb can interfere with diabetes meds so be careful in using it. I have suffered from pitting edema in my feet and legs for a year, and the only thing Kaiser has said is to elevate them and use Lasix and keep compression on them. None of them is a permanent solution.

Comment from: louis, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 18

Last year I was diagnosed with Cellulitis (right leg was swollen, shiny, red and it actually squeaked and I was given strong anti-biotics. It flares every now and then and I am not convinced it ever went away completely. Just hit your site and noticed this condition (EDEMA) and am now not sure if this is what I have/had? Should I go back to the Doctor? Incidentally I have suffered from years from The 'Restless Leg Syndrome.' Last August I had a Morons Neuroma removed from my left foot and am experiencing pain in toes and foot in right foot. I love to walk and I work on my feet, but I suffered from aching feet as a child, especially when I sat on a chair that was too high. After work I have to lay with my legs raised as my legs twitch, ache and are unbearable, and long journeys can be embarrassing. I have taken herbal tablets for years that give me almost instant relief (NEW ERA for aching legs and feet that contain combination P tissue, salts, Calc. fluoride, calc. phosphate, mag. phosphate.

Comment from: hera, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: June 24

I have swollen feet, ankles, and calves. The calves/legs are red and the swelling continues down through my toes. I have been on Furosemide 20 mg taking 2 early morning/2 early afternoon, they have not helped, I cannot go anywhere for 3 or more hours because I need a bathroom every ten minutes. I am on blood pressure medications and thyroid and cholesterol medications.

Comment from: Ole grumpy G, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 14

I have edema. When my legs swell and hurt I rub them with vinegar and get immediate relief. I never had edema until about 6 months ago.

Comment from: 7grandkids, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 06

Dandelion root tea has been the only thing that works for me. The excess fluids are flushed within a few hours.

Comment from: Joel, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: July 20

I have been getting Edema in my feet up to my calves for years, the only thing odd is that it used to come and go rather quickly and I haven't had it for three months. Then all of a sudden in June I got it bad and can hardly walk, let alone can't put any shoes on. It did a lot of pitting and I just look like Donald Duck. No meds have worked, so I just am hoping it will go away eventually.

Comment from: Antionette, 75 or over Female (Caregiver) Published: April 03

My elderly mother developed edema in both legs after entering a rehabilitation facility after a month-long stay in the hospital. Her legs became red and swollen and then developed blisters. The doctors have her on Lasix, but it does not seem to be working that well. The staff seems to have no idea of what to do other than Lasix. So, I may have to have her moved back to the hospital where she did not have this problem, even though she is being treated for fluid retention in the lungs.

Comment from: noel maddox, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: February 24

I have edema of both feet and legs for three years. I take 40 mg of furosemide, but it does not work at home. When I am in the hospital, the swelling goes down. I try to control my salt intake and elevate my feet to no avail.

Comment from: 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: October 23

I developed edema about a month ago and know all that the article said is true, except I was lucky as a Indian doctor told me to use Ginko, eight pills a day at morning, noon, dinner time and bed time. I no longer have the problem. I was also told to eliminate salt completely and it has worked for me.

Comment from: Vince, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: August 28

I was prescribed Lasix for edema that developed as a result of either chemotherapy or steroids. Two months later, Spironolactone was added to my regimen. I am now taking 2 Spironalactone, 25 Mg every morning for the past two weeks, and I still have significant edema from my calves to my feet.

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Comment from: SAG, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 28

I first developed edema after giving birth to my daughter 12 years ago. It started out in my left leg, ankle and foot. Now I am 38 years old and it is in both legs, ankles and feet and it is sometimes quite painful. I wake up and they're swollen; I go to bed and they're swollen. I went to a doctor a few years ago at Cedars Sinai when it was only on the left side. I had a dye test done to determine if any of my arteries where bad and/or any other problems within the body. No damaged was detected. The doctor stated that there wasn't much that could be done other than to wear a very thick, prescribed sock 24/7 to compress the swelling.

Published: July 15

Furosemide and Spironolactone have helped me with my edema for months now, and I am still on it and doing great.

Published: May 27

Lasix has helped but has stopped helping during the last three weeks.

