Edema is a condition characterized by swelling due to an excess of watery fluid collecting in the cavities or tissues of the body. Even though this condition may affect any part of the body, it is most commonly an issue in the legs, ankles, feet, arms and hands. DHR Health Vein Institute can help those suffering from this condition if it is caused by venous insufficiency. Read on more to find out what can cause edema.
Edema may be the result of pregnancy, medication or underlying disease — often cirrhosis of the liver, kidney disease or congestive heart failure.
Taking medicine to remove excess fluid and decreasing the quantity of salt in your diet can help alleviate symptoms. As edema is an indication of an underlying disease, that disease itself will require separate treatment.
- Increased abdominal size
- Skin that retains pits (a dimple) upon being pressed for several seconds
- Shiny or stretched skin
- Puffiness or swelling of the tissue right under the skin, particularly in the arms or legs
What Causes Edema?
This condition occurs when capillaries, small blood vessels in the body, leak fluid. This fluid builds up in all surrounding tissues and leads to swelling.
Mild cases might result from:
- Staying or sitting in a single position for too long
- Having premenstrual symptoms and signs
- Eating too much salt in your diet
However, in some instances, fluid retention might be an indication of a more severe underlying medical condition. A multitude of conditions and diseases can cause this condition. These include:
Congestive Heart Failure
If you suffer from congestive heart failure, one or both of the heart’s lower chambers may lose their capability to effectively pump blood. In turn, blood may back up in your feet, ankles and legs, resulting in edema.
Congestive heart failure may also cause swelling in the abdomen. Occasionally, the condition may cause pulmonary edema (fluid accumulation inside the lungs), which may produce shortness of breath.
Fluid might accumulate in the ascites (abdominal cavity) and in the legs as a result of cirrhosis (liver damage).
As you suffer kidney disease, extra sodium and fluid in the circulation might be a cause of edema. Usually, when the condition is related to kidney disease occurs around the eyes and in the legs.
Damage to the blood vessels in the kidneys may result in nephrotic syndrome. In this syndrome, albumin (declining protein levels) in the blood may lead to fluid accumulation.
Damage or Weakness to Veins in the Legs
If you suffer chronic venous insufficiency, one-way valves inside the leg veins are damaged or weakened, which permits blood to pool in the leg veins and leads to swelling.
Inadequate Lymphatic System
The body’s lymphatic system assists in clearing excessive fluid from tissues. If the lymphatic system becomes damaged, the lymph vessels and lymph nodes draining an area might not work properly, and fluid retention may occur.
Long-Term, Severe Protein Deficiency
A deficiency of protein in the diet over a prolonged time period may lead to fluid accumulation. If you are dealing with edema as a result of venous insufficiency, we can help at DHR Health Vein Institute in Edinburg, TX. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation!