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Acute pulmonary edema (APE) is a medical emergency caused by leakage of water from the blood vessels into the lung tissue, making breathing difficult. The edema of the lung has the same pathophysiologic mechanism as any swelling in the body, occurring whenever there is water leakage from blood vessels into a tissue. Contrary to what one might imagine, our blood vessels tubes are not waterproof, they do have pores that allow the entry and exit of cells, bacteria, proteins and water.
When the left side of the heart becomes weak, it finds it difficult to adequately pump blood to the rest of the body.
In heart failure pulmonary edema develops slowly unless there is some factor triggering an acute worsening of heart function. The acute myocardial infarction, commonly known as a heart attack, can be caused by pulmonary edema if there is a large area of the heart muscle on the left side of the heart, leading to sudden heart failure. The increase in pressure tends to be a frequent cause of acute pulmonary edema, especially in patients who already have some degree of heart failure. In normal situations the patient's heart with moderate heart failure may still be able to pump blood properly. Renal failure leads to accumulation of water and salt in the body, causing an increase in the volume of liquid within the vessels. Some lung infections, particularly those of viral origin, may cause a frame of intense pulmonary inflammation, leading to increased permeability of vessels and subsequent leakage of fluid into the lung.
The use of some drugs, such as heroin or cocaine, can cause severe pulmonary inflammation, leading to increased permeability of vessels and subsequent pulmonary edema.
Some patients with severe neurological injury, such as head trauma, brain surgery, convulsions, cerebral hemorrhage, etc.
Depending on the cause, the picture of pulmonary edema may develop slowly or suddenly, the latter called acute pulmonary edema.
In patients accumulating fluid in the lungs slowly and gradually, the symptoms of pulmonary edema begin with intolerance to exertion, fatigue (even at rest), shortness of breath when lying down, no need to use at least two pillows to sleep, swelling in the feet and ankles and wheezing. If this same patient described above presents a factor of decompensation of their heart failure, such as a heart attack, a hypertensive crisis or even a serious infection, heart suddenly becomes unable to adequately pump blood to the body, and there is a framework of acute fluid retention in the lungs. The first step in the treatment of acute pulmonary edema is to provide oxygen to the patient.
If the patient does not urinate or does not respond adequately to diuretics, the option is the urgent hemodialysis, a method capable of removing up to a quart of water from the lungs in just 20-30 minutes.
Edema is a type of swelling caused by water and excess fluid retention in the body’s tissues including the skin and it mainly occurs in the hands, arms, legs, feet and ankles. According to ancient Chinese medicine and acupressure therapy, Edema or swelling due to water retention is caused due to weakness in the spleen and kidney meridians. Acupressure point SP3 or Spleen 3 is the most important point in acupressure treatment for water retention cure. This point can be stimulated on both feet by applying steady pressure using the thumbs and fingertips for 1 minute. Acupressure point KD 6 or Kidney 6 is a potent pressure point for treating swelling and water retention in body and it shows prompt results. This point can be activated in both legs by applying firm and steady pressure to the points using the thumbs for 1 minute. CV 6 or Conception Vessel 6 is another potent acupressure point that is extensively used for Edema treatment. SP 9 or Spleen 9 is a powerful acupressure point for swelling treatment that provides complete relief from water retention.
This point can be stimulated on both legs by applying firm and strong pressure on the points using the knuckles for 1 minute. KD 2 or Kidney 2 is yet another powerful point of acupuncture and acupressure for water retention and swelling. This point can be activated in both feet by applying strong and steady pressure to the points using the thumbs for 1 minute. SP 6 or Spleen 6 is a powerful acupressure point for treatment of water retention in the body that provides effective results. This point can be activated on both the legs by applying steady pressure while holding the point with the thumbs and fingers for 1 minute. UB 40 or Urinary Bladder 40 is one of the most important acupressure points for treatment of Edema feet or swelling of feet.
This point can be activated on both legs by applying firm pressure using the thumbs, fingers, palms and knuckles for 1 to 2 minutes.
UB 56 or Urinary Bladder 56 is a useful acupressure point that works as one of the natural remedies for water retention cure.
The final acupressure point in the list of pressure points for treating water retention in body and feet is UB 57 or Urinary Bladder 57.
