Everything You Need to Know about Edema

Edema can be a sign of many different conditions, from circulation problems to digestive or kidney issues, which is why it is important to see a specialist.
Everything You Need to Know about Edema

Last update: 18 March, 2019

In today’s article we’ll be explaining everything you need to know about edema. This is a condition that leads to constant bloating and retention of fluids within the body’s tissues.

It isn’t a disease in itself. It is rather a symptom that comes with other health problems such as circulation problems, as well as digestive or kidney issues.

Edema is the constant retention of fluids in the peritoneum. This is a membrane that covers the organs located in the abdominal and chest area. This symptom is really common in the upper part of the body. However, with certain diseases it can sometimes occur in the ankles, wrists, or even the neck.

Learn more about edema below!

Edema, an important warning sign

If you don’t treat certain symptoms, it can affect the proper functioning of vital organs like the heart, liver, and lungs. This is because the swelling puts pressure on these organs. As a result, there is less space for them to function as they should.

Swelling in the lower part of the body is known as edema. This in itself doesn’t change the color of the skin, nor does it cause any pain. When a patient shows signs of edema, doctors will need to find the root of the problem.

One possible reason can be congestive heart failure since it alters the heart’s rhythm. This can then lead to retention of fluids. This symptom can commonly be seen in the limbs.

A photo of the heart.

Edema can also be a pulmonary issue, with a cough being the primary symptom. When a patient has constant swelling in a certain part of the body, they’ll need to consult a doctor as soon as possible.

The patient will likely be treated with diuretics to rid the body of extra fluids through urination. It is also really common for edema to be a symptom of renal problems.

When a person suffers from kidney failure, he or she loses the capacity to filter out the water in the blood and as a result the person produces less urine.

Edema as a result of kidney failure can lead to a progressive swelling in the limbs, which is one of the most notable symptoms.

Don’t forget!

A person with fluid retention.

This condition can affect anyone and its treatment will depend on what type of edema you suffer from. It can be a serious health problem for anyone who suffers from it.

It is also related to fatal conditions such as heart and kidney failure, which are two of the main causes of edema. This symptom requires immediate attention since if it is left unattended it can result in death.

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  • Rigler, L. G., & Surprenant, E. L. (1967). Pulmonary edema. Seminars in Roentgenology. https://doi.org/10.1016/0037-198X(67)90005-3
  •  O’Brien, J. G., Chennubhotla, S. A., & Chennubhotla, R. V. (2005). Treatment of edema. American Family Physician.