Leg/ankle swelling


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I'm on day 27 and all of a sudden I have started to have severe swelling/edema in my legs and ankles. The only thing I've changed about my diet recently, is I've started eating some sweet potatoes in the evening. What could possibly be triggering this?? I do have a history of this happening, but it hasn't happened to me at all since starting the Whole30 and even before then when I switched to a Paleo diet. Does anyone have thoughts or advice?

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I am having SERIOUS issues! I am swollen (cankles!) and i would be willing in all seriousness to bet a paycheck that i have gained weight! I eat three meals a day, nothing off plan and IF i grab a snack it is a scant palmfull of cashews and coconut flakes w/ a scant amt of frozen blueberries or a piece of fresh bacon w/ some red pepper slices. I am very comfortable in this WOE as I have been doing it for some time...but for the life of me can't figure out the swelling, bloated and what feels to be weight gain (i just feel bigger). I get plenty of water, plenty of healthy fats, i eat NOTHING out of a box or a can (exept coconut milk), I've only had 2 meals out (business trips) and those were very clean. I'm mid week 3 and don't really feel any different than i did before, but realistically the only things i had to cut out were diary, booze and artificial sweeteners. So the rest of the food has stayed pretty much the same....only maybe less of it. I do weigh my meat portions so as to stay w/in the 4-5 oz range. Other than that i eat to satiety. I have not been hungry, no real cravings (unless they were stress induces, but stayed clean) and even avoided the birthday cupcakes at staff meeting yesterday!

I would appreciate any help on this topic! I have had ankle swelling before, and it has usually been accompanied by or to weight gain.

oh and sorry, not sure why on earth the above is bolded?!? lol....other than my computer hates me! lol

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Hi ladies!

Since you both have a history of this, and there are no immediately obvious problems with what you're eating, I'd suggest looking at lifestyle stuff. If it were a standard Whole30- related food issue, this would be widespread. But it's not. So that tells me there's something else at play.

Does the swelling come and go? Get worse or better? Is it constant?

What activities are you doing? Anything more or less strenuous than usual?

How's your sleep?

Are you taking any medications?

I'd suggest keeping a food log with notes about your swelling issues, stress, sleep and your activities during the day. I'm guessing you'll find some connection in there

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Glad to know I'm not alone in this! My swelling has just started within the last week, so probably 7 full days now. I have been extremely busy lately and that does tend to exacerbate the problem for me, but it usually never lingers this long. I just completed my first Whole30 on Sunday, but I am continuing to stick with it for awhile (at least 60, maybe even 90 days).

Personally, my husband and I do CrossFit 4 times a week so I feel I am fairly active. Nothing about that has changed recently.

My sleep is good...normal. No unusual sleep patterns or disturbances.

I take medication for anxiety/depression and for hypothyroidism, but I've been on all those for years. I also take a ton of vitamins, probiotic, fish oil, digestive enzymes, etc.

Maybe my body just hates me right now! It's pretty frustrating though. I, like most of the world, sit at a desk all day so I know that's part of the problem. I get up and walk around as much as I can, but inevitably, I'm sitting at a desk all day. I just wish this little phase would end.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am having SERIOUS issues! I am swollen (cankles!) and i would be willing in all seriousness to bet a paycheck that i have gained weight! I eat three meals a day, nothing off plan and IF i grab a snack it is a scant palmfull of cashews and coconut flakes w/ a scant amt of frozen blueberries or a piece of fresh bacon w/ some red pepper slices. I am very comfortable in this WOE as I have been doing it for some time...but for the life of me can't figure out the swelling, bloated and what feels to be weight gain (i just feel bigger). I get plenty of water, plenty of healthy fats, i eat NOTHING out of a box or a can (exept coconut milk), I've only had 2 meals out (business trips) and those were very clean. I'm mid week 3 and don't really feel any different than i did before, but realistically the only things i had to cut out were diary, booze and artificial sweeteners. So the rest of the food has stayed pretty much the same....only maybe less of it. I do weigh my meat portions so as to stay w/in the 4-5 oz range. Other than that i eat to satiety. I have not been hungry, no real cravings (unless they were stress induces, but stayed clean) and even avoided the birthday cupcakes at staff meeting yesterday!

