What Is Edema?
Edema refers to the swelling or puffiness in the body. This happens when there are too many fluids trapped in our tissues. Most of the time this is in our skin.
It can occur in different parts of our body. The most common areas it happens are the:
That said, edema can also affect other parts of our bodies such as the muscles, bowels, lungs, eyes, and even the brain.
Edema is most common in older people and pregnant women. However it can also happen to anybody, regardless of how old they are. This is especially true for people who are experiencing certain severe diseases like kidney failure, cirrhosis in the liver, and heart failure.
To lessen the risk of having severe edema, it is best to stay healthy and eat well. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford to be healthy or have a healthy lifestyle. Some people must eat any food they can get just to get through the day. Even if that food is unhealthy.
Foods that are a precursor to causing edema are those that are high in sodium.
If you’re concerned you or a loved one could have edema, it’s good to know the signs and symptoms. Here’s what to look for…
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Edema?
Some symptoms and signs are different depending on the cause of the edema and where it is.
One of the possible causes of edema is allergic reaction. This includes food allergies or a reaction to medication. In this case the edema may happen in the tongue or throat. This can make it hard to breathe and potentially be life-threatening.
Pulmonary edema, a sign of having that condition includes shortness of breath and low oxygen levels. It can also cause coughing.
Edema in the legs is caused by various ailments like heart disease, kidney disease, and even weight problems. A symptom of leg edema includes a feeling of heaviness in the affected leg(s). If the leg edema is so severe that it affects the blood flow, it can cause skin ulcers.
Common signs of any type of edema are the swelling of the tissue that is directly under the skin. The affected body part can appear to be either shiny or stretched.
And because the body part affected by edema is swollen, it would appear to have increased in size or it is bulging.
Other symptoms of edema include the following:
- The appearance of dimple under the skin after a few seconds of pressure
- Puffiness in the ankles, eyes, or face
- Aching body parts
- Stiff joints
- Weight gain or loss
- Decreased urine production
If you think you are experiencing symptoms of edema, then we recommend that you have it looked at by your doctor.
Treatment of edema depends on what is causing it. In mild cases, it can go away on its own. In other cases where underlying health issues cause it, treatment options include:
- Allergy medications
- Diuretics such as Lasix
- Blood thinners