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Overview

Edema: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

What is the treatment?

Edema is defined as a medical condition, in which swelling occurs due to trapping of excess fluid within the body tissues. The inflammation of the body part can result from injury or any other reason. Some of the common causes of edema include liver cirrhosis, excess consumption of salt, skin infection, heart failure, as a side-effect of some medicines, kidney disorders, sunburn and others. It should be however, kept in mind that edema is not actually a disease. It is just a symptom.

The treatment of edema can be achieved by treating the diseases that causes this symptom. Mild edema reduces naturally on its own if the affected area is kept at a level higher than that of heart. The treatment of severe edema is done by medication, where the excess body fluids are eliminated from the body by the use of drugs known as diuretics. These body fluids are usually excreted from the body in the form of urine. An example of such a diuretic is Furosemide. However, the medicines prescribed by the doctor depend upon the personal history of the patient.

Long term treatment of edema mainly focuses on curing the causes that lead to these symptoms. However, if it is due the side-effect of any other drugs then the doctor should look into this matter and shoul make changes in the prescribed medicines.

A few home remedies to treat the problem of edema involve movement of the muscles of the area that has been with the symptom so that the excess fluid can be drained away, massaging of the affected area, applying compression to the affected area by using tight stockings, or gloves, reducing the consumption of salt in diet, protection of the affected area to prevent further infections.

How is the treatment done?

Since edema is a symptom and not an actual disease, it needs professional diagnosis regarding the cause of the symptom, if the reason is unknown. Edema can occur both due to serious as well as some minor diseases. In order to treat this symptom the root cause has to be investigated and eliminated and this requires medical help from a doctor.

The treatment of this symptom involves maintaining a few basic things like having regular exercises, a healthy lifestyle, having a balanced diet, cutting out the intake of excess salts in one’s diet, applying compression in the area that has inflamed, massaging of the area where the swelling has taken place due to accumulation of body fluids, trying out herbal remedies that can reduce the swelling, maintaining a healthy skin by taking care of it, keeping the affected or swollen area slightly above the level of heart so that the fluid can drain away. In case, the cause of edema is a serious ailment, then the person should seek medical help from a doctor.

The practice of maintaining a healthy lifestyle involves doing regular exercises, walking briskly or slowly everyday for at least 15 minutes. Sitting for too long at a particular place may result the body fluids to stagnate within the muscle tissues of legs and arms and in such cases it is necessary to stretch out the arms and legs to facilitate circulation of blood and body fluids. A gentle massage at the inflamed area may also help at times to provide relief to the patients having such symptoms of edema

In the concern of food habits, a patient having edema must try to reduce the intake of salts or salt-rich food in their diet. It is advisable for them to take a balanced diet that includes fresh vegetables and fruits.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

There is no definite restriction of age or any other factor as such, regarding the treatment of edema. It must be kept in mind that edema is not a disease itself but a symptom of some other disease. Hence, the disorder that caused edema must be treated in order to cure this condition. Any person having the symptoms of edema must undergo a thorough diagnosis and once the disease is found, it must be treated accordingly.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

A person who does not have edema, is not elegible for undergoing a treatment.

Are there any side effects?

The treatment of edema is mainly done by the excretion of the body fluids through urine. This is done by a group of medicines called diuretics. Although these drugs are safe, some people are reported to have side effects. Some of the common side effects of using diuretics (for treatment of edema) include low level of sodium in blood, excess and frequent urination, nausea, electrolyte imbalance, arrhythmia, thirst, loss of appetite, nausea and muscle cramps.

Certain diuretics such as Thiazide can lead to blurred vision, hypoalkemia or lowered levels of potassium in the blood, can cause allergic reactions in people who are hypersensitive to this group of diuretics, impaired glucose control, increased level of uric acid, increased level of cholesterol. Patients suffering from diabetes or undergoing a treatment of gout are not recommended to take Thiazide for the treatment of edema. Potassium supplements must also be prescribed alongside.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

The post treatment guidelines for edema include taking the prescribed medicines regularly, consulting with the doctor in case of any side effects, drinking plenty of water, having fresh fruits and vegetables in diet, reducing the intake salt in their diet. Massaging of the inflamed area should be done regularly to prevent accumulation of fluids within the tissues. The patient who had suffered from edema, should take care that the cause of this symptom is completely cured. For persons, who had swollen legs and arms should go for brisk or slow walks daily for at least 15 minutes, so that the fluids do not accumulate within the tissues of the limbs.

