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What is pedal edema?

Pedal edema is the accumulation of fluid in the lower legs and feet. There are two mechanisms that can bring about pedal edema. Venous edema occurs due to enhanced capillary filtration as well as poor protein fluid retention into interstitial space from the venous system. Lymphatic edema is brought about by the dysfunction or the obstruction of the outflow of lymph from the legs. This results in the accumulation of fluid rich in protein in the legs. These mechanisms of fluid accumulation can occur together or independently.

What are the Pedal Edema Symptoms?

Pedal edema affects health adversely. Here is a roundup of the symptoms of the disease-

  • Pedal edema results in puffiness and swelling in feet, legs, and ankles.
  • Discomfort
  • Disturbance in gait
  • Reduced mobility
  • Enhanced risk of falling
  • Impairment of sensation in the foot
  • Cutaneous ulcers

It is important to visit a general physician immediately if you notice any of these pedal edema symptoms to get yourself treated.

What are the Pedal Edema Causes?

There are various causes of bilateral pedal edema such as:

How does Pedal Edema affect Elderly Adults?

Bilateral pedal edema generally occurs in older adults and it suggests the presence of an underlying systemic disease that must be addressed.  It is caused either by raised capillary filtration coupled with the retention of protein-poor fluid in the interstitial spaces or by obstructing the ‘lymphatic outflow’ from the legs. The presence of pedal edema in the older adults results in a decrease in mobility, disturbance in gait, impairment of sensation in the foot and the presence of cutaneous ulcers.

How is the Diagnosis of Pedal Edema Done?

With the help of physical examination by a general physician and history, if the cause of an edema cannot be identified, then a pedal edema specialist, whom you can get in touch at mfine, would suggest further tests. For ruling out a systemic disease, a full metabolic panel, complete blood count and urine analysis must be done by a cardiologist. The level of albumin below 2 gm/dl suggests edema caused due to malnutrition, liver or kidney disease. If pulmonary hypertension along with sleep apnea is suspected, an echocardiogram must be done.

How is Pedal Edema treated?

Pedal edema treatment depends a lot on the cause that brings about the edema. In certain cases, the edema is curative and can be managed by discontinuing the medication that brings about the edema. Pedal edema treatment is done for lowering the swelling by lowering capillary leakage and facilitating lymphatic drainage. A general practitioner is likely to prescribe non-pharmacological treatment comprising exercises, lymphatic massage and external graded compression for pedal edema.

Patients can avail online consultation with a renowned cardiologist at mfine and have their treatment done by an esteemed doctor.

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