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horseymike

Swollen Ankles during cruise

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Hi Everyone,

I recently experienced swollen ankles while on a 7 day cruise, a few days after the cruise my ankles were normal again.

Does anyone know what causes this ?

Thanks in adavnce for your responses.

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Some have said more salt in the food than you are used to. Some say the water, which is a combination of what-ever-ports' municipal water and reverse-osmosis (like distilled) water, and maybe a third source but darned if I remember it -- with chlorine and I think some minerals added to it for taste. Some say if they drink only bottled water the swelling doesn't happen.

 

I have read that "dry brushing" (toward the heart) with something like this helps; I bought one but haven't used it yet.

 

drybrushing.JPG

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First guess would be the VERY high salt content in all the food in all the venues. 

 

I don't notice it, that much, but Mrs. XBGuy complains about the salt content every cruise

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When on a cruise, you are eating in restaurants the entire time. Chefs often add larger amounts of sodium in the foods they prepare than we are used to with home cooking. This is to enhance the taste in an attempt to serve food that is pleasing to eat. 

 

The water on modern ships have a much lower level of sodium than most tap water at home, so that it usually not the cause. 

 

And no, breathing salt air does not cause swelling. Salt does not evaporate so it is not present in the air when at the ocean. This was explained a few weeks ago by Chengpk75, a cruise industry insider who posts here occasionally. 

 

 

 

Edited by SantaFeFan

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Salt in food.  Look for/ask or low sodium/salt items.  You can always add salt afterwards if need be.  I do this with. french fries all the time.  I don’t like saltless fries but restaurants but on 10x as much as I like so I order them no salt and add my own.  Takes. bit longer but you get fresh ones so that is a plus.

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I know many people blame the ship's  water (I doubt it), or added salt in the restaurants (possible). All I know is that I have the problem when I go somewhere much warmer than at home. I've had swollen ankles on every visit to the Caribbean (land or cruise). But I also got swollen ankles after arriving in Abu Dhabi for our pre cruise visit. Long before we boarded.  And the swelling was gone by the time we got to Hong Kong, where the temperatures had moderated - several days before disembarking.  So who knows. For me, I know it will happen, and that it is self limiting. I no longer worry about it. I even bought a pair of shoes to wear just for those times when swelling is a problem.

Edited by mom says

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34 minutes ago, mom says said:

I know many people blame the ship's  water (I doubt it), or added salt in the restaurants (possible). All I know is that I have the problem when I go somewhere much warmer than at home. I've had swollen ankles on every visit to the Caribbean (land or cruise). But I also got swollen ankles after arriving in Abu Dhabi for our pre cruise visit. Long before we boarded.  And the swelling was gone by the time we got to Hong Kong, where the temperatures had moderated - several days before disembarking.  So who knows. For me, I know it will happen, and that it is self limiting. I no longer worry about it. I even bought a pair of shoes to wear just for those times when swelling is a problem.

I'm the same, with the heat. We have a 10 day crossing to the Caribbean, and no swollen ankles until we reach high temperatures; there are 10 days crossing back, and the ankles will have subsided by the time we reach cooler waters in the Azores. 

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This started happening to me about a year ago.  Never, ever a problem on any kind of land vacation but 24hrs after stepping on a ship my feet and ankles begin to swell.  

 

I bought some compression socks that I wear when I am in the cabin and if I am really swollen I also sleep in them.  Swelling is always gone the next morning but does creep back in during the day.

 

Less than 24hrs after I return home...no more swelling!!  Sadly is it very common and so much so that they do seminars on the ship about it..

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All the above is very true. one last thing. How much are you on your feet at home vs a cruise?One thought. Get a bag and put ice in it. Do this before going to bed. You can get ice in your room always. Just ask for it. I would think the medical facility would have cold compresses that you can put in the fridge for use at bed time. If this is a recurring thing. Take one along whit you. Can't freeze it but the cold should help.

