Edema (Leg Swelling) Treatment Specialist Questions and Answers
Do you have swelling or puffiness in your legs or arms? You may have edema, so contact Colorado Laser & Vein. Dr. David Siroospour and his team are here to help. For more details please call us or book an appointment online. We serve patients from Centennial CO, Southglenn CO, Englewood CO, Littleton CO, Castle Rock CO, Denver CO and Highlands Ranch CO.
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Edema involves swelling and is noticeable. The swelling is caused by excess fluid trapped in your body’s tissues, and although it can affect any part of your body, you may notice it mainly in your legs, ankles, feet, arms, and hands. Edema is often the result of congestive heart failure, cirrhosis of the liver, kidney disease, and in some cases medications or pregnancy. Medications to help remove excess fluid and reduce the amount of salt in your food often relieves edema, but keep in mind that it is an underlying disease that needs to be treated right away.
To understand what exactly is causing your edema, your doctor may perform a physical exam and ask questions about your medical history. The process might determine the underlying causes of your condition, and in some cases, X-rays, ultrasound exams, magnetic resonance imaging, blood test, or urinalysis may be necessary to find out what’s exactly going on with your body. For treatments, edema will normally go away on its own, particularly if you raise the affected limb above the heart. In more severe cases, you may need to be treated with medication that will help your body expel excess fluids in the form of urine. Your doctor may determine which medication is a sound option based on your medical history and condition. Long-term management centers on treating the underlying cause of the swelling. Movement, massages, elevating the limb, compression, protection, and reducing salt intake are home remedies that you will want to explore with your doctor.
Edema happens when tiny blood vessels in your body leak fluid. The fluid builds up in surrounding tissues, which leads to swelling. Mild cases may result from being pregnant, eating too much salty food, sitting or staying in one position for too long, or having premenstrual signs and symptoms. Edema can also be a side effect of some medications, which include estrogens, certain diabetes medications, high blood pressure medications, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. In some cases, edema just might be a sign of more serious health issues, like congestive heart failure, cirrhosis, kidney damage or kidney disease, severe, long-term protein deficiency, or damage or weakness to the veins in the legs.
Serious illnesses or medications are the main causes of edema. Blood clots, severe allergic reactions, thyroid disorders, liver issues, kidney disease, and heart failure are tops on the illness front. Medications that may cause the condition include high blood pressure, diabetes, pain, and inflammation prescriptions.
It is very important to seek medical attention when treating edema. If you ignore it, it may result in painful swelling, difficulty walking stiffness, stretched/itchy skin, scarring, poor blood circulation, and reduced elasticity in the joints, arteries, and veins. Extreme swelling in the ankles, feet, and legs may lead to skin ulcers, or wounds, and may cause serious skin infections, like cellulitis. Since edema is a sign of a more serious underlying health condition, you will need to get that look after, or it may mean the difference between life and death. Heart and kidney problems, and liver too, are serious and all need to be treated.
Consider then edema – it’s the body’s way of saying there is some serious going on with your overall health or with the mediation (s) you are taking. Either way, speak to a doctor to get treatment and to investigate the issue immediately. The longer you avoid getting help for edema means you are risking your overall health and may be causing more damage than you are aware of. Always consult with a doctor and talk with them about making important lifestyle changes that include a healthy diet, exercise, reducing salt and alcohol.
Comprehensive overview of leg swelling by David Siroospour MD