So, now that you know the precise acupressure points that should be used to treat bloating and swelling caused by water retention, stimulate them every time you feel bloated in order to flush out toxins from the system and restore fluid balance in the body. Thank you Bipasha, I have been using reflexology for many years, you have an excellent site on acupressure for the body and ANY ailments you may encounter.
Join tens of thousands of doctors, health professionals and patients who receive our newsletters. Edema is swelling caused by fluid retention - excess fluid is trapped in the body's tissues. You will also see introductions at the end of some sections to any recent developments that have been covered by MNT's news stories. The cause of edema may be diagnosed by chest X-ray, blood tests, urine tests, liver function tests or heart function tests.
If the capillaries (tiny blood vessels) leak fluid into the surrounding tissue the area will start to swell. Leaking capillaries will cause the kidneys to accumulate higher than normal quantities of sodium (salt) and water in order to compensate for the capillary fluid loss. If a person stands or sits still for long periods of time, there is a much higher chance of swelling. When a woman is resting in a reclined position the enlarged uterus occasionally compresses the inferior vena cava, causing obstruction of both femoral veins, leading to edema. A pregnant woman's blood is hypercoaguble (clots more easily), raising the risk of deep venous thrombosis (DVT), a cause of edema.
Around the period of the menopause, as well as after, hormone fluctuations can cause fluid retention.
Such as vasodilators (drugs that open blood vessels), calcium channel blockers, NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), estrogens, several chemotherapy drugs, and some diabetes drugs, such as thiazolidinediones. Dietitians say low consumption of thiamine (vitamin B1), as well as insufficient vitamins B6 and B5, may contribute toward fluid retention. Patients with kidney disease may not be able to eliminate enough fluid and sodium from the blood. Damage to the capillaries in the kidneys (glomeruli) that filter waste and excess fluids from the blood can result in nephrotic syndrome.
Chronic lung disease includes many lung diseases, such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, COPD, emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis and sarcoidosis. A patient with diabetes may have edema for several different reasons, including cardiovascular disease and its associated complications, acute renal failure, acute liver failure, protein-losing enteropathy (disease of the intestine causing protein loss) and some medications.
People with arthritis most commonly have swelling in the ankles, feet, legs, and calves - peripheral edema. A brain tumor will accumulate water around itself, especially as it builds new blood vessels. A blow to the head may result in an accumulation of fluids in the brain or between the brain and the skull. If the damage is due to lymphedema it is called primary lymphedema, if it is caused by disease or medical condition, such as an infection or cancer, it is caused secondary lymphedema. Individuals with diabetes have a significantly higher risk of developing diabetic eye disease. New research has found that in cases of lung edema, or fluid in the lungs, not only do the lungs fail to keep water out as previously believed, but they are also allowing water to pump in.
On the next page we look at the symptoms of edema, how it is diagnosed and the treatment options for edema.
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For any corrections of factual information, or to contact our editorial team, please see our contact page. Please note: Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a health care professional.
Learn all about DVT (deep vein thrombosis), a blood clot that forms in a vein in the body (commonly the leg). Pulmonary Edema is a medical condition in which there is excess fluid buildup in the lungs which makes it extremely difficult to breathe and causes severe shortness of breath.
Pulmonary Edema is basically divided into two broad categories which are cardiogenic Pulmonary Edema and non-cardiogenic Pulmonary Edema and the causes of these two types are also different.
Pulmonary Edema which is caused as a result high pressure in the blood vessels of the lungs as a result of poor functioning of the heart. Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome: This is quite a serious medical condition which is caused by infections, direct trauma to the lungs, injury to the lungs, chronic inhalation of toxins, and smoking.
People staying in high altitudes and frequent mountaineers are prone to Pulmonary Edema due to reduction in oxygen levels which outs oppressure in the vessels of the lungs causing Pulmonary Edema. Serious conditions like intracranial hemorrhage, seizure disorder, or a surgical procedure of the brain can sometimes result in Pulmonary Edema. Some of the rare causes of Pulmonary Edema are pulmonary embolism, lung injury due to transfusion, or viral infections.
Since Pulmonary Edema is a potentially serious condition and needs emergent treatment hence it is vital to diagnose the condition appropriately.
Echocardiogram: This test makes use of ultrasound waves to look at the functioning of the heart. Transesophageal Echocardiogram: This is a form of echocardiogram in which images of the heart are obtained through a transducer that is inserted into the esophagus.
