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What is edema or abnormal water retention in the body - how to treat lymphedema and other types of edema

By edema there is an accumulation of fluid in the whole body or body parts due to retention of fluid in the tissues, in the lymph system or in the blood. Most often the accumulation of fluids is  between the cells in the body tissues. This water retention causes the whole body or body parts to swell.

The body needs to have a specific volume of of water to function properly. There must also be a minimum fluid input for the digestive and absorbtion processes to function properly, and there must be a minimum fluid secretion to flush the wastes out of the body and to cool the body by sweating.

The input of water needed for proper digestive processes and for comfort is usually greater than the output of fluid needed for sweating and elimination of waste. This excessive input of water must be eliminated from the tissues and then through the urine.

By edema there is a retention of fluid either in the tissues, in the lymphatic system or in the blood, so that the excessive water input accumulates in the body. In severe cases not even that amout of fluid needed for flushing out waste is secreted.

 

The symptoms of Edema

Swelling of a body part or the whole body is the main symptom of edema. By a localized cause, the symptoms will be seen in the specific body part. When the cause affects the whole body, the legs are often the most swallen body parts. Edema affecting a limb, will give the limb a puffy appearance. Edema affecting the abdomen, gives abdominal bloadting.

The skin on an affected body part will often look thickened, swampy and inelastic. If you press down at the skin, there will often be a press mark taking some time to go away. Edema which gives such a press mark is called pitting edema. Edema not leaving a press mark is called not-pitting edema. Pitting edema is easier to treat than not-pitting edema.

 

About the fluids in the body and their circulation

The body has three main bulks of fluids. The blood is one. The other is fluid inside the cells. The third is the fluid between the cells. There are two fluid conducting systems in the body, the blood cystem and the lymph system. The blood circulates through the whole body. During this circulation the blood is distributed througout the body by the great arteries, and then distributed more finely by the smaller arterioles, and at last distributed throughout all tissues by the thinnest vessels, the capillaries. Then the blood is assambled again in steadily thicker veins and goes back to the heart and lungs.

Fluid with oxygen and nutrients also go through the walls of the capillaries into spaces between cells. In this way the cells get oxygen and nutrients. The other system of vessels, the lymph system, gather this fluid in steadily thicker lymph vessels and carry the fluid back to the greatest vein of the blood sustem again.

When the ballance of this fluid transportation is disturbed or the transportation is hindered, edema can be the consequence. This is especially through if the transportation of fluid in the lymph vessels back to the blood circulation is hindered. It also often occur when the heart do not mangage to pump blood effectively enough out into the body.

 

The causes and process of Edema

Lymphedema: A common type of edema is lymphedema, caused by impairment of the lymphe drainage. The condition occur often in the legs. Any kind of disease or injury that injures the lymphatic vessels or lymph nodes, can cause lymphedema, for exanple chronic infections. Lymphedema is a common consequence of surgery where lymphe nodes are taken out or lymph vessels cut. Serious lymphoedema can cause gross distortions of a limb, impairment of movement and serious infections in the affected areas.

Lymphedema is often of the non-pitting sort that do not give a press-mark when a pressure is applied to the surface of the edematous limb or body part.

Edema is a natural occurance by acute infection or by injury. However edema can become chronic or occur without any infection or injury. Since edema is a component of inflammation, any disease causing inflammation will also cause edema.

By inflammation edema is caused by tissue fluid leaking out through the walls of the smallest blood vessels ( capillaries) into the area between cells. The affected body part or region will therefore swell.

However some anti-inflmmatory drugs, like steroids, do not work well against this component of the inflammatore process, but can in the long run cause edema.

Edema by general water retetion: An impaired secretion of urine from the kidnies kan also cause edema. This can occur by kidney diseases. Edema caused by kidney disease usually affects greater areas of the body or the whole body.

An imbalance of mineral salts can also cause edema by impairing the excretion of urine from the kidneys, for example by too high consumption of ordinary salt - NaCl or too law intake of potassium and magnesium. Edema of these causes usually affects greater areas of the body or the whole body.

