Edema

The term ‘Edema’ means swelling caused by fluid accumulation in the body’s tissues. Edema largely occurs in feet, legs, hands and arms but it can occur in any part of your body. Number of factors like taking prolonged medicines, or underlying medical issues can cause edema. But it can be treated by taking appropriate drugs and following healthy diet pattern.

Symptoms :

There will be considerable swelling or puffiness on the affected part of the body like hands, arms or legs. The skin becomes shiny and stretched. The size of the affected part becomes big considerably due to inflammation caused by fluid accumulation. If you press the skin on the affected part the skin would retain a dimple for several seconds indicating swelling.

Causes :

The tiny blood vessels of your body retain excess of fluid causing swelling. The fluid will gradually get accumulated in the nearby tissues leading to edema.

Edema is caused due to underlying medical conditions like kidney disease or heart problems. Mild edema can occur when you take heavy salty diet or sitting in the same position without any physical activity for long periods. It can occur for women during premenstrual period and during pregnancy. Medications that contain estrogen, NSAID medicines, calcium channel blockers and medications that could open blood vessels cause edema.

Health issues like congestive heart failure builds up edema when blood is accumulated due to back pressure in the legs and feet. Kidney disease can also cause edema since kidney may not function properly to flush out fluids. Cirrhosis or liver disease can retain large amounts of fluid in the body when a person is alcoholic.

When the leg veins are damaged, one way valve will not work properly thus retaining the blood in the lower legs leading to edema. If the lymphatic nodes are not functioning well, it will lead to accumulation of excess fluid on the tissues of the body.

Who are at risk?

People who have heart problems, kidney disease and diabetes and those who are taking medications like estrogen or calcium channel blockers have increased chance for getting edema. Complications of edema include increased pain, difficulty in walking or using hands, stiffness in the muscles, decreased blood flow, increased risk of infection, and more chance for getting skin ulcers.

Tests :

Your doctor will detect the condition of edema on physical examination of the affected part of the body. He will collect your history of illness to find out the underlying medical cause for edema.

Treatment :

Mild forms of edema will resolve automatically if you reduce salt intake in your diet. Moderate to severe edema should be treated by medications like diuretics. Lasix is the main drug given either in the form of oral pills or injection to remove excess of fluid from the body. Your doctor should find the underlying medical cause before giving treatment for edema.

Pictures of Edema :

Images, Pics, Pictures and Photos of Edema

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Home Remedies :

Keep your legs in elevated position to increase blood flow which will eventually reduce swelling. Give constant movement to the affected parts of the body so that the muscles will relax from stiffness and pump out the excess of fluids. Wearing compression stockings are highly useful to reduce edema. Massage the area by giving gentle strokes on the legs or hands applying light pressure to remove excess fluids. Limit the salt intake in your diet.

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