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  #1  
Old 06-07-2007
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puffy feet

My husband and I have taken week long charter trips to the caribbean for years, and now we're moving on to full time cruising. Among my long list is how to deal with this problem:
For some reason whenever we're out sailing my feet seem to swell up to the point that my shoes barely fit! Anyone else have this problem? Is it the heat? Diet? I seem to get plenty of exercise, as well as time with my feet up when on board...
Appreciate any suggestions you may have.
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Old 06-07-2007
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I recommend that you consult with your doctor, could be nothing but could be something. Why risk your health? You wouldn't want to have a serious problem while cruising when it may be difficult to get immediate attention. Nothing is more important than your health and its not worth it to fool around. I wish you the best of luck.
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Old 06-07-2007
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Sounds like edema... you should find out what is causing it... it can be the sign of something worse, or just an annoyance.
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Old 06-07-2007
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you can google edema and find numerous pages of information simular to this one:

Edema

And yes it could just be caused by the heat, but no one can really diagnose you over the internet. Pay a visit to a doctor and let us know how you are doing.


fair winds.
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Old 06-07-2007
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I have the same problem and it is due to immobility under sail. I have the same problem on long car trips and airplane rides since not using my leg muscles allow fluid to accumulate.
Of course there MAY be an alternate explanation but if your doctor finds nothing wrong with you I would simply advise you to either accept it and do some leg related excercises whenever you sit for an hour or more...or get actively involved on deck.
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Old 06-08-2007
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In the recesses of my mind is the notion that in a perverse way it can be due to inadequate water intake. This would raise the salt concentration and thus fluid retention.
As it seemingly only occurs in a hot climate this may be the case.
Other symptoms such as shortage of breath would indicate a need for a medical check. However since they may not have a ready answer a simple test of this may help. Thirst is not a strongly felt thing, and in hot conditions the amount needed can be underestimated, so you need to drink enough water for your urine to be colourless. probably 3L or 10 beer sized glasses.
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Old 06-08-2007
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Normal urine will always have some color as it contains waste products of metabolism, namely, urea, which contributes to the golden color. This color may not be readily visible unless viewed in volume, i.e., in a urinal, etc.
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One other thing that can help, but probably not be very comfortable in warm weather is pressure stockings. They can help stave off edema, a common post-surgery problem, as I learned when during my wife's battle with cancer.
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Old 06-08-2007
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Get your doctor to check your blood sugar levels ... the swelling can be a sign of Type II diabetes ... particularly if it is accompanied by numbness
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If all the heavy stuff comes back okay, ask for a serum albumin level (blood test). It is often a situation that causes edema, particularly in situations of poor or insufficient nutrition. SailingDog mentioned cancer, and this is a prime example of how low albumin levels can cause edema. Albumin is a complex protein, resource intensive, and when a body is stressed, particularly when nutrition is restricted for whatever reason, albumin levels are the first to fall. Albumin is the principle component in fluid balance in the body. When serum albumin levels drop, the fluid will move out of the circulatory system and into the tissues (third-spacing). It is very difficult to reverse this until albumin levels return to near normal. This could easily turn into a book. Suffice it to say it can be one, or any combination of issues (some minor, others serious) that lead to edema in the extremeties. Point being, don't take "You're just getting older," as a final answer, as is often the case when nothing obvious for a diagnosis jumps out. It could easily be something relatively minor now that could be headed off before it becomes a bigger issue. Often times, you get a lecture about cutting back on sodium and diuretics are prescribed, but while this addresses the symptom, the cause should still be sought. Poor kidney output. Why? Poor blood flow from a weak heart? Diabetes? (the #1 cause of kidney failure). High Blood pressure? (the #2 cause of kidney failure). High sodium? Okay, cut back. Low albumin? Why? Inadequate nutrition? Disease process? It's all tied together.
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