Why Edema Could Be Very Dangerous

Red emergency signWater retention, also known as edema, is incredibly bothersome when it’s just a mild case, such as after standing for an extended period of time, when you’re pregnant, or when menstruating. However, it could also be severe and an indication that something’s going wrong inside your body. Consider getting urgent care in Lehi when the swelling happens frequently or stays bloated for a long time. 

What Exactly is Edema?

Edema occurs when a body part swells due to fluid buildup in the tissue, usually in the feet, ankles, legs, and arms. While this feeling is very annoying, it’s typically temporary and would go away in time without intervention (save for resting the affected site) like when you’ve consumed excessive amounts of salt or when you feel bloated on your period. It could likewise manifest in individuals with really severe health problems such as circulatory or heart issues.

With congestive heart failure, your heart would become too tired to pump blood. This causes blood to accumulate around your heart and leak into the neighboring tissue in your abdomen. These leaks can then lead to swelling. 

Swelling in your ankles and feet could likewise come from weak veins that can’t transport blood back to your chest. This causes the oversupply of blood to leak into your tissue and cause bloating.

Those afflicted with liver disease might also experience abdominal swelling. The liver’s inflamed or scarred state can cause increased pressure in the blood vessels and fluid leaks. Individuals with kidney disease could likewise hinder the ability of the kidneys to eliminate water and salt from the body. When this happens, the area surrounding the eyes as well as the legs would eventually swell. Additionally, malnutrition also causes edema since the body lacks enough albumin in the blood to regulate blood pressure.

Another severe health issue that causes edema is pulmonary edema. This is life threatening and happens when the heart’s left side becomes incapable of pumping blood coming from the lungs. This leads to water retention and reduced oxygen supply to the lungs, which in turn results in chest pain, breathing difficulties, and coughing. If left untreated, pulmonary edema can be fatal.

The Takeaway

In the majority of cases, edema doesn’t cause or isn’t a sign of a severe health issue. In some instances, however, it could wreak havoc on your body and could be deadly. That said, if you’re experiencing edema and are unsure of what’s causing it, better consult your doctor as soon as possible to avoid more severe complications later on.