Edema is a condition characterized by abnormal amounts
of excessive fluid (commonly water and sodium) buildup
in the body. Usually the buildup of fluid occurs in
the intercellular spaces, between the cells.
Edema usually occurs in the extremities, but it can
also occur (in very slight amounts) in the brain when
it is associated with allergies that cause the brain
to swell and manifest as headaches, memory problems,
learning disorders, or behavioral changes.
Symptoms of edema include bloating and swelling of the
face, fingers, hands, legs, and, in its later stages,
the abdomen. Symptoms may be very mild, causing rings
on your fingers to feel tight or your face to feel puffy,
or they may be severe enough to cause stretching and
shininess of your skin, as well as overall weight gain.
Small amounts of fluid buildup can also occur elsewhere
in the body, such as the spine (causing low back pain),
the lungs (mimicking asthma/bronchitis), and the knees
(mimicking arthritis), and should be a considered in
a wide variety of health problems that do not respond
to the normal treatments.
What To Consider
Edema can be caused by allergies, poor kidney excretion
or secondary kidney problems related to protein absorption,
vitamin B deficiencies, heart failure, or other liver
and kidney disorders. All of these factors must be screened
for and, if present, addressed, before long-term healing
of edema can occur.
Air travel, travel to a new climate, and/or stress can
also aggravate edema symptoms.
If fluid accumulation creates such stretching and bagginess
of your skin that pressure into it creating a "pit" - a
condition known as pitting edema - a Health Coach should be
consulted immediately as this may be a sign of a very
serious health problem.
Eat and organic, whole foods diet, and
avoid foods that tend to worsen edema symptoms, such
as caffeine, alcohol, salt, fried foods, milk and dairy
products, animal protein, sugar, processed grains, white
flour, chocolate, olives, pickles, tobacco, and soy
sauce. Whole grains and watery fruits and vegetables,
such as cucumbers, apples, potatoes, grapes, beets,
onions, cabbage, and citrus, should be a regular part
of your diet because these foods can help reduce fluid
buildup and retention.
For a chronic edema conditions, also be sure to include
diuretic foods in your diet such as celery, carrot,
parsley, cilantro, cranberries, pomegranate, corn, barley,
rye, and adzuki beans.
The following nutrients are all helpful when seeking
to prevent or reduce edema symptoms: vitamin B complex,
vitamin B6, vitamin C, pantothenic acid, and potassium.
Free-form amino acids and alfalfa tablets can also be
Massage juniper, rosemary, geranium, or fennel essential oils onto the
areas of the body that are most affected by fluid buildup.
herbs can help alleviate the symptoms of edema. One
such herb is dandelion leaf, which is also a rich source
of potassium. Dandelion helps replace the potassium
that is flushed from the body via diuresis. Take one
teaspoon of dandelion tincture three times a day, or
an infusion of the fresh leaves three to five times
a day. Horse-chestnut seed extract can also be helpful.
Contrast application (hot and cold water packs, changed six to eight times
during each treatment).
To help reduce swelling and fluid buildup, drink ears, pineapple, watermelon,
and cranberry juice. Cucumber, parsley, celery, carrot,
and dandelion is another helpful juice combination for
If your symptoms persist despite the above measures,
seek the help of a qualified health professional.
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