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Thread: Swollen ankles/feet

  1. #1
    Chrisandgary Guest

    Default Swollen ankles/feet

    My hubby often has very swollen feet and ankles and they are covered in broken blood vessels. Any one else with this problem while on coumadin? He claims he told the cardio - and it was nothing to worry about. His pt/inr is very stable 3.0.
    the swelling is worse of course when he is doing heavy lifting, yardwork, etc.
    Today he lugged tons of wood posts and rr ties up our big hill to the road in many, many trips. He will never ask for help and insists on doing everything himself. He is also very overweight 260 at 6 feet tall.
    Thanks guys!

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default

    Call his Cardiologist. He's developing a good fluid build up and if he doesn't stop doing what he's doing, he's not going to be around long. What does his doctor say about his heavy lifting and constant work habits?

  3. #3
    Harpoon Guest

    Default

    Chances are it's water retention, especially if the swelling goes up and down or gets steadily more pronounced through the day until he gets to bed.

    If the cardiologist says it's not a problem, get a second opinion from a primary care doc or something.

    The broken blood vessels is probably just varicose veins and as I recall, that's not too serious, just "unsightly." It's more common in older folks but I'm only (only?) 30 and I have a few in my ankles...


    Get a second opinion on the swollen ankles, if it's retention that's DEFINITELY something you need to get on top of right away.


    Difficulty laying down? Shortness of breath? "Tightness" in the chest or a feeling of fullness all the time???

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Default

    Sounds like fluid retention to me as well. My husband has had CHF for many years. He is on a diuretic twice a day to help wth his CHF. Also has to stay on an almost no salt diet.

    Be careful with what appear to be "broken blood vessels". There have been times when the swollen feet and ankles have caused a skin infection called cellulitis which has to be treated with antibiotics, and it has to be done fast. It can get into the bloodstream and that is something you don't want to happen.

    Call the doctor asap, whichever one is responsive to the condition. Almost every doctor knows how to diagnose fluid retention and knows how to listen for "crackles" and other abnormal sounds in the chest which would indicate pulmonary fluid retention. And the appropriate help for this problem is also well-known by most doctors.

    This is not something to ignore! Call today. And make sure they take a look at his ankles to see if there is cellulitis present.

    Good luck. Don't delay. If he develops any breathing problems or a cough, or has trouble sleeping, or coughs up reddish phlegm, go to the ER without delay.

  5. #5
    Chrisandgary Guest

    Smile Okay! Took him to the doctor!

    Thanks for all of your responses! I took all of your advice and sent Gary to the primary care doctor! She has no idea!!!! She is very very hard to understand - her English is not that well and my husband didnt catch everything she said!! I should have gone - however I was at the hospital with my 8 year old daughter who was undergoing bladder surgery.
    The doctor is sending him for bilateral xrays of both feet because she thinks it could be from bone spurs! He does have pain upon waking in the am so before anything else she wants to rule this out/treat it. Thats all I know for now!! She did say his lungs were clear, heart is ticking - he did have protein in his urine so she is also sending him for a urinalysis. What does protein mean????
    He had the Ross done in 1997 and I am nervous the pulmonary valve is showing signs of needing replacement. He had a st.judes in 2000 and I dont want to go through this again.I am sure he doesnt either!
    Sorry so long - will keep you posted!
    Chris

  6. #6
    LDS4ME Guest

    Default From Chris In San B

    Dear ChrisandGary, Hi my name is chris Im 50,I too take coumadin and have noticed also swelling in my ankel and today on the top of my foot and my leg is stiff could be because of my arthritis for the stiffness in my leg but the i think the swelling is from coumadin I get so worried also about this sort of thing everything puts me on alert i try to be calm about it i too had my AVR IN 2000 tht would be a scary experience to have to go thrugh that again take care love chris

  7. #7
    Chrisandgary Guest

    Default

    Thanks for your reply Chris! It is nice to know there are others out there! My husband had his xrays 1 1/2 weeks ago and we are awaiting the results - of course he had an appointment for this Friday to see our PCP but I received a call today - she decided to take a vacation and wont be in Friday. I am trying to get the results over the phone - what a joke - no one ever calls back. I am very frustrated tonite.
    Chris

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    North Alabama
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    Default

    LDS4ME -

    I DOUBT that your foot / ankle swelling is from Coumadin. Most likely FLUID RETENTION as explained by others above.

    In any event, GET IT CHECKED OUT, by your Primary Care Physicial ASAP. If you develop shortness of breath, especially when laying down, go the the ER immediately if your PCP can't see you.

    'AL'

  9. #9
    Bob Guest

    Angry

    I have the same problem. I had a MV repair 18 months ago and am 68 years of age. I am a little overweight but physically active. Ankles swell every day, broken blood vessels, skin tightness in the morning. Going to see my PCP in two days. If it is anything of a problem I will post it.

  10. #10
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    I vote for fluid retention. Coumadin may be aggravating it, but not the primary cause.
    Tom
    BicuspidAV. BactEndocard. AorticVR. PlantarFasc. IngHernias. Crohns. From couch to 26.2 in 53 weeks! Love to "Tri"
    'Tis Grace that taught my heart to fear and Grace my fears relieved.'

