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Swollen ankles
SunnyDae posted:
I'm sorry if this is not the appropriate place to post this question. I am 42 years old and obese - just under 300lbs. I have had periods of successful weight loss and got down as low as 220 a few years ago, but I can't seem to stick with it. Anyway, about two weeks ago I decided to try again and began exercising. I use a Wii game that gives me a low -impact full body workout - 6 minute warm up, 12 minute workout, and 8 minutes a stretching. I do this 3-4 times a week and I have started to feel the effects - I get through it more easily, and seem to feel a little better in general. Sleeping better, not as tired. Except for one thing. 5 days ago I was out doing errands for about 2 hours and was on my feet all that time. When I got home, I took my shoes off and my ankles were noticeably swollen. I didn't think much of it, since this has happened before when I've been on my feet. I went to bed expecting my ankles to be back to normal in the morning. They almost were, but there was still some puffiness around the anklebones on both sides. Ever since then, my ankles have been swelling up and going down almost all the way, but not quite. Exercise seems to help a little, and so does elevating my feet. But they never get completely back to normal. Yesterday I sat at my computer for 3 hours with my feet on the floor (I work at home) and they swelled up again. They went down some overnight. This is really worrying me. I know swollen ankles can be a sign of heart problems. I don't have any of the other symptoms. The last time I went to the doctor was about 2 years ago and my BP and cholesterol were normal (BP was slightly on the high side, but I'm not on medication for it.) i know I need to go get checked out by the dr again, and I will. I'm just wondering if anyone else has experienced this. Could it be related to my exercise program? My feet are definitely sore right after I work out, along with most of my other muscles. I'm just wondering what I can expect.
brunosbud responded:
Sounds like inflammation to me which can be due to any number of things...Too much stress too fast, arthritic ankle joint, poor foot and ankle support, tendinitis, water retention from excessive muscle strain, etc., etc., etc.,.....

It's important to consult your doctor before starting a weight loss program for a lot of reasons, "pain" being one of them. But, the most important reason why I recommend you see your doctor is one you would never think of...

Two heads, (particularly, one that's professionally experienced), are better than one.
Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, FACP responded:
Hi and thanks so much for your posting. Regarding your swollen ankles, I would highly recommend that you get into your physician for a complete check up. Since both ankles are involved, it's likely that your exercise may have challenged your body's ability to clear tissue fluids that accumulate during stress. if you were jumping around a bit, that's a lot of pressure on your gravity dependent part of the body, Clearance of fluids through the lymphatics can be difficult with the extra weight.

You also need your doctor to make certain your cardiac function is normal.

Generally, when you're carrying 300 pounds, I usually recommend something like walking, but no bouncing, until enough weight is removed. The heavier you are, the more cals you burn with something like walking so it's very safe and effective, as is biking and swimming. I'm not a fan of too much dancing, torquing your body and definitely not bouncing on knee and ankle joints that have to bear not 300 pounds, but almost twice that weight with increased bouncing type movements.

Please check in with your medical team.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.

Dr. Peeke
heavenhaert responded:
get a good friend to help you or get a team togther walk
SunnyDae replied to Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, FACP's response:
Thank you all for your replies. I went to the doctor, who looked at my ankles and immediately said it looked more like inflammation than heart-related edema, My heart and lungs sounded good, blood pressure was normal, and given that I had no other symptoms he felt fairly sure it wasn't heart related, but did a full blood work series to rule out anything bad. Blood came back today and my cholesterol is excellent (154), thyroid was fine, and he basically said "it's not heart-related". He thinks I have arthritis in the ankle joints, based on my description of achiness after I worked out and occasionally if I walk/stand for long periods, and that the exercise I was doing was just too much strain given my weight. My blood sugar was slightly high (106) but he said nothing to be done about that except lose weight - it's not in the diabetic range. So basically, I have to go easier on the workouts until I lose more weight. I've lost 6 lbs which is a start, and am taking daily walks until I'm fit enough to handle the workouts I was attempting.

Thanks all for the input, it is appreciated!
heavenhaert replied to SunnyDae's response:
good to hear