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Stomach swelling, legs swelling. Have hiatus hernia. What to do?

It is mainly my stomach that swells up during the day. It goes flat over night, so when I get up it is almost the right size, indeed it is the right size except I would like it to be slimmer. It also goes down a bit if I have a long lie down. Also my face swells up and more recently my legs as well. My legs swell up to actually look better than they usually are which is too thin, but my top half swells up far too much. The condition of swelling waist line has got worse as the years have gone by that is the main problem. The swelling area around the stomach contains mainly lose fluid, and there is no discomfort. It appears to partly be caused by build up and retention of liquid but the gut/stuff inside also gets bigger. I have read that it can be so many things that are causing it such as irritable bowel (that I was diagnosed with), bacteria in the colon , to lactose resistance (I use 2 litres of milk a day) or something that is contained in fizzy drinks instead of sugar. Fizzy drinks sometimes does make me swell up but then it could just be one of its swelling up days anyway, and other days it does not swell as much. I like sugar and get through 2 lbs a week that is way down from in the 1970 s when I got through 6 lbs a week and was exceptionally thin I would eat anything with as much fat or sugar in it as I liked and still I remained far too thin. I am male 61, 5 7 inches and around 11 stone and look the right body weight except for this swelling mainly of the stomach area making me look pregnant sometimes. It does vary from day to day and some days on a good day it hardly swells at all for no apparent reason. I am fairly fit, and my body is in good condition for its age except this bloody swelling that is spoiling my appearance. If it was to stay the size when I get up in the morning it would look OK and all I d need to do is lose a bit of weight or do some special exercises for that area. Stopping sugar makes no difference and I stopped using the sugar substitutes it is too expense in Spain compared to the UK. I could not drink coffee or have breakfast cerial without sugar as it tastes too foul without it and there would just be so many things I would have to stop eating or drinking without sugar in it it would make my food intake extremely unpleasant. I also have a hiatus hernia and suffer from indigestion that comes and goes as it pleases, sometimes lasting for days on and off and other times no problem at all. When it is bad I take a tablet to line the stomach walls. Sometimes my stomach is awkward about digesting certain foods that are hard to digest, such as sugar or fat. Other times no problem at all. It is just plain awkward but starts to swell up shortly after I have got up and within a couple of hours.
Asked On : Tue, 5 Jun 2012
Answers:  1 Views:  266
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General Surgeon 's  Response
Hi you have been very descriptive with your problem which is fairly good history. Now the generalized swelling which is more around the stomach and waist line may be because of the involvement of either of the three systems i.e. the cardiovascular, liver or renal. The condition needs some serious attention and has to be sorted out find out the cause of swelling. More ignorance to the condition can have detrimental consequences. A renal profile, liver function test, an ultrasound abdomen along with an ecg and echo are some of the tests to be undertaken.
Hiatus hernia might be cause for bloating sensation in the right upper abdomen. Do discuss your problems with your physician who will do the needful. Proton pump inhibitors are a good option to control your problem related to acidity and bloating.
Answered: Tue, 5 Jun 2012
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