Edema by heart failur: By conjestive heart failur, the heart is not able to pump the blood through the body, and fluid accumulates causing generalized edema.

Edema by venous failur: If the veins in the limbs are not able to carry blood back towards the heart effectively, blood can fill up in the weins and cause edema.

Edema by pregnacy: Most pregnant women will experience at least some edema in the legs, often also accompagnied by swelling of the beins. Some of this is a normal adjustment of the body to the pregnancy condition, but often it gets out of normal proportions and gets highly unpleasant. Basically the extra pressure in the belly region during pregnancy hinders flow of lymph and blood backtowards the upper body. Inactivity during pregancy also contributes.



Edema caused by digestive problems

A digestive system with reduced activity causes constipation, bloating and accumulation of waste, especially in the colon. The colon will then get distended, which will also be visible and felt as an engorged belly. This engorgement can in turn hinder blood circulation and blood flow so that also fluid accumulates in the tissuses of the body, especially the abdominal tissues. Possibly can also toxins from the accumulated waste give that effct. Many conditions can give an inactive digestive system. Often however the cause is a bad lifestyle, with an unhealthy diet and too little physical activity.



About ascites - an edema-like condition

By ascites fluid accumulates between the organs inside the belly and the belly will then be distended, sometimes just a little, other times extremely. It occurs because water seeps through the walls of blood vessels and through the lining inside the abdomen (peritoneum) into the abdominal cavity.

One symptom of ascites is a distended abdomen, especially if it is distendid at the flanks and in a person that is not fat. The content that distend the abdomen will change place when a person shifts position from sitting or standing to laying, from laying at the back to a side or from laying at one side to the other side. By shaking parts of the abdomen between two hands one can often hear and feel fluid lapping. The abdomen is typically felt heavy, and the breathing may be felt heavy.

Ascites is often caused by serious condition. The most common cause is liver disease, especially cirrosis. Another cause is heart failur, especially failur of the right side of the heart. A third cause are disease processes in the peritomeum or organs surrounded by peritoneum, for example cancer or inflammations. Such processes injure the tissue so that fluid can leak through it.




Generally about edema treatment

By edema, the underlying disease must be determined and treated if it is possible. Often this is not possible to get totally rid of the disease, or the causal treatment takes a long time. In these cases treatment has to be directed against the edema itself. Treatment against edema as a symptom will also allway be useful when you wait for the result of the treatment for the underlying cause. By edema there is also nearly allways some lifestyle factors that are part of the cause. Therefore one should allways make necessary lifestyle changes.




Lifestyle advices to help against edema and other simple measures

Reducing the consume of salt is an effective advice if you have a high salt consume, since salt tend to cause water retention in the body.

Furnishing extra potassiom and magnesium in the diet may help. A right ballance between these to minerals and natrium which is the mineral in ordinary salt isimportant for the water ballance.

Hold the legs or other swallen body parts high during rest. Lying with elevated legs for some time is often effective against edema in the legs, including edema by pregnancy.

Change frequently position when you sit or lie.

Have some daily exercize adjusted to your health condition.This could be walking, cycling, swimming, running or any other sport activity where you use greater parts of your body. Doing regular stretching exercises or yoga is useful. By severe edema special therapeutic exercises should be prescribed by a professional.

Having a daily healthy diet that reduces inflammation and supports good digestion is an important measure. Such a diet is based on natural ingredients like vegetables, fruit, whole corn bread and cereals, fish, foul, nuts almonds and lean meat. The diet contains olive oil, flax oil, and other fat sources that give omega-3-fat and mono-unsaturated fat, but little of other types of fat.

Eating some fruit and vegatables to each meal is important. Citrus fruits are often reported to give good effects against edema. Fruits and vegetables with a high amount of calcium are also reported to help reduce edema, like: Apricots, avocados, bananas, cantaloupe, kiwi, lima beans, nectarines, spinach, sweet potatoes, raisins, pears, prunes and pumpkin

Have It is very important to take well care of the skin on body parts affected by edema. This skin has a poor fluid circulation and gets easily injured and the injuries will heal poorely. The skin must be cleaned well with daily wash. It should be moisturated with creams that gives moisture and elasticity. Anti-microbic creams or washes may be necessary. Sores must be cleaned well, disinfected and covered. Creams and washes to fulfill these purposes are found both in pharmacological and natural verisons.

