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Health at Sea Questions on the treatment of sea sickness and other cruise-related health topics.

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old January 15th, 2002, 04:19 PM
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Default Swelling

Everytime I go on a cruise my legs swell so bad that my ankles disappear. I thought perhaps there was still a high level of salt in the treated water, but I went on a riverboat cruise and had the same prob. What can I do about this?
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old January 15th, 2002, 06:06 PM
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Default Re: Swelling

Go easy on the salt and drink plenty of water. Dehydration can cause swelling. Cucumbers and melon act as diuretics so you could try eating some of those things.
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Old January 17th, 2002, 07:57 PM
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Default Re: Swelling

I too had that happen once while cruising, never did find out for sure what it was, but I really thought it was too much salt on the food??? This last cruise I thought the food was a little bland, possibly they didn't over-salt?? Didn't have a problem and I did always drink plenty of water, so follow Elaine's directions and you should be OK, good luck and happy cruising.

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Old January 19th, 2002, 07:17 PM
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Default Re: Swelling

The same thing happened to me about 2 weeks ago on my cruise. I started drinking tons of water and the swelling finally went down. I found that I layed out in the sun too much without drinking enough water plus the umbrella drinks probably did not help either.
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Old January 21st, 2002, 12:58 PM
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Default Re: Swelling

This happens to me on every cruise even Alaska! My weight & height are proportionate and I am very conscience about the extra salt and drink plenty of water. John the pharmacists was not able to recommend anything other than watching the amount of salt laden foods and to drink lots of water. One cruiser recommended the Steiner's product called Deep. Basically it is a diuretic but that did not even work for me. I did find by wearing good leather athletic sneakers with cotton socks instead of loose sandals, that my feet did not swell as much and I was able to wear my shoes later in the week. So sneakers during the daytime it is for me! I bring strapy sandals that have a little elasticity for evening. Try eating lots of fruits too on board.

Bon Voyage.
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Old April 9th, 2002, 02:43 PM
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Default Re: Swelling

I just returned from my first cruise on the Spirit 3/27-4/4, 8 day Southern Caribbean. By the second full day at sea I started to notice I was swelling up! I had read about this happening, but didn't think I would experience it. It got so bad that my entire face swelled up to the point I couldn't see because my eyes were so puffed up. My feet looked like water balloons and my toes looked like snausages!

I went to the infirmary (being a nurse myself I thought maybe I could get a mild diruetic)... nope. They told me it was common and caused by the sun (I really over did it in the sun), alcohol, salty food served on board and the salt air that is absorbed by the body. It seems to affect some people and not others. I was lucky i guess huh? (lol)

I went to my cabin and soaked a washcloth in the ice bucket, and laid it over my eyes. I had my feet elevated on a stack of pillows and spent a few hours this way as often as I could while it was bad.

During this time I noticed that my urine output had really decreased! I started to drink bottled water (which I had brought along with me as I am a water drinker). I also took Motrin (max dose 800mg- do not take this dose unless you have before and know you can tolerate it and it doesn't interfere with any other medication you may take regularly) because it's an anti-inflammatory. They said to avoid alcohol (ugh) but I was on vacation!!

Well.... after laying down, feet elevated and icing my eyes I HAD to stop wasting time! I dressed for dinner, went to the bar and had the drink of the day.... It must have kicked my kidneys into gear because I started urinating again....

The worst of it started to subside but some remained until the end of the cruise. There are some great pictures of me looking like a bloated sausage (lol).

Best advice...
Lay with your feet elevated, cold cloth on your face. Take some Ibuprofen (if it is a med you have taken already and know you can tolerate it). Drink lots of water to help the kidneys produce urine. Limit sun exposure. All the things we don't want to do on vacation!!

Despite the swelling- I can't wait 'tll my next cruise!! I may ask my doctor in advance for a mild diruretic to bring with me in case it happens again.

Happy Cruising and No Swelling Up!
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Old January 2nd, 2003, 11:26 AM
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Posts: 398
Default Re: Swelling

Last year I had a big problem with my feet and ankles before the cruise--terrible pain and some swelling. Just when I was about to see a dr. I saw an article that said 80% of Americans are unintentionally dehydrated because they don't take the time to drink enough water. The conditions that are made worse by dehydration were listed as arthritis, acid reflux, back pain, and heart disease. The foot pain felt like my bones were being crunched together whenever I put weight on them and my ankles swelled up. I also had a problem with acid reflux and back pain.
I started drinking water like crazy and bought shoes with better support. Within 2 wks. my feet were much better and the acid hardly ever flared up. After 3 mos. My feet were back to normal and the other symptoms had all but disappeared.
My feet let me know if I have been too busy and slacked off on the water--at the first twinge, I drop everything and head for the faucet..
I don't know what I would have done had I not begun fixing the foot problem before the cruise. The excursions would have been a painful nightmare.
This may not work for everyone, but it was my salvation.
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