- by Medikoe Health Expert
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- Feb 27 2018
EDEMA: CAUSES, SYMPTOMS & TREATMENT
WHAT IS EDEMA?
It is a swelling caused by excess fluid that gets trapped in the body’s tissues and may affect any part of the body including your hands, arms, feet, ankles or legs.
When tiny blood vessels in the body, known as capillaries begin to leak fluid, the tissues in the surrounding areas become swollen.
Some common reasons behind edema are:
- Staying in one position for too long
- Consuming too much salty food
- Having premenstrual signs and symptoms
- Medications, such as high blood pressure medications, anti-inflammatory drugs, steroid drugs, oestrogens, etc.
Your risk of edema could increase if you are pregnant as your body retains more sodium and water than the usual. Certain chronic illnesses such as a congestive heart failure, liver disease, kidney diseases, surgery of some kind, could all be risk factors behind an edema.
The common signs and symptoms of edema include:
- The tissue directly under your skin, especially in your legs or arms appears swollen or puffy
- Skin appears stretched or shiny
- If the skin is pressed for several seconds, it retains a dimple or a pit
- Abdomen size increases
In some cases, edema could be a sign of a more serious underlying medical condition, such as:
- Liver Cirrhosis
- Kidney disease
- Kidney damage
- Congestive heart failure
- Protein deficiency
- Damage to the veins in the legs
- Inadequate lymphatic system
A physical exam, X-ray, ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging, blood test or urine analysis are some of the tests that can be conducted by a doctor to determine edema.
A mild form of edema usually goes away on its own by:
- moving the affected muscles and lifting them above the level of your heart
- massaging the affected area
- wearing compression stockings, sleeves or gloves
- keeping the affected area free from injury
- reducing salt intake
A more severe form of edema can be treated with the help of drugs and medications, based on the patient’s personal medical history.
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