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I am a 50 year old woman, in shape, exercises regularly and I have had edema in my ankles for about 25 years. I have done so many tests over the years. My doctors told me that I am healthy and I might never find out why. I did notice when I drastically reduced my sodium intak, drank lots of water and wore support hose  that I could control the edema but not get rid of it. In the summer I can not wear heals because my ankles swells immediately. It's very embarrassing and I wear clothing so people can't notice my swollen ankles. I started noticing that the less carbohydrates I eat the better my ankles looked and started suspecting gluten could be the problem. Not one doctor even suggested that could be the problem. I did allergy test as well as blood work testing me for celiac and they came back normal. I checked my thyroid and that came back normal as well. As I did research I believe I have a gluten sensitivity. My only symptoms are swollen ankles and I get tired very easily. A week ago I started a gluten free and dairy free diet. Was very excited because each day my ankles looked better and better but today my ankles are swelling again and I don't believe I had any gluten, I have been very careful. Is this normal that I will have flare ups before I get completely better and how long does it take for my ankles not to swell and I can wear heels without support hose for swelling?...I appreciate anyone's input. 

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It has been said on here that there will be ups and downs and occasional flare ups until healing is complete, and that could take six months to a couple of years.  I'm glad you found a connection, though.  Welcome to the forum. :)

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Hi Lisa,

I had ankle swelling too.  It turned out to be grapes and soy that were causing it for me.  Edema is a known symptom of allergies.  But most allergy tests only check for IgE reactions, not IgA or IgG reactions.  So you could be having reactions to foods you eat that allergy tests won't detect.

There aren't many non-IgE tests for food reactions available.  It's more a case of putting on your detective shoes and seeking out your own answers.  Most of the gumshoes around here rely on the old standby elimination diet to start their investigations.

Welcome to the forum! :)


Proverbs 25:16 "Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it."

Job 30:27 My bowels boiled, and rested not: the days of affliction prevented me.

Thyroid cyst and nodules, Lactose / casein intolerant. Diet positive, gene test pos, symptoms confirmed by Dr-head. My current bad list is: gluten, dairy, sulfites, coffee (the devil's brew), tea, Bug's Bunnies carrots, garbanzo beans of pain, soy- no joy, terrible turnips, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, eggplant, celery, strawberries, pistachios, and hard work. Have a good day! 🙂 Paul

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I was diagnosed with celiac in April. I had tested for celiac before with negative results but tried again because it runs in my family and can come up at any time. 

One of my major symptoms over the past 10 years was swelling. Not just my ankles but all over my body. Within the first month of quitting I lost over 10lbs from the swelling going down. I still have issues from time to time, usually when I accidentally eat something with cross contamination. Even when you think your being careful gluten sometimes gets in, especially if you're new and figuring it out. 

Just keep at it and keep a food diary. It's helped me tons. 

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