Edema and causes of leg swelling

The phenomenon of leg swelling affects a lot of people. Very often edema occur in the region of ankles, but they can also appear in the sacral region or on the face (eyelids). Water retention can have different causes and characteristics, starting from diseases that affect in general.

Causes, diseases and types of swollen legs and edema:

  1. It often can occur because of prolonged orthostatism. The blood stagnation leads to the spread of liquid in the tissue and forms edema at the inferior members.
  2. Cardiac edema as a cause of heart failure/block that determines the increase of main stems and   capillary pressure, but also sodium retention (salt) at the renal level that draws in water. That is why is essential to restrict the salt quantity to these patients, in order to ameliorate swollen legs. Edema are cold, rough when touching, and are colored red to violet.
  3. In renal edema do not appear swollen legs, but there can appear inflamed eyelids in the morning or edema in the genital region. The inflammations are due to renal diseases, the kidneys losing through the urine the proteins that have the role of maintaining water in the blood, and in the same time reabsorbs too much salt (sodium) and water. Edema are fluffy, white, leave traces when pressing. The aspect of swollen legs is characterized by white color and warm temperature.
  4.  Hepatic edema are also warm and fluffy and appear due to hepatic cirrhosis and very rarely in the case of chronic or acute hepatitis. The mechanism is represented by the decrease of protein production and the decrease of aldosterone inactivation which has the role of retaining water.
  5.  During pregnancy the legs are swelling step by step due to the estrogen increase, aldosterone increase and the pregnancy compression on the inferior vena cava which returns the blood to the heart. During pregnancy the edema are lax/soft and white.
  6. In hypothyroidism that reached the form of myxedema appear edema and swollen legs through infiltrating the tissues with mucopolysaccharides and water by decreasing the metabolism.
  7.  In infections and traumas edema burns can appear where the vulnerable agent acts. The edema are rough, red, warm and painful.
  8.  In lymphedema the lymphatic drain of the tissue and usually the swollen legs are asymmetrical, soft. This can be congenital, secondary due to the repeated lymphangitis or to some filarii infections.
  9. Among the most frequent causes of swollen legs are vein diseases. In this case the legs swell because of the vein  the stem inflammation:
  • Superficial thrombophlebitis: The leg is swollen at the level of the visible vein ribbon, the edema is rough, red, localized;
  • Profound thrombophlebitis : the blocking with a vein. The leg is white, warm and painful. Both thrombophebitis presuppose the presence to a doctor for dissolution of the sanguine cake and the amelioration the leg circulation.
  • In chronic vein failure swollen legs appear and long-term varicose vein. It can happen that both legs are swollen or only one, with a red-violet colour and accentuated edema of orthostatism.

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