Edema is the medical terminology for swelling. It can occur in any part of your body. But most commonly, you will notice it in the hands, feet, ankles, and legs. Edema occurs due to fluid build-up in the tissues. The fluid build-up occurs because the small capillaries leak it. There can be various causes for edema, including medications, lifestyle, diseases, and injuries or accidents.
The treatment for edema depends upon its cause. Sometimes lifestyle changes can help it get better. Whereas other times your healthcare provider may prescribe diuretics to get excess water out from the body. If you have edema in any part of your body, you should visit an internal medicine specialist in Lahore.
What Are The Signs and Symptoms of Edema?
Edema itself is a symptom of any underlying condition. It can show up as:
- Puffiness under the skin, especially that of legs or arms
- Shiny and stretched skin
- If you press the skin for several seconds, you will notice a pit
- Increase in the abdomen size
When Should You Visit a Doctor?
If you notice a pit or dimple in the skin after pressing it for seconds, you must seek professional advice. See the healthcare provider if you have:
- Problem in breathing
- Chest pain
- Pounding heart
These symptoms may indicate pulmonary edema. Therefore you need to seek medical treatment soon.
What Are The Causes of Edema?
Edema occurs when fluid leaks from your tiny capillaries into your tissues. It can, in turn, lead to swelling.
Mild edema occurs when:
- You sit or stay in the same position for long hours
- Having premenstrual symptoms
- Being pregnant
- Eating too much salty food
It can also occur due to medications, such as:
- Hormones such as estrogen
- Antihypertensive medications
- NSAIDs or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Diabetes medications such as thiazolidinediones
Edema can also occur due to other health conditions such as:
Congestive Heart Failure
In heart failure, your heart can not pump blood efficiently. Due to this, fluid accumulates in your body, causing swelling in the ankles, feet, and legs. Congestive heart failure can cause fluid to build in the lungs, causing pulmonary edema. It can cause shortness of breath and cough, which need urgent medical attention.
Liver cirrhosis is a condition in which the scarring of its tissue occurs. Due to this, liver functioning is affected. It can cause fluid accumulation in the abdomen, causing ascites.
Your kidneys work to excrete sodium and water. When they do not work well, fluid and sodium accumulate in your body, which can cause edema. Edema due to kidney disease occurs around your eyes or legs.
A kidney disease known as the nephrotic syndrome may cause damage to your kidneys. It can cause a decrease in protein in your body, causing fluid build-up hence edema.
Weakness or Damage to the Veins in Your Legs
Having a chronic condition that causes venous insufficiency can lead to damage or weakening of one-way valves in your leg veins. It can, in turn, cause edema and swelling.
A serious health condition called deep vein thrombosis or DVT can cause sudden edema and swelling of one leg only. It occurs due to a blood clot in the leg. If you have this symptom, you should visit the emergency room as it can become life-threatening.
Inadequate Lymphatic System
The lymphatic system works to clear excess fluid from your tissues. It can get damaged due to cancer surgery. Therefore edema can occur due to inadequacy in the lymphatic tissue.
Long term severe protein deficiency
A severe lack of protein over the long term can cause edema. Therefore you must incorporate enough protein into your diet. If you have a complaint of edema, you can visit an internal medicine specialist in Karachi.