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Author Topic: Edema from standing too long (during Divine Liturgy)  (Read 1525 times) Average Rating: 0
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Xenia1918
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« on: August 07, 2011, 09:34:59 PM »

I have an embarassing problem that seems to have developed since I began attending Divine Liturgy in Orthodox Churches: my feet and ankles swell from standing too long, and its hard to walk afterward.

I don't have the problem that much in some churches, the ones with pews...but the Russian ones without pews are rough...the last one I went to, I took my son and I'm glad I did: my feet and ankles swelled up so much he had to help me get out the door...we went to a local eatery where I elevated my legs on a chair while we had lunch, until the swelling went down.

I'm going to my dr tomorrow afternoon to find out what's going on....its possible the standing has brought out a hidden medical condition I would not have known about otherwise.

Does anyone else have a problem like this? If so, what do you do about it?
« Last Edit: August 07, 2011, 09:35:36 PM by Xenia1918 » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2011, 09:37:01 PM »

I have had aches on occasion. It helps if I take a bath in hot salt water, or put some little gel pads in my shoes.
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« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2011, 09:37:53 PM »

Don't they have chairs you can sit in?
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« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2011, 09:48:28 PM »

Support stockings might be a solution. But do get things checked out with your doctor.
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« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2011, 09:51:50 PM »

Support stockings might be a solution. But do get things checked out with your doctor.

Sounds like a good idea. I've been wearing sandals because for some reason, not only do my ankles and feet swell, but the soles of my feet get very red and hot...feels like I'm standing on hot coals! Something not right for sure, so I hope to find out tomorrow.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2011, 09:52:28 PM by Xenia1918 » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2011, 10:14:50 PM »

I would just sit for most of the liturgy. There are a few places in the Liturgy where it's proper to stand, if one is able. You probably only need to stand for around 10% of the liturgy. I wouldn't sweat it. God's after your heart, not your physical prowess.
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« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2011, 10:18:49 PM »

After I started having plantar fasciitis, I strated to wear Crocs most of the time; Church, work, and even national conferences. It works for me.
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« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2011, 11:16:33 PM »

We are barefoot at my church. It helps I think.
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« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2011, 11:19:15 PM »

it's probably just old age.
i have it too.
a visit to the doctor and then some proper medical support stockings will help (the thick, ugly ones).
if your ankles are really huge, then probably you should sit down.
just tell them you're old.
old age is trendy these days.
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« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2011, 11:51:25 PM »

It's probably because you're standing too long by the looks of it.  Of course, you're doing the right thing by going to the doctor so that he'll make sure you're okay, but by what you've written, it's a common problem to those who don't give themselves a break.  You did the right thing by lifting your legs up to take down the swelling.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2011, 11:54:26 PM by minasoliman » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2011, 12:03:30 PM »

Good shoes, sitting occasionally, and not standing in one place in one position all the time can help.
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« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2011, 12:18:48 PM »


I've noticed that my ankles swell more on hot, muggy days....and maybe it's me....but, if I have a lot of carbs the day before, I will most definitely get swollen ankles.

It might not be the carbs, but, the sodium in the food.  Who knows.  However, I've noticed that what you eat, makes a huge difference.

When I was on a low carb diet, nothing ever swelled, no matter how hot it got.

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« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2011, 12:33:50 PM »

There's a lot of factors that go with swelling, including weight, diet, age, staying in one place for a long time, and sometimes genetics.

The doctor to rule out other things will probably ask if you feel pain, shortness of breath, or taking other meds.  Here's a simple article to help:

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003104.htm
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« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2011, 12:49:53 PM »

I agree with others, some support stockings and a trip to the doctors. Possibly even invest in a small foldable stool to sit on.

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« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2011, 12:59:55 PM »

Thanks for all the good tips, and YES I notice its worse in hot weather. It happens when I'm online too long, too. After a workout, it stays away a lot longer.

