Pedal edema is the fluid accumulation in the lower legs and feet. There are two mechanisms that can bring about pedal edema. The venous edema occurs due to enhanced capillary filtration as well as poor in protein fluid retention into interstitial space from venous system. The 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.
Pedal Edema Symptoms
Pedal edema affects health adversely. Here is a roundup of the symptoms of patients suffering from pedal edema.
- Pedal edema results in puffiness and swelling in feet, legs, and ankles.
- Disturbance in gait
- Reduced mobility
- Enhanced risk of falling
- Impairment of the sensation in the foot
- Cutaneous ulcers
Pedal Edema Causes
There are various causes of bilateral pedal edema such as follows:
- Pulmonary Hypertension
- Venous Insufficiency
- Gastrointestinal Disorders
- Liver Disease
- Heart failure
Pedal Edema in Elderly Adults
Bilateral pedal edema generally occurs in the older adults and it suggests the presence of an underlying systemic disease that must be addressed. The presence of the pedal edema in the older adults results in a decrease in mobility, disturbance in gait, impairment of the sensation in the foot and the presence of the cutaneous ulcers.
Diagnosis of Pedal Edema
With the help of physical examination 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 the 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.
Understanding Pedal Edema
Pedal edema is commonly seen in the older adults and reflects an underlying systemic disease. 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.
Pedal Edema Treatment
Treatment of pedal edema 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. Treatment is done for lowering the swelling by lowering capillary leakage and facilitating lymphatic drainage. Pedal edema can be treated by non-pharmacological treatment comprises of exercises, lymphatic massage, external graded compression.
Patients can avail online consultation with a renowned cardiologist at mfine and have their treatment done by an esteemed doctor.
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