 

Massage and physical treatment of Edema

Special kind of massage and physical therapies can be useful against edema, but they must be performed the right way or they can give the opposite result. Especially can hard massage that greatly increases the bloodflow to the swallen limb give the opposite result because the lymph system does not manage to drain the extra fluid thus furnished from the blood. Preferably such treatments should be done by a professional or after advice from a professional. if the body part is inflamed or injured you should not massage upon it at all.

You can try to massage very gently the swallen body part in the natural direction of the blood flow towards the heart. If the reaction is good and it helps against the swelling, you can proceed do to so regularly. If it does not help or it causes a worsening, it is not good to proceed.

Elastic stockings or gloves can be useful for edema in the limbs. These are to be used during the daily life.

Inflatable garment to keep the swelling down and help the circulation of lymph and blood back towards the heart is an option. One mounts the garment and lay resting some while with the equipment mounted.

Still another practical treatment are air pumps combined with inflatable garments that excert a pumping action around a limb and thereby help the flow back of lymph and blood. Complete decongestive therapy is a complete set of edema treatment techniques done by a professional person combined with self-care instructed by the professional. The techniques used are: Manual lymphatic drainage, compression bandaging, therapeutic exercise and skin care.




Treatment of edema with medicines or natural products

Fysicians will often prescibe diuretics to treat edema, those are drugs that incease the urine production and thus help the body to get rid of the extra fluid content.

Some coffee each day can increase the urine production and make the digestive system work faster, and that will help for edema. Too much coffee can however disturb the digestive process and give the opposite effect.

You also find on  the market herbal medicines that intend to help for edema by several actions: Improving the water and salt balance, stimulating the heart and blood vessels to work more dynamically, stimulating tissue repair in blood and lumph vessels and reducing inflammation.

Pycnogenol, an extract from the bark of the French Maritime pine has shown promising effects against edema according to scientific studies.

Some people report that a procedure called "oil pulling helps for edema. It consists of rinsing the mouth with one tablespoon of natural oil for 15-20 minutes and then spitting the oil out. It is done in the morning before eating. Sesame or sunflower oils are usually recommended for this use.




A serious case of edma, the type lymphedema, before treatment



A serious case of edma, the type lymphedema, after treatment




Herbal products to help for chronic or recurrent edema

On this site you will find natural products based on herbs, vitamins, minerals and anti-oxydants to help for chronic recurrent edema, or chronic swelling of body parts or greater body areas.

Please click at the banner or links to learn more or buy.

 

Herbal and nutritional products to help for edema - By edema there is an accumulation of fluid between the cells in the tissues of the body, and body parts or the wole body swells. This may be caused by fluid leaking out through the walls of the smallest blood vessels ( capillaries) into the area between cells.  This occurs by inflammation of various causes, for example by chronic infections or rheumatism. Edema may also be caused by impaired kidney function, by conjestive heart failur or by salt imbalances because of bad nutrition. These products help against edema by directly reducing the fluid leak through the vessel walls, by an inti-inflammatory action, by increasing the lokal blood circulation and by helping the excretion of urine.

Newton Rx Edema Formula #72 1 oz

Newton Rx Edema Formula #72 1 oz

Edema Formula #72 1 oz Ingredients: Apis mel. 10xCinchona 10xColchicum 10xConvalaria 10xDigitalis 10xEchinacea purp. 3xJuniperus com. 3x + 10xLachesis 10xLappa 3xMercurius viv. 10xNatrum carb. 10xNatrum sul. 10xSambucus nig. 3xSolidago 3xSirophanthus hisp. 10xTaraxacum 3xThuja occ. 10xUrtica ur. 3xAlcohol 15%Suggested Use: Adults take 6 drops one to four times daily or as directed by your health care provider. A child's dose is 2-3 drops.Warning:Safety sealed for your protection. Do not use if seal is broken or missing.




