Q: Dear Dr. Mao,
I have edema in my feet and legs. I have taken every test possible, including dozens of blood tests for liver, heart, kidneys, lungs, gynecological, rheumatological, endocrinological, and so forth. Yet, no one is able to explain the cause of the edema. I drink plenty of water, eat a healthy diet, take vitamins and get a moderate amount of exercise, although I do spend about ten hours a day sitting at a desk without a break. Isn’t there any way to treat this alternatively without having to go for more tests?
A: I sympathize with your dilemma, but I would like to suggest one more test. The symptoms you describe are often the result of peripheral vascular occlusion or peripheral neuropathy. I would suggest you arrange for a Doppler check of the peripheral vascular and neurological systems of the legs. Oftentimes, obstruction in the leg veins can cause poor circulation of the extremities and cause edema and other neurological symptoms. Sitting at the same posture for long periods of time may have a direct impact on the crimping of the arteries, veins, and nerves that supply the lower extremities.
I will suggest an innovative possibility:
Elevate your desk to standing position and every so often, conduct your work while standing. Also, every 10 minutes stand up, and bounce lightly for one minute. When you return home, elevate your feet for 15-20 minutes.