Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by lynn3811, Sep 21, 2008.
What does dependent edema mean?
I looked it up and they call it dependent edema if you have swelling/fluid retention in your feet, ankles or legs, or in you hands or arms. "Dependent" refers to it being in an apendage. Hope that helps!
by Ron Kennedy, M.D., Santa Rosa, CA
Swelling below the knees is called "dependent edema" which means water in the body is collecting at the lowest point -usually due to gravity - it is being pulled to that location.
If such a person were bedridden, for example, the fluid would collect on the side of the body usually in contact with the bed, the most "dependent" part.
What this means is that fluid is not staying inside cells but is going to the space between cells.
It has a differential diagnosis (meaning it could be any of these) as follows (in the order of frequency):
(1) calorie overload (overeating), especially of carbohydrates such as sweets, bread, pasta, potatoes, rice,
(2) kidney disease,
(3) heart disease,
(4) venous insufficiency.
In the case of venous insufficiency the effect is not due to "dependency" but rather to the fact the venous system has lost its tone and veins have enlarged in size thus rendering part of the one way valve system unable to prevent flow of blood backward.
Therefore fluid escapes from the capillary system into the space between the cells due to backward pressure.
Each of these conditions has proper treatment, but first you need proper diagnosis, then you must be in the hands of a doctor experienced in that type of problem.
In the case of kidney disease, you best see an internal medicine doctor, in the case of heart disease a cardiologist for diagnosis, but usually a nutritional medicine doctor for actual treatment, in the case of calorie overload a doc who practices nutritional medicine, and in the case of a venous problem, a sclerotherapist.
Talk with you physician about proper diagnosis and treatment.
Best of luck,
i am not overweight and when i have a flare. It scares me my legs and ankles are huge you can feel my pulse in them it is so tight. They hurt also.
I thought everybody was swollen when they had a flare?
I could not take it! it interfered or something and made me have terrible pain. I dont know if it interfered with my pain or what?
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