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When extra fluid traps in the body tissues, swelling occurs, called edema. It mostly affects the legs and feet. However, it can affect other parts of the body as well. It occurs during pregnancy or as a side effect of certain medications. If the fluid remains trapped for a long time, it can cause heart failure and kidney disease. 

If you have symptoms of edema, consult our certified doctors at Your Doctors Online for the diagnosis, treatment, and prescription of the edema.

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  • Edema
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Hi Dr. Nicole, I have swelling over my legs and feet. Can you please help?


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  •  Furosemide 40mg (Refil)
  • Twice a day

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Symptoms and Causes

Edema swelling can occur as a result of the leakage of fluid from weak capillaries. It can cause excess buildup in nearby areas, causing swelling in the affected area. Here are the following symptoms of the edema:

  • A heaviness in the legs or the affected area
  • Increased size of the skin in the affected area
  • Swelling of the affected skin area
  • If you press the skin, it creates a dimple.
  • Feeling skin is stretched
  • Increase belly size

Some of the causes of the leakage of fluid from capillaries include the following: 

  • Pregnancy
  • Menstrual cycle
  • Having salty diet
  • Sitting in the same position for quite too long
  • Taking hypertension medicines
  • Being on steroids or estrogens
  • Taking thiazolidinediones (diabetes medicine)
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines
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FAQs About Edema

Does edema go away by itself?

If the cause of edema is mild, chances are it will go away on its own, or making some lifestyle adjustments will help. However, in chronic cases like a medication side effect, you must first treat the condition. Sometimes, your doctor may suggest medicines that help drain the excess fluid via urine (diuretics).

What is the treatment for bone marrow edema in the foot?

The best treatment for bone marrow edema is rest. It usually goes away independently, but it may take several months, and your doctor may provide plenty of rest until then. To ease the symptoms, you may be prescribed nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Does drinking water flush out edema?

Drinking water can help ease the symptoms like swelling and also help excrete the excess fluid in the urine but only in patients with mild edema. Along with staying hydrated, creams and prescription medications can also help. Drinking plenty of water can help fulfill the body’s requirements, and it won’t hold on to the excess fluid, causing swelling. However, if patients have cardiac and renal failure, drinking more water can cause more harm than good.

Is there a vitamin that helps with edema?

Yes, there are certain vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin B6, and vitamin C and other nutrients like magnesium and zinc whose imbalance can cause mild edema. Therefore, fulfilling your body’s vitamin requirements and maintaining a healthy balance is essential. However, the results may be slower and only works in case of mild edema.

What is the treatment for bone marrow edema in the hip?

Bone marrow edema in the hip also goes away like other mild edemas like rest and staying hydrated. Other edema treatment regimes include painkiller medications like some nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). It may take months of rest to heal completely.

How to treat weeping skin from edema?

The best peripheral edema treatment is appropriately taking rest. Keep the affected parts elevated to avoid skin weeping, and maintaining an elevated position will help heal the swelling naturally. Additionally, your doctor may recommend certain movements to ease the swelling and weeping depending upon the part of the body affected by edema.

Can edema be treated at home?

Yes, edema can be treated at home if it is mild. Certain remedies like elevating the affected area, taking plenty of rest, and wearing compression garments can speed up blood circulation, ease the pain and heal the edema.

How much water does it take to get rid of edema?

If you suffer from edema, your body is under stress and needs more water than the normal requirement. Therefore, you should have at least 2 liters of water per day in mild edema cases. However, if the edema is caused by renal or cardiac problems, excess water can be fatal.

When should I consult a doctor for edema?

If you suffer from edema while pregnant, it is most important to consult a doctor. As edema causes skin stretching, it can cause many health problems during pregnancy. Also, consult your doctor immediately if you experience additional symptoms like difficulty breathing, persistent swelling, chest pain, sudden or severe onset of edema in the face and around the eyes, abdominal swelling, one-sided swelling (without injury), redness, warmth, and tenderness, pitting edema (indentation when pressed), edema after an injury or surgery, edema accompanied by other symptoms like unexplained weight gain, fever, fatigue, or changes in urination. These symptoms can indicate heart or lung problems, liver or kidney disease, etc., and need immediate medical care to avoid lethal consequences.

What can I do to stop edema in my legs?

Consult your doctor, as he may suggest certain exercises to help reduce the swelling and fasten the drainage of the excess fluid from the legs. It will also increase blood circulation to the heart. Moreover, avoid excess salty diets and increase your water intake instead. Also, wear compression stockings to help reduce swelling and pain.

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