Disease, Illness & ConditionsAches & PainsOral HealthInjuriesEye CareChildren's HealthAlternative MedicineFirst AidOlder AdultsWellnessMental HealthDisabilitiesHealth Care IndustryReproductive Health

Complications Related to Chronic Weeping Edema of the Lower Extremities

Updated on January 16, 2016
RNMSN profile image

Barbara worked at Thomas Hospital Home Health and is certified for home health from ANCC. She received her MSN from Mobile University, Ala.

Edema of the lower legs and definition.
Edema of the lower legs and definition.

What is Edema?

The simplest way to explain edema is to say that edema is the left over fluid from the blood your heart pumps every day. This is erroneous because heart failure is just one diagnosis that can have the additional effect of swollen legs. Edema is more than just swelling of the legs. Often, the patient has legs that are painful, often weep fluid, are itching (pruritus) as well as burning and the legs become so severely compromised the patient is at risk of a severe infection. It is also incorrect because even with the heart pumping blood the patient may also have a diagnosis of venous stasis, where the fluid in the lower extremities is not properly balanced.

Balance? What Does that Have to do with Anything?

Your vessels, venous as well as arterial, maintain a balance by exchanging oxygen and nutrients through their vessel walls into the surrounding tissues. This keeps your tissue alive and functioning. However, if your circulatory system is unable to meet the demands of that exchange then your vessels cannot shift or move the proper amount of fluid, and the circulatory system becomes unbalanced. When that occurs, often the first sign is swelling in the legs or ankles, visible in the evening after you have been up for most of the day.

Why Would my Heart do This to Me?

Your heart is very selfish! It takes care of itself and the area surrounding it and that is it! Nothing else! Unfortunately, your legs are not in "its surrounding area," so it behooves you to keep your skin clean, dry and free of any open areas. Broken skin increases the risk of infection exponentially.

Worst case scenarios include:

  • Infection
  • Cellulitis with staph or pseudomonas
  • Open sores that will not heal
  • Constant painful itching
  • Constantly weeping fluid
  • Odor
  • A systemic (whole-body) infection that will inevitably lead to hospitalization and intravenous antibiotics

Signs of Edema

  • The first sign is that the ankles and sometimes tops of the feet are swollen.
  • If you take your finger and push gently on the skin, it should be like bread dough. The skin indents but is slow to come back to the surface.
  • The legs and feet remain swollen most of the day and night.
  • Pain. Remember, pain is your body's number one way to communicate trouble. If something is wrong in your body, you hear it loud and clear from your nerve endings!
  • You have difficulty walking. This is obvious; your legs resemble tree trunks and you can only stumble from bed to chair.
  • Your legs turn reddish-blue.
  • Eventually, clear, pink or yellow fluid will seep from every available open pore on your lower legs. This is when; finally, you must make an appointment to see your physician.

"Pitting" is a unique sign of edema.
"Pitting" is a unique sign of edema.

What Do I Have?

Some diseases that have edema of the legs as a "trait" or "symptom" are:

  • Congestive heart failure
  • Pulmonary edema
  • Liver failure
  • Renal kidney failure
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Cancer
  • Pregnancy
  • Malnutrition

Don't let the condition get out of hand! Your physician will take care of the disease, whatever it turns out to be. Your job will be to keep your legs as healthy as possible.

What to Do

  • When the fluid starts building up, remember to keep your legs elevated as much as possible to help bring the fluid back to the upper torso.
  • On the other hand, be sure that you do not just go to bed. While the majority of fluid overload may well be in your legs, it may also be in and around your lungs and heart. This makes it difficult to breathe, causes fatigue, respiratory distress, cough (especially at night). Your physician will be the one to best decide your course of treatment, which may include diuretics, potassium, and perhaps heart medication to help your heart pump the blood around your body as efficiently as possible.
  • You physician may wish to test your lung capacity or assess your lab values, such as a basic metabolic panel that checks the overall function of your heart, lungs, and liver.
  • You may or may not have oxygen added to your medication list and, of course, wound care or skin care for both lower extremities if there are open, weeping sores.

Basic Wound Care

Before any orders are given to you, concerning your skin care, it is imperative that you understand how vital it is that you use care and cleanliness at all times, not just with skin or wound care but for the rest of your life. Depending on the number of open sores on your legs, you may be unable to care for yourself at home. If so, your physician and or nurse will be the person to instruct you on skin care. They will stress the importance of strict hygiene, hand washing and the importance of using supplies that are sterile or at least very clean.

The easiest thing to remember is hand washing. If you have to think to yourself, "Should I wash my hands now?" it is already too late. Wash them! You will be glad you did!

While you wash your hands, if you sing the ABC song or the Happy Birthday song to yourself, you have washed your hands for fifteen to twenty seconds. This is exactly the amount of time it takes to kill any bacteria present on your hands.

As far as wound care is ocncerned, the following factors need to be considered:

  1. How much fluid is there? If there is an exorbitant amount of fluid, then a dressing that will wick the fluid away would be best. Be careful that you do not make the dressing so big that filling with drainage will cause it to slide down your leg, causing further harm. If the dressing becomes saturated, the action of sliding could well take several layers of skin with it.
  2. How many open sores? If there are less than half a dozen it will be manageable and should heal well and quickly. If there are more than six open sores, the risk for cellulitis increases and additional steps must be taken to keep you and your legs as healthy as possible.
  3. How deep are the sores and what color are their wound beds? If the areas are dry and red, without any heat around them then help them stay this way with a dry dressing, a skin protectant on your open areas, and then wrap your legs with rolled gauze. If the areas are draining fluid and the wound bed is pink, your physician may order an antibiotic ointment such as bactroban, then a non-adherent dressing such as a telfa pad and then a rolled gauze such as kerlix.
  4. Is there pain associated with skin care, cleaning, or walking? While your wound care may be uncomfortable it should not cause pain. Discomfort, yes, but hopefully not pain.Pain is actually your body's first sign of infection. Not redness, temperature, or even a foul odor. These signs usually come later. Pay attention to pain and inform your physician so an evaluation can be done and proper steps can then be taken to address the issue.
  5. Any surrounding redness? Again, this is a sign of infection. Call your doctor!
  6. Any odor? Odor is caused by bacteria, and possibly infection. All bacteria has odor; odor is what is produced when bacteria and oxygen meet for the first time. However, after cleaning the affected area, there should not be that much odor. A noticeable odor after cleansing is a sign of an infection or a complication that could slow or stop your healing process. Again, call your physician.

Follow-Up Care

After two weeks your physician I'll more than likely want you to come back to the office for a follow up visit. If that appointment is not made on your first visit, call and make one yourself in 10-14 days, even if your legs look and feel better.

Unfortunately, edema and chronic weeping legs will probably not just go away by themselves. That is the hardest thing to accept. But, once you do, then you know you can handle it; because the condition will come and go, and now you have the information you need to take care of it any time it raises its ugly little head!

Disclaimer

What is written here should not replace your physician’s advice and services. Consult your physician every time for all things medically related. If you feel you have any of the signs or symptoms above, contact your physician for a consultation as soon as possible.


Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Triston 3 months ago

      How often should the dressings be changed? My grandmother has something similar and my grandfather changes them twice a day, I'd also like to know if there is something to help dry up the clear yellow discharge from the sores. its so much it will soak her shoes socks pretty much everything even with the dressings on. The creme given to her to go under neith the bandages are making her legs look similar to ground beef and that can't be good

    • profile image

      Gigi dalton 5 months ago

      I'm 66. 2 years ago developed high blood pressure and was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. I am not overweight. I take hydrochlorothiazide and metroprolol. All my blood work is good. I noticed my left leg at the ankle is weeping a bit through the skin. This is frightening to me. I have a regularly scheduled dr appointment in October. Do I need to see him sooner?

    • profile image

      Bonnie Moelter 9 months ago

      My brother has these symptoms of PAD, swelling of the ankles and feet and has fluid leaking. It has recently happened with the leaking of fluid. He has severe pain in the legs and feet. He can't hardly walk. He is trying to find out what type of doctor to go to. He also has had hypothyroidism and cirrosis, psoriasis. He is overweight and not feeling well. Can anyone tell me what kind of doctor he needs to see.

    • RNMSN profile image
      Author

      Barbara Bethard 11 months ago from Tucson, Az

      Hello Jane sorry for the delayed response. I am sorry you are going through this. The best thing you have done is to seek care. Please do not take yourself out of the loop of physicians. They have the knowledge and expertise to take care of you. I do not. Registered Nurses, no matter how many letters they have after their name, do not diagnose. We are there to help the physicians and persons like yourself. The thing to do is research your physician, they have report cards and that information is available and open to the public. You can also talk with your friends, family, neighbors and see which doctors they feel confident are delivering quality care. Not going to the expert for your wound is like playing Russian Roulette with your ability to stand upright on both legs! Go to one doctor and stick until your leg is healed! In health and with best wishes for complete recovery, Barbara B

    • profile image

      Jane 12 months ago

      Ah. I see it now - MS RN - excellent. All the more reason you are not "just" a nurse.

