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Is pitting edema ever 'normal'?

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Is pitting edema ever 'normal'?

Postby Guest » Thu Dec 10, 2009 08:43 am

by Guest (), Thu Dec 10, 2009 08:43 am

Maybe I am grasping at hopeful straws here... but I've had deep pitting edema on my legs (especially shins) in the last week. I know swelling is no longer considered a pre-e warning sign... does that include pitting edema? I had this with my last pregnancy (which turned into a pre-e and HELLP pregnancy). Is it possibile this is just "normal" for me in pregnancy and completely unrelated to blood pressure and pre-e/HELLP issues?

I guess this is yet another "how concerned should I be" post. Thanks for your insights.
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Re : Is pitting edema ever 'normal'?

Postby kara » Thu Dec 10, 2009 09:24 am

by kara (6614 Posts), Thu Dec 10, 2009 09:24 am

I would put a call in about it, but yes, it can be normal. If I were you, I'd probably request a 24 hour urine. Swelling can be related to kidney function slowing down. Also, swelling and fluid seems to find places it has accumulated in before. It's like the area is already stretchy from previous swelling (like a previous pregnancy). How far along are you and how have your pressures been? Does the swelling decrease a little overnight, or is it worse in the morning? If it's new I would report it to your doctor.
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Re : Is pitting edema ever 'normal'?

Postby Guest » Thu Dec 10, 2009 09:36 am

by Guest (), Thu Dec 10, 2009 09:36 am

Strangely, the pitting seems to be deepest first thing in the morning. Maybe I am wrong, but that's the way it seems. My bps have been sort of all over the place - very high occasional readings (160/100) and then very very low readings (110/70). I remember last time my pressures were sort of all over the place for a few weeks before they just started staying high.

I am just 21 1/2 weeks along. So this is much earlier than last time for me to be having such symptoms.

I have an appointment on Tuesday and I am pretty well snowed in right now. Fortunately, my husband is home so he can watch our 15 month old, and I can take it easy. (Rest keeps my bps good and low too.)

I think my kidney functions were still a bit messed up from the last pregnancy. We did a very early 24 hour reading just to get a "starting point" and I think my levels were over 150 ... or maybe near 200. So I am spilling protein, probably even when not pregnant. This could be do to previous pre-e damage, or to my chronic hypertension. But could such a pre-exisiting spilling of protein relate to swelling?
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Re : Is pitting edema ever 'normal'?

Postby kara » Thu Dec 10, 2009 09:55 am

by kara (6614 Posts), Thu Dec 10, 2009 09:55 am

Theoretically, preeclampsia doesn't cause permanent kidney damage. I too spill a higher than normal amount of protein when not pregnant. Your baseline is higher so they may let you go higher than 300mg before a PE diagnosis. Chronic Hypertension can cause kidney problems that result in higher protein levels. Glad you can take it easy right now. I'd still put a call into the doctor. It's important to report changes or new symptoms. Then you can let your doctor decide if it's worrisome or not.

20 weeks is about when your blood volume doubles and so this is often when swelling starts in normal pregnancies, too. The heart is having to work twice as hard, and the kidneys are working overtime, too.

Are you on BP meds? Are you logging your pressures at regular times everyday?
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Re : Is pitting edema ever 'normal'?

Postby Guest » Thu Dec 10, 2009 10:04 am

by Guest (), Thu Dec 10, 2009 10:04 am

I'm on methlydopa right now for the bp. It's been working very well in controlling my chronic hypertension. The first 20 weeks of pregnancy, my bp has been around 110/70 - 120/75. I am not as consistent as I should be about taking my BPs. I try to take it first thing in the morning and once in the evening... but with chasing after a toddler all day I sometimes forget. The only "log" I have is the built-in memory of the bp cuff. I should probably start writing stuff down, huh? :)

Thanks for your responses, I really appreciate it!
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Re : Is pitting edema ever 'normal'?

Postby kara » Thu Dec 10, 2009 10:17 am

by kara (6614 Posts), Thu Dec 10, 2009 10:17 am

Wouldn't hurt, just because you've had some big swings it seems. Try to take it at the same time every day. Maybe before the little one wakes up, and just after bedtime. But they should be around the same time everyday. And write them down so you can see any trends.
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Re : Is pitting edema ever 'normal'?

Postby mrs.spit » Thu Dec 10, 2009 01:41 pm

by mrs.spit (234 Posts), Thu Dec 10, 2009 01:41 pm

Also, remember that you are taking it correctly (sitting quietly for 5 minutes first and the like).

Pitting edema can be normal, and alas, I now get it when I'm doing a lot of walking, and especially it seems if I am a bit dehydrated.

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