Swollen on lower legs, ankles and feet: Hi everyone... - LUPUS UK

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Swollen on lower legs, ankles and feet

Leenie0811 profile image
15 Replies

Hi everyone,

Apologies for the photo of my feet I’m just a bit worried about this and not sure what to do, this started yesterday and I thought they felt a bit uncomfortable throughout the day. I am working from home and did my usual of taking breaks and making sure I am walking around as well as eating healthy and making sure I am hydrated. As the day went on it was getting worse until I went to bed and found my lower limbs the most swollen they’ve been in a long time. I’ve tried elevating them as well as massage and nothing seems to work... is this something I should be worried about or just keep an eye on?

Usually for my feet to be swollen I have to be on my feet a lot but this was the same as any other day and they have flared up massively, went to bed with them elevated and this morning they aren’t as bad but the pain hasn’t really gone down. I thought maybe it was just a one off but looks like a flare up...

I take tramadol to control my joint pains and have over the counter ibuprofen gel. Do you think it is worth calling the doctor yet or waiting to see if it continues, I can’t take naproxen like I used to due to stomach issues so gel application is the only way I’ve been able to use anti inflammatory meds.

Any advice would be really appreciated!

Leenie x

15 Replies
PMRpro profile image
PMRpro

Have you eaten differently in recent days? At home I eat a low salt/low carb diet, which helps reduce fluid retention overall. If I eat out 2 or 3 days in a row or include processed foods in what I'm eating then my feet swell up and it can take several days of feet up and lots of water to get back to normal. They tend to be sore - just the skin being tight makes it uncomfortable.

If that oedema is pitting then you need to speak to your doctor - test for that by pressing firmly on the swollen areas and see if an imprint forms and remains.

Leenie0811 profile image
Leenie0811 in reply to PMRpro

I eat a plant based diet and I’m very conscious of my diet so no there hasn’t been any major changes with my food. I had a take away on the weekend but I don’t think that could cause so much swelling. The skin is really tight and I’m not sure if it’s pitting now, the imprint is staying but not as bad as last night (forgot to mention that in the first post) what does it mean when this happens?

PMRpro profile image
PMRpro in reply to Leenie0811

It depends on the takeaway but it will have had far far more salt than you are used to - it would send my ankles up like balloons! It's just the type of oedema and it is meaningful to the GP. If it goes down again with keeping your feet up, especially overnight, I wouldn't worry too much but I would mention it to the GP.

healthline.com/health/pitti...

I had problems with swollen ankles for a long time after atrial fibrillation was diagnosed, even though that was well managed. Eventually I saw a physio about an exercise programme they were setting up but there was nothing suitable for me - but I asked about the swollen ankles. He suggested a session of manual lymph drainage. He did one of a good 45mins, concentrating on the worse leg. By the time I got home I could see it going down - and within a few days both legs were almost back to normal! I haven't had much trouble since - except eating food cooked out of house! After 3 days on holiday my feet can be worse than yours and I can't get shoes on! It is infuriating - but I haven't used salt in cooking except a grind-on provencal herb mix for salads and roast veg for about 35 years!!

Leenie0811 profile image
Leenie0811 in reply to PMRpro

I had the take away on Saturday so I wasn’t sure if that would have been the cause if it was two days before. Both my feet and ankles are still painful but I can see the swelling has gone down a lot. Thank you so much for sending the info in the link I’ve had a good read over it and making a telephone appointment with my doctor, just hope it’s a one off as I don’t cook with salt usually apart from the odd sprinkle when frying my veggies to break them down. Diet is so important isn’t it? So much stuff to keep on top of these days I just hope it was a one off x

PMRpro profile image
PMRpro in reply to Leenie0811

Good luck - I'm sure it'll turn out to be nothing much

Tiggywoos profile image
Tiggywoos

Hi Leenie0811

Definitely call doctor as your poor ankle bone has so much swelling around it it’s disappeared. Your Dr might not do much but at least you can perhaps send a pic to surgery ?

I’m sure you have but have you been keeping legs above hip height when you lie down ? I can’t imagine it will make that much difference anyway as you haven’t inured it .

Only you know what is normal for you..

Let us know how you get on . Take care xx

Leenie0811 profile image
Leenie0811 in reply to Tiggywoos

Thank you so much and yeah I went to bed last night with them elevated on a rolled up yoga mat. I’m going to call my doctors and see what they say and I am waiting for a reply from the rheumatology nurse as I’ve had issues with my breathing and my sternum pains so I’ll mention it to them as well. Yeah this level of swelling is defo not normal for me I would have to be on my feet all day or exercising which isn’t possible for me at the moment.

Yeah I will keep you updated thank you so much x

Tiggywoos profile image
Tiggywoos in reply to Leenie0811

Bless you .. so glad you’ve got someone you can 📞. My knees do that 🤦‍♀️.. it’s such a worry as something is causing swelling in your tissues . Let me know 💕xxx

Leenie0811 profile image
Leenie0811 in reply to Tiggywoos

Thank you lovely doctors are hard to get into at the moment but calling in the morning to try and get an urgent appointment, telephone assessment first before they decide on a consultation but I’ll keep my fingers crossed it’s nothing too bad x

happytulip profile image
happytulip in reply to Leenie0811

Call GP for an urgent appointment if you are retaining fluid and feeling breathless. Have you had any blood or protein in your urine on any of your check ups? Kidneys always been ok?

Leenie0811 profile image
Leenie0811 in reply to happytulip

As far as I’m aware they have always been okay when I’ve had my rheumatology checks they always do bloods, urine etc. I did have an issue with white and red cells in my urine but nobody seemed to get to the bottom of it. I had pain around my kidneys but this has subsisted especially now I take tramadol slow release tablets daily. I had an ultrasound which showed nothing so it was left there. Could the sternum pain and breathing be linked to the swelling? I’m kinda worried now if that’s the case don’t want any more flare ups or complications x

happytulip profile image
happytulip in reply to Leenie0811

In some cases fluid retention can cause shortness of breath but that may not be the case in your situation.

The kidney are heart are very much interlinked and as with any homeostasis if one thing isnt quite right but can affect another part of the body.

Try not to worry, if you have regular clinic bloods they will be checking that your kidneys are working ok and they would have told you if they weren't I'm sure.

If it were me I would try to get an appointment with the GP and make sute that they see those photos.

Good luck and I hope they are more comfortable soon.

leeniebeanie726 profile image
leeniebeanie726

Hello fellow Leenie. My nickname is Leenie, sometimes Leenie Beanie. It’s short for Colleen. Your feet look very swollen, and painful. While you’re laying down or sitting watching TV . Prop your feet up , and keep them raised above your heart. It could be high blood pressure causing the swelling, or a flare . Regardless get it checked ASAP. Feel better

Leenie0811 profile image
Leenie0811 in reply to leeniebeanie726

Colleen, one thing to take from your message for me, my boyfriend calls me Leenie beenie and thinks he’s hella original, so that’s cracked me up😂 Thank you for the advice too I’ve been elevating them and my boyfriend helps with massages too. Trying to get a doctors appointment the system they have at the moment isn’t the best but hopefully get one sorted

Hamptons profile image
Hamptons

I think you should get kidney checked. Maybe your body just can’t take junk food.

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