Dropsy Disease (Edema)

Signs and symptoms of dropsy disease are the arrows that guide a doctor to make an accurate diagnosis. It is symptoms like headaches and signs like red skin that together pinpoint the disease.

Besides pains and redness, another important feature that develops in the body as a result of an inflammation and many other causes is edema.

What is dropsy disease

Dropsy Disease

by Glen Bowman under CC BY-SA


Edema; formerly known as dropsy disease is an abnormal condition when fluid is accumulated beneath the skin in one or more of the body cavities. To check whether a place is our body is edematous, one must apply medium pressure using the tip of the finger in a place where there is the least amount of fat present.

The pressure should be applied for 30 seconds. After 30 seconds, the finger should be lifted, and the pressed area should be examined. If there is a pit formation, then it will prove that a person is having edema in that specific area of the body. Peripheral pitting edema, the more common type, results from water retention.

Pitting edema can be caused by systemic diseases, pregnancy in some women, either directly or as a result of heart failure, or local conditions such as varicose veins, thrombophlebitis, insect bites, and dermatitis.

But, on the other hand, it can be non-pitting edema. Such edema is caused due to “lymph-edema”, Lipoedema and myxedema. Generalized edema is caused when there is an increase in hydrostatic pressure, which results due to cardiac failure.

Other than a cardiac condition, dropsy disease can form due to malfunctioning liver or ionic imbalance, which results in disturbance of osmotic pressure. Generalized causes can result in edema in different locations at a time.

Another type of edema is organ specific. This means that edema will occur in a specific location as part of inflammation and/or infection. For example Pulmonary edema (lungs) occurs when the pressure in blood vessels in the lung is raised because of obstruction to remove blood via the pulmonary veins.

This is usually due to failure of the left ventricle of the heart. Common appearances of cutaneous edema are observed with mosquito bites, spider bites, bee stings, and skin contact with certain plants such as Poison Ivy. There are many other causes which result in many other signs and symptoms that include this disease, as well.

Whenever there is the formation of edema, six factors play an important role. Which are increased hydrostatic pressure; reduced oncotic pressure within blood vessels; increased tissue oncotic pressure; increased blood vessel wall permeability; obstruction of fluid clearance via the lymphatic system; and changes in the water retaining properties of the tissues themselves.

All the factors cause accumulation of fluid in specific areas of the body.

Now that we have agreed that edema or dropsy disease is not a disorder itself but merely a symptom of a disorder in our body. It is time to put forward the fact that it cannot be cured by any drug directly. The disease that causes edema has to be targeted. After the disease is gone, edema will also vanish gradually.

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