Edema is a condition where excess fluid in the body tissue causes swelling. Although this condition is often associated with the legs and feet, edema can affect any part of the body, including your hands, ankles, and arms.
Causes & Risk Factors
When the capillaries leak fluid, it builds up in surrounding tissues, leading to swelling. The causes of edema vary from patient to patient but are commonly caused by:
- Varicose Veins
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Long car or airplane trips
- Too much salt in your diet
- Medications such as high blood pressure medication, estrogen, or steroids
Edema can also be a symptom of another underlying disease, such as:
- Heart Failure
- Kidney disease
- Chronic Venous Hypertension
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
- Long-term protein deficiency
Edema can cause difficulty walking, tissue scarring, pain, and decreased blood circulation. Other symptoms of edema include:
- Itchy skin
- Increased risk of infection
- A decrease in the elasticity of veins and muscles
- Skin ulcers
In cases where edema is caused by a sedentary lifestyle or when taking a long trip via car or airplane, the edema will resolve on its own. However, if a medical condition is contributing to your edema you will most likely need medical intervention to treat the swelling or edema. You should see your primary Physician for a treatment plan that works best for your condition.
In the case of Varicose Veins, Chronic Venous Hypertension, or Lymphedema being causal of your edema it is best to see a Vein Care Specialist and get an ultrasound to determine if your veins are the culprit.
At Illinois Vein Specialists we have seen hundreds of patients with edema related to Varicose Veins, Chronic Venous Hypertension, or Lymphedema being. We do an Ultrasound at your very first visit and the results are provided immediately!
You can also download a FREE copy of our Patient Guide for information on how we treat this condition and more!