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British Liver Trust
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Swollen legs

Hello, I'm fairly new. Two years ago I was diagnosed with Hep b. I'm 62 y o. Thinking back, I might have had Hep b for most of my life. I wanted to ask about my swollen legs. Are they swollen because of the virus? The swelling is in my feet and goes upto my knees. My knees and my thighs are not swollen.

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Hepatitis B when left untreated will very slowly over a long period of time damage your liver. The damage progresses from inflammation to fibrosis (stiffening of the liver) to cirrhosis and ultimately it can lead to liver failure or cancer. If you were not put on treatment - antivirals - 2 years ago on diagnosis, i would be asking my doctor to put me on treatment now.

The swelling in your legs might be caused by a number of things but yes it could be connected to the damage to your liver. Cirrhosis slows the normal flow of blood through the liver, increasing pressure in the veins which can cause fluid to accumulate in the legs.

As part of your diagnosis did you have any imaging done - ultrasound, CT, Fibroscan or anything to assess the level of damage to your liver?

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Hi Bolly, thank you for the reply. Nice to hear from you, again and I hope all is well with you.

I'm not on any medication for Hep b at the moment. Doctor wanted to monitor viral loads first, then decide. My next appointment will be next month and I will be asking about antivirals and a fibroscan. So far I have had 2 ultrasounds which showed liver ok (but is it ok?).

I have had swelling in my feet and calves since a teenager and it has slowly got worse through the years. I had various tests but no answers to why swollen - then by chance, 10 years ago got diagnosed with lymphoedema. But now I'm wondering whether the swelling is due to the liver instead. I will be going to see the nurse, next week for my legs so I will speak to them about it.

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is the swelling red? or painful? i had hep b 44 years ago and dont have it now.

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Hello grace111, thankyou for your reply. No, the swelling is not red or painful. It was diagnosed 10 years ago as, lymphoedema. But I've had the swelling since 15 years old. But now, I am wondering if it is due to my liver, hep b, instead.

Unfortunately, my Hep b is now chronic so I can't get rid of it.

It's good to hear that your Hep b is now clear.

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the reason i asked is because i wondered if it could be cellulitits. my friend who has the HIV virus and also HEP C had/has lymphodema and was very overwieght but when she started really going walking her legs look great it was quite unbelievable to see her legs go from full of what looked like water.and very swollen to nice and slim and that was a few years ago and she still has slim legs. i gave her a pair of massage boots that i got from club cleo but i think that the walking and changing her diet was what helped. i would probably think its the lymphodemia itself that is causing this swelling as thats what it does. im not a doctor but i am not underestimating what exercise can do. just simple walking. bolly is the one who know all about hep b. so im sure he will give you all the best experience he has. yes my hep b cleared 3 months or so after i got it. then i got hep c and now i have other problems and im not a well person really i do suffer a lot. i burn up a lot wake up in pain during the night and have to change the bed clothes. i wish you all the best teanchat. love grace xoxo

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Hi grace, thankyou for explaining about your friend and how she has dealt with her lymphoedema. Does she still continue with her walking exercises and diet? And, please, what is her diet?

I'm sorry to hear you're not well and are in pain. Are the doctors looking after you? I wish you better and I appreciate you taking the time to reply x

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she used to eat pies and pastries. she always had a good appetite but every day she was going to a fancy shop that sold butter pastries and fancy cheese pastries as well. thats a lot if you add them up every day. she was never out the house much. she was so tired i had to get someone to walk her dog. this was about 12 years ago. she is still very slim, and walks all the time. she walks faster than me now and i was the one who helped her. it just shows you. im worse of now than her. but im glad i feel i did something really good for someone. i dont see her much now as she has a boy friend but i got her making soup and eating fish and chicken and lots of fresh veg and some fruit.i went to a tai chi class at the time and a dancing class and i took her to the tai chi class and i think that helped as well. you CAN get that water out of your legs. i promise you that she did it. i was shocked when i saw how swollen her legs and ankles were.she looks so good and slim that she can buy clothes all the lastest fashion, she has done really well. its amazing what exercise can do. amazing. i hope this is inspiring for you. if you dont walk much then please start to and you will soon see a difference all the very best to you dear. love grace xoxo

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Hi grace, the healthy eating you suggested to your friend is more or less what I eat now otherwise I feel tired and depressed. I ate a pizza and cake at the weekend. Didn't feel well on monday!

You are right about exercise. The nurse is always asking me if I do any. I agree with you, I think walking is the answer.

Thankyou for sharing your friends story with me

Look after yourself.

I'll let you know how I get on with the walking x

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yes pizza is very bad and so is cake. but we are not saints. last night i ate 5 chocolate biscuits called club and they are really thick chocolate, and half a cream cake and suffered during the night and today. but im usually very good. yes let me know how you get on with walking. all the best teenchat. love grace xoxo

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I will do my walking.

Please look after yourself, too x

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Hi Teanchat, I'm new to this group. One thing you can try is parsley.

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Hello Arbed254, thankyou for your reply.

Thanks, I like parsley so I probably will also like the drink. But I have a query though. Do you think my liver will like it? I'm just wondering if it might put a burden on my liver. The doctor has given me stretch socks to keep the swelling under control. They're bit uncomfortable, especially in hot weather but I wear them.

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Hi Teanchat,

Regarding the above reply about parsley, The British Liver Trust recommend to obtain specialist dietary advice from your liver specialist in the first instance.

Very best wishes,

Rebecca

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Hi Rebecca, thankyou. I will check with my liver doctor first.

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Parsley is good for your liver as is most dark green veg but as Rebecca said best run it past your hepatologist as we are all individual cases. Ian x

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Hi Ian, next time I make a salad, I will add some parsley. Thanks. That should be ok and nutritious.

The query was whether it was advisable to make parsley tea, to drink, throughout the day.

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