When we talk about the human body we are basically dealing with something that is literally infinite in terms of studies, because what is known is a lot and new things are discovered every day.
That's why you never stop learning about it. Today I would like to socialize a subject that is a very common sign of different diseases of both cardiac and renal origin, as well as the consumption of some medications or eating problems, I am referring to Edema.
I think it is a clinical situation that has been known to many people, but the reasons are usually very varied to tell the truth, part of the main reasons and how it is caused is what I am going to share below, keep reading, I will do my best to I can understand everything very clearly.
As a general rule, edema occurs when there is a problem in one or more of the mechanisms that our body is constantly running to keep the water where it should be.
Let us keep in mind that this is never only achieved in one way, but that there are many processes involved in it. We could say that when there is a slight failure of one, the rest of the mechanisms can compensate, but when the failure is very large, it is expressed in the form of edema, or what is the same, an accumulation of fluid in areas where there should not be such accumulation.
These forms of water balance are given by:
- Concentration of hormones and electrolytes.
Here we talk about kidney hormones such as aldosterone. Also cortisol (adrenal gland). These have a very important role in the control of electrolytes in the body, especially in the balance of sodium and chlorine, which are almost always together and are capable of attracting water to themselves.
- Also the amount of protein that we have in the blood will keep the water inside the blood vessels and not outside them. Proteins such as albumin, among many others, but mainly this first one, have different functions in our body, but one of them, one of the most important, is that it keeps water in the blood vessels, forming part of the blood.
These proteins are formed at the level of the liver, which makes it easy for us to see that when there is a problem at the level of the liver, we will most likely have a deficit in the production of albumin, which will make that force that retains water inside the arteries and veins is gone, and will allow it to escape to the outlying areas.
Also diseases at the level of the blood vessels themselves, such as what I have recently explained in this post post, where I talked about what deep vein thrombosis was.
Problems in the lymphatic system (vessels or lymph nodes). Bearing in mind that the lymph flows through the lymphatic vessels, which is the equivalent of blood in the arteries and veins, but in this case it is a liquid
- Renal failure causes the amount of blood circulating in our body to be much higher, and due to an effect similar to the aforementioned, it can produce edema.
- Heart failure can also be a cause of edema. This is explained by the fact that the heart cannot pump all the blood efficiently, which causes the blood that is directed to this organ that functions as a pump to begin to slow down the flow of blood through the veins, which causes to accumulate in those blood vessels, increasing the pressure and causing the water contained in it to flow out.
As you can see, the causes are really many, but the way in which the disease is expressed is the same,
and it's what defines it, "water accumulation in areas where it shouldn't accumulate". These particularly can be even at the level of the lungs, of the retina, which will cause a variety of symptoms according to the affected area. That is, if we talk about pulmonary edema we will have the presence of a very pronounced difficulty breathing.
If we have edema at the level of the retina, the complication can range from difficulty seeing to complete loss of vision if the condition lasts for a long time.
But the presentation that most frequently occurs is the one that we can see at the level of the legs and feet, which can cause no more than slight discomfort, or even be very painful and annoying, with fluid leaking through the skin if the edema is very pronounced.
It is also relatively common to see this expression in people with kidney problems, where there is loss of protein, and something very characteristic is that in the morning, when they wake up, they usually have edema at the level of the eyelids, and as the day goes by, this becomes less evident or disappears, but is much more visible on the feet.
In this case, there is no specific solution for each of the cases, because as you can see, the possible causes are many, which means that each patient must be seen individually. Because for example, if a person has a heart problem that causes edema, their serum protein levels will surely be normal, unlike a person who has nephrotic syndrome.
In the second case, the use of steroids and protein transfusion will be of great benefit, but in the one with the heart problem it could even be fatal.
Each person is different, in the same way, even when the same disease is presented by two or more people, its expression will be different.
Edema is relatively common, even a person in a very hot temperature and who remains standing or sitting for a long time, even without having any health problems, could present mild edema. This is classified according to the areas that it affects and the permanence of the trace that remains when pressure is applied to the affected area, a trace that is called fovea. I have omitted these classifications to avoid complications, since the idea is that they have a notion of what What happens and the causes.
I hope you have a better vision of what edema is, any questions or suggestions can be left in the comments.