Edema treatment

Edema is the word used to describe water retention in the body’s tissues. This condition can be mild or very severe. Edema is very common in lots of people but the degree of severity can be very different from person to person. There are several different causes of water retention. Sometimes a medical problem like congestive heart failure, kidney disease, lupus, trauma or preeclampsia in pregnant women can be responsible for severe water retention. In these cases you have to treat the underlying condition before the water retention can be relieved. Other times people will retain water is when they are in warmer climates, dehydrated, menstruating or after digesting too much salt. Also sitting or standing for long periods of time can also cause swelling of the limbs.

For mild cases of water retention a person may notice a tight feeling in their hands when bending fingers, slightly swollen feet, ankles or legs, or just an overall puffy, bloated feeling. For those suffering from severe edema these symptoms will be magnified tremendously. Feet may become so swollen that they will not fit into shoes and walking can become very painful. A side effect called pitting may be present with severe edema as well. This is when you can actually see little pits in the skin after pushing into the skin with a finger. If a pit stays noticeable and the skin does not bounce back quickly then this is considered pitting edema. Often this type of swelling is caused by a medical condition and not just dehydration or warm weather.

Treating edema can be different depending on the severity as well. For minor water retention you can try a few home remedies that have shown to offer some help. One thing that you can try at home is drinking a glass of water with 2 teaspoons of Apple Cider Vinegar mixed in. Apple Cider Vinegar has been known to remove excess fluids from the body and cleansing out the liver and kidneys. Also drinking water with lemon or lime juice may offer similar results. Avoid eating salty foods since too much salt will cause you to retain even more fluid. Try substituting salts for extra spices, this way you will have extra flavor and the added benefits that spices have shown to lesson water retention. It’s also important to avoid too much sugar as well. Sugar increases your hormone insulin which makes it hard for your body to get rid of sodium. Try getting more exercise. Exercise allows the fluids in the body to regulate. When you are sitting still too long this slows the circulation in your body. Increase your protein levels. People that eat more proteins in their diet can actually lesson the amount of water retention and even block the water retention all together.

There are over the counter diuretics that can be taken as well. If your swelling is caused by menstruation then you can buy pills specifically made for that purpose. Diuretics can flush the excess water from your body. There can be some side effects with diuretics if taken too often so be sure to discuss the risks with your doctor. Over the counter diuretics can deplete your body of it’s much needed potassium and can cause and increase in blood sugar levels.

For those that are suffering from severe edema, your doctor will try to find the right treatment for you. There are also tight fitting socks and leggings that can be bought or prescribed to keep pressure on the legs to stop the swelling from getting to severe. Again, if the water retention is being caused by an underlying problem, that will need to be taken care of first. If there is a blockage of some sort then surgery may be an option to relieve the problem.

Last updated on Aug 22nd, 2009 and filed under Skin Care. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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