Why would swelling occurs more on left side

Howdy, I have FSGS and am taking the somewhat initial standard of prednisone/furosimide meds. Anyways, even before I was diagnosed, my foot/leg edema was significantly more prominant on my left leg. I was just curious if anyone knew or could speculate, as to why one leg would favor more or less swelling than another. Seems that if my body is spilling protein, that the whole body would be compromised equally.

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I have the same swelling. Left side especially ankle swells. My doc says its because the heart is on the left side. I question his response. I have found if I sit too long swelling increases. As soon as I start walking the swelling goes down. I believe if you are sedentary you will swell more. Exercise is very important.

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Water tends to move to the lowest part of your body, so if you sleep or you tend to sleep on one side more then the other, you will probably find that this side on average will swell abit more. Also the more active you are the more you will distribute the water evenly around your body which helps reduce the appearance of swelling. Sweating helps reduce swelling as well.

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Lymphatics plays in to this. if you are right handed or left handed will have an effect. That is to say the dominate side will have less swelling then the non dominate side. The effect could be explained through the lymphatics. There could be other circulatory issues at hand that will affect how much swelling there is on one side vs the other. If you are having pain you may need to think about circulation that needs to be checked. you should follow up with you provider if you have concerns.

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My swelling is always more on the left side than the right - always. I turn and change positions so much when I sleep (the little I get) that I know it's not laying on one side that causes it.

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Is it possible that one kidney is affected more than the other, and the difference is due to imbalance in the circulation on the side related to that kidney?

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When I had edema, a good majority of the time, my left arm was bigger than my right. I didn't really notice it in my legs, but I tried not to even look at them because they were so ridiculously large. My sister, who had had lymphadema from breast cancer, said it was because my heart was on the left side. She had to take a lot of classes to educate herself on lyphadema, so I took her word for it.

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I am different than all of you who have replied, my swelling always is on my right side, and always worse on my right side. There are days when my left side is almost normal size and my right side is swollen.....it is my right leg and ankle that swell more, my hands swell at the same rate....wierd huh? kind of annoying too!

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wow, thank you for the responses! Yeah, I do seem to recall one of my doctors mentioning about the heart being on the left side being a possible cause. I just didn't think the swelling would have much to do with that since it is just the extra cellular fluid sloshing around with gravity as the main force. But admittedly, for me atleast, if I favor a side when I sleep, eventhough the fluid does shift, but the left side is still always more swollen.

JAA, interesting about the lymphatics and left/right handed effects. I'd be somewhat of an anomoly though, I write with my left hand, by I do everything else with my right. I wonder how that might figure into that concept? Fortunately, I haven't any pain. The only pain thru this whole ordeal so far ONLY occurs if I'm sitting normal or on my feet for a duration where the fluid is just pounding at my toes. They feel like they want to burst, my only resolve is to sit up against a wall and elevate my feet.

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seb s 74 is exactly right. If you try different positions it will prove to be true. Best way for me is to sleep on my back with feet slightly elevated. Also, don't sit around all day on your butt. You definately will see your ankles swell.

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Yeah, I sleep pretty much on my back with my feet slightly elevated too. I work at the computer a lot, but managed to create a way where I can elevate the legs too! I've gotten a cheapo membership at a local gym so I can get some cardio on the reclining bicycle machine. I cannot say that the exercise has improved the swelling at all, I think that is just the prednisone/kidney/sodium/gravity speaking, but of course any exercise is beneficial especially with the heightened cholesterol and protein loss that I now have to deal with.

On a somewhat related note, does anyone have experience with those compression stockings/socks? Anything to be aware of? Things to consider regarding sizes? On a day that I anticipate heading to the gym, when I first wake up in the morning when my feet are relatively normal size, I'll immediately throw on some socks (or the travel stocking that I recently gotten) and then my shoes, my swelling is somewhat in check, atleast to where it would affect my toes, which is the part that is painful when swollen. Of course, now all the swelling is pooled further up the leg or knees which makes for other difficult mobility, but it atleast isn't painful as the swollen feet.

