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Old 05-24-2012, 09:40 PM   #1
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Low carbing and edema in legs...

I know summer is here... my ankles and feet puff up. I start out fine in the morning but by 6 pm, they're all puffy.

I don't use any added salt, in fact the last time I bought a container of salt was 3 years ago! And I don't do much in the way of frankenfoods. I'm trying very hard to stay low carb with lean meats, veggies, and a few berries, but a new job at a huge baking plant... well, I'm surrounded by donuts!

Mid-September, when the Texas heat breaks, my legs go back to normal, and stay that way until days are in the 90's consistantly - like this week.

Anyone else deal with this?
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Old 05-25-2012, 07:40 AM   #2
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I used to but a low carb/high fat woe has put an end to that. I should also mention that it took about a 50lb weight loss and the resultant elimination of b.p. meds as well.

I life a half a block from a donut factory and have learned to enjoy the smell like a nice perfume but would never eat it.
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Old 05-25-2012, 07:46 AM   #3
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I have this issue, just in the summer. Doesn't matter if I'm eating low carb, high carb, I even think I puffed up when I did HCG last summer. I don't have high BP at all, and I don't use salt either.. so it's a mystery.
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Old 05-25-2012, 08:08 AM   #4
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My first thought: New job in donut factory? Do you have to be standing up all the time, and is this new for you? Long hours on your feet could be the culprit if you aren't used to it. I find that low carb eating keeps my edema away - I had the opposite problem; my job keeps me seated for long hours and THAT was causing edema. Eating clean keeps my legs and feet at normal size, and newly adopted swimming regimen has helped as well.
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Old 05-25-2012, 08:16 AM   #5
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I have pretty severe lower extremity edema which may be related to a genetic disorder as well as obesity and a sedentary desk job.

It's Much better with low carb, not gone but better. There is some evidence that replacing fats with medium chain triglycerides (coconut oil, cod liver oil) helps, so I try to use CO whenever possible.

It's so nice to have calf definition, and my feet look like feet even on warm days. The only downside is that hair has begun to grow on my legs again.
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Old 05-25-2012, 09:39 AM   #6
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Low carb definitely helps this for me, and so does weight loss. I feel for you, living in a hot climate. I don't know if I could take it! I like it nice and cool, like it is here in the PNW most of the time.

How much water are you drinking? The more fluids the better when it's hot and you're swelling up.
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Old 05-25-2012, 09:48 AM   #7
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Weight loss AND LC. As you follow LC and continue to lose weight the edema will lessen.
There are peop who have enough damage to still have the problem at normal weight...even LC'ing but most will see a recovery.

Reassess as you continue to lose.
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Old 05-25-2012, 09:53 AM   #8
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I agree with leeloo

More swelling from heat= need more water.

If you had other health issues I would be more concerned, but it sounds like your body is just hanging on to a little water in case it needs it.

guzzle the water and pee it out.
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Old 05-25-2012, 10:48 AM   #9
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why do you call this "low carbing and edema in the legs"? do you NOT have edema when you eat carbs? I find they are unrelated.
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Old 05-25-2012, 11:18 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ravenrose View Post
why do you call this "low carbing and edema in the legs"? do you NOT have edema when you eat carbs? I find they are unrelated.
At least for me, edema is much worse when eating carbs.
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Old 05-25-2012, 12:03 PM   #11
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I also suffer from it (mostly my cankles) but when I am LC, the swelling totally disappears. I have a desk job and my BP runs on the higher end (though not medically high) and LC is the only thing I have ever found to help with both.
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Old 05-25-2012, 12:34 PM   #12
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I also suffer from it (mostly my cankles)
CURSE that stupid movie (I can't even remember the name of it) that coined the term "cankles". When my swelling was at its worst, all I could think of was that stupd scene and wonder if all the guys who looked at me thought that. GRRRR.
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Old 05-25-2012, 12:41 PM   #13
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I swell a lot too.If I stay on LC the edema lots better.I recently started swelling bad in left leg only.Wearing brace on rt leg for ruptured achilles tendion.Drs think the edema nothing to do with wearing brace.Ultrasound showed no clots.My Mom died from a PE,so Drs do keep good watch on me.Always retain water,but LC helps so much.if I go off,swelling.Swelling hurts,so I feel so much better staying on LC wagon! I drink lots of water too.
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Old 05-25-2012, 12:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janknitz View Post
CURSE that stupid movie (I can't even remember the name of it) that coined the term "cankles". When my swelling was at its worst, all I could think of was that stupd scene and wonder if all the guys who looked at me thought that. GRRRR.