    • profile image

      Jane 12 months ago

      Hello, there. This is important work you're doing. Are you an A.A.S. RN or BSN or more, R.N. In any event, enough with the "just" an RN. As to self-advocating - I've advocated myself out of the care of several area physicians. I have an open wound that, curiously, appeared acutely, when I removed a bandaid that was covering an infected mosquito bite. Never had anything like that happen before. Going in to week 3 on this. They tell me there's nothing more to be done. I have taken broad-spectrum antibiotics and used bactroban. Putting any ointment on the wound causes inflammation. I started using plantain leaves, (plantago major, not bananas), and that helped a lot, but tonight, there is weeping, and the cavity seems larger - it is certainly indurated - but there is no redness. Feeling kind of wimpy about it at this point - as well as abandoned.

    • RNMSN profile image
      Author

      Barbara Bethard 12 months ago from Tucson, Az

      I hope so too Mandi! I am glad you are seeing a doctor and hope it turns out to be nothing!

    • profile image

      Mandi 12 months ago

      For the past month my feet and legs have been very swollen. It doesn't go down at night when I sleep. Just this week my left leg has started weeping, it is a clear, odorless fluid and it only comes from one spot. I have no open areas or sores on my legs, my skin is very intact. My doctor did blood work on me and everything came back normal, now he has ordered a doppler to check my circulation. I'm afraid if this continues it will compromise the integrity of my skin. I hope I can get a diagnosis soon.

    • RNMSN profile image
      Author

      Barbara Bethard 15 months ago from Tucson, Az

      Good morning Mark

      What does your physician tell you? That is your first and best support for any condition. However, sometimes edema in only one extremity can be caused from having had surgery on that extremity at one time. Persons who had a heart bypass sometimes show swelling in the leg where the vessel was removed. I do not know what the problem is in your case, but would be interested in what you find out. It is interesting that exercise makes it improve. That and the fact that you do not have any discomfort is something you want to be sure and tell you MD when you see him. Let me know what you find out!

    • profile image

      markjmobley@gmail.com 15 months ago

      None of these cases seems to match mine, unless I missed it. I am a 51-year-old man, 180 lbs, white Anglo-Saxon, generally fit, no high blood pressure or diabetes or anything the doctors can figure out. My leg edema varies from day to day, is more in left than right leg. No itching, no pain, no soreness, no weeping, no odors. Just edema, sometimes making my skin tight and pale. For me, I get relief when I have a very good workout, like running more than 5 miles, or when I do a thorough stretching exercise routine. The next day, my legs are almost normal. No hair on legs from knees down, and it all started about 12 years ago. When I get more sleep, my edema lessens. My wife thought I might have sleep apnea, so I am getting that looked at. The Apnealink screening tool showed I am a 6 out of 10 on apnea scale of some kind, 10 being worst case. My blood pressure is about 110 over 75, resting heart rate is 50 to 60. What is my problem?

    • RNMSN profile image
      Author

      Barbara Bethard 2 years ago from Tucson, Az

      Good morning Robert, I love the Mayo Clinic website, I know I can trust the information I find there. Here is a link to an article about edema

      http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/edem...

      It seems your physicians have done all the appropriate tests but I know it is frustrating to have had all the tests and still not have a "reason." Sometimes, as hard as it is to hear, sometimes there is not a 'specific reason' and all you can do is manage the edema itself. I would add a caution that you may have heard already and that is to keep your legs clean and dry and elevated as much as possible and of course to follow your doctors orders. I will be interested in hearing what the underlying reason is as far as your edema is concerned and wish you the best.

    • profile image

      robert 2 years ago

      Hello Barbara. Excellent article.

      I was wondering if you might have some insight into a condition that my docs so far have failed to diagnose. I've been dealing with generalized pitting edema for several years now without any explanation. Tested for heart, liver, kidney, thyroid, diabetes, etc but nothing specific turns up. When the edema is at it's worst, I usually feel very dried out, almost like I am dehydrated, if that makes any sense. I also have lots of gi inflammation which seems connected to the edema in that both symptoms get worse simultaneously and the edema seems to improve markedly after bowel movements, although my gastro doc claims no connection between the two symptoms.

      The edema is pretty much chronic and very generalized. It only leave pits/indents in the legs, however. I am at wits end with this due to lack of diagnosis.

      I'm a male 46 with no other health issues, aside from the colon and stomach inflammation. Low blood pressure, not taking any meds and was otherwise thin before the water weight gain

    • RNMSN profile image
      Author

      Barbara Bethard 2 years ago from Tucson, Az

      I am glad it helped you Ana, take care

    • profile image

      ana r. 2 years ago

      Thank u,this article helped i have con.heartfailure stage 4 and i hace edema drops from both my legs.now i care for them more

    • RNMSN profile image
      Author

      Barbara Bethard 2 years ago from Tucson, Az

      Good morning Deni

      I am sorry you are going through these health problems. Your cardiologist is the best one to ask about your edema. If you havent seen your cardiologist since last fall perhaps this would be a good time to have an appointment with him/her to see what is going on. In the meantime, a few tips that might make you eel a bit better is to try and wear clothes that do not restrict or pinch,especially around your tummy,wear cotton as much as possible and of course try and keep your skin as clean and dry as you can.Wash your hands frequently. You do not want an infection on top of everything you are going through!I hope you feel better soon.

    • profile image

      Deni 2 years ago

      Hi, i noticed this thread started 5 years ago but i still see it's going today. Thank you for having it here.

      I have weeping leg edema, diagnosed today. I'm an overweight lady with a very large tummy, the weeping is also coming from my tummy, it's just dripping on the floor or chair when i'm sitting.

      My doctor didn't tell me much at all, just to keep taking my fluid pills and try to keep my legs elevated.

      I was in hospital in October 2013 for 3 weeks due to heart problems and sleep apnea. Apparently i have acute apnea and i was put on a Cpap machine which once i got home i couldn't use it. I panicked when i was wearing it because of claustrophobia.

      Do you think my heart problems are back and they're causing the Edema on my lower legs and tummy?

    • RNMSN profile image
      Author

      Barbara Bethard 3 years ago from Tucson, Az

      Hello Patricia

      If it were happening to me I would want to see a cardiologist first and a wound care specialist second.

      I wish you the best, I can imagine you are miserable. Also, if you are on Medicare, have you thought about asking your physician for home health nurses to come and help you with wound care?

      Hello Violet

      I know you are worried and I know you want the best for your Mother. I was wondering if you have asked your physician about the possibility of getting home health services for your Mother? If she is in an assisted living facilities it may be possible to use a Medicare Certified Home Health Agency for nurses and wound care and I bet if you start that process then your Mother will get referrals out to other physicans like heart and wound care specialists as I mentioned to Patricia.

      My best wishes and thoughts for you both Patricia and Violet!

    • Violet Morris profile image

      Violet Morris 3 years ago

      My mother has edema in her legs due to congestive heart failure. She won't sleep in her bed - which is a hospital bed that can be raised up - because she panics and says she can't breathe. We raise the head of the bed and prop her up with pillows, but she still panics. So, she's been sleeping a lift chair - which is a recliner she can control herself... and she keeps lowering her legs because she has bed sores from sleeping in the chair. We try to get her to put her legs up in the lift chair and put pillows under her, but she won't co-operate and keeps putting her legs down on the floor. On top of all that, she has Alzheimer's and can't seem to understand that getting in the bed is what's best for her. Her legs have open sores that are red and are leaking fluid. We've been to her doctor, and he just says get her to prop her legs up. We've been to the emergency room two weeks ago, and they said it wasn't cellulitis and doubled up on her lasik. Nothing is working right now. I don't know if I should take her back to the ER or not... because it's very difficult to get her in a wheelchair & get her there... and then have them do nothing. Yesterday, her leg pain worsened to the point she couldn't stand, she said she felt like she was going to pass out from the pain. I was going to take her back to the ER last night, but we convinced her to get in her bed, which after I left lasted two hours & then she was back in the chair. She's in assisted living and has workers there that help her & we've hired a sitter for the day... but I'm afraid she's going to end up in a nursing home if this doesn't get better. What should I do at this point?

    • profile image

      Patricia Green 3 years ago

      I have had all of the above symptoms for some years now. My own (primary) Doctor doesn't want to know about it. He does nothing. So I have been looking for a specialist for some years now, without success.

      What sort of specialist would I have to see about edema of my legs. They are getting very bad.

    • RNMSN profile image
      Author

      Barbara Bethard 3 years ago from Tucson, Az

      Good Morning Diane

      Your aunt sounds like a very strong and independant person.Changing her own dressings for her legs is not easy but she is doing it! That is excellent. It is so hard to be far away and just have to listen to the reports. I would encourage you to keep giving love and enocuragement to your aunt on the phone as often as possible which of course you are doing. Hopefully, the next few weeks will bring more improvements. Do you think that age plays a part in how fast people heal?

    • profile image

      Diane J. 3 years ago

      Hi, I hope you have some wonderful advice. My aunt has been suffering with horrible weeping legs and edema. They did the surgery for blood flow, putting stents in, which they said would help her legs. The weeping is still there, and it has been 1 month since the surgery. She is in assisted living and in a very rural area, which I worry if she is getting good care.

      She changes the dressing herself, and when she goes in for re-check. They just tell her to come back in a week. I don't understand why the surgery didn't work, and why her legs are still weeping and draining so bad. Any advice will be appreciated! She is 80 years old.

    • RNMSN profile image
      Author

      Barbara Bethard 3 years ago from Tucson, Az

      Thank you for commenting Candice. I know you feel helpless but the love you have for your Mother comes through in your words. I know your Mom takes comfort and support knowing that you are there for her.I am sorry this is happening to your Mom and to your family. I would encourage you to keep calling the MD office, talk to the nurse,daily if necessary and keep them aware of what is happening. The team of healthcare professionals that are fighting for your Mom is the best place to go for help.

