What is Edema? Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment?

Edema, commonly known as Dropsy, is a swelling developed due to fluid retention in the body tissues. Edema can affect any part of your body, although it tends to manifest itself more visibly in the hands, arms, feet, ankles, and legs. Edema can be affected by medications, pregnancy, or an underlying illness, which is frequently cirrhosis of the liver, congestive heart failure, or kidney disease. Edema is frequently relieved by taking medications to drain extra fluid and consuming less salt. And, if edema is a symptom of an underlying illness, that illness needs to be treated separately.

Now, let’s get into some more details of Edema’s causes, symptoms, and how it can be treated:

Causes of Edema:

  • Capillaries, which are tiny blood veins in your body, can leak fluid and cause edema. In the surrounding tissues, the fluid accumulates and causes swelling.
  • Mild cases of edema could be caused by:
  • More time spent sitting or being in one place
  • Eating overly salty food
  • Exhibiting premenstrual symptoms
  • Pregnancy
  • Additional drugs that may cause edema include:
  • High blood pressure drugs
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications
  • Steroid drugs
  • Estrogens
  • Several diabetic drugs are known as thiazolidinediones

Edema, however, might occasionally indicate a more serious underlying medical issue. Edema may result from several illnesses and ailments, including:

  • Enlarged Heart Disease: One or both of your heart’s lower chambers lose their capacity to pump blood efficiently if you have congestive heart failure. Blood may therefore pool in your legs, ankles, and feet, leading to edema. In addition to abdominal swelling, congestive heart failure can also induce it. Sometimes, this disease might result in pulmonary edema, a fluid buildup in your lungs that can make you feel short of breath.
  • Cirrhosis: Ascites and fluid buildup in your legs are possible side effects of liver disease (cirrhosis).
  • Kidney Illness: Edema can develop in people with renal disease when there is an excess of fluid and sodium in the bloodstream. Your legs and the area around your eyes are typically affected by the edema linked to renal disease.
  • Kidney Injury: Nephrotic syndrome can be brought on by injury to your kidneys’ little, filtering blood capillaries. In those with nephrotic syndrome, dropping blood protein levels (albumin) can cause fluid retention and thus causes edema.
  • Vascular Weakness Or Injury In Your Legs: The one-way valves in your leg veins are weakened or destroyed if you have chronic venous insufficiency, allowing blood to pool there and resulting in swelling. A blood clot in one of your leg veins may be the cause of sudden swelling in one leg and calf muscle soreness. If this happens, get medical attention right away.
  • Insufficient Lymphatic System: The lymphatic system in your body aids in removing extra fluid from tissues. The lymph nodes and lymph vessels that drain an area may not function properly if this system is compromised, such as by cancer surgery, and edema may result.
  • Ongoing Protein Deficit: Edema and fluid buildup can result from a severe deficiency of protein in your diet over time.

Symptoms of Edema:

  • There may be swelling or puffiness in the tissue that lies right under your skin, mostly in your legs and arms.
  • Shiny or stretched skin
  • Skin that, after being pushed for a few seconds, shows pits/dimples
  • Bigger abdominal area

How to cure Edema?

To treat edema appropriately, one must consult a doctor to determine the underlying cause. Reducing your salt consumption and keeping your legs up when sitting will typically help with temporary edema.

Home Care

You can also try the following methods to reduce edema at home:

  • Consuming a wide range of nutritious foods and avoiding packaged and processed foods rich in salt
  • Exercising moderately can help avoid edema brought on by idleness
  • Avoiding alcohol and tobacco
  • Wearing compression socks
  • Attempting massage or acupuncture

Treat Medically

You might be given the following advice for particular circumstances or conditions:

  • Diuretics may be combined with other drugs that enhance heart function in the treatment of heart failure.
  • Cirrhosis: Diuretics, sodium restriction, and complete abstinence from alcohol can all help symptoms.
  • Lymphedema: Early in this stage, diuretics may prove beneficial. Also helpful are compression sleeves or stockings.

When does edema become urgent?

While an edema’s symptoms usually subside with rest and home care, they can also be a warning of more serious health issues including renal or heart failure.

If your edema becomes abruptly worse/new or is accompanied by chest pain or difficulty in breathing, then seek medical attention then and there. The latter could be a symptom of pulmonary edema, a serious medical condition when fluid fills the lung cavities. Additionally, if you suddenly get edema when pregnant, call your doctor right away because it could be an indication of difficulties.

While the edema might seem normal at a first but can result in various implications. And, if it affects your body’s reproductive system, the chances to meet a doctor from the Urology sector broaden. Make yourself on the safer side by implying regular check-ups and a desired diet in our lifestyle.