Shallow Hal!

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Old 05-25-2012, 01:28 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllMyPonies View Post
I know summer is here... my ankles and feet puff up. I start out fine in the morning but by 6 pm, they're all puffy.

I don't use any added salt, in fact the last time I bought a container of salt was 3 years ago! And I don't do much in the way of frankenfoods. I'm trying very hard to stay low carb with lean meats, veggies, and a few berries, but a new job at a huge baking plant... well, I'm surrounded by donuts!

Mid-September, when the Texas heat breaks, my legs go back to normal, and stay that way until days are in the 90's consistantly - like this week.

Anyone else deal with this?
I love yor Bogspot! I to feel your pain and experiece this swelling esp. when eating low carb out. I take a health food store water pill-all natural for times when I swell. Drink a lot of water with it (I know, it's hard, but do it).
By the next day and several visits to the bathroom to pee, I'm all normal again.
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Old 05-25-2012, 06:05 PM   #16
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Yes, Shallow Hal. I didn't even see the entire movie, why did that have to be the only scene (I remember) seeing??? I thought about it EVERY time I looked at my poor swollen feet!

On another note, I have new shoes. Not just one pair but THREE. After years of being able to wear only one pair of stretched out clogs that worked on swollen days and non-swollen days (they were UGLY! but I had to wear them all the time) I have pretty black dress sandals and white casual sandals and a new pair of smaller clogs. I had to buy shoes 4 or more sizes too big just to accomodate the swelling. Now I'm buying shoes in my size. And they're pretty!
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Old 05-26-2012, 04:22 AM   #17
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My edema was related to an imbalance of electrolytes. Magnesium helped me, but maybe you are low on one too, such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, sodium, manganese.
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Old 05-26-2012, 09:54 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janknitz View Post
Yes, Shallow Hal. I didn't even see the entire movie, why did that have to be the only scene (I remember) seeing??? I thought about it EVERY time I looked at my poor swollen feet!

On another note, I have new shoes. Not just one pair but THREE. After years of being able to wear only one pair of stretched out clogs that worked on swollen days and non-swollen days (they were UGLY! but I had to wear them all the time) I have pretty black dress sandals and white casual sandals and a new pair of smaller clogs. I had to buy shoes 4 or more sizes too big just to accomodate the swelling. Now I'm buying shoes in my size. And they're pretty!
I have only had severe edema with my first pregnancy but It was awful. I couldn't put shoes on, I was miserable and I would cry and cry......But then i was a MONTH overdue and wanted to slap someone most of the time anyway (preferably my OB, But he was on vacation!) I am glad it is so much better!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by steady View Post
My edema was related to an imbalance of electrolytes. Magnesium helped me, but maybe you are low on one too, such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, sodium, manganese.
That is a good point, rather than water you could look at some of the electrolyte drinks, some are sugar free.
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Old 05-27-2012, 09:29 PM   #19
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I have it every summer (I live in Phoenix), but combat it with electrolyte drinks. The Zero kind. I tend to drink a big one every couple days. I haven't had to deal with it yet this summer after my 50 lb loss, but I do have a separate pair of tennis shoes I wear during the summer. (I have to wear closed toe shoes to work...I bought size 10.5 to accomodate - I hope they are too big!)
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Old 05-28-2012, 07:20 AM   #20
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There's a good article on edema and low carb.
Google: Dana Learns An Important Lesson Again: Why Sodium Is Important On A Low Carb Diet
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Old 05-28-2012, 09:02 AM   #21
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Thanks for all the responses! I work in the accounting dept., so I'm not on my feet all day. I find it isn't as bad if I'm moving around a bit, as compared to a sit-all-day-doing-data-entry job like the last one. And swimming at night, now that it's hot out, helps also.

We'll see how this summer goes. I'm keeping my carbs to 30 or under, and no added salt. Also taking a magnesium/potassium/calcium supplement along with my multi, because otherwise I'd get wicked leg cramps.
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Old 07-14-2013, 05:15 PM   #22
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SWELLING!!!! Help!!!!

