Symptoms of peripheral edema include swelling of the affected area(s), which causes the surrounding skin to "tighten." The swelling from peripheral edema is gravity-dependent (it will increase or decrease with changes in body position). In the case of pulmonary edema, there is often no evidence of fluid retention or noticeable swelling on examination of the patient's extremities. Lymphedema is the swelling of one or more of the legs and arms caused by poor function of the lymphatic system.
Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape Congestive Heart Failure and Pulmonary Edema »Congestive heart failure (CHF) is an imbalance in pump function in which the heart fails to adequately maintain the circulation of blood. Most commonly, pitting oedema develops secondary to increased venous pressure but it can also result from reduced oncotic pressure or it may be idiopathic. Bilateral oedema indicates a systemic cause, whereas unilateral tends to reflect local pathology.
ExaminationLeg examination should note the extent of oedema, any skin changes and measurement of calf and thigh circumference. In patients with unilateral oedema, investigation seeks to establish if venous flow is normal.
Local protocol should be followed, with heparin treatment considered pending definitive diagnosis.
In bilateral oedema, haematological and biochemical tests are first line with FBC, U&E, eGFR, LFT, brain natriuretic peptide and urine testing for proteinuria recommended. Urgent considerationsIn acute oedema with dyspnoea, urgent investigation is warranted to rule out cardiopulmonary dysfunction.
Importantly, up to 40% of people with cirrhosis are asymptomatic.3 There should be a high index of suspicion in anyone with chronic excessive alcohol intake or LFT dysfunction. Generally speaking, the fluid retention that causes mild swelling the last few weeks in pregnancy is a normal defense mechanism against blood loss during childbirth.

However, there are conditions in pregnancy where excessive swelling is a huge cause for concern.
Normal Swelling in Pregnancy: Normal swelling is usually limited to the feet and ankles only.
Worrisome Swelling in Pregnancy: A major sign of worrisome swelling is pitting edema, which is described above.
Nearly 75% of pregnant women experience swelling during the last trimester of their pregnancy and most of the time it is relieved by good posture, massage, staying cool and rest. Decoded Everything is a non-profit corporation, dependent on donations from readers like you. Tanya on Calculate Embryonic Age vs Gestational Age: Pregnancy Mathsabrina on What Eye Color Will My Baby Have?
For example, if a person is lying on their back (supine), the swelling will not appear in the legs, but will appear in the area around the sacrum. Recent medication features suggestive of underlying cardiopulmonary, renal, hepatic or endocrine disease should be noted.
Cardiopulmonary examination and abdominal examination are vital, specifically assessing JVP and for signs of liver disease including ascites. When chronic venous insufficiency is apparent, ankle brachial pressure index should be assessed and compression hosiery considered. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. My mother says it’s just from the heat and that it is normal; however, my friend said when she had swelling during pregnancy she needed an emergency C-Section. With the temperatures rising, rest assured you are not the only pregnant woman who is experiencing some swelling.

Your body will be able to quickly replace lost fluids and begin breastfeeding at the same time, with these fluid stores in place.
It generally gets worse after long periods of standing or sitting upright (like driving a long distance or flying.) Normal swelling usually decreases after resting, especially resting with your feet raised. Severe headaches and visual disturbances (flashes or blurry vision) are also warning signs that you should contact your doctor or midwife about immediately. However, when pre-eclampsia develops, swelling is merely one symptom of a more serious condition. The skin over the swollen area appears tight and shiny, and often when pressure is applied to the area with a finger, an indentation appears. If there’s a chance that you might be developing pre-eclampsia, call your health care provider. Another warning symptom of serious swelling during pregnancy is swelling that extends above the feet and legs; if you find your face, hands or arms are swelling, contact your health care provider. Pre-eclampsia is dangerous to mom and baby, so your doctor will take blood tests to test for the condition right away. He or she will discuss your symptoms over the phone and decide whether to schedule an appointment to be checked out.

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