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Dr. David
Dr. David, Board Certified Physician
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I am 59 and in pretty good health. I have had swelling in my

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I am 59 and in pretty good health. I have had swelling in my feet and ankles for at least six months. It is probably the result of swelling that has moved down from my knees. I have tried supplements:Omega 3 for a number of years and then went off them for 4 months or so at the recommendation of an internist treating me for low thyroid. I have not gotten results related to reducing the swelling since starting the Omega 3 in July and Osteo Bi-flex a month ago. I also ordered No Palea and am almost finished with the sixth bottle. I see minimal results when I wake up in the morning and can actually see my ankle bone for a short time. I get tingling from time-to-time on the top of my foot above the arch but generally doesn't last long. I am not insured any more leaving a teaching position in TX to move to AZ for working the Real Estate market.
What do you suggest?
Hello, this is Dr. David. I have read your question and I'm ready to help.

I would recommend that you apply for medicaid insurance in arizona.

you will have to apply for some sort of health insurance this year or be fined next year for not having health insurance.

you need insurance to see a doctor and get heart testing to see if you have congestive heart failure or weakness of your heart causing the swelling in your ankles. you might benefit from simple inexpensive diuretic medication like lasix to help you get rid of excessive fluid out of your system which can help your ankle edema. you might need heart medications to help your heart beat more efficiently.

you also need to have your thyroid hormone and TSH levels monitored as well if you have low thyroid. have you had your TSH levels checked recently?

if you can't get insurance right away, you can always go to a free or low cost health insurance clinic in AZ to see a doctor sooner.

have you gone onto to see how much health insurance would cost you? there are subsidies which can help bring the cost down for you.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

It will cost me more money to get the Obama Health Care because of the money I make. I will probably find a doctor I can pay cash to for service.

I had a health screening at my school in May of this year. I had another here in AZ in Aug. My blood pressure is normal. My May results came back with nurse consultation. She told me thyroid anomoly was not high enough to be concerned an suggested I stop my medication. I did have a few numbers on the blood work up that were a little high but nothing troubling.

12 years ago I had an MRI on my knees and learned I was born with a condition called bipaletal something where my knee caps didn't fuse solidly and at that time was told I had stage 4 cartilage deterioration in my left knee and stage 3 in the right. I just figured things have finally caught up with me and that is what has led to this long time edema as you call it. I do some cardio every week and have been lifting weights for the last 2 and a half months.

This additional info may help you revise your thoughts.

Thank you,


I hope your edema in your legs is from the knee issue. cartilage deterioration usually doesn't cause edema in the ankle and legs. usually poor circulation or heart weakness or too much salt in the diet are the most common causes of bilateral lower extremity edema.

I still strongly recommend that you get health insurance and see a doctor for formal heart testing and full workup.

if you make enough money, you can afford to buy health insurance. and you will need it. you don't want to have a heart attack or have an accident which can put you into bankruptcy.

and if your knees go one way, you will want to have insurance to help pay for a knee replacement surgery as well.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I do have swelling on the left knee cap but not in my legs. The swelling is in my feet and ankles. I just want to know if there is long term damage being done if I wait a few months more before seeing a doctor about the swelling. Also I gained about 14 lbs. in the last two weeks. This is totally out of character with my history. But again I have had just slight increase in my May blood pressure check and not the one in Aug of this year. So I am wondering where your concern for my heart efficiency comes from?



the weight you are gaining could be from fluid weight if your heart is weak.

my concern for your heart comes from the fact that you have swelling in both of your legs which can be seen in some patients who have heart problems and congestive heart failure issues.

I hope you don't have this. but only seeing a doctor and getting a heart evaluation can know for sure.
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