Edema is the abnormal swelling of some part of the body due to the retention of fluid in body tissues. Most often, when physicians refer to edema, they are talking about swelling of the lower legs or ankles. Edema is not a disease itself. Rather, it is a sign that may be related to illness or injury or may simply be related to an inappropriate life style.
Pulmonary edema is the accumulation of excess fluid in the extravascular space of the lungs. This accumulation might occur slowly, as in a affected individual with occult renal failure, or with dramatic suddenness, as in a patient with left ventricular failure after an acute myocardial infarction. Pulmonary edema most commonly presents with dyspnea.
The causes of edema are many. Edema is a symptom by most inflammations. Insufficient heart action by congestive heart failure can cause edema. A too high intake of salt can cause general water retention in the body. Sitting and standing long in the same position can cause edema in the lower limbs. A still sitting life without exercise can cause or aggravate edema.
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# Increased urination
Treatment and Prevention
If you know that you are prone to suffer from edema during pregnancy, prevention should be your focus. Your diet is a big part of treating edema during pregnancy.
You should be getting enough protein, as well as paying close attention to your sodium intake. Too little sodium in your diet can cause muscle cramping. However, too much can lead to an increase in all forms of edema, including preeclampsia.
There can be numerous caused for edema; however, the most frequent reason for edema is 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.
Now that we have discussed what can cause edema, we can bring up cures for the condition. Should a sufferer’s edema result from any of the less serious conditions and diseases, a simple diet modification may be able to cure it. Salt is of course necessary for health, but too much salt in the diet can cause problems – one of which can be edema, because salt can cause water retention. Reduce the amount of salt in the diet if this is the case.
Edema can be treated quite easily and is always curable. With a simple diet change like reducing the salt intake, edema can be taken care of. In severe cases however, the doctor may prescribe a diuretic to drain off the excess salts and fluids. Sometimes even bed rest or elevation of the legs for a certain period daily can do the trick.
Postpartum edema is a condition when women who have just given birth feel big and bloated. Also, there are some uncomfortable parts in the body that feels like it is swelling. It is normal to feel it in your breasts and stomach. Some women feel it in their legs and hands.
Whatever the cause, those suffering from water retention can avail of medicines that can help deal with bloating and eliminate the excess water from the system. Calcium carbonate, sodium bicarbonate and Pepto-Bismol are three over-the-counter medicines that can help deal with water bloating. There are also natural treatments that can be used to help, too, such as herbal diuretic teas.
Edema can typically affect the feet, ankles and the lower legs. These areas will tend to accumulate more fluid due to their relative positions when sitting and standing. Edema has also been known to impact other areas of the body. When this occurs a can have systemic symptoms.