    • profile image

      Candice 3 years ago

      My mom just got out of the hospital after a 18 day stay. She had a blood infection (staph) which they treated with antibiotics. She has been fighting T-cell lymphoma since Nov 2013 and 1/2 way thru the 1st chemo treatments they determined it wasn`t working & now she has been on a different one specifically for her type of cancer for 12 wks now & has another 12 wks to go. She hasn`t been able to have it for the past 2 months because she has been too weak. It started off with her skin itching severely which it continues to do but about the time she started with her new chemo her legs & feet had begun a lot. Weeks after that the weeping began, 1st in her feet, then her legs & now her whole body is weeping which it was when she was in the hospital too but they sent us home yesterday anyway. The past couple of days everywhere she walks leaves a trail or puddle of fluid. She can`t even leave the house because as soon as she puts on clothes they get completely drenched. The cancer Dr. tells us that going back on the chemo will help but it hasn't helped up to this point & nobody that has seen her has told us how to treat her legs or the weeping. Her legs look horrible & the cancer causes her body to peel skin all over and it seems like there should be some help out there for her. We just don`t know what we should be doing & the weeping just seems to be getting worse & she can`t hardly stand it anymore. Any suggestions PLEASE!!!

    • profile image

      Linda B 3 years ago

      thank you for writing this. your info is so on track and your compassion and humor is noted and appreciated.Keep up the good work. God bless you.

    • RNMSN profile image
      Author

      Barbara Bethard 3 years ago from Tucson, Az

      Hello Gene

      Your confidence just 'hollers' through this message! That is awesome. No matter what has happened to your body you have continued to stay active and in a positive frame of mind. I believe those two attributes will see you through whatever infirmity your body can dream up! Tht being said; as a nurse I cannot and have never authorized,advised or prescribed. Everyone must be open, honest, forthcoming with their physician. Do not ever take anything even if it is just over the counter without consulting first with you doctor. That is always the wisest thing to do. Stay well and strong as you already are Gene and thank you so much for taking the time to read my hub.

    • profile image

      Gene 3 years ago

      In my previous comments I made a few errors I'm afraid. One which I would like to correct is in the next last word, "red," in the third to last sentence in the 4th to last paragraph should be "right," not "red." Also I would like to add that I am on about 15 medications twice a day for treatment of other issues such as the other branches of ailments belonging to the metabolic syndrome issues, blood pressure, cholesterol, lipids, chronic anemia, and anticoagulants, and blood thinner, and, oh yow, I have ulcers and a hiatal hernia. LOL. I think that's about it. I sound like the walking dead, huh? Well, I'm not. While I do have some limited mobility issues, I live in a magnificent Rocky Mountain state and I'm out on a mountain bike occasionally and have a couple of pretty active hobbies that keep me moving around, like photography.

    • profile image

      Gene 3 years ago

      I've had this condition for about four years now. I am a 40 year diabetic, 77 years of age. I got hit with cellulitis on top of my left foot on Christmas morning 2009. On Dec 26th I went to the doc and was given an IV of antibiotics and some more in pill form "to go." I had a rash of what appeared to be ingrown leg hairs running up my left shin which became involved in this drama within a couple of days. I returned to the doc and was admitted for four days of intense antibiotic treatment. On the first night, sedated for the pain, I recall kicking my left shin with the heel of my right foot to get some relief from the pain, or so I thought in twilight sleep under sedation. The in-house doctors said I had mrsa but it was clear enough in four days that I was released, again with antibiotics to go. The place I kicked kept getting bigger around and deeper and took over two years to heal with throwing everything known to man at it in the way of wound treatment.

      After prolonged weekly treatment at a mighty fine wound clinic, I decided to try some alternative ideas and quit going to the clinic. One of the things I tried was drinking alkaline water. I found a place on the 'net where a young man stated that diabetic ulcers were nothing more than an acid burn and that the solution to healing it was to offset the acid with alkaline which, having a little exposure to the issue of the body ph, made sense to me. Between drinking the alkaline water and some antibiotic ointment I applied but otherwise leaving the wound uncovered, it slowly healed. That experience caused me to begin investigating what merit here is in the propaganda surrounding the much touted alkaline diet.

      In addition to the diabetes, I am a metabolic syndrome patient with cardiovascular disease, total neuropathy to my knees, and a bad lower back and I have several stents for clogged arteries including two that go from my aorta into my iliac arteries plus four in my left leg main artery. My left leg has been red, scaly, and weeping from that place I kicked since that occurred in spite of me intensively trying to keep it moist. I have since had another bout of cellulitis on the outside of my left little toe that was treated for a year and a half without success which eventually was attacked by mrsa that led to my podiatrist taking off that little toe and the outside of my foot and metatarsal back almost to my heel. That all healed up but in the interim, my red leg began turning red, and weeping from the same spot as the left leg had been weeping lo these many years.

      I hounded my primary, the cardiologist, podiatrist, dermatologist, and anyone else who would listen to put a name on this weeping red leg syndrome and nobody has stepped forward as of yet to claim the prize for naming the mystery problem. I have been through several rounds of antibiotics for that and other reasons, "just in case" of course, and I still have two weeping red legs from my knees down, mostly in the front. I have gone through a couple of regimes of topical treatments on both legs to no avail. Since I'm still ambulatory and have a high pain threshold and all those specialists didn't seem to know what was going on with the front of my legs, I decided that I probably shouldn't be too concerned about it. I'm on heavy diuretics and was advised that the only blood flow I am getting to my feet is due to a gravity feed through alternative pathways that have been forced open, to not use compression and not elevate my legs other than when sleeping or I won't get any circulation to my feet which, well, we know what that will lead to.

      All of that to say this, you have advised against the intake of Vit K which is the core of the alkaline diet to take our bodies away from over acidity which seems as though it has a chance to be behind the epidemic of diabetes and related issues that could very well be caused by a population of people whose bodies are overly acidic from their diet and which might very well be helped by leaning more on an intake of more alkaline loaded food and drink. Would you please address this concern I have about you advising against Vit K.

      I would like to thank you for taking the time to write this article because it has allowed me to determine what is going on with the front of my legs and given me some faith in my ability to correct the problem. I will be eternally in your debt even if "eternity" isn't all that far away. Thank you!

    • RNMSN profile image
      Author

      Barbara Bethard 3 years ago from Tucson, Az

      Hel lo TeeTee

      I am surprised the doctor did not want to send your husband to a heart doctor/a cardiologist. But there may be other causes to why your husbands legs have edema

      Here is a link to an article on the Mayo Clinic site/

      http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/edem...

      I would ask the doctor is any of these causes could be the reason for the swelling.

    • profile image

      teetee1249 3 years ago

      my husband has been dealing with swollen legs for about three years, he refused to go to the doctor so I started telling him he could loose his legs or die anyway so far the doctor gave him a strong antibiotic, water pills and told him to use pressure wraps and elevate them. He had tests done and found that he had enlarged lymphnoids in the groin ares not the upper body. They did a bioptsy and said it's not cancer. He has done nothing for months with me hounding again because his legs started weeping and sometimes the skin sluffs off like a boil or something. We went back to the dr. Just keeps giving refills on antibiotics. Then we went to have him send him to a specialist. He sent us to an oncologist who said after tests you don't have cancer. Which we already knew. I think the dr is stumped why he sent us to a dr when we already determined he didn't have cancer just cost us a lot of money we don't have. He is now also complaining of his feet feeling like he's walking on glass. He is not diabetic as of his last test. I'm real worried because his legs look so bad, huge and hard to the touch. He wraps and elevates them everyday but nothing has changed. I guess I'm looking for someone to give me an idea of what type of doctor to go to. If you can help i'd truly appreciate it. Thank you,

    • RNMSN profile image
      Author

      Barbara Bethard 3 years ago from Tucson, Az

      Hello Crystal

      I hope you will feel better soon.

      I am sorry I do not have any answer for you. What you describe sounds like ascites,which is fluid leaking into your abdomen. It can be caused from problems with the liver like cirrhosis but that isnt the only cause. Ascites is treated not in itself but by treating whatever caused it in the first place. I am sorry I do not have anything else to tell you but again, my hopes are for you to feel better soon.

    • profile image

      crystal lynn 3 years ago

      I have weeping edema with sticky clear stuff coming out.i cannot elevate because its not my legs. my stomach hangs and right in the middle is my edema, like the size of a newborns head. I've seen 3 doctors with no meds, treatments, therapy, nothing. I'm giving up & can't live like this. I cannot go anywhere or work because my pants are always wet. I take 20 mg of furosemide and other meds. I'm tired & 49, ready to go home, not enjoying life anymore & feeling alone. Please, what do I do, I live in small, small , usa with small hospital & not many MDs.

    • RNMSN profile image
      Author

      Barbara Bethard 3 years ago from Tucson, Az

      Hello Summi

      I am sorry you are going through this. I would encourage you to first see a heart doctor, a cardiologist, and go from there. There can be different causes of edema, but making sure your heart is in good shape would be a good place to start.

