What is Edema? Symptoms, Causes, and Risk Factors 

Edema is a condition in which fluid accumulates inside of your body. It can occur due to any disease, medication, or allergy. Lifestyle modifications and medications can help in getting rid of it. Mostly it occurs in the ankles and feet. But it can also occur in different parts of your body like the face or hands. At times, edema can be a sign of some serious health condition. Therefore, if you feel that any of your body parts have got edema, do not delay your visit to the healthcare provider and visit a general physician in Karachi soon. 

What are the signs and symptoms of edema?

Most commonly, the signs and symptoms of edema are:

Swelling in ankles and legs

Pain in the affected area

The skin of the affected area may look shiny and tight

Difficulty in walking if it is in legs

A dimple occurs when you press the swollen area and leave

Cough- if it is due to heart failure

Weight gain due to fluid accumulation

What are the causes of edema?

Edema occurs when your blood capillaries leak fluid out of them, which eventually accumulates in the tissues. The most common causes of edema are:

Congestive heart failure

Congestive heart failure is a condition in which your heart can not pump blood efficiently. Due to which, blood accumulates in your extremities like legs and ankles, eventually causing edema. Moreover, due to congestive heart failure, fluid can accumulate in your lungs as well, called pulmonary edema. This condition needs prompt medical treatment. Your healthcare provider would prescribe you diuretics to get rid of fluid in your lungs. The most common signs and symptoms of pulmonary edema are cough ( that becomes worse upon lying), edema, and shortness of breath. If you have a complaint of cough along with edema, do not delay your visit to the healthcare provider.

Liver cirrhosis 

Your liver performs the function of removing toxins out from your body. When it does not work well, fluid accumulates in your legs and abdominal cavity, hence causing edema. 

Kidney disease

If your kidneys are not working well, they may retain sodium, which in turn retains water. Due to which, fluid accumulates in your body and causes edema.

Nephrotic syndrome 

Nephrotic syndrome is a condition in which kidney damage occurs. Due to this, a protein called albumin declines in your blood, hence causing edema. 

Inadequate lymphatic drainage

Your lymphatic system works to drain excess fluids. When it is not working properly due to swollen lymph nodes or any other condition like cancer or lymphoma, it may cause edema.

Protein deficiency

A diet containing low content of protein over a long period may cause edema. 

Weak veins 

Any condition that affects your vein like deep vein thrombosis may cause fluid accumulation, hence causing edema. It is a life-threatening condition if it occurs due to thrombus formation in the vein.

What are the risk factors of edema?

Some risk factors that may cause edema are:

Eating a diet rich in sodium 

Being pregnant

Taking high blood pressure medications like amlodipine 

Taking corticosteroids like prednisolone 

Taking painkillers (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)

Taking hormonal therapy

Taking diabetes medications like thiazolidinediones

Having diseases like hypertension, chronic kidney disease, liver disease, or heart disease.

Conclusion 

Edema is a condition in which fluid accumulates inside of your body. If you are hypertensive, heart patient, or a chronic kidney disease patient, keep an eye on your vitals. Monitor your fluid intake, eat a diet low in sodium, and consult with your healthcare provider about protein intake. If you have a complaint of edema, visit the best general physician in Karachi.