An individual has pitting edema if there is an indentation if the swollen area is pressed. In case there is enough fluid and it is responsible for the swelling; the edema will pit.
This is either brought about by a local issue with the veins in the affected site or a systemic issue with the kidney, heart or liver function. If an individual develops this type of edema, a doctor must be seen to determine the root cause.
The swelling in the body can cause the skin to tighten. The enlarged limb might also feel heavy due to the buildup of excess fluid. Aside from the swelling, pitting edema can be accompanied by:
- Chest pain
- Abnormal cough
- Heart murmur
- Shortness of breath
- Reduced stamina
- Low blood protein particularly in cases if the swelling is in the abdomen
Management of pitting edema
Depending on the root cause, the treatment might include the following:
- Raising the swollen limb
- Venous vascular procedures
- Wearing of compression stockings if the cause is chronic
- Diuretics are given if the cause is brought about by congestive heart failure or kidney or liver disease
Staying active is one way to prevent pitting edema. Avoid being seated for prolonged periods of time.
If working at a desk, take some time to stand up and move around even for a few minutes every hour. Remember that exercises promote the flow of blood which can help lessen the swelling.
What is the outlook?
Pitting edema is considered common and can be treated. It should not result to any lasting issues but seeing a doctor is a must for proper diagnosis and treatment.