    • profile image

      summi 3 years ago

      I have had edema in my legs for 8years now. 1 year ago I was diagnosed with lymphedema however when they tested my lymphatic system they said there were no blockages. Lately my legs have been draining through the skin. When I ask the doctor about what is causing this they say they do not know.All reports normal. i am not overweighted.please help me

      t

    • RNMSN profile image
      Author

      Barbara Bethard 3 years ago from Tucson, Az

      Good morning JWilson

      There really isnt any way that someone else can tell anothers fate. Talk with the persons doctors, nephrologist and primary physician if you are able. Make sure that everything that can be done to make that person as comfortable as possible is being done.It is difficult to say goodbye, make sure you and everyone involved has the opportunity to talk about how they feel. I hope that helps. Thank you for commenting

    • profile image

      JWilson 3 years ago

      Question......a person with stage 5 kidney failure, CHF, the weeping has stopped, the person is now too weak to walk, can't feed themselves......I guess the kidneys are actually starting to shut down.....next is death ?? (91 yo)

    • RNMSN profile image
      Author

      Barbara Bethard 3 years ago from Tucson, Az

      Good morning Pam

      Thank you for your comment. It is wonderful that your Mother is getting home health nursing. The things you need to do, I bet, are things you are already doing.

      1) Question the nurses as to how often they call or send information to your Mothers physician.Ask if the physician calls nurses or sends fax to continue same treatment or if he/she makes any changes to the treatment.

      2)Ask to see copies of the nuses wound care measurement sheets. Usually a new wound care sheet is done on a weekly basis and should include measurements of all open areas as well as overall written desciption of the appearance of both legs.That sheet is usually sent to the MD weekly as well.

      Usually the physician will try a treatment for at least 2 weeks to see if the treament is effective.

      3)Try and be present at the MD visits and ask the physician about the specific cause of the swollen, weeping legs and ask if it would be helpul to see another MD,perhaps a cardiologist or wound care specialist.

      4)Encourage your Mother to follow all the MD advice, from medications to how often she is allowed to walk.

      5)Nutrition is also very important. Make sure you and your Mother know if there are any restrictions on food or liquids, even if things like salt should be adjusted in your Mothers diet.

      I hope your Mothers condition improves. Way to go for helping your Mother as much as you can!

    • profile image

      Pam 3 years ago

      The information given sounds so much what my mother is suffering from, she has had this for almost a year. Nurses come and apply dressings, compression bandages, creams her legs are getting worse, now spreading as far as her knees, the doctors don't seem to want to know. Any advise you can give me please.

    • RNMSN profile image
      Author

      Barbara Bethard 3 years ago from Tucson, Az

      Pain is actually the number ONE sign of 'better call, no, better yet Go see your doctor' problem. Good thing it is only Wed evening. so irst thing Thursday, get into your MD. better safe than sorry right? The other question has to do with the color and the odor of the drainage. If it has changed, i the odor is bad, i the color is a deeper color..those are the other two signs...And of course the amount of time involved. Best case scenario is everything gets to looking great just as or right after you swallow your last antibiotic. You mentoned you finished a 7 day order and it is still giving you signs of concern?

      go Edward, go back to the doctor. Sitting in the waiting room is a pain but its the best thing to do at this point, dont you agree?

      I bet this time you will get a culture and another course of antibiotics and hopefully the MD will clean it out or have the nurse do it...Get Well Soon! :

    • RNMSN profile image
      Author

      Barbara Bethard 3 years ago from Tucson, Az

      Pain is actually the number ONE sign of 'better call, no, better yet Go see your doctor' problem. Good thing it is only Wed evening. so irst thing Thursday, get into your MD. better safe than sorry right? The other question has to do with the color and the odor of the drainage. If it has changed, i the odor is bad, i the color is a deeper color..those are the other two signs...And of course the amount of time involved. Best case scenario is everything gets to looking great just as or right after you swallow your last antibiotic. You mentoned you finished a 7 day order and it is still giving you signs of concern?

      go Edward, go back to the doctor. Sitting in the waiting room is a pain but its the best thing to do at this point, dont you agree?

    • profile image

      Edward 3 years ago

      I am still having some sharp stabbing pain in the area. How much weeping is normal? It has been soaking the 3 4x4 s I've been putting on it.When should I be concerned with a possible deeper infection? For the last 7 days have been keeping it elevated but want to get back to work. All suggestions would be appreciated .

    • RNMSN profile image
      Author

      Barbara Bethard 3 years ago from Tucson, Az

      Thank you Edward and I am glad you have the antibiotics to take care of the cellulitis! Keep you leg and your spirits up!

    • profile image

      Edward 3 years ago

      I have swelling in my legs,I'm overweight, I now have a spot about the size of my fist on my lower leg. It was diagnosed as cellulitis. Just finish a 7 day oral antibiotics. Almost all redness around the area is gone. The area is still weeping a lot of clear/yellow fluid.the top of the area is puffed up like blisters. I just found this blog and I am thankful for your time and compassion you share here. I wanted to say thank you.

    • RNMSN profile image
      Author

      Barbara Bethard 3 years ago from Tucson, Az

      Good morning Lisa

      I apologize for not answering you sooner, as to the scrotal swelling there are several things that might cuase this from an infection to a hernia.

      I would suspect his physician would say it is not an infection but rather a build up of fluid that isnt able to move away from that area; a hydrocele.

      Sometimes swelling of the scrotum occurs from the persons position while sitting or lying; in other words, he could have pinched his sac without realizing it,especially if he isnt able to shift his position in bed.

      Some comfort measures that might help would be to give support to his scrotum and penis by placing a sot cloth between his legs in bed/make a "hammock" so he has less pain in that area,does that make sense?

      and of course, keep his skin clean and dry. Notify the physician immediately of course and always notify the MD if there is apparent signs of pain during urination,although at the last stages of life there may be less urine output ,this is normal at that time. I am sure your family has called the physician but that would be the first thing to do. My prayers are for your family at this sad time.

    • profile image

      Lisa 3 years ago

      I'm not sure if this Hub is still active but if so I have a question. My brother is at end stage liver failure. He was just released from hospital today to my other brothers house and hospice will be in to help. However, in the last 3 days his penis and testicles are grossly enlarged. I am familiar with the edema and ascites as over the last year he has dealt with that but he never had this happen. I'm pretty sure it's just another complication of the end stage but would anyone know if this means we are talking perhaps days/weeks as opposed to months? And thank you to the person who explained lactulose. Since I am not able to be upstate with my brothers and I'm typically the one who handles all medical stuff, this has been hard for me because I would ask a million questions that my brother is not. So knowing that it is a laxative that targets ammonia elimination, which tends to build up in end stage liver disease and excess ammonia causes encephalopathy which is swelling of the brain that makes the patient very 'loopy' and can even lead to coma and death was so helpful and now makes sense.

      I'm just trying to get a sense of the time frame (originally the doctor said 3 months) but based upon the things that have been transpiring in the last week, my gut is saying a lot less time than that. I so wish I had the extra bedroom so he could be here with me but I don't even think that would an option now because my brother is having a hard time getting him out of bed to commode. He is pretty much dead weight and me being 5'1 and 105lbs , I couldn't do it. Anyway, sorry I'm all over the place with this and rambling. Just thought someone might have some feedback. Thank you!!!

    • RNMSN profile image
      Author

      Barbara Bethard 3 years ago from Tucson, Az

      Hello Rose

      I know it is difficult to continually ask for help/I understand you feel tht no one is hearing what you are going through

      But the only person that can Truly help you is you physician.He or she is the ONE person you need to be calling,writing,seeing ALL the time. Stay at that office, be smart and keep asking for help.Be responsible and Always follow your physican advice!Only then will you be able to say that you were diligent,didnt miss any instriuctions and always did what your MD told you to do

    • RNMSN profile image
      Author

      Barbara Bethard 3 years ago from Tucson, Az

      I can hear your distress

    • profile image

      Rose Thorne 3 years ago

      Sorry if you get twice first time went to sign in after long, hopefully useful, post and returned to post page only "name" field was gone, sigh so posting again just in case. Luckily I routinely copy/paste after losing posts.

      And as I said, sorry if repeat and also for the length...

      I have had chronic pain syndrome for ten years (time sense is not a strong suit, sorry). About three years ago while I was moving from needing walker (with seat was already pushing myself around on it, backward as legs (knees that's is) couldn't take weight pulling forward. Believe already had swelling but just as I gained weight going from cane/walker as a walker, I gained in chair (about 250lbs) when wound on calf didn't heal but got worse went to VA primary who swabbed and wrap wound in dry dressing with 2 week followup. Wound size of silver dollar at best tripled in size, so she put in referral for wound care. Two weeks to hear from them three to get next available appt. Ugh full/near full left leg below knee and above ankle (didn't get foot until later, man that hangs on like a b----)

      first wound doc was a ... sigh, luckily home care nurse had 20+ yrs in wound care. Sadly no longer have home care as VA feels I can do my own wound bandaging.

      Then followed up & downs, MRSA (and ten days in hospitalized with 103 fever and delirious, first three days mostly unconscious or screaming for pain relief, next week BORED) , second hospital stay roughly year later fever, no MRSA, one week. Oh, and during MRSA visit also spread to right leg, knee to ankle as various people in smocks argued over best care. Sigh.

      After first wound doc got too many complaints, including mine about nearly healed legs, one small wound front and back of left, hardest to heal leg and week later was spreading like wildfire when he touched leg f---ing backhanded, we got new more up to day, willing to discuss issue and why THAT wound care.

