Edema Common Causes, Prevention And Treatment Options


A buildup of fluid in the body's tissues leads to swelling, or edoema. Any area of the body can be impacted by edoema. It is more likely to manifest on the legs and feet.

Pregnancy and some drugs might cause edoema. The result of a disorder such liver cirrhosis, congestive heart failure, renal illness, venous insufficiency, or kidney disease is another possibility.

Compression clothes and salt restriction in the diet are common treatments for edoema. When a disease causes edoema, it must also be addressed.


Edoema develops when the body's capillaries, which are small blood vessels, leak fluid. In the tissues close by, the fluid accumulates. Swelling results from the leak.

Mild instances of edoema can be brought on by:

  • Much time spent seated or in one posture.
  • Eating foods that are overly salty.
  • Being in the period.
  • Being expecting.

An adverse effect of various medications is edoema. These consist of:

  • Medications for high blood pressure.
  • Drugs that are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory.
  • Steroids as medications.
  • Estrogens.
  • Thiazolidinediones are a class of diabetic medications.
  • Pharmaceuticals are used to relieve nerve pain.

Edoema may occasionally signal a more severe ailment. Edema-causing conditions include:

Enlarged heart disease. When the heart has congestive heart failure, either one or both of its bottom chambers stop properly pumping blood. Blood as a result may pool in the feet, ankles, and legs, resulting in edoema.

Congestive heart failure may cause the area of the stomach to grow. This sickness may cause the lungs to become filled with fluid. Breathing problems may result from this disorder, pulmonary edoema.

Liver injury. Cirrhosis-related liver impairment can result in fluid accumulation in the legs and stomach region.The medical word for this fluid buildup in the belly is ascites.

Kidney illness. Salts and moisture can accumulate in the blood as a result of 

Kidney illness. Edoema associated with renal dysfunction affects the legs and the area around the eyes.

Kidney injury. Injury to the tiny blood capillaries in the kidneys, which filter the blood, can result in nephrotic syndrome. Edoema can develop in people with nephrotic syndrome when their blood protein levels fall.

Vascular weakness or injury in your legs. The one-way valves in the leg are damaged by the chronic veins' insufficiency. One-way valves maintain one-way blood flow. If the valves are destroyed, blood may build up in the leg veins, which causes edoema.

DVT, commonly known as deep vein thrombosis. An unexpected swelling in one leg and soreness in the calf muscle may be brought on by a blood clot in one of the leg veins. DVT needs immediate medical attention.

The body's mechanism for eliminating extra fluid from tissues is having difficulties. If the lymphatic system has been damaged, such as by cancer surgery, it may not drain properly.

Severe and ongoing lack of protein. If there is a chronically low protein intake in the diet, edoema may form.

How to check if you have Edema?

Make an appointment to visit a doctor if your skin is swollen, stretched, glossy, or retains a dimple when you push it. If you encounter any of the following, get help immediately away:

  • Respiration difficulty.
  • Abnormal heartbeat.
  • Ache in the chest.

These pulmonary edoema, or fluid buildup in the lungs, symptoms might be present. It may be deadly, thus immediate medical care is needed.

If you have persistent leg discomfort and swelling after spending a lot of time sitting down, such as on a lengthy flight, consult your healthcare doctor. These symptoms, also known as deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, might indicate a blood clot deep in the vein, particularly if the pain and swelling are just on one side.

Risk Factors

The following factors enhance the risk of edoema:

  • Being expecting.
  • Taking certain medications.
  • Having a chronic sickness, such as liver, renal, or congestive heart failure.
  • Having a lymph node surgically removed.


Edoema symptoms include:

  • Under-skin tissue swelling or puffiness, especially in the legs or arms.
  • Glossy or stretched skin.
  • Pitting is the term for skin that forms a dimple after being squeezed for a short period of time.
  • The size of the stomach region is expanding.
  • Leg heaviness is experienced.


If consuming too much salt is the root of your edoema, changing your diet to cut back on salt consumption will help you stay edema-free. Moving more regularly might also help you avoid edoema. Fluid can accumulate in your tissues while you sit or stand still.


Mild edoema frequently disappears on its own. Compression clothing and lifting the injured arm or leg above the heart are helpful.

Worst kinds of edoema can be treated with drugs that help the body eliminate excess fluid through urination. Furosemide (Lasix) is one of the most widely used diuretics, sometimes referred to as water pills. The requirement for water tablets can be determined by a medical professional.

Over time, the focus is frequently on treating the swelling's underlying cause. If a medication causes edoema, for instance, a healthcare professional may adjust the dosage or hunt for an alternative medication that does not.

The following actions might lessen edoema and prevent it from returning. 

Employ pressure. Wearing compression stockings, sleeves, or gloves may be helpful if edoema affects the arm or leg. These clothes maintain pressure on the limbs, which keeps fluid from accumulating. They assist to prevent further swelling and are often used after the edoema has subsided.

Wearing support stockings during plane travel may be beneficial for pregnant women.

Get active. It may be possible to transfer fluid back towards the heart by moving and utilising the muscles in the enlarged area of the body, particularly the legs. Exercises that might lower edoema can be discussed with a medical professional.

Raise the region. Hold the body part that is swelled above multiple times each day. Check your heart rate. On occasion, raising the area that is swollen as you sleep may be helpful.

Massage. Firm pressure applied towards the heart while massaging the afflicted region may aid in the drainage of fluid.

Protect the area. Keep the enlarged area clean and injury-free. Use cream or lotion. Skin that is dry and cracked is more prone to scrapes, wounds, and infection. If the swelling is often on the feet, always wear socks or shoes.

Lessen salt in your diet. Limiting salt is something a healthcare professional may discuss. Salt can aggravate edoema by causing more fluid to accumulate.

Complications of Edema

If unattended, edoema can lead to:

  • A painful swelling that keeps growing.
  • Difficulties walking.
  • Stiffness.
  • Skin that is stretched and may itch.
  • Increased chance of infection in the region that is enlarged.
  • Scarring between tissue layers.
  • Decreased blood flow.
  • Less flexibility in the muscles, joints, arteries, and veins.
  • Skin ulcer risk is increased.


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Page last reviewed: May 2, 2023

Next review due: May 2, 2025

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