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Ask Dr. Mark Your Own Question
Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Physician / Surgeon
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 11946
Experience:  U.S. Surgeon / Neurological Surgery
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both my legs have indents in them from my socks and they wont

Customer Question

both my legs have indents in them from my socks and they won't go away i did the test with my thumb in the shin bone and it looks aweful it stays that way along time.

what is wrong with me and is it serious i would like to know what to be tested for
thank you so much
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 6 years ago.
Chat Conversation Started
Dr. Mark :

Hello.

Dr. Mark :

Do you know how long this has been going on?

Dr. Mark :

Do you have any problems with high blood pressure, your kidneys, or other medical issues? And what medications are you taking?

Dr. Mark :

Hello, are you there?

JACUSTOMER-nj09ukei- :

i'm not sure i think a few months ... my bp is usually 130/80 maybe alittle higher .. i take tramadol baclophen cyclobenzapar estradiol and buproprion i havent been diagnoised with kidney problems i have had my gallbladder out and a total hysterectomy.yes


 

JACUSTOMER-nj09ukei- :

sorry i didn;t know how to post my response.

Dr. Mark :

OK, thanks.

Dr. Mark :

Do you think your swelling in the legs is better in the morning (after you have been lying flat, sleeping all night), then worse after you have been standing all day?

JACUSTOMER-nj09ukei- :

i don't think there is a difference

Dr. Mark :

OK. Have you discussed this with your doctor, and had recent blood work performed?

Dr. Mark :

Any liver or heart problems, or blood clotting problems?

JACUSTOMER-nj09ukei- :

i have had recent blood work but the dr never reads it to me. i have told him about the swelling and he didn't seem to bothered by it i don't know if i have liver or heart problems is there a test to take to find out

Dr. Mark :

OK.

Dr. Mark :

What you describe is "peripheral edema" -- or swelling in the extremities.

Dr. Mark :

This can be from excess fluid, and the reason -- is what your doctor needs to figure out.

JACUSTOMER-nj09ukei- :

what causes it

Dr. Mark :

It often comes from a problem with the heart, the liver, or the kidneys...all of which help to regulate the fluid levels in the body.

JACUSTOMER-nj09ukei- :

well could you tell me what tests i need to find out more

Dr. Mark :

So, the first step is to review your blood work to see if there is a potential issue with one of these.

Dr. Mark :

The basic metabolic panel can help to evaluate the kidneys.

Dr. Mark :

The liver function tests (blood test) can help to look at the liver.

Dr. Mark :

Urinalysis can help to evaluate the kidneys.

Dr. Mark :

A vascular duplex study of the lower extremities can look for blood clots.

Dr. Mark :

A echocardiogram can look at the heart function.

JACUSTOMER-nj09ukei- :

could it be from high bp

Dr. Mark :

It all depends on what your doctor feels is the potential problem. Generally, when swelling develops in the legs it is related to one of these three.

Dr. Mark :

The blood pressure can also be related to the heart, so possibly related.

JACUSTOMER-nj09ukei- :

is there a way i can help myself

Dr. Mark :

What you describe is pitting edema: http://www.medicinenet.com/edema/article.htm#pitting

Dr. Mark :

And you can help yourself by keeping your legs elevated, perhaps watching your fluid intake, wearing compression stockings -- and getting yourself checked out by your doctor.

JACUSTOMER-nj09ukei- :

i have done a recent cleanse and i drink lots of water 8 8 oz. a day should i cut down

Dr. Mark :

Well -- drinking a lot of water -- and not "peeing" it out fast enough certainly is a cause for retained water -- which would cause your feet to swell.

Dr. Mark :

So that is certainly a possibility.

Dr. Mark :

You just may have extra fluid that has not yet been elimated by your body.

Dr. Mark :

Of course, this could also be an issue with your heart or kidneys not being able to get rid of the extra fluid as well, so having that checked out is important.

JACUSTOMER-nj09ukei- :

funny thing is my feet are not swelling and neither is my legs i wouldn't have noticed except i wore socks today.. is that unusual

Dr. Mark :

No, that isn't unusual -- and just means the degree of swelling is mild.

JACUSTOMER-nj09ukei- :

i also have had a terrible head ache all day...

Dr. Mark :

In fact, many people -- after a long day of standing at work, would have "pooling" of fluid in the legs, just due to gravity, and have indentations of their socks in their feet. So this may still be entirely normal.

Dr. Mark :

That is probably entirely unrelated.

JACUSTOMER-nj09ukei- :

can too much salt cause this to happen and maybe it is not to serious.

Dr. Mark :

Yes -- eating too much salt causes you to retain more fluid -- and is a very common cause for swelling.

JACUSTOMER-nj09ukei- :

the salt issue is unrelated?

Dr. Mark :

In those cases, your body will naturally regulate your fluids and it will improve over a few days.

JACUSTOMER-nj09ukei- :

so what test would be the first to start with and the most important?

Dr. Mark :

I'd start with the bloodwork and an exam.

Dr. Mark :

Then your doctor can determine if your heart, or kidneys, or liver is a big concern.

Dr. Mark :

Then further tests can be ordered for that specific organ system.

Dr. Mark :

Or, it could just be a recommendation to limit your salt and fluid intake, and just watch your swelling.

Dr. Mark :

It may be nothing important in terms of swelling.

JACUSTOMER-nj09ukei- :

i have requested a copy of my blood work is there a web site to check to see if the levels are normal how do i find out the normal ##'s

Dr. Mark :

Your lab work should have the numbers for normal on them. If they are "high" or "low", you can find out what that means by looking up at this site: http://www.labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/bmp/glance.html

Dr. Mark :

Best of luck.

JACUSTOMER-nj09ukei- :

thank you for the help .

JACUSTOMER-nj09ukei- :

bye