      Back to up and down, peripheral edema joined by peripheral neuropathy, or perhaps other way around (if it matters can dig out thumb length, not width, various medical, civvie and VA) both roughly five years. Lower legs decent, right nearly clear and NO drainage which had been common before, left palm- sized on shin, little drainage, smaller one on out-size where power chair leg lefts put pressure on spot (no diabetes, no high blood pressure, cholesterol ok, etc. No blood clots on legs, ultrasound) can feel it but only limited ways to rest leg when left knee is unable to fully straighten, if they thought I'd walk, I'd need new joint. Just me not understanding how little time it took.

      However, the bad to the mostly clear/clear-ish lower legs are upper legs now seeping water. Una boot which worked, working wonders on lower legs slide down thighs, cannot use the equally useful profore system on upper leg (if memory serves, ie take with grain of salt, it was when started profore that thighs broke out...) kertex,kerlex? even worse than soft, felt-y stuff used over una boot.

      Making this all worse is increasing bladder control, incontinence? Easier to hold bladder until have to reach item dropped (taught Tigger my Chihuahua to fetch them for treats, no use in store, yet, to many distractions, but we are working on it) as well as getting out of wheelchair, any pressure on bladder basically. Also if leaning forward, like on computer, typing, watching tv, crocheting off pattern, again leaning forward BEFORE liquid in bladder, I CAN NOT feel when full and have had accidents in chair or trying to shuffle from power chair to toilet.

      Doctor seems more impressed by improving lower legs than thighs. Not sure she understands what I am telling/asking, sigh.

      Does the urine put open wounds at risk of infection, is there some way you might know, Rebecca, to cover legs so una boot stays put. Swelling in lower legs and right thigh down, left same as before, due to issues with fluoride(so?) Water pill, I threatened to stop them flat out after accident at friends home. Luckily I had spare undies but she had to wash and dry my wet clothing. Everyone was nice but that only made it worse :( now only hydrochlorothiazide which is better (relatively, but I don't take it on the day, once week, when go see my friends) so if you know a better drug I could mention a friend was taking to see if workable for me, I'd appreciate it, ditto the problem with thigh wounds and info.

    • RNMSN profile image
      Author

      Barbara Bethard 4 years ago from Tucson, Az

      You are doing fine Rebecca, following your physicians orders and taking care of yourself.It isn't easy and you are doing well! I hope your legs improve soon!

    • profile image

      Rebecca 4 years ago

      Thank you for such an informative article. For 3 weeks I have been watching the edema increase in my lower limbs. I've had a doplar to show that there are no DVT's, the veins and arteries are working fine, and the cardiologist has cleared me of any heart problems. The rheumatologist thinks that I now have cellulitis because of the redness of the skin, warmth, multiple bumps, and small open sores (from scratching the bumps). She put me on an antibiotic (Keflex) and a double dose of lasix and took me off Methotrexate for one week. She says this is not part of my RA and I don't think it is part of the peripheral neuropathy or fibromyalgia. The edema is severe and your description of tree trunks is exactly the way I've been describing my legs. I can't get into any of my shoes (not even tennis shoes) and wear flip flops everywhere. I sleep with my legs elevated, wear compression stockings during the daytime, and ace wrap my legs at night. Massage seems to take the redness away temporarily, but nothing so far has removed any of the symptoms permanently. It's not the worst pain I've ever dealt with, but it sure is more discomfort than I care to experience on a daily basis.

    • RNMSN profile image
      Author

      Barbara Bethard 4 years ago from Tucson, Az

      hello Andy

      Always and forever, start with your conductor, the manager, the one doctor that knows you inside and out////your Primary

      now, for some information and always take this info and double check with your MD:

      Thyroidectomy is done usually for cancer of thyroid or for a very large goiter or for hyperthyroidism when iodine therapy isnt desired But

      that wouldnt cause edema of lower extremities/probably/

      with seronegative rhuematoid arthritis, actually you are probably in less pain that persons with seropositive RA/though I know from your own point of view thats a small comfort at best and the kind of RA you have isnt as likely to cause edema of lower extremities either/just swelling and pain and redness and warn]mth of specific joints/be sure to mark on your calendar every time your joints really bother you/your MD needs that info becuase without the rhuematology factor in your blood its difficult to tell what the disease progresion will be

      The greenfield filter will help prevent larger clots from traveling from your legs into your lungs so thats all taken care of right there

      the deep vein thrombosis would cause swelling but only on the leg with the thrombosis(clot) and its probably gone now too if you are on blood thinners and of course,the clots in your lungs (PE) are probably diminished and or gone with the use of the anitcoagulants and or antiplatelet medications

      Therefore; if you do truly have weeping fluid from Both legs, see your primary first.

      He/She will refer you to the proper source for the best care

    • profile image

      andy 4 years ago

      I have sero negative R/A and recently had d.v.t. and pulmonary embolisms. I am disabled now from truck driving from r/a. I had the dvt 1 1/2 years ago. I have a greenfielf filter in. Also had my thyroid out 3 months ago. I have pitting edema and weeping legs. No smell. So which doctor should I see, my rheumy, blood guy, im on thinners, thyroid guy or primary?

    • RNMSN profile image
      Author

      Barbara Bethard 4 years ago from Tucson, Az

      I hope your Mom gets some relief soon and that she does go to the MD

    • RNMSN profile image
      Author

      Barbara Bethard 4 years ago from Tucson, Az

      I hope your Mom gets some relief soon and that she does go to the MD

    • profile image

      Stressed 4 years ago

      I was on the web searching for answers... :/ this sounds just like what my dad "HAD" :( now 6 years have past and my moms has the same symptoms / signs that he had. I would have to clean/ dress his wounds , it got so bad that I was shown by the nurse how to put this clear , almost looking like a screen from your window, over the areas and wrap it. And by the time I would get home from work the dressing would be soaked and draining out the bottom. So I had to cut my work days in half. I was so stressed with a toddler running around and wanting in pop-pops lap to also caring for an infant, trying to work and a failing marriage turned into devorce . Now I believe my mom has what my dad had. But it seems worse , his legs didn't get as big, red, and painful as hers. I wanted to take her to the dr about it when her legs first looked red and swollen but she just took an extra fluid pill. Now her legs are weeping badly. I told her she needs to go to the hospital but she's not wanting to do that either. Now with reading what I have , then your article just validates that my concerns are not of a paranoid daughter. So thank you , at least now I know what this might be.

    • RNMSN profile image
      Author

      Barbara Bethard 4 years ago from Tucson, Az

      Of course you will always follow your physicians advice and your physician always has the best answer for your problem/Hypothyroidism

      is a conditionof the thyroid gland in that it does not produce enough of the hormone called thyroid

      thyroid controls your metabolism

      Here is the link to the national institue of health about your condition

      http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/00...

      losing weight can be a challenge for persons affected with hypothyroidism but that doesnt mean it wont happen

      Check out the usda site called choosemyplate.gov

      thats a great site and the information you learn may help you with your weight management

    • profile image

      treetree1 4 years ago

      I'm leaking fluids in my legs,they are very heavy. i have a rapid weight gain,my stomach growing fast like overnight.my doctor told me if because of my thyroids.I have hypothroidism,so i see my specailist for my thyroids,and bascially he told me to: elevate my legs,diet,and exercise,and he adjusted my medication.i'm taking levothyroxine 175 mcg.he adjusted to 200mcg.

      my question is will this work?will i stop leaking fluids,and losing the weight?

    • RNMSN profile image
      Author

      Barbara Bethard 4 years ago from Tucson, Az

      Good Morning Eve

      Edema is always a symptom of another disese process. Diabetes can cause problems with the function of our heart and obesity also leads to problems with weight related illnesses and will cause complictions with diabetes. Sometimes with just obesity the ability to move,walk,turn,bear ones own weight is extremely difficult. Then, if the person cannot walk enough to help push the blood and fluids back to the top of the body; pooling of blood and fluids will occur in the legs and feet. Then of course, this fluid has no where to go except out of the pores of the skin itself and thats where the scabs and wetness comes from. The actual reason isnt really what is most important. Treating the legs with dressings/keeping the legs as dry as possible/elevation of the legs if the doctor orders that/making sure that salt is kept to the minmum in the diet/making sure the blood sugar stays at or below 150 / making sure the food has a lot of colour,lots of fruits and veggies/ eating at least 4 but 6 small meals a day and absolutely no refined sugar or carbs that turn to sugar/ making sure water is taken as much as doctor has ordered....these are the things in your Dad's treatment that must be followed to the best of your Dad's ability. Do not get dismayed and think these are unreachable goals either. Just pick one thing/one small thing and work on that one thing util its second nature,then add another,then another until diet and meds and walking or just moving are a bit easier. You are such a help to your Dad and I know he appreciates all you do!

    • profile image

      Eve taylor 4 years ago

      My 70 year old dad is in so much pain, legs starting scabbing 6 months ago and have got worse day by day to the point where the first few layers of skin frm knee to toes are missing, being dressed daily by the nurse but dressings always wet after a few hours, he has been on every type of antibiotics , the pain is worse at night , he is obese with diabetes , he visited a vascular surgeon who found pulses in his leg and said he circulation is ok but sent him for a ct scan which we are waiting for the results, I am convinced he has something more wrong with him, wish i could take his pain away or give him some relief , he is currently on 32 different tablets a day :( any idea what this could be ?