I've lost a lot of weight, I normally eat a low sodium diet (not for health reasons but because salt seems to burn my mouth), so its probably getting older combined with standing in one place too long (I'm only 51 but that's getting there!)
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« Reply #15 on: August 08, 2011, 01:22:19 PM »

i hope u didn't mind the age jokes!
i'm younger than you but already my ankles swell spectacularly when i stand a lot.
i think my body is older than i am!
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« Reply #16 on: August 08, 2011, 08:10:59 PM »

i hope u didn't mind the age jokes!
i'm younger than you but already my ankles swell spectacularly when i stand a lot.
i think my body is older than i am!
 Wink

No, no problem at all! Smiley BTW my dr appt was at 4 today; she said I don't have any of the other symptoms for something very serious, so she's going to assume its just that I can't handle standing too long. But she is running some tests anyway (diabetes, kidneys, etc) just to be safe.
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« Reply #17 on: August 08, 2011, 08:26:28 PM »

My sympathies! I know you already know that I have sciatica and it's also hard for me to stand. It's hard to sit too (those darn non-ergonomic pews! Cheesy). 

Let's just pray for each other, that we'll have the strength to "stand" whatever God sends us! Wink
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« Reply #18 on: August 08, 2011, 08:44:03 PM »

Thanks for all the good tips, and YES I notice its worse in hot weather. It happens when I'm online too long, too. After a workout, it stays away a lot longer.

I've lost a lot of weight, I normally eat a low sodium diet (not for health reasons but because salt seems to burn my mouth), so its probably getting older combined with standing in one place too long (I'm only 51 but that's getting there!)

I had the same problem. Then I discovered that if I ate tofu or any product with beans in it, that my feet, ankles, and toes would swell. I would also have problems with kidney pain (and kidney infections). After I eliminated legume family products from my diet, the swelling went away as did the kidney infections.
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« Reply #19 on: August 09, 2011, 12:47:27 AM »

 Shocked
life without beans?!
u  have my sympathy, fasting seasons must be tricky.
i have a few allergies, but am glad mine don't include beans.

we get better bodies in the next life...
 Smiley
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« Reply #20 on: August 09, 2011, 01:02:29 AM »

Thanks for all the good tips, and YES I notice its worse in hot weather. It happens when I'm online too long, too. After a workout, it stays away a lot longer.

I've lost a lot of weight, I normally eat a low sodium diet (not for health reasons but because salt seems to burn my mouth), so its probably getting older combined with standing in one place too long (I'm only 51 but that's getting there!)

I had the same problem. Then I discovered that if I ate tofu or any product with beans in it, that my feet, ankles, and toes would swell. I would also have problems with kidney pain (and kidney infections). After I eliminated legume family products from my diet, the swelling went away as did the kidney infections.

I think you're a different case.  You sound like you have allergies that seem to not only do the usual swelling, but also cause your kidneys to be infected.  Have you seen a doctor about this? 
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« Reply #21 on: August 09, 2011, 01:11:39 AM »

Thanks for all the good tips, and YES I notice its worse in hot weather. It happens when I'm online too long, too. After a workout, it stays away a lot longer.

I've lost a lot of weight, I normally eat a low sodium diet (not for health reasons but because salt seems to burn my mouth), so its probably getting older combined with standing in one place too long (I'm only 51 but that's getting there!)

I had the same problem. Then I discovered that if I ate tofu or any product with beans in it, that my feet, ankles, and toes would swell. I would also have problems with kidney pain (and kidney infections). After I eliminated legume family products from my diet, the swelling went away as did the kidney infections.

I think you're a different case.  You sound like you have allergies that seem to not only do the usual swelling, but also cause your kidneys to be infected.  Have you seen a doctor about this? 

Of course.

I only mentioned this because I could not stand during the Divine Liturgy and I was becoming worse.
It was difficult and painful to wear shoes and to walk.
My doctor could not figure it out, but I began to notice a connection as I got sick with hives too after eating any kind of beans or peas.
My sister told me about her severe soy bean allergy and how she cannot handle food in the legume family.
Apparently, it is hereditary as my sister, my brother, and I all have the same problem.
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« Reply #22 on: August 09, 2011, 02:14:36 AM »

Thanks for all the good tips, and YES I notice its worse in hot weather. It happens when I'm online too long, too. After a workout, it stays away a lot longer.

I've lost a lot of weight, I normally eat a low sodium diet (not for health reasons but because salt seems to burn my mouth), so its probably getting older combined with standing in one place too long (I'm only 51 but that's getting there!)

