Edema Mechanism: Causes and Pathophysiology
The main cause of edema is excessive fluid retention due to dehydration. This excess water can occur when the body is exposed to cold temperatures or high altitude. When the body’s temperature drops, it will retain some of its stored water. However, if there is too much water in the system, it may lead to edema. This is mainly caused by the consumption of high-salt foods and beverages.
Salt increases the amount of water the kidneys will hold on to, which can cause body swelling. Edema can be classified into two types: acute and chronic. Acute edema is a short-term condition that will typically disappear after 2 to 3 days. Acute edema can be caused by many different things, such as burns, allergic reactions, side effects of certain medications and even alcohol consumption. If left untreated, the symptoms can worsen and turn into a chronic condition.
Edema Mechanism: Pathophysiology of Edema Pdf
Edema can be an uncomfortable condition for those who experience it. Although there are several types of edemas, all of them are caused by an excess of fluid in some part of the body. When this happens, the blood vessels become stretched past their normal capacity. This can be very dangerous as it interferes with the normal blood flow. Most people experience some type of edema when they have suffered from a burn, or have experienced some kind of allergic reaction.
However, there are other types of edema that can be genetic or caused by other health issues. When the body is unable to expel extra fluids from the tissue, this condition will begin to occur. Most types of edema are treatable, and most will disappear once the condition that is causing it is gone.
Edema Mechanism: Types of Edemas
Oedema – Oedema is the British spelling for edema. This type of edema is also known as dropsy. This occurs when the blood vessels are unable to expel excess fluids from the tissue caused by heart failure or kidney disease.
Pitting – This is the most common type of edema. It can be caused by anything from a burn to the common cold. Pitting edema will form small dents when pressed on with a finger.
Non-Pitting – This type of edema is caused by an excess of red blood cells in the blood vessels. This type of edema is also known as anasarca. This condition will not form any dents when pressed on, but will cause the skin to stretch when pressed on.
Who Gets Edema?
There are many factors that contribute to who will develop edema and who won’t. These factors include, but are not limited to:
Age – Elderly people are more likely to develop edema than younger people.
Gender – Females are more likely to develop this condition than males.
Obesity – Being obese increases a person’s chances of developing this condition.
Genetics – Some people are born with a genetic tendency to develop edema.
Smoking – Smokers are more likely to develop this condition than non-smokers.
Edema Mechanism: Symptoms
The symptoms of edema can range from mild to severe, and can sometimes be life-threatening. The most common symptom is swelling in some part of the body. Other common symptoms include:
Tissue or joint pain
The symptoms of edema will vary depending on which part of the body is swollen. For example, edema of the face can cause the person to have a swollen cheek or eyelid. Edema in the hands and feet can cause a person to have puffy fingers and toes. If severe, it can cause a person to have problems with their circulation and not be able to feel pain in the affected area.
Edema Mechanism: Diagnosis
Diagnosing edema is not an exact science, but your doctor will ask you a series of questions about your medical history and do a complete physical exam on you. Your doctor might also order a series of lab tests to determine what’s causing your edema. For example, if your doctor suspects heart failure, he might order an EKG or chest X-ray. He might also order a gunshot if he thinks your swollen limbs are the result of a blood clot. If your doctor suspects an allergy, you might have to participate in a skin-prick test.
Edema Mechanism: Treatment
Treating edema is dependent on what is causing the swelling. If the swelling is the result of a minor medical issue, such as an infection or allergic reaction, your doctor might give you medication. For example, if the edema is due to an allergic reaction, your doctor might give you an antihistamine. If the edema is due to a minor infection, your doctor might prescribe an antibiotic.
In some cases, you might have to treat the underlying cause, such as a kidney disease or heart failure. In these cases, your doctor might prescribe medication or refer you to a specialist, such as a cardiologist.
In some cases, the swelling is so severe that it can cause life-threatening complications. If this is the case, your doctor will most likely have you admitted to the hospital and start treatment immediately.
There are several home remedies that can help treat the symptoms of edema. These home remedies can be used as an alternative to medication or can be used in conjunction with it. The most important thing to do is raise your legs above the level of your heart. You can place a pillow under your feet and sit on a stool to lift your feet up. You can also lie down and sleep with your feet propped up on a stool.
You should also drink plenty of water to help with the swelling.
Severe edema is a serious condition that can affect your quality of life. If the swelling is severe, it can cause life-threatening complications. This is especially true if the swelling is in your limbs, which can cause you to have poor circulation and not be able to feel pain in the affected area. It’s important to seek medical attention if you have severe edema.
Edema Mechanism: Prevention
The best way to prevent edema is to treat the cause. For example, if your edema is due to heart failure, you can help prevent the swelling by taking your medication. If the swelling is due to an allergic reaction, avoiding the allergen can prevent future swelling.
See your doctor if you experience swelling in your hands, feet, or face. According to Medline Plus, swelling in these areas can be a sign of a more serious condition. Even if the swelling is temporary, see your doctor because it could be due to an infection. Also, if you have a medical condition that can cause swelling, such as kidney disease or heart failure, be sure to see your doctor on a regular basis to catch any potential problems early.
Although you can’t prevent all cases of swelling, you can take steps to prevent severe edema from occurring. The most important thing is to never ignore the symptoms. Even if you don’t think it’s anything serious, see a doctor to rule out any medical problems. The sooner you’re treated, the better your chances are of avoiding serious complications.
Fun fact: The condition of “dropsy” was once believed to be a medical condition causing the swelling of body parts. According to the Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary, “dropsy” refers to a “medieval term for edema.”
Now, let’s take a look at some of the most popular edema products available online:
Sources & references used in this article:
- Evidence for a hydrostatic mechanism in human neurogenic pulmonary edema (WS Smith, MA Matthay – Chest, 1997 – Elsevier)
- Mechanism of cerebral edema in children with diabetic ketoacidosis (NS Glaser, SL Wootton-Gorges, JP Marcin… – The Journal of …, 2004 – Elsevier)
- A study of the mechanism of edema associated with menstruation (GW Thorn, KR Nelson, DW Thorn – Endocrinology, 1938 – academic.oup.com)