  11. #11
    Shine_on_Syd Guest

    Default

    Please get it checked out. Edema is a sign of congestive heart failure and that is not a direction you want to go toward.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
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    Instead of going to his PCP, why doesn't he go to his cardio? They are the heart specialists. Just a thought.
    Joy E. Paulson
    rhuematic heart disease
    mitral valvuplasty 01/09/01- Dr. Doug Stewart UWMC
    MVR 08/27/01-Dr. Edward Verrier UWMC

    "Remember the good times, don't worry about the bad times, and take each day with stride...

  13. #13
    Bob Guest

    Unhappy

    Hi I am back (Bob). My PCP said my swelling is fluid retention and he put me on a Diuratic and a return visit in a month. He is concerned, I guess its CHF but dont know. If you havent get to a doctor or cardiologist. ASAP.

  14. #14
    ggosvener Guest

    Question my husband is sick

    He had heart disease 15 years ago, now he has CHF, for 2 weeks now he has had swollen feet and ankles. He had bronchitus again and they gave him meds, they upped one of his fluid pills from 40/20, to 80/40, now he takes 80/80 a day.
    I checked them a little bit ago and they look double the size they did 2 weeks ago, and even from the last few days. ( to the point his toes look like itty bitty sausages at the end of balloons)
    He goes to the VA clinic, they've taken ex-rays, taken blood work and all, and don't seem to be worried with the swelling, they say cut back on salt, helloooooooooo, we don't use salt at all, unless there's some in something that slipped past us.
    I'm very worried, he stays in bed more, he gets out of breath more.
    What can I do to make this clinic fix him?
    They gave him 5 years to live 15 years ago, so yes, he's on borrowed time.
    Is there a home remedy we can do?
    He's on coumidin plus many other pills a day, plus insulin twice a day.
    Thanks for listening to my whine, (with no crackers and cheese).
    Georgia

  15. #15
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    He needs to get a responsive doctor and right away. It sounds like his congestive heart failure is worsening.

    There are things that can be done in ALL stages of CHF, and my husband has been in all of them, including kidney failure.

    So if his current doctor is not doing anything for him, take him to the emergency room and get their opinion and try to find another doctor that will help him.

    Do this as soon as possible. With symptoms like he is having, there is no time to waste.

  16. #16
    ggosvener Guest

    Default Re: 'Swollen ankles/feet'

    I took him to the ER last weekend, and when they found out he had an appointment on Wed. they refused to see him.
    The blood work did say something about his kidneys.
    The VA clinic might be good for some but he had bronchitus for 2 weeks before they would even give him meds for it.
    I've taken him to the Er a few times and they admit him right away with the swollen feet and flushed him out, with the clicnic they just up this med or up this med, even without doing blood work.
    I can't see him letting me take him to the Er tonight, we have a 4 year old and a 13 year old at home, the 13 year old has down syndrome and they both have school tomorrow and no one at all to keep them.
    I have work too, and I already emailed my boss that I have to take him in, whether it be the clinic in the morning or the ER.
    I am very worried, his feet and legs are ice cold when you touch them and it looks like he has sores all up and down his legs, they look like heeld sores, but sores none the less.
    Thanks so much for the quick reply.
    Georgia

  17. #17
    Harpoon Guest

    Default

    ggosvener--

    You hit on an old thread (2004 by the dates it looks like) but it's still worth discussing.

    The culprit sounds like water retention and diuretics (water pills) should help matters but it may take a little while...


    Look for "hidden" sources of sodium if you're not adding salt to your meals. many prepared foods, canned foods, restaurant foods, have loads of sodium. A serving of Campbells Tomato Soup can have have the USDA recommended daily allounce, something like 1,040mg of sodium... 2,000 is the limit, the human body only needs 200mg daily to be healthy, the rest is unnecessary and for some, can be deadly....

    If the diuretics don't seem to be working, or if they were working better than they are now or dosages keep having to go up, check kidney function.

    Before I got REALLY sick, I was eating all the time, breathing heavy, I looked bloated and I RARELY peed even though I felt the need to go all the time.

    Not only was I in serious CHF, but I was also in renal failure, my kidneys stopped working maybe as long as a month before I had my surgery, along wiht my liver and my endocrine system... I was dying, systemic failure, and the first real signs of trouble were a persistant cough and fluid retention.

    For a year, they were the ONLY signs.


    If it hasn't been done already, ask for a full workup including checks on liver and kidney function....

