Acquire the Ways to get rid of Edema


The treatment for edema involves altering one or more of the physical factors that regulate fluid movement. For example, in edema (pulmonary or systemic) secondary to heart failure, diuretic drugs are given to reduce blood volume and venous pressure. In heart failure patients, improving cardiac output by using cardiostimulatory or vasodilators drugs reduces venous and capillary pressures, thereby decreasing filtration and promoting reabsorption of fluid within. If a patient suffers from ankle edema, that person will be instructed to keep their feet elevated whenever possible (to diminish the effects of gravity on capillary pressure), use tight fitting elastic hose (to increase tissue hydrostatic pressure), and possibly be prescribed a diuretic drug to enhance fluid removal by the kidneys.

Morphine (Astramorph, Roxanol). This narcotic, for years a mainstay in treating cardiac pulmonary edema, may be used to relieve shortness of breath and associated anxiety. But some doctors believe that the risks of morphine may outweigh the benefits and are more apt to use other, more effective, drugs.

Herbs that stimulate the kidneys were traditionally used to reduce edema. Herbal diuretics do not work the same way that drugs do, thus it is unclear whether such herbs would be effective for this purpose. Goldenrod (Solidago cnadensis) is considered one of the strongest herbal diuretics.Animal studies show, at very high amounts (2 grams per 2.2 pounds of body weight), that dandelion leaves possess diuretic effects that may be comparable to the prescription diuretic furosemide Human clinical trials have not been completed to confirm these results. Corn silk (Zea mays) has also long been used as a diuretic, though a human study did not find that it increased urine output.18 Thus, diuretic herbs are not yet well supported for use in reducing edema.

The doses of these diuretics vary depending upon the clinical circumstances. These drugs can be given orally, although seriously ill patients in the hospital may receive them intravenously for more prompt or effective response. If one of the loop diuretics is not effective alone, it may be combined with an agent that works further down (more distally) in the tubule. These agents include the thiazide type diuretics, such as hydrochlorothiazide(HydroDIURIL), or a similar but more potent type of diuretic called metolazone (Zaroxolyn). When diuretics that work at different sites in the kidney are used together, the response often is greater than the combined responses to the individual diuretics (synergistic response).

Treatment of edema consists of reversing the underlying disorder (if possible), restricting dietary sodium to minimize fluid retention, and, usually, employing diuretic therapy.3 This approach highlights the need to establish a diagnosis and to use nonpharmacologic approaches when appropriate, rather than resorting to the immediate use of diuretics.

The three “Ds”–diuretics, digitalis, and diet–are frequently prescribed for medical conditions that result in excess fluid volume. Diuretics are medications that promote urination of sodium and water. Digoxin is a digitalis preparation that is sometimes needed to decrease heart rate and increase the strength of the heart’s contractions. One dietary recommendation includes less sodium in order to decrease fluid retention. Consideration of adequate protein intake is also made.

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