Understanding The Different Types of Edema (or Oedema)

In common parlance, edema implies a swelling of certain body..

Understanding The Different Types of Edema (or Oedema)

Understanding The Different Types of Edema (or Oedema)

In common parlance, edema implies a swelling of certain body tissues due to excess water content.

Professionals define it as an accumulation of excess fluid in certain parts of the body’s tissues.

The extra fluid accumulates outside of the capillaries in the spaces between the cells. Thus, the tissues become soggy and swollen.

Even at times of diabetes that would lead you to get edema footwear.

Edema manifests itself in different forms as under:

Pulmonary Edema

Pulmonary edema is a life-threatening condition in which the lungs become water-logged by an accumulation of serous fluid in the air sacs.

The sudden development of pulmonary edema constitutes a medical emergency.

The stagnation of the blood that flows through the lungs is the usual cause of pulmonary edema.

It may be recalled that the ventricle of the right side of the heart pumps blood into and through the lungs, after which it flows into the atrium of the left side of the heart.

As the blood passes through the lungs, it releases its load of carbon dioxide and accepts a new load of oxygen.

Once this blood arrives in the left side of the heart it is placed under pressure by the contraction of the left ventricle and thus forced to circulate throughout the entire body.

Emphysema

In emphysema, the lungs become less and less efficient because of progressive damage to the millions of alveoli, or air sacs, at the ends of the bronchioles in the lungs.

Oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange takes place in the walls of the alveoli-but when these walls of the air sacs are damaged.

Cavities form which contain an accumulation of contaminated mucus.

The efficiency of the lungs is greatly reduced and the patient suffers from shortness of breath (dyspnea) because the waste air is not easily removed/exhaled from the lungs and the required amount of oxygen-rich air is not restored/inhaled.

How to deal with pulmonary edema and emphysema

Initially, lungs are not at fault when pulmonary edema develops. This condition is a result of defective functioning of the heart.

Care and treatment must, therefore, be directed toward correcting and supporting the weakened heart. As well as toward the prevention of further accumulation of fluid in the lungs.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease of the joints. Its exact cause is not known.

However, research suggest that as the immune system fails to work properly, the ‘synovial’. A thin membrane surrounding a joint, gradually becomes inflamed and swollen, which leads to inflammation of other parts of the affected joints for which edema shoes are used.

With the passage of time, the bones linked by the joint are weakened. In severe cases, bone tissue may eventually be destroyed.

The joints that are usually affected are the small ones in your hands and feet. Mainly the knuckles and toe joints, but rheumatoid arthritis can develop in any joint, including your wrists, knees, ankles or neck.

When your joints are affected, they become red, warm, swollen, tender to the touch, painful to move, and stiff. It is advisable to seek medical help as soon as possible.

Edema in cirrhosis of the Liver

In cirrhosis, the liver’s production of protein declines, with a consequent lowering of the blood’s osmotic pressure.

This favors the development of edema. Swelling of the ankles may be observed.

Cirrhosis also hinders the flow of blood coming to the liver from other abdominal organs and this causes an increase of blood pressure in the capillaries of these organs.

This results in an accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity (ascites).


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Daniel Messer, RNutr, CPT

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