Causes of edema and swollen feet
Swollen feet phenomenon is affecting many people. Often edema starts at feet (ankle area) but may occur in the sacral area or face (eyelids). Water retention has different causes and characteristics, starting from diseases with general impairment. Treating the causing disease leads to remission of swollen feet.
Causes, diseases and types of swollen feet and edema
1. Often due to prolonged orthostatism. In this case the return of venous blood is poor due to gravity. Blood stagnation leads to extravasation of fluid in interstitial space (tissue) and legs edema formation.
2. Cardiac edema have as a cause the heart failure in which case the venous and capillary pressure increases, but also the retention of sodium in the kidney which attracts water. It is therefore essential the restriction of salt intake in these patients to relieve swollen legs.
– Edema is cold, hard to push, coloration cyanotic (blue-violet).
3. In renal edema occur swollen feet but may occur swollen eyelid in the morning or swelling in the genital area. Swelling is owed to kidney disease, the kidneys are losing proteins that keep water in blood, and also reabsorbs too much salt (sodium) and water.
– Edema is fluffy, white, easy to push. Appearance of swollen feet is characterized by white color and warm temperatures.
4. Liver edema is warm and fuzzy and appear in liver cirrhosis and rarely in the case of acute and chronic hepatitis. Mechanism is represented by decreased protein production and decreased metabolism (inactivation) of aldosterone which acts as water retention.
5. Swollen feet during pregnancy are due to increased estrogen, increased aldosterone and pregnancy compression on inferior vena cava which returns blood to the heart. Edema in pregnancy are soft and white.
6. In uncompensated hypothyroidism (myxedema) appear swollen feet and edema due to tissue infiltration with mucopolysaccharides and water by lowering metabolism.
7. In infections, trauma, burns, swellings appear on the place where the vulnerable agent acted. Swelling is hard, red, hot and painful.
8. In lymphedema (elefentiazis) is affected lymphatic drainage of tissue and usually occurs asymmetrically swollen feet, soft then cardboard consistency. It can be congenital, secondary due to repeated infections, ganglion metastases or filariasis.
– Superficial thrombophlebitis: foot is swollen where the vein invisible, the swelling is hard, red, hot spot.
– Deep thrombophlebitis: there is a clot blocking a deep vein. Swollen leg is white, hot and painful. Both thrombophlebitis require an urgent presentation to the doctor for blood clot dissolution.
– In chronic venous insufficiency occurs swollen feet due to repetitively thrombophlebitis. Both feet can be swollen or just one which looks cyanotic (red-purple) with dermatitis, ulcers, edema aggravated by standing.