Edema is swelling caused by too much fluid trapped in the body's tissues. Edema can affect any part of the body. It most often occurs in hands, arms, ankles, legs, and feet. However, it can also affect muscles, bowel, lungs, eyes, and brain. Edema can affect anyone. Medicines and pregnancy can also cause edema. There are different causes and types of edema. For example, pulmonary edema affects the lungs, while pedal edema causes swelling in the feet. Edema usually starts slowly, but onset can be sudden. It is a common condition, but it can also be a sign of a serious condition such as congestive heart failure, kidney disease, venous insufficiency or cirrhosis of the liver.
The key types of edema include: Peripheral, pulmonary, and cerebral edema.
Edema can result from circulatory problems, infection, tissue death, malnutrition, total body fluid overload, and electrolyte problems. There are many other potential causes of edema including dietary ones such as:
Consuming too much salt
Malnutrition, wherein edema can result from low protein levels in the blood
a low intake of vitamin B 1, B 6, and B5
Some foods and insect bites may cause edema of the face or skin in people who have allergies or sensitivities to them. Some extremity-related causes of edema include:
Blood clot: Any blockage, such as a clot in a vein, can prevent the blood from flowing. As pressure increases in the vein, fluids start to leak into the surrounding tissue, causing edema.
Varicose veins: These usually occur because valves become damaged. Pressure increases in the veins, and they start to bulge. The pressure also increases the risk of fluids leaking into the surrounding tissue.
Cyst, growth, or tumor: Any lump can cause edema if it presses against a lymph duct or vein. As pressure builds up, fluids can leak into surrounding tissue.
Some other possible causes of edema include: Prolonged immobility, living high altitude, burns and sunburn, infection or inflammation, birth control pills, menopause. thyroid disease.
Mild edema usually goes away on its own. Wearing compression garments and raising the affected arm or leg higher than the heart, being more mobile, and reducing salt in the diet often relieves edema. Treating the cause of the swelling is often the focus over time. If edema is a result of medicines, for example, a care provider might change the dose or look for another medicine that doesn't cause edema. There are holistic ways of treating edema too. One simple way is the use of colour therapy.
How colour therapy helps
Colours are not present in nature just to please. There is a complex and in-depth relationship we have with colour. This psychodynamic relationship profoundly influences our thoughts, actions and ultimately our health and well-being. This relationship has evolved from our earliest ancestors, and ever since colour has defined our perception of ourselves, others and the world around us through the course of our individual and collective evolution. Let us explore what it means to experience positive health and well-being through colour. Since edema is our subject this week:
For those suffering from edema in the leg and ankles draw a light blue colour thick line with a sketch pen or marker on the index finger of the right hand, back side; start from the joint of the finger up to the bottom of the nail. Repeat the treatment everyday till the swelling vanishes.
In case of treatment for edema in other parts of the body: Draw a thick line with a sketch pen or marker in light blue colour around all the three joints of the index finger of the right hand. In case you have a ribbon of about half-inch width, you can wrap it all around each of the joints and tape it with adhesive tape to keep it in position.
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