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Why Is My Body Swollen?

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Swelling is a common way for an illness to present itself. If a person is in their first five years of existence, they will swell at some point in their lifetime. Learn more about the factors that contribute to swelling and the things you may take to reduce edema's symptoms.

What Causes Body Swelling?

There are various causes of body swelling and lets try to summerise them:

Various Causes and Forms of Body Swelling

Edema is the term for an excessive buildup of fluid in interstitial tissue spaces. Edema can either be widespread or limited. The retention of excessive fluid in tissues, which leads to an increase in total body fluids, is the cause of widespread edema.

This extra fluid is brought on by fluid transudation into tissue gaps, fluid accumulation in cells, and fluid volume expansion in the venous and capillary sides of the circulation.

In addition to the retention of water, sodium and chloride are also retained. You will experience peculiar heaviness and tightness in an edematous condition. Normal wrinkles are completely eliminated, and the skin is stretched and lustrous.

Veins on the surface become less noticeable. Pitting on pressure, or when pressure is applied to an area that has edema, causes the fluid to be displaced and forms a dimple. The test is carried out by applying light pressure over a bony area for ten seconds using the flat of the thumb.


 Why Is My Body Swollen

Generally Edematous

Causes of widespread swell (Edema)

Heart (Cardiac) failure Generalized edema and systemic venous congestion are symptoms of right-sided heart failure. The edema is dependant in nature, meaning it is most noticeable in the lowest-lying areas.

The edema in ambulant subjects is most severe over the ankles and feet (pedal edema), and it gets worse as the day wears on. With recumbence, it disappears. Edema over the sacrum is especially noticeable in people who are confined to beds. Nocturnal polyuria is a primary sign of widespread fluid retention.

The fluid that builds up during the day is eliminated at night as a result of an increase in cardiac output. The edema gets permanently established as the illness worsens.

The edema disappears and the urine output rises with diuretic medication. Other heart failure symptoms including exertional dyspnea, an engorged jugular, and hepatic enlargement coexist with cardiac edema. Pulmonary congestion and edema occur in the early stages of left-sided heart failure. Later, widespread edema emerges and right heart failure becomes more severe.


Causes of acute renal disorders include generalized edema, which is a common comorbidity ( nephrotic syndrome and nephrotic syndrome). Edema is particularly noticeable across the eyelids and face in acute nephritic syndrome, especially when waking up from sleep. The edema in nephrotic syndrome is reliant and brought on by hypoalbuminemia.

Hypoalbuminemia: The main component of the plasma's colloid osmotic pressure, which is what pulls fluid from the tissue gaps into the venous end of capillaries and lymphatics, is serum albumin. Additionally dependent in nature is this kind of edema.

Generalized edema is caused by chronic liver dysfunction and hypoalbuminemia.

Congestive cardiac failure (CCF) with widespread edema can result from beriberi (caused by thiamine deficiency).


NOTE: Ascites and pleural effusions can appear when widespread edema has progressed. It is a transudate fluid. The effusions are also clear as the edema has subsided. In addition to hypoalbuminemia, cirrhosis of the liver also has portal hypertension, which has the tendency to concentrate fluid in the abdominal cavity in particular.


Regional Edema

Unlike generalized edema, which affects the entire body, localized edema only affects that area of the body where fluid has accumulated.

Localized Edema's Root Causes

Edema and swelling are essential components of inflammation, which causes inflammatory edema. A number of variables (both cellular and humoral) cause the arteries to get congested and the capillaries to become more permeable, which causes a significant amount of fluid and cells to exude into the tissue and become protein-rich.

This protein-rich fluid increases tissue fluid's osmotic pressure, providing resistance to reabsorption into capillaries. The edematous areas are not painful when there is global edema. Warm to the touch, erythematous, and painful to the touch are all characteristics of inflammatory edema.

Blood vascular or lymphatic obstruction: Venous obstruction causes an increase in capillary pressure distal to the obstruction. Greater amounts of fluid transude as a result of this. Edema distal to the obstruction also results from lymphatic obstruction. Due to its high protein content, lymph (the fluid in lymph nodes) tends to raise the osmotic pressure of the edema fluid.

Reduced tissue tension: Collagen-rich normal skin and subcutaneous tissue maintain an elastic tension that prevents fluid from freely accumulating in the interstitial compartment.

Emaciation and aging cause the skin, subcutaneous tissue, and fat to atrophy, which lowers tissue tension and encourages the buildup of extra tissue fluid. Edema has a tendency to arrange itself if it lasts for a long time because to the proliferation of fibroblasts. It is firmer and does not easily pit under pressure at this stage, such as in filarial edema.

An buildup of fluid in the skin and subcutaneous tissue is known as lymphedema. The skin has indurated and thickened generally. The skin takes on the appearance of an orange peel when pinched (Peau-de-orange appearance).


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