How long does it take to recover?

There is no specific time limit for curing edema. Since, it is a symptom, the total time required to completely cure edema depends upon the treatment of the cause of edema. Once the cause of edema is completely cured, the symptom of inflammation disappears completely. Temporarily relief is however achieved by taking medicines known as diuretics, regular exercises, massaging of the affected area and having a healthy balanced diet.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

The price of treatment of edema is different at different places in India. In metropolitan cities the price of treatment is relatively higher than in other small towns and cities of India. The price range varies from Rs 500 to Rs 900 per visit to the doctor and may be upto Rs 1200 in some metropolitan cities. The cost of the medicines is additional.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

The treatment of edema may or may not be permanent and it depends on the cause of edema. In order to permanently cure the problem of edema, care should be taken to cure the underlying disorder that has led to this symptom. Treatment of edema with diuretics alone, gives just a temporary relief to the patient because these groups of drugs (i.e. diuretics) are mainly concerned with flushing out the accumulated fluid in the body tissues through urine. Once the root cause for edema goes away, the problem of edema also disappears. For patients who are having edema due to some underlying permanent health problems, care should be taken to keep the cause of edema under control.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

The treatment of edema is mainly done using diuretics. However, this treatment can also be done by several natural ways. This includes undergoing massage therapy, consumption of cranberry juice, green tea, apple cider vinegar, coriander seeds, mustard oil, diet rich in vitamins, turmeric, ginger root tea, dandelion tea, oil of oregano, cater oil, Epsom salt and others.

For a permanent treatment of edema one must try to cure a main cause that has led to the problem of edema.

Safety: Medium Effectiveness: High Timeliness: Medium Relative Risk: Medium Side Effects: Low Time For Recovery: Medium Price Range: Rs 500 – Rs 1200

Popular Health Tips

Ways Pulmonary Edema Can be Treated!

MD - Medicine, MD - Pulmonary Medicine
Pulmonologist, Pune
Ways Pulmonary Edema Can be Treated!

Pulmonary edema is a disorder wherein fluid accumulates in the lungs leading to lack of oxygen in the body. The usual cause of pulmonary edema is congestive heart failure (the muscles of the heart are unable to pump blood). In this disorder, the heart has to work extra hard to pump blood, so this adds extra pressure on the blood vessels that are present in the lungs. In a bid to relieve this added pressure, fluid is released into the lungs by the blood vessels.

The function of your lungs is to take in oxygen from the air and circulate it in the bloodstream. However, fluid accumulation in the lungs impairs the ability to supply oxygen in the blood. As the oxygen does not reach the blood, the body gets deprived of oxygen.

Causes
The most frequent cause of pulmonary edema is congestive heart failure. Some other causes of pulmonary edema are pneumonia, failure of the kidney, damage to the lungs, high blood pressure and sepsis of the blood (infection). Apart from these internal medical causes, certain external factors such as exposure to high altitudes, drug overdose and inhalation of toxic substances can also cause pulmonary edema.

Symptoms
The symptoms of pulmonary edema are coughing, swelling of the legs, breathlessness and wheezing. In case of severe pulmonary edema, symptoms such as respiratory failure, shock and organ damage due to lack of oxygen may occur.

Treatment
The initial step to treat pulmonary edema is to administer oxygen. Oxygen is given through a nasal cannula; it is a flexible tube made of plastic with two openings that allow oxygen to be delivered to the nostrils. The oxygen levels in your body are closely monitored by the doctor.

Based on the cause of pulmonary edema, the following treatments are administered:

  1. Morphine: Morphine is administered to reduce breathing difficulties and anxiety.
  2. Preload reducers: These medications help relieve the pressure in the lungs and the heart. Diuretics are a type of preload reducers; it is also known to cause excessive urination.
  3. Afterload reducers: Afterload reducers are medications that relieve pressure from the left ventricle by dilating the blood vessels.
  4. Use of blood pressure medication: Pulmonary edema caused by blood pressure changes i.e. if the disorder is caused by changes in your blood pressure, then blood pressure medications are administered to get your pressure back to normal levels. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
2020 people found this helpful

Ways Pulmonary Edema Can be Treated!