Hi Y'all!!! So glad to be here! I'm new, just signed up.
I have read some of your responses to the swelling problem, and man I have that problem big time! I don't eat hardly any extra salt, drink lots of water, but the swelling is a real problem while doing Atkins??? I'm talking like an entire clothes size. I'm starting to suspect maybe artificial sweeteners? Any opinions or educated guesses about that??
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Old 07-14-2013, 05:32 PM   #23
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All over swelling? Not good! How's your BP? Have you talked to your doctor?

Low carb should NOT be causing swelling, so you need to be checked for other medical issues.
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Old 07-14-2013, 11:02 PM   #24
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I have found that low carbing reduces swelling. I also have to watch swelling in my legs. I actually do have swelling in legs when I eat lots of carbs. of course, carbs contain sodium.
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Old 07-15-2013, 01:20 AM   #25
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I have found that low carbing reduces swelling. I also have to watch swelling in my legs. I actually do have swelling in legs when I eat lots of carbs. of course, carbs contain sodium.
It's not that carbs contain sodium (although most processed carbs do), it's that carbs cause your body to store glycogen. Glycogen holds body fluid, about 4 grams per gram of glycogen. Low carbing causes you to use up glycogen and release fluid--that's why it's important to drink water AND have adequate intake of sodium and potassium when low carbing, especially at first.
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Old 07-15-2013, 11:49 AM   #26
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no doc yet

My BP is good, never been an issue, in fact it runs on the low side. I have also really been struggling with losing this time around, I had lost about 60 lbs on Atkins 10 or so years ago, but this time I seem way more resistant, I feel like I must be missing something or doing something wrong, but I keep going back, reading, trouble shooting this and that. I've added fat, lessened the carb in take, watched my calories. It's getting very frustrating. I know this diet works because I've done it, so I don't want to quit, but boy is it harder this time??? When I got passed the first week, I felt great! After that everything kinda reversed. My energy went, my aches and pains came back, stopped losing the swelling started. I still sleep better and my appetite still under control.
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Old 07-15-2013, 01:03 PM   #27
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This is my second go round, too and it's 12 years later. It's going MUCH slower, with many plateaus. I'm perimenopausal now, and that makes a huge difference. Even so, I've managed to lose 60 pounds so far VERY SLOWLY and getting slower and slower. It's OK with me because I feel great.

I gave up grains entirely and that has made a huge difference in my aches and pains. They didn't really go away with low carb alone, but when I dropped grains entirely my pain just went away. I also avoid legumes and limit dairy. I avoid most artificial sweeteners except small amounts of xylitol.
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Old 08-07-2013, 03:34 PM   #28
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Been on the road 2 days, and there's no swelling in my legs. It is harder to lose weight when you're older. However, it can be done.
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Old 08-07-2013, 06:44 PM   #29
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I also think the edema is something you should go show to your doctor especially if its getting worse. Edema is often a sign of worsening heart or kidney or liver function and shouldn't be ignored.
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Old 08-08-2013, 04:48 AM   #30
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This is an old thread so I don't know if the original poster is still looking for an answer but it may help someone else . Lo carb diets make our body dump sodium faster than when eating normally . Edemas can also be caused by a lack of sodium in the diet , in other words that your intake is less than what is needed for optimal cell functioning. If you suffer from leg cramps at the same time it makes a lack of sodium or magnesium even more plausible.

Feeling worse after the first week could also be symptoms of detox. As we get older/ more exhausted our detox ability gets impaired . If that is the case your body will not pile fat cell depletion on top of what else is going on until you have successfully detoxed. You will read in many answers that drinking water makes you lose weight. Detox is what is behind that. You might need to look into more ways of detoxing,rebuilding gut flora that has the wrong ratios. If you are overweight by more than 30 lbs and have been overweight for years your gut flora is not optimal . If you suffer from varying stools that is to say swing between diarrhea to constipation that is a another telltale sign that your house needs to be put in order.Even if yoiu think that you are normal compare your leavings to the Bristol stool chart (I am not kidding!) as what you may see as normal may only be what you have always seen hence consider normal.
Take a good multivitamin/mineral. You cannot get 100 % plus nutrients you need at this stage just from food alone as the absorption rate in your gut is not at 100% . When you have repaired the damage you can taper them off.

Of course it goes without saying that this in not doc's advice and only what I am trying to get to work for me and is my research into the subject. As your bloating is all over you might also want to consult a doc to make sure there is nothing new in the picture you are not aware of. Don't be tempted by diuretics unless on doctors advice. The water you hold is a symptom of soemthing ,not the problem per se.Find teh cause. Good luck.
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