What Can Cause Edema?

What Can Cause Edema?


We know by now that we need to eat the right foods, need to work out, and do stuff that is healthy for us. Because maintaining good health does not happen by accident, it requires work and smart lifestyle choices. But sometimes when we wake up at 6 am to hit the gym before work or shunning the donuts in breakfast, it’s easy to lose sight of for what are we doing all these. So here are some top articles choices that can keep you motivated to lead a healthy lifestyle and keep diseases at bay.

What Can Cause Edema?

Edema occurs when excess fluid is trapped inside your tissues. Edema can occur in any part (tissue) of your body; however, it is more common seen in feet, ankles, legs, arms, hands etc. Edema in some tissues can be life threatening such as edema of brain tissue (cerebral edema), edema in lungs (pulmonary edema) etc.

Edema can occur due to pregnancy, medication, injury or an underlying medical condition such as heart failure, kidney disease, cirrhosis of liver etc. Usually edema can be removed by salt restriction and by taking medications (water pills or diuretics). However, if edema is due to some underlying medical condition, the medical condition need to be treated to reduce edema., What Can Cause Edema?

What are the signs and symptoms of edema?

Signs and symptoms of edema include,

  • Swelling of the edematous tissue, usually just below skin (if edema is in face it become puffy)
  • Skin becomes stretched and may look shiny
  • Abdominal size may increase
  • In case of edema the skin may retain depressed or dimpled after being pressed for several seconds
  • Depending on the involved tissues there are other signs and symptoms of edema, such as breathlessness in case of pulmonary edema, headache and unconsciousness and other symptoms in case of cerebral edema.

What are the causes of edema?

Mild cases of edema may occur if you stay or sit in one position for too long, during premenstrual period, during pregnancy or if you eat too much salty food. Certain medications can also cause edema, such as steroids, estrogens, some drugs used for treatment of hypertension, nsaids (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) etc.

Edema can occur as a consequence of serious medical problems such as:

  • Congestive heart failure: in this case heart is unable to pump blood effectively leading to presence of excess blood in legs, ankle, feet and leading to formation of edema in those areas. Congestive heart failure can also lead to edema in lungs leading to shortness of breath.
  • Kidney problems: in some kidney diseases your kidneys may not be able to remove salt and water effectively leading to accumulation of salt and water in circulation and generalized edema may occur in most tissues in your body. When your kidneys are damaged they cannot function normally and lead to loss of protein, leading to accumulation of fluid in circulation and edema.
  • Liver cirrhosis: fluid accumulation occurs in your abdominal cavity and legs (known as ascites) in case of liver cirrhosis.
  • Lymphatic system problem: lymphatic system helps in removing excess fluid from tissues. If lymphatic system is damaged, e.g. In case of cancer surgery, lymphatic system may not be able to work properly leading to accumulation of extra fluid in the area causing edema.
  • Damage of veins of your legs may occur due to damage in one way valves present in veins of your legs, leading to chronic venous insufficiency and leading to pooling of blood in legs and edema.

Edema in any body tissue should not be taken lightly. Because it may indicate a serious underlying medical condition. Hence, get immediate medical help if you notice edema in any body part.

 

Image courtesy of [nenovbrothers] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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