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April 13, 2008

Other, Type 2

Question from Wakefield, Rhode Island, USA:

I am 64 and have type 2 diabetes. My podiatrist suggested I wear support socks for my leg swelling. I purchased some, but I don't know if I'm supposed to wear them 24 hours a day or just when I'm not in bed.

Answer:

When used correctly, support stockings work well as a non-drug for decreasing edema in your legs. Depending upon what type you have purchased, the stockings may be knee high or go all the way up your leg. The higher they go, the more potent the response. For some people, it is difficult to get in and out of the stockings. This may not allow them to change out of them regularly. However, most people do not wear them at night, if they can help it. As spring is coming, the stockings tend to be warm and less comfortable at night. However, in individuals who have a lot of edema in the legs, initial use of the stockings at night can be a way to really increase the efficacy up front. At night, your body is more efficient at mobilizing the excess fluid. You are also at rest and not in an upright position so you are not fighting gravity. For individual situations, you are better off checking with your physician as to how they recommend they be used.

JTL