How to Get Rid of Edema
So, if your shoes are too small and your pants are too tight and your rings are stuck on your fingers, chances are you are experiencing a bit of edema. What the television commercials like to refer to as that ‘painful, bloated feeling’ is actually just fluid retention. The medical term edema simply means a collection of fluid. There are common areas of the body that show edema.
Peripheral edema is in the lower legs and hands. Ascites is edema of the abdominal area. Pulmonary edema is in the lungs, and pleural effusion refers to fluid in the space surrounding the lungs.
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There are various conditions that can cause edema, and some of them are quite serious. If you are troubled by edema for more than a few days, you should get to a doctor to determine the underlying cause. The more worrisome causes can be kidney disease, heart failure and cirrhosis.
Edema is also common in pregnant women, but this is not usually serious. Less serious causes of edema are female hormones, both in the monthly cycle of younger women and in older women who are taking estrogen, and prescription drugs. Medicines prescribed for high blood pressure, diabetes and certain steroids can cause fluid retention. Sitting at a desk all day or sitting for prolonged periods while traveling can also cause edema.
Whatever the cause, there are certain things you can do to get rid of edema and increase your comfort level.
- Treat the underlying disease
- Cut back on salt. Start reading labels and avoid things like canned soup, lunch meat, bacon and potato chips.
- Use a diuretic. If you have a serious condition, your doctor will probably prescribe one for you. Don’t exceed the recommended dosage however, as removing fluid too quickly can cause you blood pressure to drop too low and it can also damage your kidneys.
- Wear compression stockings. These really help edema in the legs and ankles.
- Learn body positioning. The purpose is to raise your legs above heart level. Some suggest lying with your feet elevated for 30 minutes three or four times a day. Others suggest lying in front of a wall and raising your legs straight up on the wall. This seems more difficult, but you don’t need to do this as long. Five minutes per session is recommended for this method.