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What causes edema of legs?

Answered by
Dr. Benard Shehu


Practicing since :2004

Answered : 2254 Questions

Posted on Thu, 21 Aug 2014 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Question: I am a 53 year old CHF female that also has sleep apnea, gout, arthritis. I went for a second opinion on my edema because the calves of my legs are sooo wide and am told my ef is 45% and that my edema is NOT from my CHF but from severe sleep apnea. The doctor took me off Spiroactone and Digoxin. My CHF was 12/2009, I have a ICD implanted. I have no other health conditions other than I am overweight.

Now, since 2009 I have had echo's every is it that my primary cardiologist would not be up on this? Would it be your opinion that I should get yet another opinion before coming off the two meds and also what is causing my edema. The doctor that gave me second opinion said I was on an emergency weight loss of 35 pounds within 6 months time and was to see him again then. He stated the obesity (I'm 5'5" and 190 pds) is what has caused my edema and that if I got rid of the weight, I could get rid of the sleep apnea.

Does this sound like a correct diagnosis? Why would my primary cardiologist not have known this? Sounds like I need to change my primary cardiologist! What do you think?
Answered by Dr. Benard Shehu 6 hours later
Brief Answer:
Following causes to edema...

Detailed Answer:

I have gone through your medical history and understood your concerns.

There are 3 main factors causing edema of the legs in your case:
- gout arthritis
- being overweight

So, it is important to treat these underlying causes in order to reduce edema.

I recommend to:

- start taking a diuretic (e.g. furosemid and/or spironolactone) to help you reduce edema.
- try to lose weight
- limit salt intake
- try to control gout through anti-inflammatory drugs and gout pills (e.g. cholchicin).

You have all the rights in the world to change cardiologist. You can discuss with him/her about suggestions, so, can decide together what is the best strategy to follow in order to reduce edema.

All the best!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vinay Bhardwaj

The User accepted the expert's answer

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