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Information about Edema

We Have to Know about the Edema

  • Edema is swelling of both legs from a buildup of extra fluid

Causes of Edema

  • Prolonged standing or sitting, especially in hot weather, can cause excess fluid to accumulate in the feet, ankles and lower legs
  • Varicose veins
  • Emphysema and Chronic bronchitis
  • Congestive heart failure- Swelling is often most visible in the feet and ankles
  • Pregnancy
  • Low protein levels in the blood caused by malnutrition, kidney and liver disease can cause edema

Signs & Symptoms of Edema

  • Symptoms vary according to the type of edema and its location.
  • Swelling or puffiness of the tissue directly under your skin, especially in your legs or arms
  • Stretched or shiny skin
  • Skin that retains a dimple (pits), after being pressed for several seconds
  • Increased abdominal size

Do’s and Don’ts of Edema

  • The only way to prevent edema is to prevent the cause. Smoking is the main cause of chronic lung disease. Congestive heart failure most often is caused by coronary artery disease, high blood pressure or drinking too much alcohol
  • To avoid leg swelling on long trips, stand up and walk around often. Ideally, you should get up once an hour. If that’s not possible, then exercise your feet and lower legs while sitting

Medical advice for Edema 

  • Call your doctor immediately if you have pain, redness or heat in a swollen area, an open sore, shortness of breath or swelling of only one limb

Treatment for Edema

  • Treatment of edema focuses on correcting the cause of the fluid accumulation

Risk Factors of Edema

  •  If you are pregnant, your body retains more sodium and water than usual due to the fluid needed by the fetus and placenta. This can increase your risk of developing edema

Your risk of edema may be increased if you take certain medications, including:

  • High blood pressure medications
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Steroid drugs
  • Estrogens
  • Certain diabetes medications called thiazolidinediones

Self-care for Edema

  • A low-salt diet usually helps. You also should avoid drinking too much fluid. If you are not short of breath, elevate your legs above the level of your heart to keep swelling down
  • For swollen ankles and feet caused by pregnancy, elevate your legs and avoid lying on your back
  • If you have mild leg edema caused by venous insufficiency, elevate your legs periodically. Sometimes surgery is needed to improve the flow of blood through the leg veins

Investigations for Edema

  • To check for edema that is not obvious, you can gently press your thumb over the foot, ankle or leg with slow, steady pressure. If you have edema, you will see an indentation where you pressed
  • Urine test, Blood tests, a chest X-ray and an electrocardiogram (EKG) also may be done
Medical advice for Edema
                 Symptoms of Edema