Dr. Venessa's Formulas Super Diuretic - 60 Tablets: HF

Dr. Venessa's Formulas Super Diuretic - 60 Tablets: HF

This effective formula is designed to help eliminate excess water weight quickly. Helps for problems such as water retention, bloating edema and gout.




HELP FOR INFLAMMATIONS AND EDEMA DUE TO INFLAMMATORY CONDITIONS - PYCNOGENOL - Pycnogenol is a anti-oxydative extract from the French marine pine tree bark. The substance has shown promising effects against edema, especially when linked to inflammatory processes. By clicking at the link you can also find other pycnogenol products with other concentrations.

Pycnogenol Veg Caps,100Mg 60 Cap: HF

Pycnogenol Veg Caps,100Mg 60 Cap: HF

Dietary Supplement Nature's Super Antioxidant Look, Feel, and Live Better French Maritime Pine Bark Extract May help maintain circulatory health.




BioMD Nutraceuticals Watershed Super Diuretic Formula

BioMD Nutraceuticals Watershed Super Diuretic Formula

Watershed™ Potassium Sparing Original Formula Super Diuretic Formula* Caffeine Free Stimulant Free For Quick Results Watershed™ Is Designed To Relieve The Discomfort And Bloating Which May Result From Simple Water Retention Or Edema. Watershed™ Is A Natural, Fast Acting Formula That Will Not Deplete Potassium Or Electrolytes Or Cause Caffeine Related Side Effects.* We Combine Potassium, Uva Ursi (Bearberry), And Parsley With A Botanical Blend Of Cornsilk Stylus, Couchgrass Rhizome, Rose Hips, Elecampane Root, Goldenrod, Celery Seed And Gentle Diuretic Blend.* * This Product Is Not Intended To Diagnose, Treat, Cure Or Prevent Any Disease.




HELP - QUERCETIN - to help for the health of the heart and the respiratory system - A good health in the heart and respiratory system will help to avoid or get rid of lymphedema. Several studies have linked a high intake of fruit rich in quercetin and other flavonoids with a good heart health, an improved lung function and a lower risk of certain respiratory diseases, such as asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, lung cancer. This product conatins extracts of the beneficial substances.

Please go here for Quercetin 250 mg 50 capsules: K





HELP FOR IRRITABLE BOWEL DISEASES causing gas production, constipation, cramps and inflated stomach - IBD is a functional disturbance in the colon function that causes a lot of symptoms, like excessive gas production, constipation, loose stool, cramps and as a consequence of these inflated stomach and swelling. This is a scientifically proven natural remedy against IBS



10 day cleanse package to help for insufficient digestive functions that cause accumulation of waste and swelling - Sometimes the whole digestive system works inefficiently and the colon is burdened with excessive content that only slowly is put through and processed, which also gives fellings of uneasyness in the whole body, distended stomach and tissue swelling. This cleaanse package is formulated to help in those cases.



Edema may also be caused by rheumatic diseases, to see a presentation of products to help for rheumatic diseases, please click here.




Good online shops where you can find lymphedema treatment tools and other medical equipment:

MedexSupply - Medical treatment products, among those also products to treat edema - In this store you can find many products to treat lymphedema for an affordable prize. There are consumer products like lymphedema sleeves. There are also equipment for special situations or proffessional use like extremity pumps with accessories.



This is also a great shop with products to aid people with any type of functional impairment - among these products for edema care. You can find all kind of products to help people that have functional diofficulties of various kind, for example difficulties caused by edema. You can also find products for treatment of conditions like edema.

These are made in different sizes and are made to cover variuos areas of the hands, arms, feet and legs, Here you can see some examples of these products. By clicking at any link you get into a larger store where you can browse for exactly that product you need. There are also exhibited a couple of products to hinder embolism. The products are fetched from the above presented online stores.

