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Oedema – definition, causes, diagnosis, treatment

Swelling of some parts of the body, usually through local retention of fluids, and other causes (infections, inflammation, trauma, blockage of some blood vessels, etc.) is called oedema.

oedema legWhere can oedema be localized?

  • Oedema of the face (the eyelid oedema) – usually in kidney diseases, and local irritation by creams / makeup / insomnia / local trauma;
  • Oedema of the lower limbs (feet, legs, thighs) – in heart disease, kidney disease, cirrhosis, varices;
  • Oedema of the abdomen (belly) – is associated with lower limb oedemas with about the same causes, but more advanced disease;
  • Oedema of the thorax associated with abdominal and lower limb, this association has the medical name of anasarca;
  • Generalized Oedema – as hypothyroidism (low thyroid function);
  • Localized oedema – is usually given a local cause (infectious – erysipelas, tubercle or reumatismali- nodules, or inflammatory);

What are the main causes of oedema?

The most common diseases that may appear to oedema are:

  • Oedema of congestive heart – Oedema is tough, hard, cold at lower limbs but can also be generalized;
  • Pericardial oedema – swelling is the same as in heart failure;
  • Oedema of liver cirrhosis – oedema is accompanied by ascites (water belly);
  • Oedema by decreasing blood albumin (hypoalbuminemia) from other causes (loss of albumin in the urine or bowel, lack of albumina production in severe liver disease, poor nutrition, lack of protein absorption to the intestines, etc.);
  • Oedema of myxedema (disease due to low functioning thyroid)- oedemas are generalized ;
  • Oedema of paralysis (oedemas are on the part that there paralysis, due to the nerve paralysis that serves the blood vessels);
  • Edema by charging excessive liquid (massive infusions of sodium solutions – physiologic serum) in patients who cannot eliminate enough fluids through the kidney (people with kidney disease, liver or heart);
  • Oedema of thrombophlebitis (swellings are warm with red skin, are located in a particular region – not generalized);
  • Oedema by blocking lymph vessels (which may occur due to illness or surgery, because sectioning lymphatic vessels during surgery);
  • Oedema by malfunction of the veins (venous insufficiency may occur postoperatively);
  • Some medicines (nifedipine, cortisone, etc.) can give oedema.

How is the diagnosis made?

The diagnosis of oedemas: we will put it through examination of the areas (legs, abdomen, etc.) that usually leave mark at the touch of a finger.

How to diagnose the cause of oedema?

To find the cause of edema is needed:

  1. The history and medical examination;
  2. Special exploration of the kidney function, heart, liver, thyroid etc.

Treatment of oedemas:

Oedemas are treated casually, actually it is treated the cause of oedemas.

Most cases of oedema are treated with diuretics, but in cirrhosis or kidney disease it is needed also of albumin or plasma, in thrombophlebitis of anticoagulants, in erysipelas of penicillin, etc.

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