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Edema Symptoms

Edema is the escape of fluid from the smallest arteries and veins (capillaries and venules) into the tissues, so that all parts of the body and the of the body cavities become overfilled and greatly swollen.

It ussually starts in the legs and increases upward.It may be caused by inflammations and infections, when the edema is confined to the part or cavity affected.

It may also have its origin in varicose veins which cause obstruction and stagnation of the blood circulation in the legs, and thus the legs will swell up and pit on pressure.

Edematous swellings like hives are a manifestation of allergy to certain foods, which produces a weakening of the capillary walls (capillary fragility), thus permitting an escape of fluids into the tissues.

The most common causes of general edema, which starts at the ankles and spreads up until the whole body is involved, are diseases of the heart, kidneys and liver.

When diseases of these organs are neglected, edema finally develops. In all cases of edema, the salt intake must be restricted to almost zero; all foods containing sodium must be eliminated. Cathartics like magnesium sulphate are given to cause diarrhea, and thus drain away some of the excess of fluid from the body.

The modern diuretics Diamox and Diuril are most effective in removing edema fluid by way of the urinary tract
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