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Hi wheaticus, this was my reply in another post - relevant regarding the compression socks/stockings....

I DID wear compression sock tights - but only once........ they were great for keeping oedema out of my legs. They quite effectively pushed it higher up my body. This caused it to lodge in a part of my anatomy that I will not mention here, resulting in a grotesque appearance that at once scared me witless and galvanised me into getting into immediate contact with my nephrologist.

I have to say, it was a difficult question to try to put into words, even to a doctor. While he reassured me that that sort of thing could happen, I would not suffer any harm and that otherwise, things would continue to work normally. Needless to say, my courage did not extend to continuing with the use of the compression stockings, although I would happily recommend them to others, especially women, as there is no way they could ever possibly suffer that particular side effect. Then again, I was retaining a LOT of fluid.

In addition to the above, I am bout to buy another set as my oedema is not quite as bad at the moment but has migrated to my feet and seems to be intent on setting up home there. I reckon the compression socks might be my only short term answer to being able to wear my boots again while the drugs get to work.

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To help reduce water retention I take chinese herbs. Two types. First is a powder called woo-shu (dandrobium) sp? . Mix with water or juice once or twice per day. Second product is "five peel" (plum flowers brand). 10 pills in the am. Believe me people, it works. But I also limit my sodium intake to under 2000mg per day. It's all about what you eat. You absolutely must watch your salt intake. I am not on any western meds. Pred did me in. I wil never take it again. I am completely on chinese herbs. Its expensive and insurance does not cover it. But it sure beats experimental western (poison) drugs. Show me a drug that works without deadly side effects and I will take it. There are almost no side effects of ancient chinese medicine. Remember, natural meds are much better than synthesized drugs. I'm sure big pharma would dissagree.

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I just wanted to chime in on this -Our bodies are made up of sodium on the left and potassium on the right

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br14nh, I too have experienced as you mentioned including the even lesser desired locations of swelling. I was freaked out to say the least, but after realizing that my swelling moves around like the tide going out, it doesn't last long.

I'd like to mention something right now, that has recently kept me from going back to sleep. My swelling is SIGNIFICANTLY reduced this morning, my legs look practically normal, compared to recently. I don't what is just happening, but it is I'll take it. I somewhat noticed a shift not even a week ago when my weight (presumably from edema) was consistently going down; from about 150 to 140, my normal weight before FSGS being around 140. I'm going to the doc on monday to get some new lab work done, to see what my numbers are.

thomasmatthew, thats great that you found that those herbs work for the swelling, but the root problem is the kidney, what do you do about that? I do take a chinese herbal supplement (2 a day of zhenju jiangyu fian) for the high blood pressure recommended from my accupunturist which seems to work well with no side-effects. As for the swelling, in addition to the lasix I'm prescribed on, I take (3 a day) of this herbal supplement A.C. carbamide. I know this works wonders (for me atleast); I had been taking it (with other supplements from my naturapath) a month prior to my getting a complete bioptic diagnosis of my FSGS and then being prescribed western meds (prednisone, lasix, statin). The natural supplements did noticably reduce my swelling, but I honestly cannot say if my kidneys were improving at that time; I'd like to think so, but that would have required more time to evaluate. Overall, I felt good though other than a puffy left foot. Once I was eventually prescribed the meds, both legs puffed up as if it were my first day again realizing I had a serious problem. I have mixed feelings on the meds, but at the sametime, I didn't want to mess up any opportunity and try anything and everything that might help my condition.

jenjen76, your comments of sodium on the left and potassium on the right admittedly sounds unusual to me, is there name for this? Upon googling I did come across this interesting article relating to cramping (which I occasionally get in my left hand), so this was a worthy glean. http://www.acu-cell.com/dis-mus.html

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I have the same thing. I had an ultrasound on my leg, and one of my main veins ( the one in your groin, can't remember the name) isn't working quite right. It lets fluid leak back down into my left leg throughout the day, and it swells more.
Whoever is taking the chinese herbs - does your neph know you do this? You really shouldn't take anything - prescription or OTC without checking with your Dr.

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