How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Phil, MD Your Own Question
Dr. Phil, MD
Dr. Phil, MD, Medical Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 52037
Experience:  Medical Doctor Trained at a Top Academic Institution
Type Your Medical Question Here...
Dr. Phil, MD is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I am 62 years old with diabetes and high blood pressure. I

This answer was rated:

I am 62 years old with diabetes and high blood pressure. I recsntly had a checkup with my doctor and called her attention to swollen ankles I have had for several weeks. She did not seem concerned. My legs are now swollen halfway up my calves. Tonight I gashed my right leg against the open dishwasher door corner. It tore off a trangle of skin. It did not bleed much but for several hours the gash has been discharging quite a bit of nearly clear liquid (dripping on the floor). I bandaged it with a large adhesive bandage, but the fluid counteracted the adhesive and the bandage fell of. I then covered it with a gauze bandage secured with surgical tape. That bandage is now soaked and is again dripping on the floor. I have begun drinking lots of water in an attempt to flush my system and reduce the swelling. It has been very hot here for several weeks.

Should I be concerned? Will drinking lots of water help? (That was the advice of another doctor consulted about more normal ankle swelling in the past.) The clear fluid leaking from my cut seems very strange.
Hello. I'm Dr. Phil, licensed and practicing Internal Medicine Physician. Excellent service is my goal.

Thanks for this excellent question

The most likely cause of this is from weak veins in the legs.

As we get older, the veins in our legs weaken and don't pump as efficiently. It is made worse by the heat. The body dilates blood vessels in an attempt to release heat when it is hot out. This causes fluid leak into the legs. This is very common.

However, we cannot call it that until we rule out kidney and heart problems

For this, blood work needs to be done.

You need a BMP and a BNP. These are two labs that will check for both.

With this needs, the swelling and the cut, I suggest a trip to the ER tonight.

Get this all checked. Its important.

I hope this helps.

If you have more questions, just reply. :)
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you. My doctor has scheduled me for tests which I believe include these, and I will get them done Monday. I will request them if my doctor has not. I am uninsured, unemployed, and will be paying off a recent involuntary and unnecessary visit to the emergency room for the rest of my life. I'd like to avoid another emergency room trip unless my life is in danger.

If your doctor is aware and on top of this then I think it is reasonable to follow her plan

leg swelling in the heat is common

Warning signs for you are shortness of breath, chest pain, difficulty lying flat, lack of urination, nausea/vomiting, fever/chills.

Otherwise, it's probably fine to wait.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you. I have none of the other symptoms. You have been quite comforting. I will give you a very positive rating. I appreciate this Just service. It's very comforting for a single aging person living alone.

you're welcome. :)

I'm glad I could help

Elevate the legs, stay out of the heat and try to cut out as much salt as you can.

That will help with the swelling too
Dr. Phil, MD and 2 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you
I appreciate the excellent rating.

I would be happy to help you in the future. Just ask for Dr. Phil in your question opening or bookmark this page

I greatly appreciate a positive rating in the customer satisfaction survey that you will receive via email. It is important for me to get your feedback. Thank you. :)

Related Medical Questions