What Are The Causes & Symptoms Of Edema & How To Treat It?

Fluid accumulation in the body tissues and the area around the organs of the body is recognized as edema. Understanding the reason that leads to the condition is often the best method for edema treatment. Edema is commonly observed in the lower body or the hands, chest region, or the abdomen. Heart failure may cause fluids to collect in the chest region, a condition known as pulmonary edema. This can sometimes be fatal in case it is not treated in time.

Common Symptoms Of Edema

The skin may become stretched, appear shiny, or puffy depending on the cause of the edema. These are the most common symptoms that are apparent. In patients who are laid up in bed for a long period, the symptoms may be visible on the lower back or the legs. In many cases, the swelling worsens at the end of the day; in some instances, it may become worse after standing or sitting for a long. Shortness of breath is a common symptom of chest edema while the abdominal size increases in abdominal edema. Failure of the heart or the lymphatic system leads to edema. Cirrhosis can be another cause of edema. An injury or the malfunctioning of the lymphatic system is the cause of lymphedema. People who are suffering from edema should wear special slippers for edema.

Causes Of Edema

There can be numerous causes for edema; however, the most frequent reason for edema is the venous disease. A blood clot or deep vein thrombosis is another common cause of edema. During pregnancy, women retain fluid, which causes swelling. There is no need for edema treatment, as the swelling goes away by itself. In women, the monthly menstrual cycle sometimes causes edema, but this does not need treatment. Side effects of medications for hypertension or diabetes may, at times, cause edema in patients. Congestive heart failure is the most serious condition that causes edema in the chest; it may also cause death. Swellings on the lower legs or around the eyes may be the result of kidney disease.

Examining Edema

The doctor will test the swollen area by pressing on it, as was described in the last paragraph. Fifteen seconds of pressure is all that is needed before the finger is removed to check for a dimple. There might be other tests to determine the exact cause of the edema. These might include urinalysis, blood tests, ECG (electrocardiogram), and an X-ray.

Treating Edema

  • Determine The factors

The ideal method to treat edema is to find out the factors causing it and taking care of that cause first. Often, doctors recommend the reduction of salt intake as the first line of treatment. Another easy option is to elevate the legs for about half an hour every day to take care of the swelling. Diuretics are prescribed for serious pulmonary edema. This helps in draining the excess water and sodium through the kidneys. Due care must be taken while using diuretics as a large dosage might cause too much fluid to drain fast, lowering the blood pressure, thus causing damage to the kidneys. Edema is typically treated by focusing on the disease or disorder that is causing it. A water pill can be taken to help reduce the swelling temporarily, but the edema will keep returning if the underlying condition is not handled properly.

  • Use Compression Stocking & Edema Boots

For leg edema, the doctor may prescribe compression stockings. The stocking must fit properly; otherwise, it will be ineffective, and the patient will be uncomfortable as well. The stocking should apply the highest compression at the ankle and reduce it as it goes up on the leg. Also, the edema should wear comfortable shoes such as special edema shoes.

  • Surgery

If the edema is caused by a restricted blood vessel, then surgery might be required to help the blood flow normally, once again. If an area is swollen and you suspect edema, you should protect that area and keep it out of harsh weather. If you get a scrape or cut in an area that is affected by edema, then it will take a long time to heal and be extra-sensitive to an infection.

  • Natural Herbs

Herbs offer a good alternative to conventional medications – without the side effects. Buchu is a good natural diuretic and will help to stop the inflammation that edema causes. Dandelion does a good job of keeping the blood pressure normal, supporting the circulatory system, and giving support to the liver. Make sure that you still consult your doctor if you decide to use herbs because it is important to know if there is a more serious underlying condition that needs attention. Some herbal extracts have medicinal and curative properties. By and large, they are diuretics and are used to reduce the swelling. Some examples are horse chestnut, dandelion leaf, and evening primrose oil. Very often, edema treatment is as simple as a dietary change; reducing the salt intake works well to keep the swelling down.