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Combination of all the extra salt in th food, plus all of the extra liquid that most people consume.

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DW and I have this problem.  We blame it on the heat and salty food.  We bring water pills.

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5 hours ago, Tom47 said:

DW and I have this problem.  We blame it on the heat and salty food.  We bring water pills.

 

Same for us. DW has always stated it is 'water retention' and so a couple of generic over the counter diuretic pills seem to do the trick.

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My ankles start to swell on the flight, and by the time the cruise is over and we have flown home, they are quite impressive 😆

Interestingly, I had this issue at home for a number of years.  Tried limiting salt, keeping my feet up, Lasix, but they still swelled.

Dr thought it was mostly a side effect from one of my meds.  

I gave up drinking diet sodas and using artificial sweeteners in food, and the swelling at home is pretty much non existent.  Even on our last cruise, I swelled some after the flight, got better during the cruise, and after the flight home my feet were back to normal after just a few days.

I know that's not a cure all for everyone, but it is certainly worth trying.

 

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On 7/4/2019 at 2:18 PM, horseymike said:

Hi Everyone,

I recently experienced swollen ankles while on a 7 day cruise, a few days after the cruise my ankles were normal again.

Does anyone know what causes this ?

Thanks in adavnce for your responses.

 

I have longer legs and often the chairs and couches cause me problems because my legs don't fit. Also I am moving more in my every day job and spend more time in one place on the cruise ship - like the pool deck.

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11 minutes ago, Dat Cruisin Couple said:

 

I have longer legs and often the chairs and couches cause me problems because my legs don't fit. Also I am moving more in my every day job and spend more time in one place on the cruise ship - like the pool deck.

Both changes could affect people.  Someone like you who gets more exercise at home than on cruise ships and folks who walk more on one port excursion day than they normally walk in a week are likely to notice adverse conditions in their legs.

 

You might benefit from hitting the gym on the cruise, other by hitting the gym before the cruise.

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1 minute ago, ed01106 said:

Both changes could affect people.  Someone like you who gets more exercise at home than on cruise ships and folks who walk more on one port excursion day than they normally walk in a week are likely to notice adverse conditions in their legs.

 

You might benefit from hitting the gym on the cruise, other by hitting the gym before the cruise.

 

True dat!

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And here I thought the ships water contributed to this problem, dang.

 

Per the drinking alcohol effecting you. Another couple we traveled with the wife always said she didn't drink much maybe one or two a day. Her ankles swelled and then their bill came and truth be told. Human nature I guess, especially when you are mixing in so much fun.

To the OP, I hope you find your solution.

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Our own physician thinks that increased salt/sodium in institutional cooking is the best explanation.  On one cruise we met a physician who had come up with a partial solution.  He suggested that folks spend a lot of time standing in the pool (at the deepest area you can stand).  His theory was that the increased pressure due to the pool water (pressure increases by depth) would help force the fluids out of one's external tissues and decrease the swelling.  Not sure if this works but its certainly worth trying on a hot day :).

 

Hank

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41 minutes ago, Hlitner said:

Our own physician thinks that increased salt/sodium in institutional cooking is the best explanation.  On one cruise we met a physician who had come up with a partial solution.  He suggested that folks spend a lot of time standing in the pool (at the deepest area you can stand).  His theory was that the increased pressure due to the pool water (pressure increases by depth) would help force the fluids out of one's external tissues and decrease the swelling.  Not sure if this works but its certainly worth trying on a hot day :).

 

Hank

Might work, never noticed my ankles, but my fingers and toes certainly shrivel up.

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Standing in the pool has been reported as helping with swollen ankles (as these are in the depth of the water), but it only redistributes the retained water to places higher up on the body.

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2 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

Standing in the pool has been reported as helping with swollen ankles (as these are in the depth of the water), but it only redistributes the retained water to places higher up on the body.

 Which is why l come back to otc diuretics.

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