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- How to Treat Edema
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- Painless Swelling in Ankles and Feet
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Here are 5 effective edema products to get rid of water retention.
by Leo Akin
Edema is the medical term used for the abnormal accumulation of fluid in interstitial spaces of tissues. There are several edema products that you may use to get rid of fluid retention, and reduce the pain and swelling associated with this condition.
Identifying the actual cause of water retention is the first step of treatment for edema. Once the underlying cause is identified, your health care provider may prescribe diuretics and recommend some other edema products.
Diuretics, also known as water pills, are used to treat edema.While there are a few over-the-counter brands of water pills, there are some stronger pills that are only avilable through prescription.
There are three classes of diuretics for edema: loop diuretics, potassium-sparing diuretics, and thiazide diuretics.
Some of the most-used diuretics for reducing edema symptoms include: Aldactone (Spironolactone), Lasix (Furosemide), Chlorothiazide, Thalitone (Chlorthalidone), Triamterene, Spironolactone, Osmitrol, Midamor, Metolazone, Methyclothiazide, Indapamide, Hydrochlorothiazide Triamterene, and Zaroxolyn.
Though most of these diuretics are FDA approved, you must consult with a health care provider to determine the right medication and dosage for you.
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Each of the three classes of diuretics has its advantages and disadvantages.
Loop diuretics, such as Furosemide or Lasix, are recommended for edema patients who are also suffering from renal impairment, liver cirrhosis, heart failure and nephrotic syndrome.
However, they are not recommended for patients suffering from renal insufficiency due to reduced blood flow to the kidneys. They are also affected by concurrent administration of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen.
If a loop diuretic must be used in patients also receiving NSAIDs or those with renal insufficiency, it is paired with a thiazide diuretic to improve the overall diuretic effects.
Thiazide diuretics produce lesser urine volume than loop diuretics. Unlike loop diuretics which act at the ascending arm of the loop of Henle, thiazides act at the distal convoluted tubules of the nephron.
While promoting the loss of sodium ions and water, both thiazide and loop diuretics also cause potassium loss. However, thiazides promote the reabsorption of calcium ions while loop diuretics flush calcium away with sodium, potassium, magnesium and water.
Still, thiazides are not recommended for pregnant women. They are also not recommended for patients who also suffer from gout since thiazides promote the accumulation of uric acid.
Similarly, diabetics are to avoid thiazide diuretics since it interferes with glucose control.
Potassium-sparing diuretics improve upon the common disadvantage of loop and thiazide diuretics: the loss of potassium.
Potassium ions are essential for a number of biological processes and their loss in the kidney nephrons is simply collateral damage since they share the same transporter with sodium. The symporter (a transporter complex) that reabsorbs sodium is also used to reabsorb potassium. However, when diuretics inhibit this transporter, both sodium and potassium ions are flushed away with urine.
Potassium-sparing diuretics, however, do not act on this symporter. Instead, they produce their diuresis through other means.
There are two types of potassium-sparing diuretics: the aldosterone antagonists and the sodium channel blockers. Spironolactone is an example of aldosterone antagonists while amiloride is a sodium channel blocker.
Spironolactone inhibits the activity of aldosterone which is released by the renin-angiotensin system. This system is activated to retain fluids in the body. Its last step is the release of aldosterone. By blocking aldosterone, spironolactone promotes diuresis without prompting the loss of potassium.
Amiloride simply blocks sodium channels instead of the sodium/potassium symporter. By doing this, it still prevents the reabsorption of sodium while promoting diuresis and sparing potassium.
Calcium is also an essential nutrient in the body which is sometimes lost to the diuretic actions of some of these drugs. However, both potassium-sparing and thiazide diuretics spare calcium. Therefore, they are also sometimes referred to as calcium-sparing diuretics.
Taking certain vitamin supplements might help relieve your edema. Calcium is also known to help with the fluid exchange in your body, and can promote the excretion of fluid from body tissues.
It has been found that a deficiency of vitamin B, potassium and magnesium might also cause edema. Hence, supplementing your body with these vitamins and mineral might help reduce edema.
Many people prefer using herbs having diuretic properties to treat edema. There are several herbs that are known to be effective in reducing edema.
Dandelion root is a natural and effective diuretic that may be helpful with edema. It is one of the few diuretics that does not create a potassium shortage.
The diuretic action of dandelion is believed to be due to taraxasterol. Dandelion is a powerhouse of essential micronutrients. It contains vitamins A, C, E, K and most of the members of B complex. It also contains calcium, iron, manganese and potassium.
Since dandelion contains potassium, it is sometimes recommended alongside loop and thiazide diuretics to help supplement for the potassium ions washed away by those diuretics.
Horse chestnut is an effective herb, known to reduce swelling and improve blood flow. Studies report that it may be able to decrease leakage of fluids from the capillaries, caused by edema while promoting overall circulatory health.
The diuretic action of horse chestnut is attributed to its aescin and aseculin content. Aesculin produces its diuretic effect on the kidney and promotes sodium and potassium loss.
Aescin, on the other hand, prevents fluid retention in the connective tissues and reduces the permeability of blood vessels so that fluids do not leak out into interstitial spaces.
To seal off blood vessels, aescin inhibits the enzymes hyaluronidase and elastase. These two enzymes are responsible for the breakdown of the mucopolysaccharides that make up the walls of blood vessels.
Ginkgo biloba’s ability to improve blood circulation, makes it an effective natural remedy for edema.
Compression stockings can help reduce water retention in your limbs. This therapy works by compressing the vessels in your arms and legs. This helps counteract gravity, which may be responsible for fluid retention in your tissues.
Special support stockings are available at many pharmacies and medical supply stores. If you are experiencing edema in your arms and would like to wrap them, you may use any type of compression bandage.
You may consider using Capisette, an effective natural remedy for fluid retention. This is a unique supplement designed specifically for reducing swelling caused by edema. It contains powerful herbs such as dandelion extract, horse chestnut, ginkgo biloba, and buchu extracts.
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Capisette helps with reducing swelling and reducing edema by providing your body with the electrolytes needed to restore proper fluid tranfer in your cells. It then gets rid of excess fluid with natural diuretics.