Swollen ankle relief...

Hi everyone,

A few months ago I asked this forum for help to get rid of the daily swelling of my ankles, which has been a long term problem which started way before diagnosis. Anyway one member suggested horse chestnut tablets and I thought I'd give it a try. I'm overjoyed to say that I no longer have any swelling at all!. It's a miracle for me as I have suffered for so long. It took 3 weeks taking two a day before i noticed any change 4 days later the edema was gone.

Hope this helps someone else

W x


Featured Content

HealthUnlocked Health Blogger Awards

Which blogger helps you manage your condition?

Vote now

Featured by HealthUnlocked

35 Replies

  • Wow this is interesting. I have oedema and have been told to wear support garments but they cut in so much it hurts. doctor has refused to give me water tablets to ease the swelling and its so painful. can you pm me with where to get the horse chestnut tablets from? Id like to try these to see if they help me.thanks Joolz.x

  • I suggest you get a new blood test as it would seem to me that you may be on an insufficient dose. Swelling is a clinical symptom of hypothyroidism which should be reduced when on the right dose. The 'swelling' is usually 'mucin' rather than water. Your GP may be keeping you on too low a dose and you need a TSH of 1 or lower with FT3 and FT4 towards the top of the range.


    The test should be the earliest possible, fasting (you can drink water) and allow 24 hours between last dose of levo and test and take afterwards. He may not do all of these but you can ask and also make sure B12, Vit D, iron, ferritin and folate are optimum.

    Ask for TSH, T4, T3, Free T4, Free T3 and thyroid antibodies.

  • Hi

    I too suffered from terrible ankle swelling - I was diagnosed with auto immune hashimotos last year. On starting levothyroxine I put on a stone in a year ( consistently on 50 mcg ) regular blood tests showed everything was ok . Awful awful muscle pain and weakness and pains in ankles hips and shoulders ....

    read a lot about these symptoms that could be either over or I dr medicated so I myself tried to up the Levi to 75mcg . Immediately I did this the pain was even worse and really hideous water retention. I then decided to cut down to 25 mcg and then after a week stop the Levo completely.,

    In 4 weeks I have lost 6 pounds without trying and have my normal ankle width back! And NO pain! Feel happy and ba knto my usual self.

    Obviously I'm not suggesting anyone just stop taking prescribed medication but perhaps if you are on Levo (?) see if a change in dose could work?

    On seeing my doctor and explaining they said Levo was prescribed too freely and not all hashi patients need medication - they should use a wait and see approach.

    I used dandelions root capsules for a few months when my swelling was at its worst and felt a slight difference

  • Hi Shaws,

    Thanks for that info.

    I was diagnosed just over 3 and a half years ago and on levo until January 2016 when I switched to Thiroyd. The swollen ankles have been going on for over 10 years. I've been checked out by my GP's and they could find no cause for it and said it was just 'one of those things'. Since starting NDT my tsh is consistently below 0.50 and my T3 and T4 are where they should be. However there was no change in my ankle swelling until I took the horse chestnut tablets. X

  • It is amazing and it would seem not everything is due to hypothyroidism. I am sure you are delighted horse chestnut tablets worked. This is a link and it seems it has quite a few benefits, as long as the correct one is consumed.


  • Yes Wasimps, One GP told me iy was the heat, another GP told me it was a side effect of blood pressure tablets!

    Support socks did not help at all but Horse Chestnut tablets did the trick for me, my husband and my son!

  • Thank you Kathleen, it was you who suggested taking the tablets to me a couple of months ago. Massively grateful xx

  • Ive had a constant battle with doctors to get diagnosed despite Very many symptoms and since 2011 a rising TSH of 6.9 (range 0.38 - 10) at my last blood test done Jan (I think seems so long ago) and gp won't repeat saying labs won't do it. Ive never been offered even a trial of thyroid meds despite requests from me and rising TSH and symptom list. I got private blood test done sept 2016 (from my birthday gift money) and showed gp but this was ignored. I have got to the point where I have very little faith in medical profession as Im constantly ignored or told Im depressed. Ive changed surgeries 3 times in 6 years and run out of options. Ive tried thyroid s but don't think I took it right and Im concerned I can't get further supplies if I become dependant on it. I buy my own supplements of B12, B vits and prescribed D3. I also use magnesium spray (mainly for pain relief as I have osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia and lymphedema).

  • NDT - you should start on a dose equivalent to about 50mcg of levo (about quarter tablet) then every week or so raise by 1/4 tablet until you find relief of symptoms. I shall give you a link which may be helpful.

