Edema is the medical term for swelling, it is the retention of excess fluid within the body tissue.

The swelling caused by edema commonly occurs in the hands, arms, ankles, legs and feet

Different factors can contribute or cause this condition. These factors are Physical inactivity, Genes, Pregnancy, Heat, Menopause, Certain medication, too much intake of salt, skin infection, high blood pressure amongst other factors.

The symptoms of edema mainly depend on what the underlying cause is. You should also note that the symptoms of edema usually develop over time. The symptoms are as follows:

  • Aching body parts
  • Weight loss
  • Weight gain
  • Stiff joints
  • Swelling of the ankles, face or eyes.
  • Stretchy and shiny skin
  • When the skin retains a dimple after being pressed for several seconds.

However, these are some of the symptoms listed above.

There are many types of edema but basically, we have three common ones which are

  • Peripheral edema – in the feet (pedal edema), ankles, legs, hands, and arms.
  • Cerebral edema – in and around the brain (cerebral edema).
  • Eye edema – in and around the eyes, e.g. macular edema, corneal edema, periorbital edema {puffiness around the eyes}. Macular edema is a serious complication of diabetic retinopathy.

Treatment of edema is only achievable when you address the cause.

However, there are few home remedies one can use to treat edema. They are:

  • Avoid sitting or standing for long period of time without moving around.
  • Stretch your legs and move around every couple of hours. The movement may help pump the excess fluid back to your heart.
  • Hold the swollen part of your body above the level of your heart several times a day. In some cases, elevating the affected body part while you sleep may be helpful.
  • Get regular exercise (contracting leg muscles helps the veins pump blood back to the heart). However, consult your doctor for him to decide the type of exercise for your situation.
  • Massage the affected area, pressure may help move the excess fluid out of that area.
  • Keep the affected area clean, moisturized and free from injury. Dry, cracked skin is easily prone to scrapes, cuts, and infection. Always wear protection on your feet if that’s where the swelling typically occurs.
  • Try to reduce your intake of salt also, this helps reduce water retention.

In conclusion, try to work with your Medical Doctor in order to rule out any serious condition.

Written by

Temitope Ikusika.


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