Edema refers to accumulation of excess of interstitial fluid resulting in enlargement and swelling of the affected organ. There are two basic types of edemas, with brawny edema being the more severe form. Brawny edema is non pitting edema (i.e. the pressure test doesn’t form an indentation) and is attributed to fibrotic changes that take place in the subcutaneous tissue along with the outer layer of the skin.
This condition can affect any part of the body, though in vast majority the brawny edema are observed to affect the lower extremities. In other cases, edema may be present on the arms and hand and occasionally on the face. The primary cause for the development of brawny edema is circulatory dysfunction. Some of the causes leading to circulatory dysfunction include,
- Chronic venous insufficiency due to conditions like varicose veins.
- Lymphatic obstruction caused due to conditions like Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
- Renal insufficiency caused due to renal conditions like nephritic and nephritic syndrome.
Brawny Edema Symptoms
Typically referred to as dropsy, brawny edema is characterized by swelling of the affected organ due to accumulation of fluids.
- At the affected site, use the thumb to pressure the skin over a bony surface. Ensure that the pressure is even and press for about 5 – 10 seconds. Typically one should select the skin overlying the tibia if the edema affects the lower extremity or the skin over the sacrum in case of lower back or hip.
- Release the pressure after 5 to 10 seconds.
- In cases of pitting edema, an indentation will be formed, which would usually rebound back to normal shape within a few seconds. However in case of brawny edema, no indentation is formed, due to fibrotic damage of the underlying tissue and skin.
Home Remedies For Brawny Edema
The treatment regimen of brawny edema depends upon the underlying cause. However, here are some important lifestyle and dietary tips that are helpful,
- Restrict the intake of salt in your diet. Sodium results in water retention and increases the fluid volume of the body. Avoid processed and refined foods as most of these foods contain preservatives in the form of sodium.
- A protein rich diet is recommended in individuals with brawny edema. Proteins can help improve the osmolarity of the blood, which in turn prevents the blood from extravagation into the interstitial space. Iron deficiency anemia is also linked with edema and hence a diet rich in green leafy vegetables, fresh fruits and nuts is important to address to deficiency of iron in the body.
- Keep your lower extremities elevated. Edema affects the lower extremities due to the inability of the blood to drain against gravity. It is important to raise the lower extremities above the level of the heart to improve circulation.
- Simple exercises of the calf muscles (in case of involvement of the lower extremity) or the arms (in case of involvement of the upper extremity) can help in drainage of venous blood and reduce interstitial edema.
- Homeopathic drug Arsenic Alb is also referred to as the homeopathic trocar. It helps in eliminating excess of water in the body, due to its diuretic effect and reduces edema.