Cause Of Peripheral & Pedal Oedema

See what are the causes of Oedema. Don't get panic if you Oedema just go through this blog and rule out the different causes of it.


See what are the causes of Oedema. Don't get panic if you Oedema just go through this blog and rule out the different causes of it.




Oedema is swelling which is caused by excess fluid trapped in your body's tissues. Although oedema can affect any part of your body. If it happens in lungs then it is known as Pulmonary oedema, if it is in brain then it is called Cerebral oedema, if in periphery and lower limbs it is known as peripheral and pedal oedema. Sometimes there may be oedema in lymph node due to surgery and post radiation (for Cancer patients) which is known as Lymphedema. Macular oedema happen due to fluid builds up in a part of your eye called the macula.1


Here we are going to discuss more about peripheral & pedal oedema.

There may be several cause for oedema, try to rule out the different causes one by one.

Kidney – go for routine urine test to rule out whether it is due to Kidney or not. If albumin, RBC or cast present then think of further kidney testing. Otherwise rule out the possibilities of oedema due to kidney. Damage to the tiny, filtering blood vessels in your kidneys can result in nephrotic syndrome. In nephrotic syndrome, declining levels of protein (albumin) in your blood can lead to fluid accumulation and oedema. 2

Liver – Swelling also can happen if there is liver cirrhosis. If cirrhosis happens then liver unable to generate albumin, which helps in retention of water in body. So absent of albumin in blood stream cause the diffusion of water in periphery from blood stream. Albumin helps in sustaining water in blood.


Heart disease - If you have congestive heart failure, one or both of your heart's lower chambers lose their ability to pump blood effectively. As a result, blood can back up in your legs, ankles and feet, causing oedema. Congestive heart failure can also cause swelling in your abdomen. Sometimes, this condition can cause fluid to accumulate in your lungs (pulmonary oedema), which can lead to shortness of breath.2 If the oedema is related to cardiac issues it shows as pitting oedema. So press your finger in the site of oedema and release the pressure, if the visible marks not going after releasing the pressure then it is pitting oedema.


See the reference for testing of pitting oedema -

Oedema Scale -

Thyroid problem - Hypothyroidism is sometimes associated with oedema. If hypothyroidism patient complaint of oedema then you have to rule out the kidney function for albumin.

Lymphatic System - Weakness or damage to veins in your legs. If you have chronic venous insufficiency, the one-way valves in your leg veins are weakened or damaged, which allows blood to pool in your leg veins and causes swelling. Sudden onset of swelling in one leg accompanied by pain in your calf muscle can be due to a blood clot (deep vein thrombosis, or DVT) in one of your leg veins. If this occurs, seek medical help immediately.2

Less blood count - In patients with oedema caused by chronic severe anaemia there is retention of salt and water, reduction of renal blood flow and glomerular filtration rate, and neurohormonal activation similar to that seen in patients with oedema caused by myocardial disease. However, unlike patients with myocardial disease, patients with anaemia have a high cardiac output and a low systemic vascular resistance and blood pressure.3 so less Hb concentration on blood may cause oedema.

Medication - Some medication may cause Oedema, it can varry in individuals.

  • High blood pressure medications

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

  • Steroid drugs

  • Estrogens

  • Certain diabetes medications called thiazolidinediones.

  • Calcium channel blocker

  • Some medication for Parkinsonism

Other cause -

  • Sitting or staying in one position for too long

  • Eating too much salty food

  • Having premenstrual signs and symptoms

  • Being pregnant (mostly pitting oedema)

References:

  1. https://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/heart-failure/edema-overview

  2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/edema/symptoms-causes/syc-20366493

  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8217445/

  4. https://www.healthline.com/health/pitting-edema#diagnosis

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