I have had a problem with swelling for 25 years (since being in my 20s). Most severely affected was my left ankle, although all parts of my body would swell. This problem was also present in my father, my older sister and 2 of my father's sisters. Most of the time it just appears that the left ankle was swollen--to the size of the calf on occasion.
I visited quite a few doctors who basically said "huh? really?" when I asked what it might be. I tried a variety of things over the years and learned only that increasing potassium seemed to help, but not always. Microbrew beers seemed to help, but not always. Bread ALWAYS made me swell all over. It's only been in the last year that I was able to eliminate all symptoms by never eating out, never eating processed food and never eating breads.
My question is this: I know that I am not a celiac. I suspect that there is a gluten allergy involved, but there is something else going on since I am still surprised with symptoms even when I am positive I have avoided flour products. What else could be causing my symptoms--especially the consistent time period of 4.5 days???
Here are my symptoms:
1. I know it is food related. If I restrict my diet to proteins, vegetables, fruits, all made at home or from scratch, I have no symptoms. If I eat cakes or cookies, even those baked by friends I swell.
2. The swelling lasts exactly 4.5 days from 2 hours after the meal that affects me. Nothing I have tried can change it. I will swell up to a complete size in clothes, different size shoe. Drinking over a gallon of water each day and no other soft drinks for the 4.5 days does not help.
3. Products made with flour are guaranteed to cause extreme swelling, yet I have been able to eat a cracker-style crust pizza at a local place without any symptoms.
4. I have been tested for vascular issues through ultrasound
5. Increased sodium does cause some swelling but it disappears within 12-18 hours.
6. when I am swollen I feel distracted, sluggish, but no pain anywhere, no digestion issues either
7.Diuretics do not help eliminate the swelling, even when I have tried exceeding recommended dosages
8. I have not been skin tested, but I understand that since I've been restricting my diet for a while that the test will not read correctly and I'm not willing to go through the misery of eating what I know causes problems for several weeks to get my levels back up.
Can anyone help with additional suggestions of what other foods/ingredients/chemicals/preservatives/?? might be the source and why 4.5 days?
Last edited by danceoffaith; 06-23-2010 at 10:40 PM.
Wow! When I was reading your post just now..i was thinking the entire time..that's me! you described what I go threw perfectly to a T. I have narrowed this down and have found that (even when reading other info online or from professional trainers and nutritionists) that carb's cause bloating. Carbs even from natural sources cause water retention naturally. That's why low carb diets work because fat is 90% water...if your always bloated full of water you can not get to the actually "fat" for fat loss. Everyone needs carbs though from good sources like oats, whole wheat brea, whole wheat pasta etc. I try to limit it to 150gram per day but lower my carbs to 100grams when trying to lose weight. I dont go super low on carbs anymore because then I have no energy to workout.
that's the only thing I can think of besides getting your liver tested. My mom has edema as well and actually found out it was from her liver.
Perhaps you could track your carb intake (even fruit too) <edited> and see if it's the carbs that's causing the edema. If that doesn't work then perhaps making a appt to talk to your doc about it.
All i know is after I have a treat meal on Saturday's I am totally bloated for the next 3 day after too. But I feel I bloat and carry water more then the average person. I have not found out why either. I will can look up to 10lbs heavier a few days following eating pizza. I'm 120lbs..so the water is really obvious. Sometimes I can look 5-6 months pregnant, face puffy, and arms even a bit thicker looking.
Last edited by mod-anon; 06-25-2010 at 12:28 AM.
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thanks for writing. I do realize the difference carbs make. I don't really bloat with carbs as long as I stay away from carbs coming from oats and wheat. I can eat barley, rice and potatoes without any bloating.
Your liver comment sounds very interesting. I will look into that.
I've told every doctor I've been to about this problem and with all but one I couldn't even get them to test me for anything other than a regular CBC plus thyroid. I'm disgustingly healthy--which just made me think that I probably don't have a liver problem since all of my blood statistics are normal.