Chest X-ray: This can reveal whether there is any enlargement of the heart or not which can rule in or rule out cardiomegaly as a cause of the heart murmur. Apart from these tests a CT scan or an MRI will also be obtained which can accurately detect presence of Pulmonary Edema. Pulmonary Artery Catheterization: If all the above tests are inconclusive then the physician may perform this procedure in order to measure the pressure in the capillaries of the lungs.
Cardiac Catheterization: This is a minimally invasive test in which a catheter is inserted in the heart through the leg.
The very first treatment adopted once Pulmonary Edema is diagnosed is to supplement the patient with oxygen. Medications: Medications like nitroglycerine or Lasix are prescribed to take the pressure off of the heart and lungs and decrease the symptoms of Pulmonary Edema. In case of a hypertensive patient who develops Pulmonary Edema medications will prescribed to control both the conditions. For treatment of Pulmonary Edema caused due to high altitudes, it is recommended that the patient reduce as much physical activity as possible. Following these measures will not only decrease the risk but also help with the symptoms of Pulmonary Edema. When the pressure gets too high within the vessels of the lung, water blood tends to "turn into serum" through pores, accumulating within lung tissue, mainly in the alveoli, which are the structures that perform gas exchange. Some diseases, which will be explained below, cause an increase in the pores of blood vessels, making them more permeable, which facilitates the outflow of water. We describe simplified cardiopulmonary circulation for this mechanism so that it is easily understandable. After nourishing all tissues, blood, now low in oxygen and high in carbon dioxide, it returns to the right side of the heart where it is immediately pumped toward the lungs.
As the left side of the heart is responsible for pumping blood from the lungs and when the heart pump fails, there is a jam, causing an accumulation of blood in the pulmonary vessels. If much of the heart muscle dies, the heart becomes unable to pump blood properly, causing this retention in the lungs.
However, just a sudden elevation in blood pressure is enough for an increase in resistance to blood flow, requiring further work of the heart muscle. In some cases, especially if the patient does not urinate in appropriate volumes, the quantity of liquid trapped in the vessels becomes so large that it starts to overflow, causing edema and pulmonary edema. The cause is unknown, but it is believed that there are changes in the pulmonary microvasculature favoring fluid leakage at high altitudes.
This frame is typical in patients with heart failure who have gradual worsening of heart function and progressive pulmonary congestion. In this case the symptoms of acute pulmonary edema are severe: shortness of breath, feeling of drowning, agitation, cough with frothy secretions, inability to lie down and tachycardia (racing heart).
The acute pulmonary edema is a medical emergency and if not treated in time, will definitely lead to cardiac arrest.
Usually the patient arrives at the emergency department in hypoxemia, or with low levels of blood oxygenation. Edema is caused when the capillaries leak fluid into the surrounding tissues which cause the area to swell. These particular pressure points can be stimulated to restore the proper level of water in the body and cure water retention successfully.
This point is known as the Supreme Whiteness, and it is situated on the inside of the foot, in the hollow in between the big tone and the metatarsal bone, on the side of the foot. It helps to nourish the spleen meridian, relieve Edema, water retention, swelling and nausea. This point is called the Shining Sea, and it is situated on the inside of the ankle, one chon below the inside of the anklebone, in the hollow. This point is called the Sea of Energy, and it is situated two finger widths directly below the belly button. Place the fingertips of both hands between the belly button and pubic bone, in the lower abdominal area and gradually press one to two inches deep in the abdomen which taking long deep breaths for 2 minutes. This point is called the Shady Side of the Mountain and it is found on the inner side of the leg, below the knee and under the large bulge of the bone. It helps to relieve swelling, water retention, bloating, cramps, knee pain, leg tension and painful varicose veins.
This point is known as the Blazing Valley, and it is situated in the middle of the arch of the foot,  at the midpoint between the outer tip of the big toe and the back of the heel.
This point is also known as the Three Yin Crossing, and it is located four finger widths over the inner ankle bone, on the back inner border of the shinbone. This point is called the Middle of the Crook, and it can be found in the middle of the transverse crease of the popliteal fossa, in between the tendons of muscle biceps femoris and muscle semitendinosus. It is a potent point for pain in the lower leg, arthritis pain, fever, hair fall, lower back pain, abdominal pain, digestive problems, viral and bacterial infections.
