What is it?
Swelling caused by excess fluid build-up
A condition known as peripheral edema is defined by a buildup of extra fluid in the body’s interstitial spaces, which frequently results in feet, ankles, and legs that are visibly swollen. This edema may occur on one or both sides of the body and range in severity from minor to severe.
Peripheral edema symptoms include:
Swelling: Visible swelling, especially in the legs, ankles, and feet, is the most obvious sign of peripheral edema. In severe situations, this swelling may involve the hands and arms and can get worse over the day.
Skin changes: The impacted area may seem taut, glossy, or stretched. When pressure is applied to the swollen area, mild pitting may develop.
Pain and discomfort: Peripheral edema can cause pain, tightness, and a heavy sensation in the affected limbs, depending on how severe it is.
Reduced mobility: It may be difficult to walk or stand for long periods of time due to swelling and discomfort.
Skin color changes: In extreme situations, the skin may turn reddish or blue.
DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT
Diagnosis of peripheral edema:
Physical examination: In addition to reviewing your medical history and symptoms, the doctor will examine you to look for swelling, changes in your skin, and other symptoms.
Blood tests: Blood tests can be used to detect infections, liver disease, and kidney disease, among other underlying illnesses.
Tests on urine: Tests on urine can assess kidney function and rule out infections of the urinary tract.
Doppler ultrasound: This imaging technique assesses blood flow in the veins and arteries using sound waves, which aids in the diagnosis of blood clots and other circulatory issues.
X-rays: X-rays can be performed to rule out bone fractures and other potential causes of leg edema.
Typical therapy alternatives include the following:
Elevation: Lifting the legs above the level of the heart facilitates the removal of fluid and lessens edema.
Compression stockings: By applying pressure to the legs, compression stockings can help to lessen swelling and enhance circulation.
Diuretics: These drugs aid in increasing the body’s urine and removing extra fluid.
Medication: Medication such as blood thinners for blood clots, antibiotics for infections, or other specialized treatments may be provided, depending on the underlying reason.
Lifestyle modifications: Eating less sodium, exercising frequently, and maintaining a healthy weight can all assist too