Edema is an excess accumulation of fluid in the tissues of the body, subcutaneous tissue. Edema is not an independent disease, it is a symptom of heart disease complicated by heart failure, kidney disease, can be observed with cirrhosis of the liver, starvation, and pathology of pregnancy.

Causes of edema

The mechanism of edema formation is that water leaves the vascular bed and accumulates in the intercellular space. The reasons for this may be:

  • low levels of protein in the blood;
  • kidney disease, in which protein is lost from the body in the urine;
  • liver disease, when the protein is not synthesized in the required quantities (this is one of the functions of the liver);
  • lack of protein in the diet (diseases accompanied by impaired absorption in the intestine; starvation);
  • high capillary permeability;
  • heart disease (chronic heart failure);
  • venous thrombosis;
  • thrombosis and thrombophlebitis of the veins of the extremities;
  • varicose veins of the legs.

Varieties of edema

  • hydrostatic edema , in which the main role is played by an increase in pressure in the capillary;
  • hypoproteinemic , the main root cause of the formation of which is a decrease in the content of proteins in the blood plasma, especially albumins, and a decrease in the colloid-osmotic (oncotic) pressure of the blood plasma with the release of fluid from the bloodstream into the tissues;
  • membranogenic , the formation of which is due to an increase in the permeability of capillaries due to their toxic damage, inflammation, and violations of nervous regulation.

The main symptoms of edema

Swelling limbs or other parts of the body increase in volume. To the touch, the skin becomes pasty, after pressing with a finger, a hole remains on the skin. In the absence of inflammatory complications, edematous skin is pale or slightly cyanotic. With pronounced swelling on stretched shiny skin, cracks may occur, from which edematous fluid oozes.

In diseases of the heart, edema is traditionally localized symmetrically on the ankles and legs in walking patients and in the lumbosacral region in those who are bedridden. Not infrequently there is ascites – the accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity.

With kidney disease, edema is localized first on the face, especially in the eyelids, and later on the legs, lower back, genitals, and anterior abdominal wall.

Edema treatment

To cure edema, you need to treat the disease against which they appeared. Additionally, as a symptomatic remedy, diuretic products are prescribed, as well as restriction of table salt, and vice versa, consume as many vegetables, fruits and berries as possible, which have a diuretic effect. Dairy products are also useful.

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