Swollen ankles and feet on a cruise?

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#1
Ashburn, Virginia USA
4,519 Posts
Joined May 2003
I know this really isn't a fashion question but thought maybe ya all could help. I just returned from my seven day Western Caribbean cruise on Carnival's Triumph. On the morning after we left Miami, I awoke to extremely swollen ankles . . . I mean, my legs looked like telephone polls . . . I had no ankles! This was my sixth cruise and my ankles never swelled before. The next morning . . . I awoke to not only swollen ankles but feet that looked like balloons . . . picture vinyl gloves that someone blew up. Not only extremely unattractive but my skin was so tight . . . it was actually uncomfortable (still is). Has anything like this ever happened to any of ya all? If so . . . why and what did you do to get the swelling to go away? I've been drinking lots of fluid and staying away from anything salty that would cause one to retain fluid. I've also been trying to keep my feel elevated. I'm really wondering if I should go to the doctor tomorrow?
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#2
Jacksonville, FL USA
47,647 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
Hi there first, how was the cruise? Did you have a good time?

Next, when I sailed in March the same thing happened to me but I don't think it was as bad as yours......but my ankles did swell up. I have been told by a few people it might be due to the amount of salt in the food. Actually on the 2nd formal night I had to change shoes because the ankle strap was too tight.

Now, the swelling went away within 2 days after I got home so I didn't go to the Dr.

Next time I am going to watch the salt intake more than I usually do!
#3
Moon Township, Pa
23,139 Posts
Joined Oct 2000
It is the increase in salt. You might not realize it, but the cruise lines do tend to salt the food more than you're used to. Drink lots of water when on the cruise, that tends to help. Don't wear tight shoes and try and elevate your legs for a while each day.
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Darcie
#5
Jacksonville, FL USA
47,647 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
Hi Blue Herons I wish I could agree with you on that one....but I was in FLL for a full day before sailing.....had been on the ground prior to the cruise.
And my flight is only 40 minutes from Jacksonville to FLL.

I will have to be more intelligent about what I eat when I sail in October......and that will be A LONG FLIGHT......I will heed any advice ya'll have. I will be flying from Florida to California next time
#6
East Haven, Ct.(use to live in Milford Ct.)
79 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Originally posted by ladycaveat
I know this really isn't a fashion question but thought maybe ya all could help. I just returned from my seven day Western Caribbean cruise on Carnival's Triumph. On the morning after we left Miami, I awoke to extremely swollen ankles . . . I mean, my legs looked like telephone polls . . . I had no ankles! This was my sixth cruise and my ankles never swelled before. The next morning . . . I awoke to not only swollen ankles but feet that looked like balloons . . . picture vinyl gloves that someone blew up. Not only extremely unattractive but my skin was so tight . . . it was actually uncomfortable (still is). Has anything like this ever happened to any of ya all? If so . . . why and what did you do to get the swelling to go away? I've been drinking lots of fluid and staying away from anything salty that would cause one to retain fluid. I've also been trying to keep my feel elevated. I'm really wondering if I should go to the doctor tomorrow?
Hi,

The same thing happen to me 2yrs ago on the Carnival Legend. My ankles were so swollen and uncomfortable. Now I know better and need to drink more water on this next cruise in June.

Hope your feeling better. Hope you had a great cruise

Bogi
#7
cape cod ma
468 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
Ladycaveat,
My ankles and feet swelled up on our cruise last November. It happened after spending a day on a tour of St Lucia. I kept my feet up and applied a cold compress, the next day they were OK. It did freak me out at the time. I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one. That being said, since your problem has lasted so long you should get in touch with your doc just to make sure. You want to rule out any blood pressure or circulation problems.
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#8
Canada
1,391 Posts
Joined Oct 2003
It happened to me on 2 out of 4 cruises...I was told it was the salt in food and swimming in salt water...I know now to bring stretchy shoes...It didn't last too long but it was more than 2 days before I seen my ankles...i think about a week or so...
I have talked to other people and it is very common...so I don't think I would be too worried about it...but if it makes you feel better, go to the doctor...can't hurt...hope all works out for you...
#9
Ashburn, Virginia USA
4,519 Posts
Joined May 2003
Originally posted by Lois R
Hi there first, how was the cruise? Did you have a good time?

Next, when I sailed in March the same thing happened to me but I don't think it was as bad as yours......but my ankles did swell up. I have been told by a few people it might be due to the amount of salt in the food. Actually on the 2nd formal night I had to change shoes because the ankle strap was too tight.

Now, the swelling went away within 2 days after I got home so I didn't go to the Dr.

Next time I am going to watch the salt intake more than I usually do!
Hi Lois . . . I had a fantastic time! But then how could anyone have anything but when on a cruise?

I did stop by the infirmary when getting back on board in Cozumel (our first stop when it was just my ankles). Walked by there as I was boarding and the nurse said it was very common and gave me a sheet of paper that in short just said to avoid foods high in salt.

I too had to give up wearing a really cute pair of strappy sandals because the straps were so tight that they left marks on my feet.

