Edema is a condition characterized by increase amount of fluid trapped in the body’s tissue. Mainly edema become prominent in hands, arms, feet, ankles and legs but it can occur anywhere in the body.
- Swelling and puffiness of legs or arms
- Skin become stretched and shiny
- Size of abdomen increase due to accumulation of fluid
- Pits retains on skin after pressing for few seconds
Edema is caused by the conditions that lead to the development of leaky blood vessels in the body. As a result of that fluid leaks and build up in the surrounding tissues causing swelling. Following are few causes of edema:
- Sitting or staying for too long in one position
- Intake of too much salt in the food
- Medications like anti-hypertensive drugs, corticosteroids, Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can lead to edema
- Congestive heart failure
- Kidney disease and damage
- Improper lymphatic system
- Weak veins in the legs
Diagnosis of edema depends upon detailed medical history and complete general physical examination of the patient. Other tests include:
- Imaging tests like X-ray, ultrasound are sometimes considered
- Blood tests
- Urine tests
Treatment options include:
- Mild edema is usually self-limiting and go on it’s own without any intervention.
- Severe edema is treated with medications like diuretics ( furosemide)
- More focus is usually lie on treating the underlying condition that result in edema.