This point is termed the Sinew Point, and it is situated on the back side of the lower leg, 5 cun below the point UB 40, on the line joining the points UB40 and UB57, right in the middle of the muscle gastrocnemius. This point is called the Mountain Support, and it can be found on the back side of the lower leg, between the points UB 40 and UB 60 when the toe is extended straight.
She has done her post graduation in English from The University of Calcutta and has flair to write articles on Massages, Acupressure, Reflexology, Acupuncture and Etc. It can appear suddenly, but usually develops subtly - the patient may first gain weight, or wake up with puffy eyes.
This results in more blood circulating in the body, which in turn causes even more capillary leakage into the surrounding tissue, which produces additional swelling - a vicious cycle.
Acute mountain sickness can lead to high altitude pulmonary edema or high altitude cerebral edema.
During high temperatures, the body is less efficient at removing fluid from tissues, especially around the ankles. Eclampsia, which results from pregnancy-induced hypertension (high blood pressure), can also cause edema. During the days before menstrual bleeding, there will be a reduction in the levels of the hormone, progesterone, which may cause fluid retention. Low levels of albumin may also play a part - low albumin levels can also be caused by kidney disease. This results in more pressure on the blood vessels, which causes some of the liquid to leak out.
Among the many symptoms of nephrotic syndrome is an insufficient level of blood albumin, which leads to edema.

If one or both of the lower chambers of the heart lose the ability to pump blood effectively, the blood can accumulate in the limbs, causing edema.
This affects liver function, which causes the secretion of hormones and fluid-regulating chemicals to change. Arthritis may cause swelling for many reasons, for example, sporadic ankle swelling in rheumatoid arthritis is common and occurs mainly, as a result, of active inflammatory synovitis (inflammation of the synovial membrane, the lining of the joint).
This causes an increase in pressure in the vein, which may result in leakage of fluids into the surrounding tissue, causing edema.
Varicose veins usually occur because valves become damaged; static pressure increases, resulting in the bulging veins.
If this system is damaged the lymph nodes and lymph vessels which continually drain an area may not work as they should, it could result in edema.
But new research reveals that less than 50% of US adults with diabetic macular edema - retina swelling that can lead to blindness - are told by their doctor that diabetes is the cause of their condition, and less than 60% had a dilated eye exam in the last year. The serious condition is most often caused by heart failure or some other cardiac condition that weakens or stiffens the muscle tissue of the heart. Majority of the cases of Pulmonary Edema are caused by cardiac conditions but there may be other conditions which can cause fluid buildup in the lungs as well which includes conditions like pneumonia, certain classes of medications, or chronic exposure to certain toxins.
Certain medical conditions like Congestive heart failure, heart attacks, abnormality of the heart valves can all cause abnormal collection of fluid in the vessels of the lungs thus increasing the pressure in the vessels of the lungs causing Pulmonary Edema. As the body is unable to excrete excess fluids from the body due to kidney dysfunction it causes excess buildup of fluid which can put pressure on the vessels resulting in Pulmonary Edema. In order to do that the physician will first take a detailed history as to when the symptoms started and how long has the individual been feeling the symptoms. Hikers, skiers and adventurers who travel to high altitudes can sometimes develop acute mountain sickness, also referred to as altitude sickness or high altitude pulmonary edema.
In the lungs the blood is oxygenated again and returns to the left side of the heart, where it will be pumped into the rest of the body, restarting the process. This congestion causes an increase in blood pressure in pulmonary vessels, favoring leakage of water. Some patients do not have a heart able to work against high blood pressure, which leads to pulmonary congestion.
If the heart valve does not open properly, blood cannot be drained there through, causing congestion. The edema arises from changes in pulmonary hemodynamics, with increased pressure and permeability in the pulmonary vessels. In some cases pulmonary edema is so severe and oxygenation is so low, that the patient needs to be intubated and connected to a mechanical ventilator to stay alive.
Lowered blood pressure is also important to facilitate the work of the heart, so usually vasodilators are used. It also aids to relieve gastric pain, digestive problems, heart pain and heaviness and lassitude experienced in the lower body.
It also helps to cure sore throat, digestive disorders, menstrual problems, eye problems, and epilepsy. It is an important point for treatment of jaundice and hepatitis, yeast infections and candida and male problems.