    • RNMSN profile image
      Author

      Barbara Bethard 4 years ago from Tucson, Az

      I have not seen any patients personally who have had this problem, however,according to the ncih and mayo sites edema is a common complcation. I am sure you are trying to keep your legs elevated,perhaps having to wear compression stockings? and of course take the medications as your PCP has ordered? be sure to ask your primary what fluids and how much you need to be drinking to help decrease the fluid and be sure not to rub,scratch etc at any part of your legs as the skin will be very friable and will cause open sores if you do not take extreme caution when bathing,touching etc. My best to you and hopes for your recovery!

    • profile image

      sdamron 4 years ago

      I had gastric bypass surgery about 5 years ago. No complications. This past March I was admitted to ER w severe abdominal pains. I ended up after 3 surgeries in 3 days losing all but 70 cm of small intestines. I was released a month later on Tpn, but also eating on my own. I had swelling in and right out of hospital that would come and go. Since July the swelling increased and does not go away. It just shifts then within 5 minutes of being up back to my legs and feet. Since the end of September it got hugely worse. I was up 10lbs. Blood work and my surgeon said it wad due to such low blood protein levels. I increased to 80 grams daily and 2 weeks ago had more blood work done w my pcp. She believes the same. Low protein and low B-12. I went again a week ago for more and was called today saying my protein level was 4.8 and my B-12 was normal. At this point I have gained 20 lbs w the water reaching my hips/ abdomen. I have to lift my legs one at a time to get in my car. I can't climb any steps. I weep from pores clear fluid. Let's just say w out something for pain it would be completely unbearable.

      If my levels are up how come I feel no relief yet? Scared they have no clue what is wrong w me. I feel like I am slowly dying.

      Have you seen this before w short bowel/gut syndrome???

    • RNMSN profile image
      Author

      Barbara Bethard 5 years ago from Tucson, Az

      this would be difficult to treat at home,the worst thing that could happen is if you used soemthing that would cover up what is causeing the problem,it could worsen then when you were forced to seek medical help it would take longer to see what the true cause is

      however,it sounds like it might be a staph infection...staph is a bacteria that is always around us...but if it can get into our bodies through a scratch or a hole...it causes huge problems!

      if it is an infction of the skin you really need antibiotics...so youll have to see a doctor

      but to do the least harm, I would keep both legs clean,use mild soap and lots and lots of water and dry...no lotions/just soap and water

      good luck and I really hop you can get med help soon!

    • profile image

      Sephone 5 years ago

      Thank you for providing such a wonderful service to us.

      Three months ago, both of my legs suddenly (almost overnight) became dry and I started shedding skin from my knees to my ankles. I treated the dryness with both lotion and vaseline; the dryness began to disappear. About six weeks ago, I noticed blisters on the back side of my left leg. The blisters were white and located between my calf and ankle. The blisters slowly began leaking, like a very slow drip, and the skin on some of the outer sides turned grey. My leg has slowly turned a deep red, almost purple. The skin burns and/or itches, sometimes both at the same time. The blisters continue to leak, but the leak is now more like a flow. The grey skin is gross and sloughs right off.

      The top of my left foot is swollen and the same deep red/purple as my leg. My ankle has swollen and the skin in back of my calf is sliding down under the heel of my foot. It’s very painful. My toes are fine, although I can no longer see two of them due to the swelling.

      As of four days ago, my right leg has begun to blister. The top of my right foot is much worse than my left one. Again, my toes are fine. All blisters on this leg are white; no grey skin yet.

      We are a one-income family and money is extremely tight. I haven’t seen a doctor because I don’t have insurance. I will need to treat this at home, but I don’t know what I have or what caused it.

    • RNMSN profile image
      Author

      Barbara Bethard 5 years ago from Tucson, Az

      I havent heard of lack of sleep causing weeping edema no,but I do know itsx tied to weight gain/especially wt arund the middle

    • profile image

      imilos 5 years ago

      Hello, could lack of quality sleep cause weeping edema? My BP is never high but I could probably count the nunber of times I have had a good nights sleep on both hands this whole year. My quality of sleep is that bad. I am a 45 yr old male, live alone with my dog. Thanx

    • RNMSN profile image
      Author

      Barbara Bethard 5 years ago from Tucson, Az

      Tami,

      you probably need to see the doctor.Go and get what you need for your healths sake!

    • profile image

      tami 5 years ago

      I HAVE GAINED ALOT OF WEIGHT THESE PAST 2 YEARS FROM DEPRESSION (OVEREATING) I have venous stasist and bad veins in my legs from weight gain and Igot it also from my mom shes the same way my legs are really weeping alot these past 2 weeks it looks just like water its clear my legs dont hurt but when is this weeping gonna stop!!

    • RNMSN profile image
      Author

      Barbara Bethard 5 years ago from Tucson, Az

      well there are 'potholes' in the road

      The ulcers are related to you venous insufficiency and are called venous stasis ulcers

      ok now that justifies the assist of a nurse coming to your home and doing wound care 1 time a wk and those ulceers would benefit from the unna boot!

      the compression machine will never heal ulcers/you could get your MD to ordeer home health again

      however, the ulcers may not heal all the way/they are usually chronic and will require wound care on a minimum of once week

      the ulcers are the potholes and your foot is a sideroad just off the main road...thats a good mental image of why your feet dont swell...it really all comes down to circulation doesnt it?

      Also,the heart is so very selfish and does not have patience at all! The heart takes care of itself and its surrounding neighbors and could care less if your legs and feet get blood

      sad but true

      ok so, if the ulcers are dry but cratered in appearance? Dont bother thhem too much

      If they are oozing,watch the color and notify MD of yellow,brown or green drainage

      If there is reddness around the ulcer and its warm whereas the res of your leg is cool,see the MD

      If the ulcers are dry,get the TED hose/thats a great way to get th blood from feet to heart

      so commercialjunkie, your list of diagnosis probably reads like this

      hypertension

      edema related to hypertension

      venous insufficiency

      venous stasis ulcers related to venous insufficiency

      and I suspect you also have peripheral vascular disease and that is what is causing the narrw ankles and hard feel to your skin

      I am so glad that you take your medications the way you should now! Keep those ulcers clean and dry,use oil on the rest of your skin,dont ever put lotion,oils,creams etc between toes and wear your TED hose

      If the ulcers show signs of infction...get into that doctors office tout sweet!

      Ii hope you dont have any complications related to this commercialjunkie/I'll be thinking of you!

      Barbara

    • profile image

      commercialjunkie 5 years ago

      Hi again. Since I have been taking my bp meds I no longer have any swelling what so ever. My legs and my feet used to swell so bad that I that I thought they would burst. I feel stupid for not taking them religiously when they were first prescribed. I can't believe how flat my feet are now.

      So I have no swelling but I do have fluid between my calf and I guess 3 inches above my ankles. I have two ulcers one on my left leg above my ankle on the inside of my leg and one the outside same level and also one on the inside of my right leg. I don't get why the fluid doesn't go below my ankles and into my feet. what keeps it from traveling below my ankles?

    • RNMSN profile image
      Author

      Barbara Bethard 5 years ago from Tucson, Az

      oh this all makes sense now commercialjunkie :)

      Im afraid that edema that comes and goes will always be something you have to deal with/it sounds as if the swellinng in your legs is caused from Hypertension, so, just as taking BP medication will be forever part of your world, so will swellinng in your legs.

      This is not something that can be fixed, it can only be dealt with on a daily basis

      How do you do this?

      By sticking with all the things you have learned Im sure about hypertension

      No salt/in fact, if the food you buy has a list of ingredients dont buy it

      Easier said than done, I know, but eating fresh produce and lean meats will not only lower your blood pressure but will help keep the fluid in your legs from getting out of control

      Walk every day, for at least 15 min but 30 minutes is better,you dont have to do it all at once, if you want, walk 10 min at a time

      Drink plenty of water/not fluids, drink water/at least 8 full glasses (64 ounces) unless your physician has you on a retriction of fluid diet

      Dont cross your legs when you sit, when you sit choose a recliner or at least put your feet up on a foot stool

      Dont sit for hours/if your work is like mine and you are at a desk all day,get up every hour and stretch and walk in place,thats the best thing right there, for keeping your legs from swelling again

      Now about the lipodermatosclerosis...the patches of dried skin on your foot is from the unna boot and not being able to scrub with soap and water and oil your skin like you were able to do before your legs started swelling

      Do not scrape, rub or pick at that area just soap and water and whatever oil you use for your skin on a daily basis

      Finally, you should wear a pair of knee high TED hose while you are awake and up and about,take them off when you sleep and whenever you are using the compression machine/I bet TED Hose would work nicely at keeping that edema under control!

      If it were lipodermatosclerosis then the skin where your ankles and lower legs are would be really dark compared to the rest of your skin and it would feel as hard as a rock too/this doesnt sound like its lipodermatosclerosis

      This sounds like edema due to hypertension and this sounds like you have what you need to keep it from becoming a problem again

      Now, the unna boot treatment should never be used to prevent edema or open areas...the zinc is too hard on intact skin to be used like that

      So, take your meds, keep the skin on your legs clean and use oil on your skin; that should keep your legs/skin healthy

      Looking forward to hearing from you!

    • profile image

      commercialjunkie 5 years ago

      I forgot to add that I don't have diabetes and I don't know about varicose veins it is hard to tell since I am African American. I can feel the larger veins though. The feel like they are 1 inch wide and have a very knot like feel to them like a rope. To dark skinned to see any spider like veins.

