The term edema refers to swelling in the body due to fluid retention. The swelling can be restricted to one area of the body, such as the ankles, or can include the entire body. The best edema treatment depends a great deal on what is causing the edema. Edema that has no known cause is called idiopathic edema. Edema can also be the result of heart and circulatory problems.
One of the first treatments recommended
for edema is to reduce the level of salt in the diet. A dietary salt
restriction may be all that is necessary for the edema to resolve
itself. It is also possible to reduce sodium levels in the body by the use of prescription diuretics. If your doctor prescribes diuretics, he will monitor you carefully to prevent side effects of the medication.
effective edema treatment that does not require medication is daily bed
rest. This is particularly effective if the edema is present only in
the legs. Lying with the feet slightly elevated may be all that is
necessary to reduce the presence of edema. Some doctors also dispense
elastic support stockings for patients that are suffering from edema.
There are a variety of herbal treatments and vitamin supplements that
can be used as an edema treatment. The effectiveness varies with the
individual, and it is important that these not be taken without first
discussing them with your physician. If you are taking prescription
diuretics or are suffering from heart failure induced edema, it is particularly important that your physician know everything that you are taking.
Magnesium is a vitamin supplement
that shows promise at reducing edema. Magnesium can be purchased on its
own, or as part of a multivitamin. It is a bulky vitamin, and it is
unlikely that you will find a multivitamin that has 100% of the
recommended daily amount of magnesium in it.
Evening primrose oil is a rich source of gamma linolenic acid, which
may work as an edema treatment for some people. Some researchers believe
that evening primrose oil’s effectiveness is increased by combining it
with fish oil
supplements. This combination is considered particularly effective for
treatment of edema that is associated with premenstrual syndrome.
Ginko biloba is an herbal supplement that is believed to support
circulatory health. Its positive effect on the circulatory system is
believed to decrease fluid accumulation associated with edema. Another
herbal supplement, horse chestnut, is also believed to support
circulatory health as well as prevent capillaries from leaking fluid
into the surrounding tissue. One final herbal supplement commonly used
as an edema treatment is dandelion leaf. It is important to realize that
dandelion leaf works as a diuretic, so people taking prescription diuretics should not use it.