    If you have Fibromyalgia, one of our Advisers (deceased) ran the Fibromyalgia Research Foundation and he found that those patients were resistant to thyroid hormones and only recovered on T3 only. I shall give you the links.

    The links I will give are archived as Dr Lowe died through an accident.



    Pick topics from the list at the top of the page.


  • Thank you shaws. I have saved and I'll have a read later when Im not so brain foggy. I wish doctors were more interested in helping us. hugs Joolz.x

  • Amaxon is where I buy them Hebden.

    I only take one very occasionally now. the problem seems to be cured!

  • Thank you Kathleen-1. Im going to give them a try. Not getting any help from gps. hugs Joolz.x

  • Please send the name to me too! I'm desperate 🙏🏼 Cxx

  • Glad it worked! Re: swollen ankles, besides all the thryoid levels, make sure to also get your heart checked. It might not pump enough to get the flow flowing. That happened to me ( and I have Hashi).

  • Well done you Wasimps ....

    for sharing your experience and giving others the opportunity to try something that may change their lives .

    I love it when I read a message like yours .. so generous....these

    are for you 💐

    Enjoy the relief you now have .

    luv M x🌹

  • I had painful swollen ankles for years . Put down to 'my age' . In recent years accompanied by very unpleasant eczema mainly on my shin areas but at worst ,all over. Many tests later, while seeing a BP specialist, I was told it was being caused by the BP medication which I had been on for more than ten years. After changing the medication, my swollen ankles were normal within a week and the rash had gone. Ankles slightly swollen in recent days.

    Where do you get the chestnut tablets? Might see if they make a difference.

    I have been hypo for over 20 years and never feel completely healthy.

  • I have what appears to be exactly the same problem. Swollen ankles and very itchy spots with reddening skin which first appeared on my lower legs, spread to my knees, elbows, back and chest with only my face unaffected. The itching drove me crazy! My GP could not identify the problem and put me on anti histamine which did not help. I then tried various homeopathic remedies without success and have resorted to a skin specialist who has diagnosed excema and put me on a powerful regime of steroids. I have been taking them in gradually reducing doses for 3 weeks and the symptoms have almost gone away. I see him again next week. Most of the spots have gone, the itching has eased and the swollen ankles have reduced. I am intrigued to hear of your diagnosis. I have taken the same blood pressure tablets, Adalat, for a few years without problem. Could this be the cause of my outbreak of excema? Were you taking Adalat? I am 72 and have been hypo for 10yrs, having manage this reasonably well on a combination of T3 and T4.

    Would you be so kind as to advise if Adalat was causing your problem and if so which blood pressure tablet has resolved your problem?

    Thank you.

  • Hi, I don't take any medication other than my thyroid meds and now the horse chestnut tablets. X

  • Hi N1mble,

    Adalat, or nifedipine, belongs to a class of drugs called 'Calcium Channel Blockers' and one of the side effects can be swollen ankles.

    There are many other classes of drugs that don't have the side effects that CCBs have, and your Dr could try a different one - but it depends what your underlying condition is and why you were put on Adalat in the first place.

    In my case, my swollen ankles and fingers disappeared when I started with T3.

    Sounds like you're already pretty savvy at dealing with your Hypothyroidism though :)

    Take Care,


  • Your symptoms are very similar to mine. At one stage I was ready to tear off my skin it was so bad. I was up and down several times at night showering to try to get some relief. I was referred to dermatologists who could only find an allergy to nickel which clearly wasn't the culprit.

    When I saw the BP consultant about a sudden rise in my BP he saw my legs and identified the problem immediately.

    I was taking Enalapril on the top dose. He described it as foul and replaced it with Doxaosin and Ibesartan.

    My BP improved dramatically and my ankles went down to normal. I can now get shoes to fit comfortably.

    My GP said the eczema was caused by the severe swelling. It began in the lower shin area. It came and went over a couple of years . There was no explanation for why it started , having been on the drug a number of years. It is too much of a coincidence that it cleared up when I came off Enalapril.

    Hope this is of some interest.

  • Sorry I seem to have sent you a reply to Tiggertighe by mistake . I'm new to this. Hope you can see it. If not I will reply again.

  • Sorry I seem to have sent you a reply to Tiggertighe by mistake . I'm new to this. Hope you can see it. If not I will reply again.

  • I hope you got my reply. Please let me know if you resolve the problem. I understand just what you are enduring.

  • Hi Geordielass..

    can you remember the name of the blood pressure tablets that you took for ten years ?

    i ve been taking Losartan 100 mg for maybe 8 or 9 years now, my Dr retired and the Dr i now see was surprised that he had given them to me .. i asked why and he said , we usually only give Losartan when something before that has failed !

    i've noticed my ankles puffy now at night particularly . and wonder reading your post , if it may be that they are not right for me ...

    thank you for your info


  • Hi Madge,

    Losartan, and others in this class of drug, is generally well tolerated with very few side effects. It's newer, more expensive and, as your GP said, tends to be given when cheaper, older agents have failed or side effects have been intolerable.

