Edema - Signs and Symptoms

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In addition to swelling, what were your signs and symptoms associated with edema?

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What is edema?

The definition of edema is observable swelling from fluid accumulation in body tissues. Edema most commonly occurs in the feet, ankles, legs, and/or hands where it is referred to as peripheral edema. Edema of the foot is sometimes called pedal edema. The swelling is the result of the accumulation of excess fluid under the skin in the spaces within the tissues.

All tissues of the body are made up of cells, blood vessels, and connective tissues that hold the cells together called the interstitium. Most of the body's fluids that are found outside of the cells are normally stored in two spaces; the blood vessels (as the "liquid" or serum portion of your blood) and the interstitial spaces (not within the cells). In various diseases, excess fluid can accumulate in either one or both of these compartments.

The body's organs have interstitial spaces where fluid can accumulate, and there are a number of different types of edema. An accumulation of fluid in the interstitial tissue around the air spaces (alveoli) in the lungs occurs in a disorder called pulmonary edema. In addition, excess fluid sometimes collects in what is called the third space, which includes cavities in the abdomen (abdominal or peritoneal cavity - called "ascites") or in the chest (lung or pleural cavity - called "pleural effusion").

Anasarca or extreme generalized edema refers to the severe, widespread accumulation of fluid in the all of the tissues and cavities of the body at the same time.

Cerebral edema is an accumulation of excess fluid in the brain.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: polu, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 14

The swelling on both my feet and right leg started with a hamstring, now the swelling stays also because of working situations.

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Comment from: MENINBLK, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: September 10

I have oozing pitting edema in both my legs from the knees to my feet. I am sensitive to salt and I am overweight. I am taking Bystolic (nebivolol) to control my blood pressure and hydrochlorothiazide as a diuretic. I have been trying my best to lose weight but I can look at food and gain weight. I was walking 30 minutes every day and was actively losing weight until my left knee started making walking painful. It is now very hard to walk up and down stairs. I think it could be arthritis in the knee. I was taking Aleve for the pain but I stopped because I read that naproxen can cause edema in the legs. I have been trying everything I can and nothing works. I weigh more now than I ever have my entire life and I would be very happy if I could just get rid of all this weight and be normal again. I am going to see a new doctor who is a life friend to see if he can help me now.

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