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Hashimoto/swelling in legs/discomfort

I was diagnosed w/Hashimoto's 23 years ago. I'm 65 and thinking some of my issues are related. I also have vericose veins. I love to walk, but my ankles and knee swells and is uncomfortable. I feel bloated at times and recently, when I was to have my 1st colonoscopy, I became terribly bloated before everything came out 'explosively'. The results were inconclusive as I had some bowel impaction. Yet I drink plenty of water and get fiber. Any help will be appreciated!
2 Responses
649848 tn?1534633700
COMMUNITY LEADER
Hello there... I'm sorry I didn't see your post sooner.  

It's true that Hashimoto's can cause ankle/leg swelling.  You don't say whether you have hypothyroidism resulting from your Hashimoto's or not.  We'd want to know what your current thyroid hormone levels are.  Your doctor should be testing periodically, for Free T4, Free T3 and TSH.  Be sure to post reference ranges with any lab results, since ranges vary from lab to lab and have to come from your own report(s).  If you're taking a replacement thyroid hormone medication, please tell us what medication(s), what dosage(s) and how long you've been on the medication(s)/dosage(s).

This swelling could be related to other things as well.  I've had swelling in my legs for years that's been put down to hypothyroidism, too much sodium, etc. Because nothing seemed to help with this, my cardiologist became concerned about possible blood clots in my legs - called deep vein thrombosis (DVT).  He ordered an ultrasound of my legs in order to rule this out.  In the process of the ultrasound, it was that the valves in the veins in my legs aren't working properly... A simple way of describing it is to say that the arteries carry blood down the legs and the veins carry the blood back up the legs to the heart. There are valves in the veins that keep the blood from flowing backward and ff those valves fail, the blood can flow backwards in the veins, allowing the blood to pool in the feet/legs or even knees, depending on where the valves have failed.  

Along with swelling/edema this can cause muscle cramps and weakness, as well as discoloration in the feet/legs, etc.  I will be having procedures done the first part of March to have these veins filled so the blood will reroute and hopefully alleviate my symptoms.

You should talk to your doctor about this... an ultrasound of the legs can determine if this might be a problem for you.  You'll certainly want to rule out DVT as blood clots can travel and cause heart attack or stroke.

Digestive issues can also go hand in hand with Hashimoto's.  Many of us find that bloating, discomfort or other digestive issues can be resolved by eliminating some foods, such as gluten, dairy, sugar, soy, etc.  The best thing is do an elimination diet for a few weeks, eliminating foods with these items in them, then gradually add them back, one at a time, noting which, if any, might cause digestive distress.  I don't recommend adding back sugar or soy, since sugar isn't good for any of us and soy is a goitrogen that inhibits thyroid function.  

Studies are showing how important our gut microbes are and some of us also find that taking digestive enzymes, probiotics, prebiotics, etc helps with digestion, as well.
1 Comments
Thank you so much for answering! I've always been active, but now am beginning to feel like an old woman! I take 135 micrograms of Levoxyl. I've been hypo since 1986 and found out I had Hashimoto's in 1996. I don't know my levels, but need to be retested soon, so I will get the labs, My daughter is celiac, so I tend to stay off wheat and dairy. I also stay away from soy, peanuts, sugar, and corn. I do cheat at times and maybe need to be a little more vigilant. I mix up my own Kobucha and drink one of those everyday. But I think I need to be cleaner on my diet, so thanks for that info. My feet are more discolored and my feet hurt more when walking. I printed out your message and plan to discuss w/my doctor. We have a vein doctor here - veinous insufficiency - is that someone I should see? I've considered going to him, but my doctor mentioned that they strip out, or stop up those veins that are having problems, which doesn't help in the long run. I have really bad vericose veins. I'll post once I have some values. Thanks so much for your answer! I feel kind of alone about this.
649848 tn?1534633700
COMMUNITY LEADER
We'll look forward to seeing your current labs; you can post the results and reference ranges as soon as you get them, then we'll be able to see exactly what your thyroid levels are.  That will help us tell how much your thyroid might be contributing to your swelling/edema.

If you're already staying off wheat (gluten) and dairy, soy, peanuts, sugar and corn, it sounds like you pretty much have the biggest offenders covered.  From what I've read if you're sensitive to anything, you have to eliminate it completely because if you continue to eat that food symptoms won't go away.  I read an article not long ago that said it takes something like several weeks for symptoms to go away from eating a food you're sensitive to just once... That seems like a long time.  

You might just try digestive enzymes, prebiotics, etc to help with digestion and see if that helps.  That really helps me as much as eliminating foods.

What I have is called venous insufficiency or venous reflux (the reflux refers to the blood flowing backwards).  Your doctor is incorrect about veins being "stripped" - they don't do that anymore... If you find a doctor that wants to do that, don't let them, because that doesn't really help and can actually be harmful.   The procedure I'm having done is called Venefit... A tiny catheter is inserted into the vein, a substance, like super-glue, is inserted into the vein, then the blood re-routes to healthy veins.  I've talked to some people who have had it done and they're happy with the results.  

I'd suggest that you talk to the vein doctor and see what s/he says.  If your feet are discolored that's a good indication that blood could be pooling.  My legs just above my ankles are discolored, which is what concerned my cardiologist.  

That may not be the problem, but if you have varicose veins, there's a good chance it is and this procedure works for varicose veins as well.
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