Fluid retention in the body is known by many names. It can be referred to as dropsy which is an old fashioned name for fluid retention. The medical term for fluid retention is oedema. Fluid leaks continuously from the blood into the body tissues. A network of tubes commonly referred to as the lymphatic system is responsible for draining out the fluid from the tissues. When the fluid does not get removed from the tissues the problem of fluid retention is experienced. This accumulation of the fluid in the tissues results in swollen tissues. Fluid retention can be classified into two categories first is generalized oedema in which there is swelling throughout the body and the other is localized oedema. In localized oedema, only specific parts of the body are swollen. The other types of oedema are pulmonary oedema which affects the lungs, macular oedema which affects the eyes, and cerebral oedema which affects the brain. When a doctor is not able to find any cause of oedema then that condition is referred to as idiopathic oedema.
The conditions that may cause fluid retention in a patient are given below
Besides these, fluid retention may be a symptom of other critical medical condition. Some of the medical conditions that may cause fluid retention are kidney disease, chronic liver disease, lung disease, thyroid disease, autoimmune diseases, arthritis, and heart diseases. The treatment for fluid retention depends upon the underlying cause being diagnosed as early as possible.
The problem of fluid retention gets treated automatically if the underlying condition leading to an imbalance of fluid gets treated. For treating the fluid retention in the patients a doctor may recommend some activities to be done by the patients themselves. These activities are
Medications: For treating the problem of retention of fluid in the patients a doctor may prescribe diuretic medicines. The diuretic medicine drains the fluid out of their body by increasing the number of times a patient has to undergo urination.
For treating fluid retention a doctor may advise a patient to consume a diet that is low in salt content. If fluid retention is due to hypothyroidism then treatment of the condition using thyroxine helps in the draining of the fluids from the body. If the fluid retention is due to a patient consuming any medicine the doctor treats this condition by replacing those medicines with the ones that do not cause fluid retention. If fluid retention does not get treated by normal measures in kidney disease then a doctor may order dialysis of the patient. If the cause of fluid retention is chronic liver disease then the doctor may advise a patient to avoid alcohol and reduce the water intake. If the fluid retention is due to malnutrition in the person then a doctor may recommend some dietary supplements. A doctor may advise a patient to wear support stockings for reducing fluid retention as it improves the blood flow in the legs.
A patient is eligible for the treatment if the following symptoms are exhibited by the patient
The eligibility of a patient for the treatment is decided by the doctor. Based on the diagnosis through blood tests, and scans a doctor decides which patient is eligible and which patient is not eligible for the treatment. A patient having swelling due to an inflammation of the muscles is not eligible for the treatment of fluid retention. A patient that does not have the problem of fluid retention is not eligible for the treatment. There is also a scenario wherein a patient may not be eligible for a particular line of treatment for the disease. For instance, a patient who is allergic to the use of diuretic cannot get treated with this medicine.
Side effects are an integral part of treatment. the side effects are observed irrespective of the treatment through medicine, surgery or injectable. The side effects range from being minor to major. If minor side effects occur it usually vanishes after a brief period of time. In case a patient experiences any major side effect then a doctor must be informed immediately. The side effects usually vary from an individual to an individual. Given below is a non-exhaustive list of the side effects observed in a patient when diuretic medicine is given for the treatment of fluid retention
If the fluid retention is due to an underlying cause then the side effects would be governed by the type of treatment given by the doctor to the patient. For instance, if fluid retention is due to hypothyroidism and the doctor prescribes thyroxine for the treatment of the condition then the side effects associated with the use of thyroxine are nervousness, irritability, sweating, fever, fluttering in the chest, insomnia, and fever.
The post-treatment guidelines are a set of activities which are required to be followed by the patient. The post-treatment guidelines have been very helpful in the recovery of the patient. these guidelines not only help in the recovery but it also helps in the prevention of the disease occurring in the future. The post-treatment guidelines to be followed after the treatment of fluid retention are
There is no specific time limit in which the person recovers from the problem of fluid retention. As fluid retention is just a symptom the complete recovery of the patient would depend on the treatment of the underlying cause of fluid retention. A patient, however, recovers temporarily by using medicines like diuretics.
The price for the treatment of fluid retention varies as per the location, experience of the doctor and the treatment which the patient would have to undergo. The consultation fees of the doctor would range from 500 to 1000 rupees depending upon the experience of the doctor. In metro cities, the consultation fees of the doctor would be around 1500 rupees. The cost of medicines for the treatment would be additional.
The result of the treatment for fluid retention may or may not be permanent. The result of the treatment would be governed by the cause of fluid retention. For the permanent cure for fluid retention, the underlying cause must be treated. Treating fluid retention with medicine like diuretic is only a temporary treatment.
Apart from the treatment of fluid retention described above, there are some natural remedies for the treatment of the condition. Grapefruit essential oil is an exceptional way of reducing the swelling associated with fluid retention. Herbal diuretic has been a very effective natural diuretic for treating this condition. Consumption of the cranberry juice can be very effective in this condition.