    • profile image

      commercialjunkie 5 years ago

      Hi Barbara, thanks for answering me so quickly. I went to sleep finally about an hour after I wrote the last post. I just woke up.It's 12:00est here. The biggest part of my day is looking at the clock for 6 hours to pass so I can take two tylenol.

      After I started taking my blood pressure pills, the swelling in my legs are completely gone and I haven't had any weeping since. My legs are skinny right above the ankle and then fat and tight with no indentations.They are hot and tender at times, I think that is why I thought I had cellulitis again but I didn't have it. When the person that did my reflux exam she told me to look into sclerosis because of the hard sandy patches on my foot. I tried scrapping it off but no go.

      The Machine does't hurt too much and the fluid does leave but about an hour after it is right back in my legs. With the unna boot it kept the fluid away a lot longer. I called my doctor but he hasn't gotten back to me yet.

      The nurses don't come anymore. I just needed them to help put the unna boot on.

      Thanks again you are a living angel.

    • RNMSN profile image
      Author

      Barbara Bethard 5 years ago from Tucson, Az

      Good Morning commercialjunkie! I know you told me last year that you were diagnosed with chronic vein insufficiency and I know that is often a precursor to lipodermatosclerosis; however, unless your legs look and feel the way lipodermtasclerosis I would hesitate to say yes, I bet you are right

      See, this disease has a very distinct set of criteria and can be diagnosed fairly easily. Now, with peripheeral venous disease the shins and calves all the way to the knees may appear dark, almost like tanned deerskin in fact but in lipodermatosclerosis, that dark brown color affects just the lower legs at the ankly, 6-8 inches only and your legs at that point are very skinny and the rest of your legs will be extremely swoleen. Also, there isnt any weeping with lipodermatosclerosis but often/no, eventually/there will be a venous stasis ulcer over the ankle bone or on the inside of the lower leg.

      Was the open area you had last year called a venous stasis ulcer?

      Lipodermatosclerosis is also associated with varicose veins and used to be primarily in women.Do you have varicose veins?

      I wonder if you are diabetic? I couldn't find mention of that in your earlier comments.

      Also, I am curious as to why you want the unna boots as opposed to the intermittent compression device

      Does the machine hurt too much/difficult for you to

      apply/make it hard to sleep/or just a nuisance overall?

      If you have this mmachine does this mean you no longer get nurses to your home to assist you with your leg care?

      When you see your doctor, be sure to list out for him/her all the reasons you prefer unna boot over the compression machine. That will help you and the doctor make the best choice

      Should you tell the doctor what you want? Absolutely...just be tactful and have all your pros/cons to back up your request :) they are only human you know so the more you give as your reasons for asking the better received it will be :)

      And, best of all, the more info you have at hand the mre open or ;forthcoming' that doctor will be!

      and of course, take a tip from my Grandmother/if you dont care for the MD or agree with the course of treatment or want (most important) a physician that teaches as well as diagnoses and prescribes, then change physicians! You are the patient, yes, but you are the boss, actually :)

      Goodness commercialjunkie, this was a long-winded answer. I will wait to hear back from you before I go on :)

      Barbara

    • profile image

      commercialjunkie 5 years ago

      Hello again, The last time I was here I believe I was being treated with unna boots. They were healing my leg ulcers but very slowly. I was taken off the unna boots until I had a reflux exam. My exam came back normal and instead of putting me back on the unna boot they gave me this compression machine. It helps move the fluid out of my legs but after awhile it always comes back.

      Is it alright to ask my doctor to put me back on the unna boot? Or do I have to do what he wants?

      I also have sever pain in my legs still. They burn and sting all day. I get about 3 hrs of sleep a day. Some days no sleep at all. I was wondering if I could have something called lipodermatosclerosis and if I should ask my doctor about it. He is never forthcoming with information.

      Thank for all your help, I really appreciate it.

    • RNMSN profile image
      Author

      Barbara Bethard 5 years ago from Tucson, Az

      Hello Gee,

      Osteomyelitis is devastating and I am so glad you have found that some alternative medicine is helping!

      I wish there were a tea that would help specifically with the osteo but getting releif with the enlarged prostate is a wonderful thing!

      Barbara

    • profile image

      Gee 5 years ago

      Hi, I have read your blog and so much of it rings warning bells.

      I am a 63 year old male who 12 years ago contracted a mystery illness which after about 5 years was diagnosed as CRMO - Chronic Recurrent Multifocal Osteomylitus. Over the next few years this attacked several areas of my body but the worst by far was my spine. Consequently I have undergone 3 separate operations to the spine including some fussion work.

      Along with all this I was affected neurologically as well and was told I now have peripheral neuropathy.

      I have lots of areas affected with pins and needles and numbness but have got used to it over the years.

      I take large doses of MST (Morphine) 3 times a day, totalling 480mg a day for the bone pain. I have been taking this for about 12 years now starting with just 10mg a day and gradually building up.

      For the last 6 months my feet,ankles and lower legs have started swelling up, then about 2 months ago my knees and upper legs followed suit and then my stomach. My weight has increased by around 25% over a 2 month time span.

      I have great difficulty walking and getting up etc. My breathing is terrible, I find it difficult to get enough air sometimes and am always short of breath unless I am standing up.

      I have tried various drugs from my doctore to no avail, it just seems to be getting worse, I often get yellow fluid leaking from my legs.

      Last week I was out and noticed a chinese herbalist so popped in for possible help.

      He gave me a session of accupuncture which made me feel great in myself and then has given me a whole load of herbs that I boil up twice a day and drink as a cup of tea.

      I forgot to mention I am also suffering with prostate problems and have great difficulty passing water, I have tablets for this too but they have had no affect during the 5 months I have been taking them.

      Now I find the chinese tea after one week seems to have cured the difficulty passing water which is very encouraging.

      The chinese doctor, yes he is a qualified doctor, reckons that it will take about a month before I notice any decrease in the swelling.

      Has any one else had any success with alternative remedies?

      If you have read this far - thank you I have tried to keep to the point.

    • profile image

      Murthy 5 years ago

      Great Blog ...

      Thank you.

    • RNMSN profile image
      Author

      Barbara Bethard 5 years ago from Tucson, Az

      good morning Charlie :) well, thats what ole nurses are supposed to do right? you take care now Charlie!

    • profile image

      charlie 5 years ago

      Great web site. Helped much. Have used unna boot , it does work. will go back to it again. most problems are my own fault. Do not stay off or elevate my legs enough, have to be on foot most of day. Thank-You for reminding me to wake up and take time to treat problems.

    • RNMSN profile image
      Author

      Barbara Bethard 5 years ago from Tucson, Az

      Good evening Becky, you have certainly had a lot of stress and trauma over endometriosis,

      but what was the MD reason for 80mg of diuretics?

      and the invitro fertilization? as a way to produce pregnancy or for the endomtriosis?

      the lupron itself for the endometriosis is the one that might cause swelling of your legs but it seems there is mre to this than just a side effect, especially if the lupron was started after the swelling...then again if you were already having swelling why do the lupron that could exacerbate it?

      I am sorry I don't know more, I wish I knew all these answsers and I know you do as well.

      I am so glad you have coontinued to pursue this answer with different MDs opinions and acupuncture (a goood treatment for endometriosis) and wish I could answer you more succinctly.

      Barbara B

    • profile image

      beckyshook 5 years ago

      Your blog is quite interesting. I feel like such a freak of nature. Not one doctor in the last ten years have been able to diagnose me. I have swelling in the right leg dominantly but retain large amounts of fluid everywhere. I'm on 80 mg of diuretics daily and by noon I'm so swelled on the right ankle I must remove my shoe. I have been diagnosed in my salt 20's with endometriosis and have had several surgeries to clean up scar tissues and remove the endometriosis. I went through two rounds of ivf about eight years ago when we noticed the water retention. Ive been on three (6 months at a time) lupron treatments that had thrown me into menopause. I feel the swelling is hormone related but no doctors agree The sweeling is worse when humidity is high, I live in Oklahoma and summers are brutual. I travel to Colorado yearly and feel the sysmptons almost disappear. I went to cardiologist, urologist and general md and nothing was found. I have spent thousands of dollars on test, tried acupuncture, home remendies and lots of prayers. No relief has been found. I exercise daily but seem unable to drop a pound. I'm so frustrated. If anyone has any suggestions I am open for any and all attempts to relieve the problem.

    • profile image

      midnitevelvet 5 years ago

      after 3 yrs of open wounds and seeping, we have finally found someone to help my husband. we go to a vascular surgeon, who is treating him with a method called "Unna boot". this is working like a miracle. why no one else knows this method is beyond me. it is so simple. makes me want to sue everyone else for the torment he's been through all this time and wasted money and energy visiting doctors that do nothing.

    • RNMSN profile image
      Author

      Barbara Bethard 5 years ago from Tucson, Az

      Good morning etarn

      :)

      thank you so much for your encouraging words! I nurse because I care, want to help, to serve.

      And I write it down for the same reasons :) thank you

    • etarn profile image

      etarn 5 years ago

      OMG!!! Such a monumental work! Nursing student at present time, I am reading this post like case study scenarios and LEARNING SO MUCH!!! and referring your posts to my friends. Your Knowledge and Experience are treasure! Thank you for share. We need it, to help those you are in needs!

