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Idiopathic Edema In Females - Learn More!

Written and reviewed by
MBBS, MD - Internal Medicine, Senior Residency - Internal Medicine
General Physician, Patna  •  31 years experience
Idiopathic Edema In Females - Learn More!

Edema is inflammation due to excessive fluid in the tissues. Edema and fluid retention are the common causes of Idiopathic Edema. The cause of fluid retention is unknown, but it is usually related to obesity, diabetes, and emotional issues. 

Edema can persist over time or develop periodically. It can affect any part of the body but commonly affects arms, ankles, hands, feet, legs, and face. The affected person usually experiences noticeable changes in his/her body weight. There are a few signs and symptoms of Edema including increased abdominal size, shiny or stretched skin, swelling, and retention of pits on the skin when pressed for a few seconds. In women, it can develop during pregnancy and premenstrual cycle. 


The treatment of Idiopathic Edema depends upon its cause and severity. It can be treated by reducing the sodium and carbohydrate intake in the food. Discontinuation of diuretic, if being consumed, can also help improve the condition. 

Patients with severe or advanced stages of the problem are difficult to treat. One can also follow some self-care techniques to limit the symptoms of Edema. It is advisable to consult the doctor before trying them as they may not be suitable for everyone. 

Here are some of the self-care techniques which can help in treating Edema: 

  • Elevating the affected part to the chest level a few times a day may help.

  • One may be recommended to wear compression sleeves, stockings, or gloves after the swelling has gone down. This keeps the pressure on the limbs preventing the collection of fluid and further swelling.

  • The reduction of sodium in the food, especially salt, can help reduce Edema. Sodium or salt intake can escalate fluid retention and aggravate Edema.

  • Moving muscles of the affected part can help pump back the excess fluid to the heart. One can consult the doctor for suitable exercises.

  • Massaging the affected part towards the heart by applying firm pressure can help travel the excess fluid out of the affected part.

  • One should keep the affected part sanitized, moisturized, and injury-free as cracked and dry skin is more susceptible to infection, cuts, and scrapes.


Idiopathic Edema is caused by fluid retention in the tissues. This can develop in anyone but is more likely to occur in women. The premenstrual cycle and pregnancy can cause Edema in women. It can also be a result of certain medications such as estrogens, diabetes, and high blood pressure. It usually affects the face, ankles, feet, and arms. 

Edema can be treated with certain diet changes which include low carbohydrate and sodium intake, exercise, and some self-care techniques. However, one should always consult a doctor before going for any self-care treatment options.

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