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There is always an underlying symptom for oedema.


Oedema means an accumulation of fluid in the tissues or organs. People suspect such an accumulation in the ankle areas and it is called as Pedal oedema. It is nothing to be alarmed about but your physician would do well to rule out the various causat ive factors to find the apt mode of treatment.

In ambulatory or mobile people if there is a swelling it is typically as the day progresses and when there is pressure in the ankle areas. There is relief after a period of rest but the relief diminishes as the day progresses. This fluid retention could occur in either both the lower limbs or only one which is also an indicator of any underlying condition. In cases of injury to any of the joints of the ankles or below it can lead to fluid retention and is easy to identify. In cases of even fracture of the bones, sprains and strains there is local inflammation and swelling which does not get relieved even with rest. There would be accompanying pain in the affected joints.

Speaking of painful conditions like arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis cannot be forgotten as the pain in the joints causes an inflammatory response in the body and there is extravasation of fluids in the areas. If only one joint is affected that particular side of the limb shows the swelling and vice versa.

Infectious diseases like filariasis etc. cause blockage of the lymph fluid upwards through the system and thereby cause a swelling which gets only worse as years progress. In such a swelling, there is no pitting of the area on pressure. If there is obstruction of the flow of the venous or impure blood from the vessels of the lower limb into the system due to lack of patency of the valves too there is an extravasation of fluid from the fine blood vessels leading to oedema. In conditions where there is infection of the underlying tissues due to injury like cellulitis there is a predominant swelling over the area until the healing is complete and is commonly observed in the diabetic population. In all the above cases it could be unilateral or occur in only one lower limb.

In conditions like kidney diseases there is accumulation of fluid in both the lower limbs so also in conditions of cirrhosis or degeneration of the liver. These can be identified by other accompanying features of the disease. In cases of malnutrition or diseases with loss of proteins in the urine too, oedema or the swelling is very prominent in the ankles to start with, and later increase in area even all over the body on some occasions. In the diseases of the heart when the amount of blood churned out on each beat is insufficient there is accumulation of the fluid. Even in conditions where the lungs are affected and they find it hard to purify the blood pumped from the heart each time there is an accumulation. Everytime there are accompanying features of the symptoms of the affected organ, which would help in further diagnosis.

Once the cause is identified appropriate measures of treatment can be followed up. In cases of venous congestion Ferrum met, Arnica, Hamamellis help improve the flow of blood. In cases of infectious diseases like filariasis further congestion can be avoided with remedies like Bryonia and Rhus tox. Sprains and strains are improved by Mag phos etc. which injuries to the bones when corrected can be healed rapidly with remedies l ike Symphytum. Infections like cellulitis come to heel faster with remedies like Merc sol and Secale cor.


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