This is intended as reply to all of the posts on this thread. Sorry if it doesnít work out that way; Iím still learning the technicalities of using this forum.
First, Iíd just like to say that Iím humbled that people have taken the time and effort to help me with this. Thank you.
I met with a nutritionist yesterday. We went over everything I had been eating, lately, and calculated that Iíve only been getting about 30 grams of protein a day! That definitely changed my perspective on the situation. She advised that I more than double my protein intake, which I started to do right away, using mostly protein powder.
She said that the body stores protein (?óI should have asked her to clarify this, and will if I see her again), and mine may have used up its store, which is why symptoms showed up only recently. So, hopefully, more than doubling my protein will make my foot swelling go away, although she said that it may take a few weeks.
At the advice of ďteaserĒ and the dietician, I have been eating a lot more, especially protein, for about the last 30 hours. I do feel a whole lot better, but itís still very early to be making definitive correlations.
Someone on another message board suggested that I look up ďlymphedema.Ē Itís an umbrella term for poor lymph circulation. The lymph backs up, causing swelling. Iíve been getting more fat, trying to push my body into ketosis, which needs to go through the lymphatic system to reach the liver, where itís broken down into ketones, and distributed to the blood. So, the fact that muscle contraction is needed to circulate lymph, and that I had drastically reduced my workout routine around the time that my feet started to swell, do seem to point to this. I hope not, because the photos I found of where lymphedema can lead were horrifying.
I brought up lymphedema with the nutritionist, and she basically said that low protein intake seems like the more obvious cause for my low blood proteins, which, she agreed with my doctor, is likely to be the immediate cause of my foot swelling. She said that since increasing my protein intake wonít hurt even if I do have poor lymph circulation, I should try that, anyway.
I had been thinking that the problem wasnít that I was getting too little protein, but rather, that my body was turning it all into glucose. At 30g/day, though, that now seems very unlikely. The nutritionist also said that the body will use up all of the dietary fat that it gets before starting to turn protein into glucose.
When I read the suggestions to use a glucose meter test solution, I thought, ďWhy didnít I think of that!?Ē It seemed so obvious! I was surprised to find, though, that drug stores donít carry test solution, so I had to order some, online. Iím a little confused about how itís supposed to work. I thought that it would just be a glucose solution of a known concentration, but every solution said that it only read ďhigh,Ē ďlow,Ē etc., and only worked with a specific meter. So, I ordered a meter/solution combo, for only a few dollars more that just the solution.
Iím not sure what to do about salt. Iíve been told that I may need a lot more or a lot less. Iíve tried both, although only for a few days at a time, and neither had any apparent effect on the swelling, so I settled on a ďmediumĒ amount, about 2-3g/day.
Iím vegan for ethical reasons, so canít add any animal sources of iron. I did start taking an iron supplement, a few days ago.
I see my doctor again, in about a month. Hopefully, my foot swelling will be gone by then.
Once again, thank you, everyone, for your help!