Question: I can’t remember a time when my lower legs weren’t swollen. For a while, I kept telling myself it would probably go away, but it hasn’t. Could there be something seriously wrong?
Dr. Wright: The first thing I would do is consult with a doctor skilled in natural medicine to make sure it’s not something serious, such as a weak heart, liver, or kidneys. Other less serious possibilities include food allergies, insulin resistance, and type II diabetes.
If there doesn’t seem to be any logical cause for your swelling, you can usually reduce it with horse chestnut supplements. Try two to three capsules or tablets daily, standardized to contain 40 to 50 milligrams of escin each.
Pregnant women who have swelling in their lower legs and ankles along with high blood pressure should have a urinalysis done: It’ll probably show protein in the urine. This is a condition called preeclampsia (or pretoxemia), which can get very serious. Most doctors and obstetricians will tell you there’s no known cause or sure cure. But that’s not true: In the 1960s and 70s, Dr. Tom Brewer identified the cause as poor nutrition, especially insufficient dietary protein. He demonstrated a reduction in the toxemia from between 30 and 50 percent down to zero in the public health clinics where he practiced.
The problem can be reversed every time by switching to a high protein diet and by taking supplemental magnesium, vitamin B6, and betaine hydrochloride with pepsin (often necessary to help normalize protein digestion). If the situation is urgent, you can get a faster result by taking intravenous amino acids along with magnesium and vitamin B6.
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