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Edema is the medical term for “swelling” caused by the fluid trapped in your body’s tissues. Generally, edema tends to affect a small area or the entire body but mostly you may notice it in your hands, arms, ankles, feet and legs. Edema is experienced mostly by females who are expecting a baby or adults who are 65 yeas and older. Edema is usually common as there are many causes associated with the condition as mild cases of edema go away on their own, resulting in the exact rate of occurrence as unknown.

Types of Edema
Types of Edema
  1. Peripheral Edema – Peripheral edema generally affects the legs, feet and ankle. It could be a signal of problems for your kidneys, circulatory system or lymphatic system. 
  2. Pedal Edema – Pedal edema affects the lower body organs like feet and lower legs wherein the fluid gathers and can make it harder to movies you may not have much feeling in your feet. Pedal edema is more common when you are pregnant or older in age.
  3. Lymphedema – The lymph nodes, tissues that help filter germs and waste from the body are damaged because of the swelling in the arms and legs. The damage may be the result of cancer treatments like surgery and radiation. 
  4. Pulmonary Edema – Pulmonary edema is caused in your lungs when the fluid gets collected in the air sacs that makes it harder for people to breathe, and gets even worse when you lay down. This might result in a fast heartbeat, feeling suffocated and coughing, sometimes with blood too. 

The most common symptoms of Edema (Swelling) include the following:

  1. An area of your body is larger than it was a day ago.
  2. The skin over the swollen area looks stretched and shiny.
  3. Difficulty walking if your legs, ankles or feet swell.
  4. You may be coughing or have trouble breathing.
  5. You feel full or tightness in your swollen body part.
  6. Mild pain or a sore feeling in the affected area.

Though, Swelling can happen anywhere on your body but most often affects your feet, ankles and legs.


There are several possible causes for an edema which involves :

  1. Poor Nutrition – Fluid can build up in different parts of the human body if the body is not receiving a well-balanced nutrition diet.
  2. Underlying Medical Conditions – One of the few edema causes could be alarming medical conditions like heart failure, lung, liver and kidney thyroid disease.
  3. Side effects from Medications – Some drugs have edema as a side effect such as pain management medications and blood pressure.
  4. Pregnancy – You may get to experience swelling in your legs during pregnancy as the uterus puts pressure on your blood vessels in the lower body.
  5. Compromised Immune System – Some factors such as burns, trauma, infection and an allergic reaction can lead to trauma.
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