Pitting edema....when to worry?!? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 10-07-2010, 05:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So, I am 27 weeks and the pitting edema has reared its ugly head. I had it very badly with my DD, but I don't believe it started this early. With DD, I gained a total of 60lbs and I would say that at least 20 of that (if not more) was water. Blood pressure was always fine and no protein in urine etc...

I certainly don't have it bad, yet, but it is where I can push in on my shin and the indent will stay. It has also come on quickly (since Wednesday), but I don't seem to have any other concerning symptoms. I did make a transatlantic flight on Monday, but didn't have any swelling after the flight. The pitting was still there this morning (sleeping didn't do anything for it) and I wore compression hose today...seemed to help a tiny bit, but it is still there.

I was supposed to have my next appointment in 2 weeks, but just received a notice that they had to reschedule, which will make it 3 more weeks from today. Not sure if I should try to get in before then just to have my blood pressure checked and see if there is any protein in the urine.

any thoughts?!?

TIA,
Tracy

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#2 of 11 Old 10-07-2010, 07:25 PM
 
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call your caregiver and see if they think they should move your appt. up.

do NOT eat any salt if you can avoid it, and most def. don't add salt to your food.

drink plenty of water and when you lay down, put a pillow under your knees.

also, laying on your left side is supposed to help with blood flow.

how are you feeling other than the edema?
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#3 of 11 Old 10-07-2010, 07:40 PM
 
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I'm on my 3rd pregnancy and the pitting edema has already started at only 22 weeks! I get SO SWOLLEN it's ridiculous. I lose about 35 pound within the first week after each birth. Crazy. I've always been monitored for health problems and have never had any. At this point, after two healthy pregnancies, I figure the swelling is just part of the deal for me. Sounds like it is for you too. At least we're pregnant in the fall and winter with the worst of it!

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#4 of 11 Old 10-10-2010, 02:51 PM
 
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I would call the care provider right away and ask what they would like you to do. It could require bed rest or support hose. A big issue with that level of edema is blood clots. So, I would take it easy and lay down with your feet elevated. Definitely put a call into your provider and see what they would like to do. Good luck!

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#5 of 11 Old 10-10-2010, 04:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks ladies for your input. I decided to give myself the weekend to see how things fared, and I will be calling the office tomorrow just to get their input (total pain calling since I am living in Germany and don't really speak German....the docs speak English, but not usually the support staff, so it is always a struggle...anyway, I digress!). Yesterday the swelling was down a bit, but it is back up again today. Can't hurt to try in get in and have blood pressure/urine checked.

Naturallove - I do have support hose which I have started wearing (need to get another pair prescribed) and oddly enough, I have several blood clotting disorders and I am on blood thinners for this pregnancy. My hematologist checked a little over a week ago for blood clots (and swelling) and I had a clean bill of health....but then I took a transatlantic flight, there and back in less than a weeks time for a funeral. It was 2-3 days after I returned that the swelling started occuring. If it had been a little closer to the travel dates, I would have chalked it up simply to traveling. Probably is nothing, but I am going to have it checked on sooner rather than later as I don't feel comfortable waiting until my next appointment.

Thanks again ladies,

Tracy

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#6 of 11 Old 10-11-2010, 03:00 AM
 
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Um.. the recommendation to avoid salt is very wrong and potentially very dangerous. You should salt your food to taste, moderation is key. Too little salt is just as bad as too much salt.

I get pitting edema in the last half of pregnancy as well. It's only on my shins, my bp is great, no protein in my urine, no other symptoms... just where I tend to hold water for whatever reason.

As for blood clots.. eh.. yes.. that can be an issue but typically only if there is swelling/edema on one side not both sides equally.

For me the heat has A LOT to do with my level of edema. If it's really hot and I've struggled to stay hydrated I will have issues. Also the amount of protein I consume has a huge impact on my swelling so you may want to up your protein intake considerably.

All in all I wouldn't worry overly about it because like you said, you had it with your daughter... it may be your norm. I would call your care provider if you feel it will give you peace of mind to have them aware and perhaps some testing will put your mind at ease. Just remember it is NORMAL for women to swell in pregnancy... even pitting edema can be normal in the absence of other symptoms.

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#7 of 11 Old 10-11-2010, 07:46 PM
 
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I would suggest investigating the "Brewer Diet" although I don't follow it to a tee, bumping up my protein and egg intake with this pregnancy has made a huge difference, 33 weeks and hardly any swelling, only after long car rides. When i feel it coming on, i eat an egg or two, WITH SALT, drink a couple of glasses of water while I put my feet up and within an hour I am back in the business of entertaining an almost three y/o! Good luck!

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#8 of 11 Old 10-12-2010, 06:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks ladies,

With my DD, I loosely followed the Brewer's Diet and still had bad swelling. Admittedly, this time around I know I need to be getting more protein. With DD I craved meat so it was pretty easy to get a good amount of protein between that and eggs. This time around I have a meat aversion and while I eat a good amount of beans/legumes, I guess I need to find more ways to up the protein and see if that might help.

Thanks again,
Tracy

2 Rainbow babes, PPH/Hysterectomy survivor!
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#9 of 11 Old 10-12-2010, 10:27 AM
 
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and edema in general has nothing to do with blood clots. I hope you find some relief!

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#10 of 11 Old 10-12-2010, 11:53 AM
 
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I agree with Demeter.

I get light pitting edema in my ankles after long, hot days or long car rides. I would put your feet up, take a bath with epsom salts, drink tons of water, eat tons of protein, and try to relax. If it doesn't go down or your bp is high or there is protein in your urine (you can buy those strips online and in some stores) then I would be more concerned, but many pg ladies I have known end up with some pitting at the end. Good luck!

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#11 of 11 Old 10-12-2010, 04:21 PM
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i would certainly get it checked out. in the mean time, alternate walking with laying down - avoid sitting, which can compress your circulatory system and lead to edema in your feet. i had bad edema earlier in this pregnancy because i went for a trip in a car (visiting a dying relative.. couldn't avoid it) and the sitting totally did me in. no protein in the urine yet, blood pressure is low normal (normal for me).

light compression socks/hose should help too if you have a sit-down job or otherwise can't move around much.

laying on your left side is supposed to be best, it increases urine output. i'm not sure why left side is better than right side.. but both are better than your back, which can put pressure on your circulatory system. if you do decide to lay on your back just for a change.. prop your feet WAYYYYY up! i would spend 10-15 minutes with my feet up on the wall and me laying on my back, which helped some of the fluid drain out of my feet. then i'd switch to my left side for another 15+ minutes (often more). it helped a lot.

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