Medical Question #23

MEDICAL ADVICE FROM

DR. ANN BEAUMONT


Q: Can  continued wear (24/7) of a corset can  aggravate (or  even create) water retention problems during the summer?  I'm  finding my calves and ankles are swelling for the first time this year,  and wonder  whether it has anything to do with my eight months of continued  corset wear.   I'm trying to drink sufficient water to compensate. And I'm  adjusting  the lacing judiciously so as not to over tighten. --Nancy  (8/29/01)

A:  Water retention can have a number of causes, one being poor circulation, where tissues in the legs accumulate water but cannot release it effectively. It is often seen in individuals who sit or stand for long periods of time. When you have a chance, raise your feet, if possible to chest level. If this relaxes the swelling, you should consider exercise in the form of walking. Avoid crossing your legs when you sit. If you corset yourself extremely tight (6-8") this could be an issue, but it sounds like you do not. I doubt that the tightlacing contributes to the problem.  Another possible cause is vitamin deficiencies, but usually it has to do with circulation in the legs, which in large is a function of muscle activity and use. There are other potential root causes, but I suggest starting with the above. (ED: Might support stockings help?)

(8/29/01)-23


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