Among things you can fin in the above stores are lymphedema treatment pumps and inflatable garments to use together with the pumps. To do treatment with inflatable pumping garments you need one or more garments to use on the whole or parts of legs or arms, a pump with the capsity for the garments you choose, and tubing to connect the pump with the garments. You find all those things through these links or by clicking at the banners above.




Product examples - gloves, garments, bandages and stockings to treat edema or other conditions that require compression

By going through these product links you can find that variant and that size of the product that fits your need and also find other edema treatment products.

Sammons Preston Isoband Bandage, 15cm x 5m

Sammons Preston Isoband Bandage, 15cm x 5m

Features of the Sammons Preston Isoband Bandage: Finished edge and high cotton content (85% cotton, 15% cellulose) for superior comfort. Short stretch, longitudinally elastic with maximum stretch of 90% for high working pressure. Porous weave provides good ventilation to the skin. Can be sterilized, washed and dried flat without losing any of its properties. Latex free.




Medi-Rip Self-Adherent Bandage, 4 X 5 Yards, Box of 12

Medi-Rip Self-Adherent Bandage, 4 X 5 Yards, Box of 12

Medi-Rip? is a superior, self-adherent elastic support and compression bandage. Woven of 99% cotton yarn, it is absorbent, lightweight and comfortable to wear. Medi-Rip does not stick to skin or hair, and won't leave adherent residue. Scissors are not required as Medi-Rip tears easily to the desired length. Because it conforms easily to all body contours, Medi-Rip is easy to control and apply. For use in non-slip support and compression applications, edema reduction, relief bandaging of joint and other difficult-to-wrap areas, and as a replacement for adhesive tape and bandages in post-fracture treatment.




Smith & Nephew Edema Glove, Full Finger, Forearm Length, Right

Smith & Nephew Edema Glove, Full Finger, Forearm Length, Right

Features of the Smith & Nephew Edema Glove: Comfortable, economical gloves provide gentle compression to help control edema. Forearm length: 14" (36cm) - One size fits most adults. Washable. Seams are sewn outside of glove. Latex free.




Frank Stubbs Compression Arm Garment, Small

Frank Stubbs Compression Arm Garment, Small

Features of the Frank Stubbs Compression Arm Garment: Size Small: Shoulder to Shoulder Across back 10"-12", Around bicep 9"-10". Excellent for brachioplasty type surgeries. Constructed of Premium grade Soft-flex spandex with soft suede-like inside provides excellent compression and patient comfort. Unique adjustable design allows the doctor to adjust the level of compression on the upper arm area. The front of the garment has two adjustable contact closure straps for easy application, leaves breast exposed. Form fitting design can be worn under clothing. Latex Free.




Veronique Torso Brief Compression Garment, Zippered, X-Large, White

Veronique Torso Brief Compression Garment, Zippered, X-Large, White

Features of the Veronique Torso Brief Compression Garment: Zippered torso brief for targeted compression to the abdomen. Ideal for immediate postoperative wear. Targeted compression panels, side separating zipper with cotton guard tape, adjustable & detachable suspenders, cotton-lined crotch with adjustable hook & eye closure, and full posterior coverage. Made in the USA. Material: Strong, medium weight PowerNet fabric. All fabric is latex and formaldehyde free.




Frank Stubbs Compression Bra Garment, Beige, Size 34

Frank Stubbs Compression Bra Garment, Beige, Size 34

Features of the Frank Stubbs Compression Bra Garment: The Compression Bra is designed to provide proper support and compression during the post-operative process of breast augmentation surgeries. Created with premium white "Soft-Flex"? spandex and adjustable shoulder straps help create a soft and stable compression. And with front hook and eye closure as well as shoulder straps that can be unhooked, it allows for easy application by both patients and nurses. All bras come in standard sizes and fits B-C-D cups. Latex Free.




Knee Length Anti-Embolism Stockings - White Medium/Long

Knee Length Anti-Embolism Stockings - White Medium/Long

Designed to reduce venous stasis below the knee when thigh length styles are medically contraindicated. Correct graduated compression helps ensure optimum blood flow velocity. Inlay circumferential knit helps assure a proper pressure pattern and helps to prevent slippage.Contoured seamless construction eliminates harsh ridges which might cause constriction.




