Edema is characterized by swelling of the hands, ankles, feet, legs and face, but it can affect other parts of the body. The swelling is a result of water retained in the tissues.
The symptoms of edema may include:
There are various types and causes of edema. Mostly, edema exists as a symptom of an underlying disease.
Sometimes medications for particular diseases can also cause edema. Such prescription medications include those meant for diabetes, pain, high blood pressure, inflammation, as well as estrogen and steroid drugs.
There are other mild causes of edema.
Edema may be a symptom of a serious underlying condition. Treatment of that condition may be necessary to control water retention. For example, those diagnosed with heart failure, kidney disease or another condition must follow a treatment plan prescribed by a doctor. When controlled, symptoms of edema may be alleviated. Treatment options may also depend on the location of the swelling.
Prevention of edema may not be possible, depending on what its cause is. For instance, edema caused by underlying health problems such as kidney disease can only be manageable but may not be preventable. However, edema caused by too much salt can be prevented by taking less salt in your diet. Below are other preventive measures of edema.
Avoid sitting in one position with feet hanging down but instead elevate them whenever possible. Car travelers should make stopovers after one or two hours and walk around. Similarly, people using airplanes to travel need to walk on the plane after every one to two hours.
Avoid smoking and any tobacco products as they inhibit the circulation of blood.
Take plenty of fluids in hot weather and remember to cool off your skin.