    • RNMSN profile image
      Author

      Barbara Bethard 5 years ago from Tucson, Az

      I hope you get the answers on Mon too

      Barbara B

    • profile image

      DFWArmyMom 5 years ago

      Just to clarify a little. The most recent is that they dont believe the first was a spider bite at all. These are all the same symptons. They all started small, they get larger and hot. It might not turn out to be a microbacterial infection either. They are not for sure. It's just depressing, it has been going on so long. The Infectious Disease Doc took me off the oral meds which I am greatful for right now. (I needed a break after taking them for so long) Who knows, I hope they figure this out soon. Maybe Monday will help get some answers. Thanks

    • RNMSN profile image
      Author

      Barbara Bethard 5 years ago from Tucson, Az

      DFWArmyMom a spider bite then a micro bacterial infection and now no diagnosis but many biopsies and all those antibiotics

      How frustrating and how confusing.

      I am sorry, this one is one I do not have any suggestions for and I am going to research it a bit. I will be thinking about you Mon the 5th!

      Barbara B

    • profile image

      DFWArmyMom 5 years ago

      Hope you might be able to help. 56 yr old female. This is the problem: Lower leg edema with dark spots for at least 3-4 yrs now. No weeping. Started as a small type pimple (looked like a bug bite) then it got the size of a hamburger, red and hot. Went to my reg MD gave me antiboitics, went back couple of weeks later and no change. He sent me to a surgeon. He looked at it said it was a brown reclose spider bite. Went to day surgery, he said he had to go all the way to the bone because of damaged tissue. Result: large dent in my lower leg, took longer to heal because of the lower leg locale-all healed. Next year I get the same thing-started out small. I went directly to the surgeon and he opened it in his office-no drainage. He gave me antibiotics. (bioxin) After 3 weeks no change. He then sent me to a vein Doc. Vein doc said pulse is good not a vein problem. Vein Doc sent me for an Xray of the leg. (didnt know what he was looking for) X-ray fine. Vein Doc sends me to a Dermatolgy Specialist, he says its a pedicure spa infection (micro bacterial infection) he does my first bioposy. Puts me on 6 months of bioxin and minocycline. After one month I get one on the other lower leg-bioposy 2 negative. (active and hot also) after 4 months he says looking better. On, On, kept getting more and more both legs taking same meds for about 2 years now. Bioposy 3&4 done. Result-negative.(checking for fungus etc) He then says meds not working-I may have to have IV meds. He sends me to a Infectious disease Specialist bioposy 5 & 6 done, negative. This doc does not know what this is and won't give IV drugs yet. Going for an MRI w/color on Monday. Any Ideas?????

    • RNMSN profile image
      Author

      Barbara Bethard 5 years ago from Tucson, Az

      Good morning Linda,

      if it was cellulitis there is a good possibility that will be that, even better chance of no reoccurences if your Mom does wear the support hose

      our hearts are built to survive and our hearts are sefish, it gives blood and oxygen only to itself and its surrounding areas...thats why our legs often bear the brunt of that fallout so to speak

      of course suggesting that your moma seek other opinions is always a comfort too,especially to us kids!

    • profile image

      Lindaj 5 years ago

      Barbara, yes, i think mom does not want to deal with the underlying cause. . Other than possible congestive heart failure, what else could cause this edena with weeping? I am assuming it will likely reoccur? Are we going in the right dire ction suggesting a cardio for her? Hard for all of us to ignore what is happening,

    • RNMSN profile image
      Author

      Barbara Bethard 5 years ago from Tucson, Az

      Good evening Linda

      Isn't it so frustrating when the ones you love are so stubborn! I bet your Moma knows there is an underlying cause and dones not ewant to hear it

      Then you have to ask yourself which is most important/finding out the cause or the quality of your Moms life?

      Remember when as a teenager you and your brothers gave her grief? I know, cause we, as women and mothers have all done it, that she picked her battles with all you guys carefully and with great love

      Bless your heart for loving your Moma so very much

      Barbara B

    • profile image

      Linda j 5 years ago

      Hello, hoping you can help me. My 80 year old mother, wh is diabetic, had one leg weeping a considerable amount of fluid. She is overweight and both legs are swollen from the knee down. She saw her primary care doc, who put her on antibiotics...first cephalexain and then azithromycin. The weeping stopped...finally. This doc referred her to a vascular specialist,, who did nothing but tell her, yes, you had cellulitis, and buy support hose. Neither of these docs is getting to the CAUSE of the edema and weeping. My brothers and I are concerned about congestive heart failure and want mom to see a cardiologist. She is refusing. Any thoughts or suggestions? We are worried.

    • RNMSN profile image
      Author

      Barbara Bethard 5 years ago from Tucson, Az

      hello jessewhaley

      the white covering is often called slough

      just like it sounds...sloughs off the wound and probably came about because the wound is in a dark, moist area. The diapers proabably didnt help either

      but if your physician said your wife is getting better and you see that the area is healing slowly that is a good thing!

      the only thing that concerns me is the yellow drainage. Make sure your physician is aware that the drainage is yellow and then tell him the consistency...example thin, thick, sticky, that sort of thing to be sure you get the most information across to him/her

      I will be thinking of your wife and hoping to hear good news soon!

      Barbara

    • profile image

      jessewhaley 5 years ago

      my wife had surgery on the vula area of her vinga the surgery was to remove a spot of precancer tissue that the doctor told her was the results of having cancer several[uterious] several years agoand this was caused by the radiation she under went during that time. they said the radiation burnt her body.

      she had out patient surgery on dec 8th. the stitches pulled out the day after the surgery. the doc said not to worry the wound would heal and it appears that it is very slowly. in the area that was cut out ther is a shite coating that covers the would. there is also a light yellow drainage coming from the wound.

      my question is it normal to have such a drainage[ she wears diapers] and what is the white stuff covering the wound. she washes the wound using a shower as instructed.

      when I asked the doctor what the white stuff was. his answer she's getting better and never answered my question. if you can shed any light on my question I sure would be grateful

    • RNMSN profile image
      Author

      Barbara Bethard 5 years ago from Tucson, Az

      coffeewithcream good morning! now, remember that ANA test leads the physician off in a ton of different directions so stay focused and positive as you are able! lots of advil eh? I agree with the ugh!! big ugh! :)

      Hello Jay thats terrible about your mom...some people react badly to the zinc oxide in the unnaboot...but there is another form of the unnaboot that uses bismuth...its a pink wrapping instead of white bbut even before thiking of asking the physician for that I wonder if a test called arterial venous study has ever been done? It makes sure there isnt a huge problem with the actual circulation of her legs. That could be why the healing process is so slow...or is she diabetic as well?

    • profile image

      Jay 5 years ago

      Last year my mom was treated with a unna boot changing once a week, for 6 weeks for stasis ulcers on the leg. The tx actually made things worse, deepened wounds and created many more. So another option was used no unna boot, some debriding was done and ointments were applied which worked better. Now that some progress is being made and almost a year in, they want to return to the unna boot. I am so distressed because so much time was put into the tiny bit of progress we made. I am so worried about what happened with the unna boot happening again. Any words of wisdom.

    • profile image

      coffeewithcream 5 years ago

      Thanks, I will bring this up to my Dr. I just had an abnormal ANA test too so I think you might be on to something. Yes, the support stockings were suggested (and I'm wearing them) but doesn't completely take care of the matter. I had one Dr tell me to take lots of Ibuprofen. UGH! Pleez!

    • RNMSN profile image
      Author

      Barbara Bethard 5 years ago from Tucson, Az

      good morning coffewithcream.

      if it were brand new I would wonder about a thrombus (clot) but since it has been there a long time and gets worse with dependence of that leg it makes me wonder if you should ask your physician about "Lymphedema" we have a ton of lymph nodes all over our body...sometimes trauma, infection, who knows what causes some to clog or not work properly

      then there is also myxedema, not as usual but is an underactive thyroid...wonder if you should ask your MD to check that out?

      swelling in only one leg predominantly points towards trauma and or infection of some kind but as you can see, there are other reasons.

      now I am only an egg :) uh scuse me, an RN, and of course you must speak with your physician about all this and maybe your MD will just shake his/her head and say oh those nurses! But I hope not. I hope you get and answer soon and then relief. Its fine to hear oh its nothing here wear these support stockings that hust come to your knees and try to prop your leg up as much as you can. And these things work but if you are like myself (and looks like you are cause you are searching for answers) then you want to know the 'why' of it...all the rest is just like dressing next to the turkey isnt it

      you hang tight now and know this ole nurse is thinking about you!

    • profile image

      coffeewithcream 5 years ago

      Thank you for this article. I have suffered from a swollen left foot and toes for 2 years. My toes are swollen and deformed from what I'm told is edema. Not one Dr can figure it out or make it go away. It never goes away completely, just gets worse or a little better. Dr's just shrug their shoulders. It swells more if I leave my foot hanging while sitting in a chair or in the summer. What could this be?

    • RNMSN profile image
      Author

      Barbara Bethard 5 years ago from Tucson, Az

      well and isnt yur sentence about aging gracefully true for all of us! so yes, I, too am happy to be here to complain :)talk to you later.

    • profile image

      kitty isley 5 years ago

      Thanks so much. Probably just hold off until I see the pulmonologist. Was going to age gracefully and be as alert and active as I was at 30. Mother Nature had different plans. hehe...At least I'm here to complain! Have a great weekend and thanks again for listening.