Edema is a pathological accumulation of fluid in any part of the body, subcutaneous tissue or cavity. The cause of edema is a violation of the permeability of blood vessels due to inflammation, as well as the excessive hydrodynamic pressure exerted by the moving fluid in the vessels. The third reason is a decrease in the osmotic pressure of blood – a force that prevents the movement of liquid from the capillaries into the intercellular space.
Edema can be common or local. Common are found in heart failure, hypothyroidism of the thyroid gland, kidney disease. Inflammatory processes and local circulatory disorders (clotting of the blood vessel with a thrombus, stagnation of lymph) cause local edema most often. There are edemas of allergic origin, which can have both general and local character.
The following types of localization are distinguished:
- anasarca – the accumulation of fluid in the entire body’s subcutaneous tissue, and face, occurs with heart failure, retrograde blood stasis,
- dropsy – the accumulation of fluid in various body cavities.
Types of edema by location:
- Hydrocephalus (edema of the head), its types: external edema (accumulation of fluid in the subarachnoid or subdural space of the brain), internal edema – edema in the ventricles of the brain,
- Hydrothorax – pathological accumulation of fluid in the pleural cavity,
- Hydropericardium – a liquid in the cavity of the cardiac membrane (pericardium),
- Ascites, or hydroperitoneum – edema in the abdominal cavity,
- Hydrosalpinx – liquid in the fallopian tube,
- Hydrocele – edema of the testicle,
- Hydrometer – edema in the uterine cavity.
The edema fluid can contain various elements of blood, depending on which it is presented as:
- Contains up to 2% protein. Usually, they are plasma proteins. Occurs when there is a violation of local blood circulation or a heart failure when there is an increase in hydrostatic pressure,
- This liquid contains more than 2% protein, consists of both plasma proteins and formed blood elements. Accumulation of this fluid is associated with inflammation,
- Mucus – mucopolysaccharides of various kinds (hyaluronic acid, chondroitin sulfate). Slime occurs with myxedema, i.e. hypofunction of the thyroid gland.
Swelling and edema may suggest:
- problems with the kidneys (if you feel that you go to the toilet oftener, the color of urine has changed, your back aches just above the waist – go to the nephrologist),
- heart failure (legs grow numb, and by the evening, they increase in size significantly, the skin has acquired a blue tint and feels cold to the touch, there was shortness of breath in the habitual physical exertion – a visit to the cardiologist is necessary),
- vascular diseases (swelling of the legs, accompanied by pain and cramps. Unobtrusively hint at varicose veins). A more accurate diagnosis will be made by a phlebologist,
- disorders of the thyroid gland (swelling, friability of the skin of the face),
- liver disease (increases in the volume of the stomach due to free fluid (ascites),
Use decongestants, including Lasix and its analogs from pharmacies, to reduce the amount of edema. It is important to monitor the condition of the body and prevent regular edema since this can be not only a symptom but also a provoker of the disease.