    Sounds like your old GP was forward thinking - pity they've retired ;)

    Take Care,


  • I was on Enalapril. The BP consultant described it as foul stuff and had clearly seen the results before.

  • Sorry I seem to have sent my reply to Tiggertighe by mistake. I was on Enalapril. Hope this is helpful.

  • I was on Enalapril. The BP consultant described it as foul stuff and had clearly seen the results before.

  • Thank you Geordielass2day. Would you be so kind as to advise which blood pressure tablet caused your problem and which one you switched to that cured it? I have a similar problem.


  • Amazon

  • Hi, that's great to hear. My swelling is so much better since starting my NDT - before that I would have swelling and pitting oedema up to my knees sometimes. Even on holiday it wasn't too bad this year.

    Water retention tablets given by the doctor result in loss of potassium so not ideal. Dandelion - pis en lit in French - the leaf is great as a diuretic. Dandelion is a great plant and much underused lol. Full of minerals like potassium. The site below is admittedly random - i have no connection with it - but it appears to be accurate and with good information for your general information:


  • It is interesting debate about the oedema as I have it long term. My legs even leak :( It started twenty years ago when they started messing me around with my medication.

    Ironically, I am on my original dose of 200 mcg T4 and 20 mcg T3 but the damage to my legs is permanent and I will need to take a diuretic (40 mcg of furosemide) everyday for the rest of my life. My TSH is permanently below 1. Last time it was 0.54. When they started messing me around with the T4 side, my dose went from 200 mcg down to 75 mcg and that is when my problems started.

    I would do anything to get rid of the horrible crappy bits on my legs, at the worst I ended up in hospital with severe pneumonia and fluid everywhere. Fortunately, no lasting damage to my kidneys but one of my lungs is damaged and I have to oxygen at night still. Sleep apnoea being another side affect. I have to wear dressings everyday to soak up the fluid and prescription shoes, it is a nightmare and heart breaking. I was also told by a Respiratory Consultant, that "You need to take responsibility for your actions" - I nearly floored her.

    The oedema can also cause cellulitis. Which I have in my right leg at times.

    I agree, that if you do have swelling, you need a second opinion. When my problems started, I had to wait until I had gyne problems, before anyone did anything, by which time my legs were damaged.

    If you are prescribed a diuretic, in the first instant it is likely to be Bendroflumethiazide 25 mcg which is also given for blood pressure too. Google it and find out for yourselves. It did work initially but was not strong enough, hence the reason I am now on Furosemide everyday. Some days it works, some days it doesn't, it just depends on how much surplus fluid you have.

    It can disable you sometimes, because it is painful and can make your legs feel heavy and painful. No one understands unless you have the condition. If I say it can be one of the side effects of a thyroid condition, I get the usual raised eyebrow "yeah yeah whatever" look. I have had sniggers from friends when they see how swollen my feet are. To me they look like blown up marigold rubber gloves :( I can't even wear a velcro flip flop in the garden as there isn't one big enough and it will have no support for my ankles. I try my best to walk as much as I can, but the pain is unbearable sometimes.

    Be persistent in getting a second opinion if swelling occurs.

    Take care everyone


  • Hi , could you please message me about the horse chestnut product that you use?

    Thank you

  • AT one point on t4 only I felt I had heavy legs and they felt swollen although I had gained 20 lbs but still felt funny to me...after going on nature throid for several months and getting my dr to increase to 2 grains when she wanted to stop at 1.5 grains.....things changed....I don't have the plantar fasciitis as bad in one foot...I would say it is 80 percent better which is huge...feeling old like 80 instead of 50 something went away..fatigue vanished.. .my swelling feeling is gone and heaviness feeling but I am left with ugly cellulite legs that I wonder if it is because I was under medicated for years and I have bad spider veins..i weight 133 and 5'2..I want to get my spider veins treated but even then I wonder if I would ever wear anything other than capris....down to my ankles...I wonder if other hypothyroid people have this or is it just me....or any one have any suggestions..

  • Useful to know. I have had thyroiditis for ages but didnt get the swollen feet and ankles until a few weeks ago... not something I was happy about, an ageing look! It was concerning when it didnt go down at night.I took more vit C and magnesium and drank more water. I went into the sea for an hour a day for 3 days and whether it was coincidence or not the swelling went away. I will try your suggestion next time. Thank you.

You may also like...