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What causes fluid retention and pain in ankles and feet? My

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What causes fluid retention and...
What causes fluid retention and pain in ankles and feet ? My husband is currently being treated for ALD. He was a chronic alcoholic but has completely stopped alcohol consumption since feb 6th 2012. He is currently experiencing lot of pain in legs and ankles, feet and also has fluid retention in ankle joints. He is currently traveling abroad. What should he do ?
Submitted: 5 years ago.Category: Medical
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
4/12/2012
Doctor: Dr Basu, Experienced Specialist replied 5 years ago
Dr Basu
Dr Basu, Experienced Specialist
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 29,282
Experience: MD
Verified
Mysticdoc :

The views expressed by me are for educational purposes only and do not establish a doctor patient relationship.

Mysticdoc :

Hello

Mysticdoc :

Thanks for your question.

Mysticdoc :

Liver disease can cause leg swellings.

Mysticdoc :

The swelling can become painful as they start affecting the nerves.

Mysticdoc :

Water pills like Furosemide and spironolactone are helpful in eliminating excess fluid from the legs.

Mysticdoc :

The dose may need to be gradually increased depending on his response.

Mysticdoc :

The blood tests also need to be done to monitor for electrolyte imbalance from diuretic use.

Mysticdoc :

Low salt diet is very important.

Mysticdoc :

Sodium causes retention of water.

Mysticdoc :

Hence, less sodium--less fluids in the legs.

Mysticdoc :

Compression stockings during daytime for walking around also reduce the fluids in the legs.

Mysticdoc :

Elevate the legs while not on feet.

Mysticdoc :

These measures will help in reduction of the swelling.

Mysticdoc :

Please discuss with his doctor.

Mysticdoc :

Best wishes,

Customer:

Swelling of legs is so severe that he is unable to walk with out support. Is this an alarming situation ?

Mysticdoc :

yes this is an alarming condition.

Mysticdoc :

Besides liver disease, kidney failure and heart disease can cause this.

Mysticdoc :

Definitely, he has to be seen by a doctor.

Customer:

does he need to go to emergency ? Is it Ok to wait till morning ? It's night where he is now.

Mysticdoc :

If he dooes not have any sohrtness of breath or chest pain, then he may wait till morning.

Mysticdoc :

Best wishes,

Customer:

He does not have shortness of breath. Can ALD progress to cirrosis even after completely stopping alcohol ? His blood reports showed improvement. But symptons are worse now.

Customer:

Doctor ?

Mysticdoc :

yes sorry

Mysticdoc :

Yes ALD can progress to cirrhosis in some cases.

Mysticdoc :

Blood tests are not that accurate.

Mysticdoc :

Liver scan ( CT or ultrasound) and liver biopsy are more accurate tests to diagnose cirrhosis.

Customer:

Please recommend the tests he needs to get done in the morning so he can request his doctor for these tests too.

Mysticdoc :

Blood tests to check for metabolic panel, liver function test, TSH.

Mysticdoc :

Liver ultrasound.

Mysticdoc :

Heart echocardiogram, EKG,

Mysticdoc :

Urine analysis to look for proteins, kidney function tests

Customer:

He is also experiencing in shoulder pain and swelling in hands.

Mysticdoc :

that can be all related.

Mysticdoc :

He should get these tests done.

Customer:

No water retention in shoulder though.

Mysticdoc :

And diuretics --furosemide should be started.

Mysticdoc :

The shoulder pain can be from muscle weakness.

Customer:

Does this mean cirrosis ? What can he do to prevent cirrosis. He is traveling for next one month. He is consuming absolutely NO ALCOHOL. What else he can do ? Please HELP!

Mysticdoc :

Please read above --i already explained.

Mysticdoc :

Besides that, follow a high fiber diet.

Mysticdoc :

There is no specific treatment for cirrhosis.

Mysticdoc :

it may get better on its own sometimes.

Mysticdoc :

Sometimes, liver transplantation may be needed.

Mysticdoc :

But there is no quick fix in other words.

Mysticdoc :

diet, activities, the treatment of the symptoms like leg swelling are the cornerstone.

Mysticdoc :

avoid alcohol and tylenol and any other liver toxic medications.

Mysticdoc :

ask his doctor before taking over the counter medication.

Mysticdoc :

That is about it.

Mysticdoc :

Best wishes,

Mysticdoc :

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