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Ask Dr. Charogat Your Own Question

Dr. Charogat
Dr. Charogat, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 1803
Experience:  Licensed in both NYS and NJ with experience in surgery and medicine.
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Hello, I was hoping you can help me with something.... I

Resolved Question:

Hello, I was hoping you can help me with something....
I always seem to have puffy ankles and I think it could be fluid. I have had it for years and it really bothers me. I have been drinking loads of water to see if that helps and I noticed when I massaged them a bit over a few nights they looked a bit better but when I stopped massaging them they went back to puffy.
I do get restless legs and my hands and feet swell up when I go hiking or after a long haul flight, so I think I may have poor circulation.
I heard that Epsom salts are supposed to be good for fluid retention, do you know if they are worth trying or can you think of anything else that could help?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Charogat replied 2 years ago.
Dr. Charogat :

Hi, and thank you for coming to JustAnswer.com with your question.

Dr. Charogat :

Do you have any known medical problems?

Dr. Charogat :

Do you take any medications?

Dr. Charogat :

Do you smoke?

Dr. Charogat :

Do you drink?

Dr. Charogat :

Do you have a history of any medical problems or surgeries?

Dr. Charogat :

You mentioned long-haul flights, can you tel me what you do?

Customer:

No medical problems, I don't take any medication, non smoker, I do drink at weekends but not excessively

Dr. Charogat :

Are you on your feet a lot?

Customer:

no I work in an office

Dr. Charogat :

Are you feeling that puffiness right now?

Dr. Charogat :

Do you have (or know what) varicose veins (are)?

Customer:

after long haul flights it can take a couple of days for swelling to go down so I just massage them regularly

Customer:

no varicose veins no

Dr. Charogat :

Are you feeling the puffiness right now?

Customer:

yes

Customer:

just my ankles

Dr. Charogat :

I'd like you to do a quick test. Put your thumb on the front of your shin - about half way down. Push down hard on it for about 30 seconds.

Dr. Charogat :

When you release your thumb I'd like to know if there is still an indentation 10 seconds later.

Customer:

ok

Customer:

yes slightly

Dr. Charogat :

Can you tell me about how long it takes to come up?

Customer:

another few seconds after that

Dr. Charogat :

Do you eat a lot of salt foods?

Customer:

I wouldn't say so

Customer:

I cook everything from scratch and don't add a lot of salt

Dr. Charogat :

Okay. Usually leg swelling has to do with the heart, but I doubt it in this case.

Customer:

I would agree, I feel pretty healthy and exercise regularly

Dr. Charogat :

The first thing I would say to try is reducing your salt, You'd be shocked to see how much salt is put into foods - even those you prepare at home. (The first thing that comes to my mind is pasta, also, canned foods tend to have VERY high levels of sodium)

Customer:

ah ok pasta

Dr. Charogat :

Another thing I would suggest is to get support hose. These come in different levels of support. I think, from what you are describing, that the lowest level of compression would be helpful.

Customer:

ok what is that?

Dr. Charogat :

(Check all foods -- salt is hidden where you don't think of looking. For example - unsalted pretzels means that there is no salt on the surface of the pretzel - the pretzel itself is still made with salt)

Dr. Charogat :

I'm not sure in the UK exactly how it works, but in the US you can go to a surgical supply store (or some pharmacies carry them) and ask for support hose. They usually come in different lengths (ie knee high, thigh high, or complete hose).

Dr. Charogat :

You might also notice swings with your cycle, where you get more bloated and puffy before your cycle and then better once it starts.

Dr. Charogat :

When you are hot - such as in hiking - blood everywhere in your body is trying to get to the surface. (Part of the temperature regulation in humans is that the blood comes closer to the skin when we are hot, and moves away from the skin when we are cold. By doing this the body is either letting off heat into the environment, or retaining heat by having less "contact" with the environment)

Customer:

OK great, I'll definitely try to reduce my salt and try get some support hose

Dr. Charogat :

Okay.

Dr. Charogat :

Feel free to come back with any more questions!

Dr. Charogat :

G-d Bess

Customer:

thank you very much for your advice!

Dr. Charogat :

(Even after you rate my answer - hopefully excellent - you can come back with more follow-up)

Customer:

great, thanks again

Dr. Charogat, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 1803
Experience: Licensed in both NYS and NJ with experience in surgery and medicine.
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