I had the same problem. Then I discovered that if I ate tofu or any product with beans in it, that my feet, ankles, and toes would swell. I would also have problems with kidney pain (and kidney infections). After I eliminated legume family products from my diet, the swelling went away as did the kidney infections.

I think you're a different case.  You sound like you have allergies that seem to not only do the usual swelling, but also cause your kidneys to be infected.  Have you seen a doctor about this? 

Of course.

I only mentioned this because I could not stand during the Divine Liturgy and I was becoming worse.
It was difficult and painful to wear shoes and to walk.
My doctor could not figure it out, but I began to notice a connection as I got sick with hives too after eating any kind of beans or peas.
My sister told me about her severe soy bean allergy and how she cannot handle food in the legume family.
Apparently, it is hereditary as my sister, my brother, and I all have the same problem.

I was curious about your issue, so I did a bit of a search on the internets.  There seems to be this rare allergic reaction some people have with lectin, which is found in legumes and nuts among other things.  For some people with this allergy, lectin can accumulate in your kidneys and cause inflammation and susceptibility to infection.

Science is just starting to scratch the surface on the understanding of allergies with different people and you're right.  A lot of it has to do with genetics.  Sometimes it doesn't have to be the same allergy between close relatives.  I'm glad you figured this out and staying away from beans.
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« Reply #23 on: August 15, 2011, 03:17:23 PM »

I'm only 39 but because I have several issues with my health, I can't stand for more than few minutes at the time either so standing for entire Liturgy is definately not an option. I just sit down. I attend Greek Orthodox church but the Russian church in my area does have chairs along the walls so you can sit down.
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« Reply #24 on: August 15, 2011, 03:40:44 PM »

Please discuss this with your physician and your local priest. Most parishes without pews (like mine) have chairs for those who are in poor health or are elderly. We have one lady who brings a small stool with a p[illow to rest her feet on due to swelling. First find out what your physician suggests then tell the priest what the physician has recommended. The priest will then advise you on what and where to do what is necessary. {For example he may ask you to sit in a particular location where you may elevate your legs without  embarrassment or endangering others --- they might trip over your legs if they are not watching themselves---especially small children.)
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« Reply #25 on: August 15, 2011, 05:34:20 PM »

Echoing what was said earlier, you should definitely consult with your physician to rule out the possibility of something serious or potentially so if left untreated. http://www.bettermedicine.com/article/ankle-swelling
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« Reply #26 on: August 16, 2011, 12:47:08 AM »

I've had that happen too.  One time after the Paschal liturgy I got back to my room to discover not only were my ankles swollen but had bruises that looked like they had been hit with a bat. I took it as confirmation that Orthodoxy was not for sissies…but I did learn from that to spell myself when it got to be painful.  My hero though was this little Japanese girl determined to stand. She was just a slip a thing, and keeled over twice…each time staggering back up to her feet to take her place again.  Maybe it would have been wiser to spell herself as well…but I found her courage and desire to make a sacrifice in spite of her fatigue inspirational. It stood so much in the face of the ease with which we comfort and coddle ourselves in this day and age. 
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« Reply #27 on: August 16, 2011, 10:29:00 AM »

Yeah I have the same issue. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and it kills me after about 20 mins or so. I try to shuffle around a bit (leaning on 1 leg or the other) but it really dosent help.

My priest says its no big deal if I had to sit, but to me it is.

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« Reply #28 on: August 16, 2011, 02:30:19 PM »

Xenia, I concur with what other posters have said. I have lymphodema of the arm after the removal of seven glands from breast cancer. You might be wise to see a specialist in this area. Didn't you say on another thread that you'd had an injury to your legs? If so it could be lymphodema and that can be serious.
Tips: Buy a light folding aluminium stool and take it to church and use it! During all the Ecteniae.
Take on a job, if you get a blessing, of attending to the candles - I did this in the monastery as an obedience and it really helps to move around.
As I'm chanting in the choir in my church, I usually stand for all night vigil and Divine Liturgy, but not all of the hours. If I've had a fall, or injured a foot/leg, or something like this, I even sit during ecteniae whilst chanting. I would consider sitting the whole time if my problem was serious enough.
Stay well, Xenia.
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