MBBS, MD - Pulmonary Medicine
Pulmonologist, Faridabad
Ways Pulmonary Edema Can be Treated!

Pulmonary edema is a disorder wherein fluid accumulates in the lungs leading to lack of oxygen in the body. The usual cause of pulmonary edema is congestive heart failure (the muscles of the heart are unable to pump blood). In this disorder, the heart has to work extra hard to pump blood, so this adds extra pressure on the blood vessels that are present in the lungs. In a bid to relieve this added pressure, fluid is released into the lungs by the blood vessels.

The function of your lungs is to take in oxygen from the air and circulate it in the bloodstream. However, fluid accumulation in the lungs impairs the ability to supply oxygen in the blood. As the oxygen does not reach the blood, the body gets deprived of oxygen.

Causes
The most frequent cause of pulmonary edema is congestive heart failure. Some other causes of pulmonary edema are pneumonia, failure of the kidney, damage to the lungs, high blood pressure and sepsis of the blood (infection). Apart from these internal medical causes, certain external factors such as exposure to high altitudes, drug overdose and inhalation of toxic substances can also cause pulmonary edema.

Symptoms
The symptoms of pulmonary edema are coughing, swelling of the legs, breathlessness and wheezing. In case of severe pulmonary edema, symptoms such as respiratory failure, shock and organ damage due to lack of oxygen may occur.

Treatment
The initial step to treat pulmonary edema is to administer oxygen. Oxygen is given through a nasal cannula; it is a flexible tube made of plastic with two openings that allow oxygen to be delivered to the nostrils. The oxygen levels in your body are closely monitored by the doctor.

Based on the cause of pulmonary edema, the following treatments are administered:

  1. Morphine: Morphine is administered to reduce breathing difficulties and anxiety.
  2. Preload reducers: These medications help relieve the pressure in the lungs and the heart. Diuretics are a type of preload reducers; it is also known to cause excessive urination.
  3. Afterload reducers: Afterload reducers are medications that relieve pressure from the left ventricle by dilating the blood vessels.
  4. Use of blood pressure medication: Pulmonary edema caused by blood pressure changes i.e. if the disorder is caused by changes in your blood pressure, then blood pressure medications are administered to get your pressure back to normal levels.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2522 people found this helpful

Pulmonary Edema - Ways It Can be Treated!

MBBS, MD - Pulmonary Medicine, DNB - Pulmonary Medicine, MD - Internal Medicine, Diploma in Tuberculosis and Chest Diseases (DTCD)
Pulmonologist, Delhi
Pulmonary Edema - Ways It Can be Treated!

Pulmonary edema is a disorder wherein fluid accumulates in the lungs leading to lack of oxygen in the body. The usual cause of pulmonary edema is congestive heart failure (the muscles of the heart are unable to pump blood). In this disorder, the heart has to work extra hard to pump blood, so this adds extra pressure on the blood vessels that are present in the lungs. In a bid to relieve this added pressure, fluid is released into the lungs by the blood vessels.

The function of your lungs is to take in oxygen from the air and circulate it in the bloodstream. However, fluid accumulation in the lungs impairs the ability to supply oxygen in the blood. As the oxygen does not reach the blood, the body gets deprived of oxygen.

Causes
The most frequent cause of pulmonary edema is congestive heart failure. Some other causes of pulmonary edema are pneumonia, failure of the kidney, damage to the lungs, high blood pressure and sepsis of the blood (infection). Apart from these internal medical causes, certain external factors such as exposure to high altitudes, drug overdose and inhalation of toxic substances can also cause pulmonary edema.

Symptoms
The symptoms of pulmonary edema are coughing, swelling of the legs, breathlessness and wheezing. In case of severe pulmonary edema, symptoms such as respiratory failure, shock and organ damage due to lack of oxygen may occur.

Treatment
The initial step to treat pulmonary edema is to administer oxygen. Oxygen is given through a nasal cannula; it is a flexible tube made of plastic with two openings that allow oxygen to be delivered to the nostrils. The oxygen levels in your body are closely monitored by the doctor.

