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Edema

Pitting edema. Right photo shows that indent remains from pressing. Courtesy wikimedia.

Pitting edema. Right photo shows that indent remains from pressing. Courtesy wikimedia.

What Is Edema?

Edema is an abnormal swollen condition of the skin characterized by excess extracellular fluid volume, meaning there is an increase of the fluid that normally surrounds cells. Edema may be hardly noticeable or it can become extensive.

Edema can have various appearances and can develop from various causes.

Q: What are the appearances and causes of edema?

A: Here are the appearances of edema:

  • Pitting edema. It is called pitting edema if when the skin is pressed with a finger, the indent remains. This edema results from fluid leaking out of the bloodstream into the surrounding tissues. Pitting edema can be a feature of many disorders including heart disease, kidney disease, vascular disease, cancer, and malnutrition.
  • Myxedema is a firm swelling or thickening of subcutaneous skin that does not pit, as seen in thyroid disease.

Here are causes of edema:

  • Local edema as a response to trauma or infection.
  • Lower extremity edema from poor circulation and malnutrition.
  • Edema in the lungs from right sided heart disease.
  • Abdominal edema from liver disease, intestinal disease.
  • Body wide edema from heart disease, kidney disease, thyroid disease.

What Is Edema In Celiac Disease and/or Gluten Sensitivity?


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