I would appreciate any help on this topic! I have had ankle swelling before, and it has usually been accompanied by or to weight gain.

oh and sorry, not sure why on earth the above is bolded?!? lol....other than my computer hates me! lol

Just an update. My leg/ankle/foot swelling continued for 3 solid weeks and got progressively worse. Finally, last Friday I had had enough and went to the doctor to have blood tests run. I haven't got the results back yet, but it seems very likely that this is tied to a thyroid issue. I've been on hypothyroid meds for several years, but I honestly think the clean eating I've been doing has shifted my hormonal balance (we'll see if I'm right when I get the results). The edema combined with my inability to lose weight despite signifcant lifestyle changes and the extreme abnormal lethargy I've had lately are all big indicators for thyroid malfunction. So, if you haven't had your thyroid checked lately I might look into that!

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Got my blood tests back yesterday. My thyroid is "slightly" elevated so I'm not really sure what that means, but my Doc doesn't feel it's necessary to increase my dose (for the record, I disagree and plan to see an actual endocrinologist in the near future). She thinks the problem seems to be that my protein levels are low. Backstory, I had a gastric bypass almost 12 years ago now so my digestive tract doesn't function the same as it would in someone unaltered. So, I already know that I have to eat more protein than normal because my body only has time to absorb some of it before it's passed through my system. Seriously, I feel like all I do is eat protein. How can I possibly eat more??! And what amount do I need to increase it to to bring my blood work back into the normal range? The easiest thing to do would be to drink a protein shake, but the good stuff is all Whey protein and filled with artificial sweeteners. I'm supposed to go back in 3 weeks to have my blood retested. Does anyone have any advice or suggestions for me? I plan to post this is the Medical category too in case there's other bypass people who might have some insight.

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  • 2 years later...

I am here because I am seeking answer why I have swollen ankles. When I go on a low carb diet I lose my cankles. Always blamed the swelling on bad eating, but day 25 of Whole 30 can't figure it out. I could try cutting back on salt and fat and drink more water...

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I am here because I am seeking answer why I have swollen ankles. When I go on a low carb diet I lose my cankles. Always blamed the swelling on bad eating, but day 25 of Whole 30 can't figure it out. I could try cutting back on salt and fat and drink more water...

 

Drinking more water is probably your best bet. Are you getting at least 1/2 ounce per pound of body weight (so if you weigh 120 lbs, drinking at least 60 oz of water)? 

 

You could list a couple of days' worth of food, exercise, and water intake here and see if anyone notices anything obvious that you might try changing.

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  • 4 months later...

After several starts and stops on Whole30 (due to some family emergencies, and unexpected problems) I noticed that my evening ankle swelling was disappearing every time I went onto the Whole30 program.  Since I wasnt reintroducing individual food groups, but rather just going off the program and on to my usual way of eating everything, I have no idea what, in particular, is causing this.  I THINK it may be pasta but cant be sure.  I look forward to the re-introduction phase so I can see whats going on.  

I just cant figure out WHY this would be happening.  Cant figure out the pathophys of it all.  Any thoughts out there?

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After several starts and stops on Whole30 (due to some family emergencies, and unexpected problems) I noticed that my evening ankle swelling was disappearing every time I went onto the Whole30 program.  Since I wasnt reintroducing individual food groups, but rather just going off the program and on to my usual way of eating everything, I have no idea what, in particular, is causing this.  I THINK it may be pasta but cant be sure.  I look forward to the re-introduction phase so I can see whats going on.  

I just cant figure out WHY this would be happening.  Cant figure out the pathophys of it all.  Any thoughts out there?

Doing a structured reintroduction, as you have planned, will likely give you your answer.  :)  (My guess would also be gluten.)

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