Various parts of the body may swell up, from injury or inflammation, including our veins, arms and legs. This swelling is known as edema and is due to a build-up of fluid in the tissue. Unfortunately, edema can go undetected for some time before there is an onset of pain. However, the progression of edema can effectively be slowed down through the help of compression and therapy at early stages! With the help of our dossier, you can be equipped with the knowledge on how to recognise edema earlier, and how to manage it in different parts of the body.

Overview of types of edema

Oedema bauerfeind

A lipode in the thighs is also known as the saddleback syndrome.

Frequently asked questions / FAQs about Oedema

Oedema is a build up of retained water or other fluid within the body, most commonly in the soft tissue around your joints.

Oedema is caused by a range of factors, including long periods of immobility, genetic predisposition, traumatic injury, lymphatic or venous issues, and in more serious cases it can be caused by issues affecting the heart, kidney and liver.

In mild cases, it normally goes away on it's own. However, in more serious or chronic cases it can be treated with diuretics, compression garments and specialised massage.

In cases where oedema is not going away by itself, it can often be symptomatic of issues affecting your heart and veins. This is normally due to venous insufficiency or congestive heart failure, and if it isn't going away, it's important to seek medical advice.

There's no difference between the two apart from spelling. Oedema is the original spelling while edema is the Americanised spelling, but both mean the same thing.

While you can't completely stop it occurring, there are many things you can do to minimise fluid retention, including regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, changing your diet to cut out fat and sugars and focus on more plant based intake and wearing compression stockings while seated or standing for long periods of time.

Using medical grade compression garments on your ankles and lower legs helps to minimise swelling, and is best done in combination with exercise and stretching to get the muscles pumping and filtering the fluid out of the soft tissue.

Changing your diet can have a huge effect on oedema. Start by cutting down on foods high in saturated fat and salt, and start on a plant based diet with a focus on flavinoids (these are found in foods including berries, asparagus, tomatoes, lettuce and grapes).

While oedema is most common in the ankles and lower legs, it can affect the arms, hands, and in very serious cases the torso. If you find your fingers, hands or arms are swelling, or it's chronic across your legs, it's important to speak to your doctor about lymphemeda.

As your ankles are the furthest point from the centre of your body, it's harder for the muscles and veins to carry the fluid out of the soft tissue, while gravity is working against them. A lack of exercise or active movement as well as increased salt or fat in your diet can also contribute to this swelling in the ankles.