Edema refers to swelling that’s caused by excess fluid.1 Edema can occur in any part of the body, but it most often affects the legs, feet, hands, and arms.1 Edema may be a symptom of an underlying condition. In that case, it’s important that you take care to treat the condition rather than the symptom. In some cases, however, simply reducing the amount of salt you eat and taking medications or edema herbal remedies to reduce fluid retention can help ease symptoms.1 Edema is normal and usually harmless, but it may point to a more serious issue that requires medical attention.2
Edema is caused by excess fluid in the body. This may occur as a result of pregnancy or medication.1 Diseases like kidney disease, cirrhosis of the liver, or heart failure can also lead to fluid build-up.1 Other common edema causes include infection, allergies, abnormal blood pressure, or head injury.2 Weak veins or damage to your veins--such as in people who suffer from varicose veins--may also cause edema.5 This is because weak veins allow blood to pool in the legs since they aren’t as efficient at pumping blood back to the heart. Edema can even occur as a result of air travel.3 This is common and usually is nothing to worry about. This happens because inactivity on a flight causes blood to pool in your legs.3 It can help to take short walks around the cabin during long flights, to stretch your legs in your seat, and to wear loose, comfortable clothing to prevent extra pressure on your legs.
Edema symptoms start with inflammation. You may notice swollen limbs, facial puffiness, abdominal bloating, stretchy or shiny skin, or skin that dimples after being pressed for several seconds.2,4 If edema moves beyond the inflammatory stage, it’s best to call your doctor. More serious edema symptoms include shortness of breath, muscle aches and pains, coughing up blood, or a sudden change in your mental state.2 Muscle pain and excessive sweating may be a sign of a blood clot, which can occur from long-term edema.3 Taking edema herbs that act as a diuretic may help in reducing fluid retention.6 You might also take precautionary measures such as wearing compression socks or taking blood thinning medications prior to a long flight.3 These medications should only be taken under the supervision of your physician and may be prescribed if you are at high risk of blood clots. Otherwise, consider edema natural remedies to reduce swelling and other edema symptoms.
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