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Questions for Dr. Kennedy
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non-pitting edema (myxedema)
Posted by: Michele
Date: February 14, 2001 10:27 PM

have hypothyroidism with non-pitting edema. Is there a way to reduce the edema along with addressing the hypothyroid condition which probably causes it? I have read that selenium assists the conversion of T4 to T3, but no dosage was suggested. Would correcting this
conversion problem also correct the edema?

RE: non-pitting edema (myxedema)
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, M.D.
Date: February 15, 2001 12:32 AM

If it is myxedema ("non-pitting" edema) from hypothyroidism, treating the hypothyroidism should correct the edema. (A healthy level of T3 is required and 200 mcg. Selenium should be sufficient. L-tyrosine might also help as it is the precursor to thyroid hormone.) If becoming
euthytoid does not correct the edema, it is back to the drawing boards for a better treatment of the hypothyroidism or for an accurate diagnosis. The most common cause of edema is generalized
toxicity. The second most common cause is congestive heart failure. The third is kidney failure. However, these are pitting edemas, meaning that when you apply pressure a depression in the
subcutaneous tissue results. That indicates the fluid collection is between cells (extracellular) whereas non-pitting edema means the fluid collection is within the cells (intracellular).

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