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    Suggest treatment for ankle edema

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Posted on Sat, 29 Jul 2017 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Question: for 3 days I have swollen ankles the size of grapefruits. it's like I have water in them ..
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Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
investigation is required

Detailed Answer:
Hello,

there are various causes for bilateral leg edema. The following list is not exhaustive but the disorders in it have to be ruled out...

- heart failure: when the right part of the heart cannot pump the blood effectively, the legs may swell. A history of heart failure or an acute event of heart related disorder is required for this diagnosis. An echo (ultrasound scan of the heart) is enough to diagnose this disorder.
- venous insufficiency: this is when the veins cannot push the blood upwards. The blood may remain in the legs and cause swelling. An ultrasound scan of the leg veins is diagnostic.
- nephrotic syndrome: the kidneys cannot keep the proteins in the body. This leads to low albumin levels and peripheral swelling. A urinalysis may detect protein in the urine.
- cirrhosis: low albumin is the cause here too... A history of liver problems is required. Clinical examination is usually very indicative of this disorder.
- thyroid disorders: both hypo- and hyper- thyroidism may cause leg swelling. TSH levels are usually diagnostic for thyroid disorders.

As I've already said this list is not exhaustive. Your doctor may suspect other potential causes by means of a good clinical examination and history taking.
You can't try anything more right now besides elevation. The investigation should come first...

I hope you find my comments helpful!
Kind regards!


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Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :1999

Answered : 3690 Questions

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