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Ankle swelling

by Jennifer
(The Woodlands, TX)

I have been having my ankles swelling for about 2 to 3 weeks now. I have been trying to keep my sodium levels down. I had noticed that my ankles would swell even after eating a low sodium meal. At that time I determined it might be the chicken since the swelling got worst after eating chicken for the second time in a day. So, I did an experiment. One day I did not eat any chicken for protein or any animal protein for that matter. The swelling went completely down. The next day I had a whey protein shake and I swelled but just a little. The following day I ate tuna without worsening but the day after that I ate shrimp with scallops in a very light low sodium sauce and brown rice. Right after I ate it I started feeling my feet tingle. It even went up my left leg a bit up to my thigh. My ankles got swollen shortly after that. Could this be something having to do with my body not being able to break down animal protein? Or could it be diabetes? Or Peripheral Neuropathy caused by diabetes? Please help. I should say that I had been vegetarian for about 6 years before I got pregnant with my son. I had cravings for chicken when I was expecting though I didn't give in many times. I ended up having him prematurely due to pre eclampsia at 28 weeks. I ended up anemic after giving birth as well. Since then my health has suffered and I haven't been able to completely get myself back to 100%. It has been 1 1/2 years since his birth. Oh, and I should also say that my legs feel very heavy after I work on my feet for more than 6 hours and my ankles swell at that time also, though I have not Not eaten chicken and worked lately either. Thank you for your help.


RESPONSE

Hi Jennifer,

To me, the most remarkable part of your narrative is that this problem with your feet, ankles and legs all started after giving birth. For that reason, that would be the first place I would investigate.
I am not a gynecologist but you may have hormonal issues that are still in play 18 months after childbirth. The fact that you had pre-eclampsia further enhances the relationship between your pregnancy and your ability to retain fluid and your ability to handle protein metabolism.
So as expected you should probably be having this problem addressed by your gynecologist.
As far as your symptoms being related to diabetes, or peripheral neuropathy, on the surface I would say not but again I am speaking to you on the other end of the internet, so once again discuss that possibility with your doctor.

Marc Mitnick DPM
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