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Leg Swelling

Q: I have a problem with my legs swelling. I won't even put on a pair of shorts anymore they swell so much. I don't know what to do about them. Could you please help me?


Dr. Donnica:
The question here is whether you have true swelling of the legs or if you have started to gain weight in your legs. To differentiate, you can put gentle pressure with your thumb in your ankle area for a few seconds. If you see a persistent depression after removing your thumb, this is swelling. This is not normal and you should consult your physician about this sooner rather than later. In the meantime, eliminate as much salt as possible from your diet, keep your legs elevated when you're sitting down, and wear support hose. Whenever possible, wear flat shoes with good support and avoid tight, binding shoes and clothing.† Exercise (mild, until you see your physician) such as walking, may also help.


Created: 9/15/2002  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.


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