Many types of swelling in the body can be considered edema. The body reacts to injury or inflammation by swelling. While some types of edema localize to one part of the body, it also occurs throughout the body. Whenever small blood vessels leak fluid into neighboring tissues, swelling and edema occur.
What Causes Edema?
Edema presents as a typical sign of injury or inflammation. Some of the frequent causes may include:
• Bee or insect stings.
• Muscular injuries such as a sprained ankle.
• Allergic reactions.
• Lack of albumin in the blood.
• Blood clots.
• Congestive heart failure.
Medications that Cause It
Many medications can cause edema. Common medication culprits that cause swelling may include NSAIDS, calcium channel blockers, prednisone and other corticosteroids, pioglitazone and related drugs. However, these medications don’t usually produce edema, or may cause slight swelling in the legs.
What are the Symptoms?
A person may be able to see the swelling in the part of the body experiencing edema. For example, if one’s legs feel heavy and walking causes pain, they may be experiencing it in their legs.
Heart disease causes edema, so a person may be carrying an extra 10 pounds of fluids in each leg. Leg ulcers can be one of the results due to excess fluids reducing blood flow in the legs.
A person suffering from pulmonary edema may feel short of breath and experience lower blood oxygen levels. Other symptoms may include frothy mucus expelled from the lungs with a cough.
How is It Treated?
The first step in treating edema is an accurate diagnosis of the cause of the swelling. Many causes result in a variety of treatments. For instance, edema in the leg may indicate a blood clot.
In this case, using a blood thinner to dissolve the clot will allow for adequate circulation that, in turn, removes the swelling from the leg.
A tumor may cause edema due to obstructed blood flow. If a tumor causes it, the tumor may need to be surgically removed. Blood flow may be increased by reducing the size of the tumor using radiation or chemotherapy.
Edema caused by congestive heart failure may be treated by medication. A health care professional may also advise a congestive heart failure patient to reduce the amount of salt consumed. People with liver disease may also need to limit their salt intake to reduce excess bodily fluids.
For more information, contact South Texas Vein Institute today.