It helps to clear excess heat and aids to cure sore throat, post-menopausal problems, menstrual problems, diabetes and male impotence.
It also aids to cure menstrual problems, male impotence, digestive disorders, skin diseases, headache, dizziness and insomnia. This point can be activated on both feet by applying strong pressure on the point using the middle finger and index finger for 1 minute. Thing point can be activated on both legs by applying strong and firm pressure to the points using the knuckles for 1 minute. When a woman is pregnant, her face will typically swell, as will her hands, lower limbs and feet. People with cirrhosis of the liver also have increased pressure within the portal vein - the large vein that carries blood from the intestines, spleen and pancreas, into the liver. The static pressure also increases the risk of leakage of fluids into the surrounding tissue. The lump may press against a vein causing a build-up of pressure in that vein, which may result in fluids leaking into surrounding tissue. In such cases, the decreased functionality of the heart leads to an elevation of the pressure in the pulmonary veins and, consequently, fluid is forced into the alveoli. The physician will then conduct a physical examination starting with auscultation of the lungs looking for any wheezing. If enough oxygen supply is not available then hyperbaric chambers can be used until the patient can be brought to a lower altitude with sufficient oxygen availability. In certain cases, Edema may be a symptom of other serious diseases like kidney disease, cirrhosis, congestive heart failure which requires serious medical attention. It is also a significant point for women’s health issues like menstrual problems and hernia and male problems like impotence and seminal emission. It not only alleviates water retention, swelling and Edema but also treats hemorrhoids, leg pain, spasms, heel and foot pain in a successful manner.
It helps to cure water retention, swelling bloating and Edema long with hemorrhoids, digestive problems, spasms and pain in the lower leg, paralysis and neurological disorders.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) estimates that the number of cases of diabetic retinopathy will triple from 5.5 million in 2005 to 16 million in 2050. Other causes of pulmonary edema include excessive accumulation of body fluids related to kidney failure or another medical problem, living in or traveling to areas at high altitudes, and injury to the lungs related to serious infections, such as pneumonia, smoke inhalation, or exposure to toxins or certain medications. An individual living in high altitudes or mountaineers can also develop Pulmonary Edema due to lack of oxygen. Dizziness, nausea, headaches, and shortness of breath are a few symptoms of this condition.
Other benign cases of water retention and swelling such as premenstrual bloating, puffiness due to congestion can be healed with the help of acupressure therapy.
It is always preferable to consult with a physician and take preventive medications if you have risk factors for Pulmonary Edema and you are planning to go on the mountains. The treatment options for Pulmonary Edema depend on the cause of the problem and normally include oxygen supplementation and medications.
In rare cases, however, altitude sickness can become severe, causing complications with the lungs or brain. When you travel in a plane, drive or hike up a mountain, or go skiing, your body may not have enough time to adjust, resulting in altitude sickness. Pushing yourself to quickly hike up a mountain, for example, may cause acute mountain sickness.
Other risk factors include: quick movement to high altitudes physical exertion while traveling to a higher altitude traveling to extreme heights (for example, anything above 14,000 feet) a low red blood cell count due to anemia heart or lung disease past bouts of acute mountain sickness What are the Symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness? If you have a mild case, you may experience: dizziness headache muscle aches insomnia nausea and vomiting irritability loss of appetite swelling of the hands, feet, and face rapid heartbeat shortness of breath with physical exertion Severe cases of acute mountain sickness can cause more intense symptoms, affecting your heart, lungs, muscles, and nervous system. During the exam, your doctor will most likely use a stethoscope to listen for fluid in your lungs. Hospitlization is required if your doctor determines that there is brain swelling or fluid in your lungs.
However, if your condition is severe and there is little access to treatment, complications can lead to swelling in the brain and lungs, resulting in coma or death. Instead of moving from zero to 8,000 feet all in one day, rest for a day after every 2,000 feet. Having anemia causes a low red blood cell count, which reduces the amount of oxygen in your blood.
Ask your doctor about taking an iron supplement, and treat the issue before going to high altitudes. If you have either heart or lung disease, the combination of high altitudes and low oxygen can be difficult to endure. If you take medications like sleeping pills, narcotic pain relievers and tranquilizers, check with your doctor before climbing to high altitudes.

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