Swollen Ankles (and I’m NOT Pregnant!!)

swollen ankes

For a couple of years now, especially when the weather gets warmer, my ankles, feet and hands get very swollen.

swollen ankles
Morning Feet
swollen ankes
Afternoon Feet

I thought once I lost weight, it would get better, but it didn’t.  I thought once I was back on heavy high blood pressure meds it would help, but it didn’t.  So about two weeks ago, I made a doctor’s appointment.

The doctor said I have venous insufficiency, which means that the valves in my leg veins are not working correctly.  The blood pumps to my extremities just fine, but it has a hard time pumping back.  She prescribed me compression stockings and suggested I try a low sodium diet.

Art took me to a local drugstore to get fitted for the compression stockings.   They are like really thick nylon knee highs.  I am supposed to wear them all day long, unless I am going to wear shorts or a skirt.  Really, I think even then, if I’m not going anywhere.  Art says they make me look like I have Muppet feet:

swollen anklesOnce I got home, I googled low sodium diets and found that by far the most popular is the DASH eating plan.   DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, and is recommended by the American Heart Association.  I found a great book, The DASH Diet Health Plan, and made a shopping list for the week.

Now, almost two weeks later, I am already down five pounds. In addition, some internal pain that I had been experiencing almost constantly is completely gone.  I still swell in the heat, but I am hoping that will diminish as I continue on the lower sodium diet.

Anyway, you may have wondered why you haven’t seen any recipes from me for a little while.  I am working on some yummy lower sodium alternatives to share with you over the weeks and months to come.  And be sure to check in on Wednesday for a delicious new dessert recipe!!

Do you have any dietary restrictions? Any recommendations that can help me with my lower sodium eating plan?