I still look like I'm suffering from elephantitis!
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Chandris' Regina Magna 1974 - Southern Caribbean
NCL Norway 1984 - Mediterranean
Island Princess 1994 - Alaska
Celebrity's Galaxy 10/2003 - Western Caribbean
Carnival's Triumph 4/2005 - Western Caribbean
Carnival's Triumph 9/2/2006 - Western Caribbean
Carnival's Pride 1/7/2007 - Mexican Riviera
Carnival's Valor 4/27/2008 - Western Caribbean
Carnival's Liberty 1/10/09 - Eastern Caribbean
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#10
New York City
435 Posts
Joined Oct 2003
I have not experienced this myself, but have read of others' experiences enough to believe there's something on board that at least some people react to. Maybe it's a combination of factors. It has been suggested, in other threads on the subject, that the desalination process by which the ship obtains its water doesn't take absolutely all the salt out of the seawater. Though you can't avoid the water that is used in cooking, sticking to bottled water for drinking may help.
#11
Ashburn, Virginia USA
4,519 Posts
Joined May 2003
Originally posted by BlueHerons
It is usually do to the altitude change. Flying at 35,000 feet then sailing at sea level wrecks havoc on your body.
Hi Blue . . . I was a flight attendant for over twenty-one years and took several cruises during that time . . . never had this problem. I hate to admit it but I think . . . could it be . . . oh no! I think it has to have something to do with being in my fifties as opposed to being in my twenties and thirties (and even forties). Does anyone have a pin? I'd like to just try to deflate these balloons called ankles and feet! Tee hee!!!!!
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Chandris' Regina Magna 1974 - Southern Caribbean
NCL Norway 1984 - Mediterranean
Island Princess 1994 - Alaska
Celebrity's Galaxy 10/2003 - Western Caribbean
Carnival's Triumph 4/2005 - Western Caribbean
Carnival's Triumph 9/2/2006 - Western Caribbean
Carnival's Pride 1/7/2007 - Mexican Riviera
Carnival's Valor 4/27/2008 - Western Caribbean
Carnival's Liberty 1/10/09 - Eastern Caribbean
Carnival's Freedom 9/6/09 - Western Caribbean
Carnival's Dream 1/9/10 - Western Caribbean
Carnival's Pride 9/26/10 - Eastern Caribbean
#12
west michigan
37 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
it happened to me for the first time a couple years ago. then last year we flew to california and drove thru the mountains and my ankles were very swollen the whole time. took nearly a week to get back to normal when we got home. then flew to fla last fall and it happened again but not as bad. my sis has the same problem when she flies. i talked to my dr and she said it was the high altitude that can suddenly cause it and that is why it stayed so bad in calif. i am going to wear compression sox for the flight down before the cruise in hopes that it helps. we will see in 2 weeks
#13
928 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
It happened to me on my first cruise. My feet and legs were so swollen and tight that the skin was shiny! I retained 8 pounds over night. I do believe that the drinking water was to blame. I could taste the salt and I drink gallons of water every day. After that trip, I have stuck to bottled water and have not had it happen again.
#14
Florida
5,298 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
I, too, have suffered from swollen ankles. Finally I bought some black Jobst compression stockings (knee hi's) and always wear them when I fly and bring them on cruises. They're fine if I wear slacks or a long black skirt/dress. And I also have ivory and beige ones. I'm at the point where fashion is #2 and comfort is #1. For what it's worth, since I've used the Jobst (which you can get over the internet) I have not had swollen ankles. But I still pack them, just in case. Try them. And good luck to you.
Esther
#15
lakewood, Ca USA
3,001 Posts
Joined Sep 2000
Hi, you are not alone, my husband has had this happen on the last 3 cruises we have taken. And it was not realated to flying since we did not fly into port on two of the cruises,the port was right here at home. And it usually happens a few days into the cruise or toward the end of the cruise and I think it is the SALT, in the food. And we try to be careful what he eats, but he is sensitive to it I guess. Also he gets like a red rash around his ankles also, the first time it really spooked us and it happened the last couple days of the cruise, so we went straight to his interinist when we got home , and he did some tests then increased his water retention meds. I wish it wouldn't happen but we have seen others on the cruise ships with the same problems, at least we know now it isn't some freaky thing just he has. Take care.
Cori
#16
Oklahoma
2,724 Posts
Joined Oct 2002
I was having this problem and we looked into the amount of salt that remains in the ships water after it is desalinated....and it is quite high....I had been drinking large quantities of ships water thinking it would keep me from getting swollen feet and ankles...wrong...so now all I drink is bottled water...remember the ice and the iced tea is also made from the ships desalinated water as well. I have to take a diuretic every other day when I cruise just to eliminate the problem if I have drinks with ice or drink the iced tea...Sissy
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#17
San Diego
434 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
In another thread some people were talking about this and suggested eating parsley which served as a natural diuritic. They said it worked to get rid of the extra fluid. They even ordered extra from the waiter.
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#18
Southern Calif.
2,560 Posts
Joined Jun 2000
Fellow sufferer here! It has happened to me on each cruise now and seems to be worse when it is a warm climate and if I fly a long distance to get there and home. I now pack a 24 pack of bottled water that has NO added minerals...I found that Avian water is the worst for me!!! I still had the problem after our Century cruise 2 weeks ago. Hormones seem to play a part in this for me (I'm pushing 50) and once I took an over the counter water/pms pill, I was perfect the next day! I am planning to take one a day on our upcoming cruise and see if that makes a difference! Sauces and soups are probably part of the problem...but it's a tough one to say "no" to them!!!
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#19
1,229 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Be sure when you fly, to wear non restrictive clothing and shoes, drink lots of water and move about when possible. Try to elevate your feet after the flight as well. Being sedentary will slow circulation and the ability of the body to expell excess fluids. I also swear by drinking unfiltered cranberry juice(no sugar added either) with a sparkling water and lime. It definitely works as a detoxing agent and helps me to shed water I may be retaining. I would start that regimen a week or two before you go and maybe bring some of the juice with you. My mom swears by drinking it with tonic water as it alleviates her leg cramps.