  18. #18
    ggosvener Guest

    Default Re: 'Swollen ankles/feet'

    He says he goes pee-pee ok, with all the fluid pills he takes and all.
    I do watch all hidden sodium, I cook everything he eats from scratch. That's why I don't see why his doctor says watch your salt.........
    I just have to wait till morning and see what the clinic says when we call them, it's now almost midnight here.
    Thanks.
    Georgia

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
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    SF Bay Area, CA
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    Default

    The thing many of us have had to learn from dealing with docs that initially think nothing serious is wrong is to be assertive! A doc before the one that diagnosed me told me if he couldn't reproduce my symptoms in his office then I obviously didn't have a serious problem. ( The next doc saved my life as I had a murmur no one else paid attention to and had an aneurysm of operable size and an enlarged heart, leaking aortic valve.)
    Before my 2nd avr, my hands and feet, ankles were very swollen due to congestive heart failure caused by a fluid overload after a cardiac cath.
    I think I had gained 10 lbs due to fluid retention.
    If your husband cannot understand his pcp, he should ask for another one schooled in the U S, asap! Bone spurs, give me a break!
    There are many docs that just don't take people with real problems seriously.
    Go with your intuition, it saved my life!
    Gail

  20. #20
    ggosvener Guest

    Unhappy Re: 'Swollen ankles/feet'

    This seems to be the only doc they have at this clinic, otherwise we would have to drive to Houston to see others. (almost impossible)
    I'm going to see what I can do as far as him either going to the ER tonight, (dragging kids with), or visiting the doc in the morning.
    Thanks so much for the quick replies.
    Georgia

  21. #21
    Join Date
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    upstate New York
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    There is a blood test called BNP which diagnoses congestive heart failure and how serious the problem is. Ask for that test. He also needs to get a complete blood profile to look for kidney, liver and any blood abnormalities.

    Don't fool around with this or let any lazy doc give you the run around. Your husband needs help.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Honolulu Hawaii
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    I remember when I got really sick, my brother told me that my ENTIRE BODY was bloated. I went from 80 something pounds to over 126 pounds in less than a week, and I had no idea why. It doesn't matter if you have to take the kids with, I've done it many time when my husband has hurt himself, and my husband has done it for me as well, we have a 7 year old and a 4 year old, and we just pack them up and take them with whenever we have to go. THey can not refuse to see him. One thing I have learned since we started going to the naval hospital, is I have to take control of my own medical care, and I have to be assertive. I don't let anybody tell me there is nothing wrong with me, I insist on tests and getting the correct diagnosis, and getting treated with respect. We all deserve it.

    Take care
    Joy E. Paulson
    rhuematic heart disease
    mitral valvuplasty 01/09/01- Dr. Doug Stewart UWMC
    MVR 08/27/01-Dr. Edward Verrier UWMC

    "Remember the good times, don't worry about the bad times, and take each day with stride...

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    Columbus, OH
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    629

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ggosvener
    I took him to the ER last weekend, and when they found out he had an appointment on Wed. they refused to see him.
    The blood work did say something about his kidneys.
    The VA clinic might be good for some but he had bronchitus for 2 weeks before they would even give him meds for it.
    I've taken him to the Er a few times and they admit him right away with the swollen feet and flushed him out, with the clicnic they just up this med or up this med, even without doing blood work.
    I can't see him letting me take him to the Er tonight, we have a 4 year old and a 13 year old at home, the 13 year old has down syndrome and they both have school tomorrow and no one at all to keep them.
    I have work too, and I already emailed my boss that I have to take him in, whether it be the clinic in the morning or the ER.
    I am very worried, his feet and legs are ice cold when you touch them and it looks like he has sores all up and down his legs, they look like heeld sores, but sores none the less.
    Thanks so much for the quick reply.
    Georgia

    I'll look forward to seeing your reply, I'd be getting him to the ER pronto. The swelling and the sores on his leg are very concerning to me. Like others have said, I hope they didn't just brush you off !
    Carolyn
    [COLOR=Red] SIX years clicking and ticking![/COLOR]
    Severe AS caused by Radiation Therapy for Hodgkin's disease 1979.

  24. #24
    MikeB Guest

    Default

    I also have the problem of swelling feet, but mine does vary, when I started excercising I lost alot of water weight, but when I wasnt my feet were a little swollen.

    YOu should get it checked out though, its something that should be forgotten about.

    -Mike

  25. #25
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    Feb 2004
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    Central NJ
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    Don't accept poor care. The Veterans' hospitals were created because our veterans deserve proper care for the jeopardy they face and the hardships they endure for the security of their country. Demand that care.

    Just my opinion, but I don't think your husband listens well to the doctors. I would guess that he doesn't really want to hear what they have to say. I very strongly suggest that you go with him from now on, and ask the questions he is not asking, and force the issues with the doctors, if they're being dismissive.

    It's unlikely that a doctor aware of his heart problems would say that his swelling ankles are "nothing to worry about."

    Best wishes,
    Bob H

    "No Eternal Reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn..." Jim Morrison

    Click here to View the Glossary of VR Terms and Acronyms

    I am not a Medical Professional. Aortic Valve Replacement (Medtronic Mosaic) on 4/6/04, at Robert Wood Johnson UH in New Brunswick, NJ. AVR again (St. Jude Biocor) on 08/25/09 at St. Michael's MC in Newark, NJ. Both performed by Dr. Tyrone Krause, a true Zen Master Mechanic in the world of valve replacement surgery.

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