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Dr. Chip
Dr. Chip, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 36097
Experience:  20 yrs. in practice, includinge surgery, general medicine, addiction medicine and pain.
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I have had tight calf muscles for a few months now. The past

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I have had tight calf muscles for a few months now. The past few weeks I have noticed swollen feet and am getting extreme itch on the tops of my feet. My socks are leaving marks on my legs which I think is indicating fluid retention? Should I be concerned about this? I take lithium.
Hi. Have you had your Lithium levels checked lately? Is the swelling there when you first get up in the morning?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have had my level checked, due to have it checked again in July - I am on a relatively low dose - 600mg Priadel, my level was 0.6 last time (3 months ago) - calf tightness and pain has been going on the past 5 months, the swollen feet/legs the past 2 months. I hurt my back just before Christmas on my left side, had muscular and sciatic pain - since then I have had calf pain - back pain is still there but the calf pain is more pronounced.

OK Theresa. Has your doctor done any studies or tests to see what the problem is here?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I went to my GP in March as my back pain was quite bad, he just prescribed pain relief - Tylex. Are swollen feet and the itching likely related? I havent gone back to my GP about these issues yet as I thought it could be resolved by alternative methods - massage, taking more fluids - but this doesnt seem to be resolving any of the problems.

Just one more question Theresa--any rash or skin color changes in your feet or legs?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have some broken skin on my feet but I think this is from itching so hard - they generally itched more at night but now I find they are itchy all the time! No skin change or rash on my legs.

OK Therese. This is obviously fluid retention but there can be a few causes here. I don't think it's a case of clots in your leg veins but it could be what's called incompetent valves in those veins and I would get Doppler venous flow studies of your legs to check for those. However I would also get an MRI of your lumbar spine to check for disk problems and something called spinal stenosis--a narrowing of the spinal canal through which the spinal cord passes. Finally, considering the itching, I would do an autoimmune screen to check for possible problems with lupus.
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