Anti-Embolism Thigh Length Stockings - White Small/Long

Anti-Embolism Thigh Length Stockings - White Small/Long

Correct graduated compression from ankle to upper thigh helps ensure optimum flood flow velocity. Inlay circumferential knit helps assure a proper pressure pattern and helps to prevent slippage. Contoured seamless construction promote comfortable fit without the constriction caused by harsh seams and ridges. Patented* interrupted band and functional gusset minimize stocking slippage without constricting circulation. Pressure break protects critical popliteal area and promotes free leg movement. Distinctive stitch pattern in knee area assists in correct positioning.




Flowtron Hydroven Fpr Pump, Misc Info Garments not included - Huntleigh Technology - HUN516003

Flowtron Hydroven Fpr Pump, Misc Info Garments not included - Huntleigh Technology - HUN516003

Sturdy, dependable pump is unsurpassed for enhancing lymphatic and venous flow. Lightweight and portable, distributes air sequentially to three garment compartments. Single control delivers distal to proximal, three chamber, sequential compression with two minute inflation/one minute deflation cycle time. Easy set-up for vetical or horizontal orientation, with bilateral compression capability. 1-year warranty, parts and labor.




Flowtron Hydroven 1 Intermittent Compression Garment, Size 26 in. - Huntleigh Technology - HUN5103L66

Flowtron Hydroven 1 Intermittent Compression Garment, Size 26 in. - Huntleigh Technology - HUN5103L66

Garment has single chamber with uniform compression. Soft and pliable, designed for maximum comfort. Prevents chafing and pinching. Full length zipper for easy use. Washable.





Help against other health problems

Nutrient and stimulants for sport and bodybuilding, and also a lot of products to prevent or be a help by specific health conditions - This is perhaps the most comprehensive shop on the net of products for nourishment and stimulation to use to build muscles and gain sport results. But the shop also has a huge variety of natural drugs to help for specific health problems. You are likely to find something tho help by ailments like these in this shop:

- Urinary tract infection, yeast infection, endometriosis, premenstrual syndrome, acne, vitiligo, aging symptoms, AIDS, allergies, Alzheimers disease/dementia, angina, arthritis (osteoarthritis), arthritis (rheumatoid arthritis), asthma, attention deficit disorder (ADD), bad breath, breast cancer, burns, carpal tunnel syndrome, cholesterol, cronic bronchitis, chronic cough, chronic fatigue sydrom, cognitive problems, colds and flue, congestive heart failure (CHF), intestinal inflammation, depression, diabetes. eczema, edema, fatigue, fibromyalgia, hair loss, herpes simplex, hyperlipidemia, hypertention, obesity, otitis media.




Cleansing and rejuvenation products for the skin - In this store you find topical and oral drugs for all kinds of skin problems and specific needs for the skin. You also find cosmetics for skin with special needs. There are also a lot of products to enhance bodily well-being and body cleansing.

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Please click here to see all health products



About the ingredients used in many products to help for edema

Magnesium- One study used magnesium to see if it could be helpful with edema in premenstrual women. The women participating reported a more significant reduction in swelling, weight gain, and bloating compared to the women taking placebo.

Potassium- One of the three major electrolytes in your body which may be helpful for edema by regulating the flow of fluids into and out of your tissues and cells.

Uva Ursi Ext.- Has been used worldwide as a diuretic while also supporting the kidneys and urinary tract.

Dandelion Ext- Has diuretic properties that may be helpful with edema. It is one of the few diuretics that does not create a potassium deficiency (much like the ones caused with prescription drugs).

Gingko Biloba- Has been used in edema centers to enhance circulation while improving blood flow.

Horse Chestnut- Studies report that horse chestnut may be able to reduce leakage of fluids from the capillaries caused by edema while promoting overall circulatory health. (4, 5) Buchu Extract.- A mild diuretic.



These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is nutritional in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. This notice is required by the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.