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Leg Edema - Leg Swelling
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Leg Edema - Leg Swelling

I could not find a forum that directly related to the topic I need to discuss, but I figured this one would be a good place to start.  For the past 4 years or so, I have had really bad swelling and fluid retention in my left leg. It all started when I got a skin infection in it and ever since then it's never been the same. My right leg is OK and I never have swelling issues with it. I used to be really obese which contributed to this problem even more. I used to weight 415 pounds. I have currently lost 155 pounds and weight in at 260 right now. I have lost weight the right way, by diet and exercise. I basically woke up one day and decided to completely change my life. Anyway, even through I feel great and have lost all this weight, my leg still is not much better. It's obviously not as swollen in the morning, but gets worse throughout the day. I watch what I eat and make sure I am not eating high sodium food. I drink about 4-6 liters of water per day and workout 5-6 days a week. I make it a point to work my calf muscles to get blood flowing through the lower part of my legs. I've also been on diuretics but nothing seems to help. My doctor says that it should start going down when I get under 250 pounds, but I'm at 260 pounds now. I'm not so sure 10 more pounds is going to make that much of a difference. So what do you guys think? I'm obviously going to continue working out and losing weight, but is there anything that you can suggest that could help get my leg back to normal?
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649848_tn?1357751184
I would think your doctor should be doing more tests, etc to find out why this is happening.  Have you been checked for heart issues, etc?  It would seem that there may be excess inflammation causing this, but I'd be very reluctant to try to guess at it.  I might ask though if you've had any injury to that foot/leg that may be aggravated by exercise, causing it to swell........

My suggestion would be to go back to your doctor and insist on a more thorough exam/testing to find the cause, as I agree that losing another 10 pounds is not likely to make that much difference.  
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703362_tn?1244309139
I too would insist upon more answers for my doctor in regards to this leg swelling, particularly given that it is one leg more than the other.  When the swelling is more equal in both legs, it is sometimes water retention (although you are currently taking medication for this).  But one leg swelling more than the other is definitely something that I would personally want more answers to beyond the 10 more pounds response.  

A few questions regarding the swollen leg.....Does it appear shiny or ever "weep" any type of fluid?  Is it red and painful in any particular spot?  Is the swelling more in the thigh, calf area, or towards the foot?  Are there any open areas or wounds at all on this leg?  Just a few things that popped to mind in reference to this swelling....if I remember any others that might be helpful when speaking with the doctor, I will come back and add them in as well.  
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703362_tn?1244309139
Oh yes...one more question regarding the leg....Do you notice any difference in the hair growth on this leg compared with the other less swollen leg?  
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for the comments everyone.  Answers to your questions below:

1.  The leg is not shiny nor does it leak any fluid.
2.  There is not really any discoloration and it does not hurt.  I have really dry skin, especially on my hangs and legs, so the skin will get red sometimes, but I it's that way with both legs and my hands as well.  I just lotion quite often.  
3.  I forgot to mention that the swelling is below the calf, mainly right above the foot.  Yes, my left foot is swollen also. Shoes always fit tighter on my left foot.    
4.  Both my legs are pretty much hairless, except for some on my knees. Its about the same for both legs. I'm not a hairy person, not much arm or chest hair.

I'm been thinking of seeing a podiatrist.  But my insurance does cover it and I don't know if they would be able to help me.  
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Avatar_m_tn
BTW, I forgot add that have had chest pain before, but it rarely happens.  I have had EKG's and full blood work done a few times in the past 6-12 months because of that.  No heart issues found and blood work was pretty good they said.  I've been diagnosed with Costochondritis -- which is a condition where cartilage in the rib cage become inflamed and causes chest pain.  This rarely happens for me since I have lost weight also. This is the best I've ever felt in my life.

At one point, once I lost like 80 pounds or so they said my iron was low, but its back to normal now.  Also, when I was 415 pounds my blood pressure was 186/90, now its running about 128/85 or so.  Also, the swelling was there long before I starting working out and losing weight.  However it has not got any worse or any better from it either.  Also, I'm a 27 year old male.  I hope this helps...

On a side note, I've lost 22 inches on my waist.  I was wearing size 62, now wearing size 40 jeans.  Also I was wearing 4x, 5x, 6x, shirts and now I'm wearing XL, L, and some medium sizes.  
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649848_tn?1357751184
It's awesome that you've managed to lose so much weight and that you feel so much better;  I still feel that you should go back to your doctor and ask for a better explanation.  I'm not a doctor and would not want to give you wrong information.  
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