Comment from: Trooper, 45-54 Female (Caregiver) Published: December 16

My husband has liver cancer. Edema is a terrible side effect. He has been on Lasix and Aldactone with little to no effect. Green Tea with lemon and Dandelion sounds like a good way to go. Mother nature knows best! Thanks for the tips.

Comment from: 55-64 Male (Caregiver) Published: November 09

I have been taking medication off and on only when it really is necessary. I take one tablet of Slow K and two tablets Lasix in the early mornings. This I do for one or two days and I discontinue for a couple of months and then I do it again, but this I would say is not the real cure. Slow K thins the blood, so it is easy to pass through the blood vessels. I have a heart problem or blocked blood vessels, so is why I take slow K with Lasix.

Comment from: Max777, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: November 06

What I have is edema. However, my feet have been swollen for nearly four days. I use ice cubes for about 10 minutes. The ice burning gives a feeling that the treatment is working. It does work, but the problem seems not to be going.

Comment from: 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: October 30

The cause of edema is chronic dehydration. Although it sounds counter-productive, the key to ridding yourself of edema is by drinking water, not trying to get rid of it. The water that is being held in the body is held there because of excessive salt.

Comment from: 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 17

I had non-pitting edema of my lower legs, ankles and feet. My doctor finally realized that it was a side-effect of the blood pressure medicine I was taking (Lotrel). He took me off the Lotrel and onto Benicar HCT and within several months the edema was gone. I recommend you always research the side effects of the drugs you are prescribed before you start self-diagnosing and fearing the worst.

Comment from: 311steph, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: July 16

A few months ago, my doc changed my Birth Control Pill, one week later; my BP was elevated and had pitting edema in both feet and ankles (mostly my right foot). My doc put me on a diuretic (Triamterene/Hydrochlorothiazide) for BP. I was told that Birth Control Pills didn't make your BP go up. (wrong!) After 2 months of being on the new bcp and BP meds, the swelling was the same. So I asked to be changed back to my old birth control pill, and stopped taking my diuretic BP pills cold turkey. It has been 3 weeks and my feet and ankles are still swelling.

Comment from: mags, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 04

I have severe pitting edema (for almost 1 year) and I have had a battery of tests, all with no shown causes for the edema. Sodium levels are normal, echocardiogram is normal, Doppler studies are normal, hypertension is well controlled with ACE Inhibitor (Lisinopril) and even 80mg of Lasix (furosemide) and keeping feet elevated all the time does not help. It has been present in my legs, ankles and feet and seems to now be spreading to other areas (torso, hands and face). At this point, the prospect of an autoimmune disease or something systemic is being considered and tested for. Other than that, I have no idea what could be causing this.

Comment from: dejo, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 04

Lasix works for me just not all the time. The problem I have with it is having to run to the bathroom every 10-15 minutes for about 3 hours! This is extremely disruptive to my work day. I can not take it at night as I can't get enough sleep. On vacation it is even harder to deal with! I am going to try compression socks too. I have tried to cut back on salt. I take medication for high blood pressure and a heart problem. I switched heart medication as the doctor thought that would help alleviate the edema.

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Comment from: Golden, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: May 18

I developed severe edema from re-feeding syndrome. I retained roughly 60 lbs of water. While it took/is taking a long time to come off, I found that drinking lots of green tea w/ lemon helped a lot. That and constantly moving around (be it standing while doing my work or exercising) have helped a lot.

Comment from: Singapore NCS, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: October 13

Two months ago, I notice the right foot had pitting edema. Initially I thought it is due to a sprain I had earlier, which recovered by itself. Lately, I noticed that I actually have asymmetrical Edema. The Left leg was less swollen. My health screening 2 weeks ago shown that my liver function, kidney function and ECG (at rest) were normal. I guess it could be due to venous problems?

Comment from: MeSusan, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 17

We ruled out heart, kidney, and liver. We don't know the cause of my edema, but I began to suspect it was allergies, as it came and went as quickly as it came, but, when I was put on diuretics, I did, indeed, lose 9 pounds of water retention in one week. The diuretics didn't last long, and I had constant edema. I have now gone cold turkey on them, and have none. This says to me (and, of course I could be wrong) that I am allergic to the sulfa in diuretics.

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