Edema - Symptoms, Treatments, Homeopathic Remedies
Using Homeopathy for Edema, Dropsy and Swelling
A general condition, edema (also called dropsy, and also sometimes spelled oedema) is observable swelling in various parts of the body due to fluid trapped in the body's tissues. Frequent areas for such swelling include ankles, knees, legs, wrists, feet, hands, below the eyes, and on the torso. When it occurs in the feet and legs it is called peripheral edema. When fluid builds up in the lungs' interstitial tissues, the condition is called pulmonary edema. "Pitting edema" indicates that an impression remains after an edemic area is pressed.
Edema is the retention of excessive fluids under the skin in the spaces within tissues - the interstitial spaces around cells and blood vessels or the body cavities called ascites (in the case of liver disease, for example). In general terms, it indicates that the fluids of the body are out of balance. Common causes include injury or infection (when the edema is limited to a particular area); blockage of blood supply; problems with the kidney, liver, or heart (including congestive heart failure); pregnancy; premenstruation; allergic reactions; and side effects to medications. Merely sitting in one place too long can cause swelling, as can eating too much salty food.
The biological mechanism underlying edema is that capillaries (minute blood vessels) leak fluid due to a lowered level of a certain blood protein or to increased pressure, and this leakage signals the kidneys to retain higher levels of water and sodium to make up for the lost liquid. With more fluid thereby circulating, the capillaries leak even more and cause surrounding tissues to swell.
Indications of edema might include rings, bracelets, or shoes fitting more snugly; stretched or shiny skin; bloated belly; increased abdominal size; or problems bending a joint. If not treated, edema can cause stiffness or difficulty walking, pain, risk of infection, scarring, fibrous deposits, impaired circulation, and risk of ulceration.
Conventional Treatment Treats the Symptoms Not the Cause
Treatment for edema varies widely, based on the reasons for the swelling. With serious edema diuretic therapy is often initiated, and this alleviates the swelling in many cases. The heavy, potent guns - loop diuretics (because they work in a looplike part of the kidney) are generally called for: furosemide (Lasix), torsemide (Demadex), or butethamine (Bumex). These may be administered orally or intravenously, depending on the severity of the health situation. Doctors often counsel edema sufferers to limit their intake of salt.
Because edema - particular pulmonary edema - can indicate potentially serious or even life-threatening conditions such as heart failure, we urge anyone to consult with their physician when they notice significant retention of fluids, whether or not they think they know the root cause. Indications of pulmonary edema include shortness of breath, chest pain, and difficulty breathing. Some other serious maladies that edema can indicate include congestive heart failure, cirrhosis, kidney disease or damage, chronic venous insufficiency, and inadequate lymphatic system.
However, allopathic medicine is not aimed principally at restoring overall systemic balance but rather to treat symptoms and acute conditions. Homeopathy is especially useful for addressing the underlying problems and imbalances that can be the source of the afflictions that lead to edema.
Homeopathy Matches Your Individual Symptoms to a Homeopathic Remedy So You Feel Better Right Away
Common homeopathic remedies for edema include Apis mellifica, Acetic acid, Apocynum Cannabinum, Arsenicum, Calcarea carbonica, Bovista, Digitalis, Ferrum metallicum, Graphites, Helleborus, Kali carbonicum, Lachesis, Ledum palustre, Lycopodium, Natrum muriaticum, and Pulsatilla. The choice of a remedy will depend on numerous factors, including the underlying disorder, where the puffiness appears, the patient's physical build, the presence of digestive bloating, degree of thirst, urine, stools, and much more. A skilled homeopathic practitioner will select a remedy that will alleviate the swelling as well as address the underlying condition causing the edema.