Edema is swelling caused by excess fluid trapped in your body\’s tissues. Although edema can affect any part of your body, you may notice it more in your hands, arms, feet, ankles and legs. Edema can be the result of medication, pregnancy or an underlying disease often congestive heart failure, kidney disease or cirrhosis of the liver. Taking medication to remove excess fluid and reducing the amount of salt in your food often relieves edema. When edema is a sign of an underlying disease, the disease itself requires separate treatment. Swelling or puffiness of the tissue directly under your skin, especially in your legs or arms
Skin that retains a dimple (pits), after being pressed for several seconds Make an appointment to see your doctor if you have swelling, stretched or shiny skin, or skin that retains a dimple after being pressed (pitting). See your doctor immediately if you experience: These can be signs of pulmonary edema, which requires prompt treatment. If you\’ve been sitting for a prolonged period, such as on a long flight, and you develop leg pain and swelling that won\’t go away, call your doctor.
Persistent leg pain and swelling can indicate a blood clot deep in your vein (deep vein thrombosis, or DVT). Edema occurs when tiny blood vessels in your body (capillaries) leak fluid. The fluid builds up in surrounding tissues, leading to swelling. Edema can also be a side effect of some medications, including: In some cases, however, edema may be a sign of a more serious underlying medical condition. Several diseases and conditions may cause edema, including: Congestive heart failure. If you have congestive heart failure, one or both of your heart\’s lower chambers lose their ability to pump blood effectively. As a result, blood can back up in your legs, ankles and feet, causing edema. Congestive heart failure can also cause swelling in your abdomen. Sometimes, this condition can cause fluid to accumulate in your lungs (pulmonary edema), which can lead to shortness of breath. Cirrhosis. Fluid may accumulate in your abdominal cavity (ascites) and in your legs as a result of liver damage (cirrhosis). Kidney disease. When you have kidney disease, extra fluid and sodium in your circulation may cause edema.
The edema associated with kidney disease usually occurs in your legs and around your eyes. Kidney damage. Damage to the tiny, filtering blood vessels in your kidneys can result in nephrotic syndrome. In nephrotic syndrome, declining levels of protein (albumin) in your blood can lead to fluid accumulation and edema. Weakness or damage to veins in your legs. If you have chronic venous insufficiency, the one-way valves in your leg veins are weakened or damaged, which allows blood to pool in your leg veins and causes swelling. Sudden onset of swelling in one leg accompanied by pain in your calf muscle can be due to a blood clot (deep vein thrombosis, or DVT) in one of your leg veins. If this occurs, seek medical help immediately. Inadequate lymphatic system. Your body\’s lymphatic system helps clear excess fluid from tissues. If this system is damaged for example, by cancer surgery the lymph nodes and lymph vessels draining an area may not work correctly, and edema can occur. Severe, long-term protein deficiency. An extreme lack (deficiency), of protein in your diet over a long period of time can lead to fluid accumulation and edema.
If you are pregnant, your body retains more sodium and water than usual due to the fluid needed by the fetus and placenta. This can increase your risk of developing edema. Your risk of edema may be increased if you take certain medications, including: A chronic illness such as congestive heart failure or liver or kidney disease can increase your risk of edema. Also, surgery can sometimes obstruct a lymph node, leading to swelling in an arm or leg, usually on just one side. If left untreated, edema can cause: Stretched skin, which can become itchy and uncomfortable Decreased elasticity of arteries, veins, joints and muscles YouБve probably heard of it happening to people on planes: after sitting for a long time without moving their legs, they develop swelling and pain on one side. and later find out that they have a dangerous blood clot known as. If caught in time, it can be treated. But often it isnБt, and the clot can break off and travel to the lungs, where it cuts off the oxygen supply and can be lethal. How does foot swelling play into this? \”The swelling is caused by the presence of the clot,\” says Dr.
Silverstein. б \”The clot causes pressure to increase behind the area of obstruction, and that increased pressure pushes the fluids in the blood out of the veins into the tissues. \” While anyone who sits for long periods can develop a blood clot, certain factors boost your risk, including obesity,б smoking, being pregnant, having heart failure, kidney conditions, a previous clot, cancer, or taking certain medications, such as birth control pills. Though a clot thatБs caused foot swelling doesnБt always have other symptoms, typically youБll feel pain in your leg as well. б БThe most common presentation is significant pain and discomfort in the calf region with associated swelling of that limb,\” says Dr. Johanning. б If you these symptoms strike without explanation, notify your doctor ASAP, or head for the emergency room. The strategies that prevent your feet from swelling from other reasons can also help prevent blood clots. These include exercising, staying within a healthy body weight range, and taking breaks to move around if youБre sitting for long periods of time.