Based on the cause of pulmonary edema, the following treatments are administered:

  1. Morphine: Morphine is administered to reduce breathing difficulties and anxiety.
  2. Preload reducers: These medications help relieve the pressure in the lungs and the heart. Diuretics are a type of preload reducers; it is also known to cause excessive urination.
  3. Afterload reducers: Afterload reducers are medications that relieve pressure from the left ventricle by dilating the blood vessels.
  4. Use of blood pressure medication: Pulmonary edema caused by blood pressure changes i.e. if the disorder is caused by changes in your blood pressure, then blood pressure medications are administered to get your pressure back to normal levels. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Pulmonologist.
2742 people found this helpful

Renal Hypertension - Symptoms, Causes And Treatment!

MBBS, MD (Med), DNB (Nephrology)
Nephrologist, Mumbai
Renal Hypertension - Symptoms, Causes And Treatment!

Renal hypertension is a disorder, which is characterized by a rise in the blood pressure that results from kidney disease. The blood flow to the kidney is impaired due to the narrowing of the arteries and this leads to renovascular hypertension. 

Symptoms
The various symptoms of renal hypertension are: 

  1. You may experience symptoms of high blood pressure.
  2. Your kidneys may not function properly due to the impaired supply of blood
  3. It may lead to presence of blood in your urine
  4. You may be affected by pulmonary edema that results in accumulation of fluid in the lungs
  5. It may result in severe headaches and confusion
  6. You may experience blurred vision
  7. You may have nosebleeds
  8. The impaired kidney function may also lead to chronic kidney damage. 

Causes
The various causes of renal hypertension are: 

  1. Accumulation of cholesterol in the body may lead to blockage of the artery due to plaque buildup
  2. Smoking may increase your chances of getting affected by narrow arteries

The narrowing of the arteries causes a reduction in the blood supply to the kidneys. This results in the kidneys to release various hormones that instruct the body to hold on to water and sodium. This causes the fluid to accumulate in the blood vessels, thus resulting in high blood pressure. 
The various risk factors renal hypertension are: 

  1. Excessive alcohol consumption
  2. Substance abuse
  3. Diabetes
  4. High blood pressure
  5. High cholesterol
  6. Aging

Treatment
Medications used to treat high blood pressure are used to treat renal hypertension. It is important that you get your blood pressure levels checked on a regular basis. You need to make certain lifestyle changes such as: 

  1. Exercise on a regular basis to keep your heart and body healthy
  2. Limit consumption of alcohol and reduce smoking
  3. Eat well balanced meals to keep obesity at bay
  4. Keep your mind free of stress
  5. Restrict consumption of salt
  6. Maintain optimal weight levels

    If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a nephrologist.

3013 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

What is mild cerebral edema? What is a suspicious microheamorrhage on the left frontal lobe? Is it chronic? What is mild cerebral Edema? Is it chronic?

MD - Homeopathy, BHMS
Homeopath, Vadodara
It means there is very small accumulation of fluid around brain.. and there are chances of slight bleeding in brain..

My mother is 80 years old and now suffering from EDEMA since 1 month. Taking allopathy tab, urine passing but no response till. What we do?

Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Ayurveda, Ahmedabad
Hello Lybrate user Start the following medicines along with allopath medicines 1. Punarnavashtak kwath 20 ml thrice a day 2. Tab Aluretic (Alarsin) 2 tabs twice a day.

My mother having D3 Deficiency value 17.36U and leg edema. Left right normal. Please suggest.

MD - Homeopathy, BHMS
Homeopath, Vadodara
S3 deficiencies is not only the problem. Better Consult for Homoeopathic treatment. Till then make her sit in sun in early morning for 20-25 mins.

Suffering from edema and Morton nueroma pain in the lower side of the right fore foot since last five months With a patient having diabetes since last three years ESR and CRP is high Kindly suggest best doctors as early as possible.

DHMS (Hons.)
Homeopath, Patna
Hello, obesity cause oedema & nerve pain to feet, need to monitor your weight, please. Go for a walk in the morning for 30mnts. Sit for meditation for 30. Mnts to reduce your stress inorder to enshape your body. Your diet be under 1300-1600 calories. Tk, homoeopathic medicine:@.Phyto Berry Q-10. Drops, thrice 2tsfl of water. Avoid junkfood, alcohol and Nicotine. Tk, care.

Table of Content

What is the treatment?
How is the treatment done?
Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)
Who is not eligible for the treatment?
Are there any side effects?
What are the post-treatment guidelines?
How long does it take to recover?
What is the price of the treatment in India?
Are the results of the treatment permanent?
What are the alternatives to the treatment?
Having issues? Consult a doctor for medical advice