How To Reduce Body Swelling and What are Its Causes?

Body Swelling

The medical term for swelling is edema. Swelling can occur in any part of the body including the internal organs. It can also be widespread or localized. However, the swelling is mostly noticeable in feet, ankles, hands, neck, and face.

Edema or body swelling is classified based on the location and the part that is affected.

A swelling in the lungs is called pulmonary edema. The swelling in the face is called facial edema while the swelling of lymph nodes is called lymphedema.

Depending on the cause, swelling can be temporary and may resolve on its own. For instance, the swelling of the ankle is due to prolonged sitting or standing. Nonetheless, a swelling that builds up over time is an indication of a potentially serious ailment like a congestive heart failure. Chronic swelling can be a symptom of an underlying life-threatening condition. It is imperative that a patient seeks immediate medical attention.

Body Swelling Causes

Body swelling is generally a sign of excessive accumulation of fluids in the body.

It is also a sign of inflammation. Edema can have different causes such as diseases and conditions including:

  • Abnormal processes

  • Allergic reactions. This may include swelling of the hands and face because of severe allergic reaction. This may need immediate medical attention.

  • Malignancy such as cancers.

  • Trauma or injury to a specific body area. It may be accompanied by bruises.

  • Cardiac disorders like heart failure

  • Circulatory disorders

  • Infections which may occur under the skin or in a joint.

What are the Symptoms of Swelling

  • The feet or lower legs become larger when the person walks or sits.

  • The hands may feel tight when the person makes a fist

  • The rings on the hand may feel too tight

  • The abdomen may appear to be distended

  • Shortness of breath

How to Reduce Body Swelling

Treatment of swelling in the body varies according to its primary causes. Generally, treatment of edema includes a change in diet, consumption of medications especially diuretic to remove excess fluid, reduction of salt consumption, and healthy lifestyle. Diuretics are given to cause kidneys to expel more fluid and sodium, thereby, reducing edema.

Sometimes, an edema does not need treatment. Peripheral edema and ascites need gradual treatment to avoid the side effects of quick fluid loss like low blood pressure.

Other treatments include:

  • Compression stockings. This is effective if the edema is on the leg. Compression stockings come in different length including knee-high, pantyhose, and thigh-high.

  • Body positioning. To avoid edema in the feet, leg, and ankle, the legs can be elevated for several minutes. The elevation should reach above the heart level.

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