For those who suffer with fibromyalgia, they are going to find that this affects numerous aspects of their life.
Fibromyalgia is not just a disease that is going to make you tired, this affects almost every part of your body and can even affect you mentally.
As the study of fibromyalgia goes forward, more connections with other illnesses are being found.
This is what is helping the medical community to diagnose more people with what ails them rather than just the individual items they may be suffering with.
One of the connections that is being found with fibromyalgia is edema.
What is Edema?
This is the medical word for swelling. When a person finds that there are locations throughout their body that is swelling, the doctor is going to state that they do have edema.
Edema can affect just certain parts of the body or it can affect the entire body depending upon why edema is occurring.
Edema occurs due to the small blood vessels in the body becoming leaky. They then leak fluid in the nearby tissues.
This fluid this builds up and it makes the tissue swell. For the person, this results in the area of their body becoming larger and having that swollen appearance.
What Causes Edema?
There are tons of reasons why edema can happen. For the most part, people find that an injury is going to cause edema.
For example, the person may have a twisted ankle, they may have an infection or some sort of injury that is causing these red blood vessels to leak.
There are other issues that can cause edema that are due to the blood being off and not as balanced as it should be. These issues include:
1- Low albumin: This is often referred to a hypoalbuminemia. This is a protein that the blood can be low on, which results in the blood vessels being released to cause edema.
2- Allergic reactions: When the body comes into contact with an allergen, the blood vessels are going to leak fluid into the area that has been affected.
3- Obstruction of flow: When a person suffers with drainage from one part of the body, their body is going to start swelling as this drainage continues to pile up inside of the body.
4- Any critical illness can cause edema, depending upon what this illness is.
5- Heart disease can cause massive swelling as the blood becomes less effective since the heart is becoming weak.
6- Liver disease can cause a person to retain fluid which then results in the entire body becoming swollen.
Fibromyalgia has recently been linked to edema, and this is of interest to many of those who suffer with fibromyalgia.
After all, many patients have been complaining about the feeling of being swollen and tenderness that goes along with swelling in the body.
It is comforting to many to understand that this is now being associated with fibromyalgia, thus they can start treating this as its own issue to be dealt with.
The Connection Between Edema and Fibromyalgia
Those who suffer with fibromyalgia know there are times in which certain points throughout their body feel as though they are inflamed and they are very sore to the touch. These are called pressure points.
However, the swelling that is felt was often just thought to be a side effect of these points being tender.
It turns out that the tissue surrounding these points are indeed inflamed, thus edema is often the term that doctors throw out to their patients.
The inflammation is usually around the trigger point on the patient. However, it is not uncommon for a person to feel this swollen like feeling throughout the entire limb.
For example, one pressure point is located in the forearm, so it is not uncommon to feel as though the wrist and hand are also swollen.
And when the explanation of what edema acts like, it is understandable why this happens.
It should be noted that not all people will notice that they have swollen areas in their body.
Some people only experience the pain of fibromyalgia rather than these swollen tissues.
However, even if the person does not feel as though their body is swollen, the tissues around these points may indeed be swollen.
How to Combat Edema
Since edema is a swelling of the tissue in the body, a person can do a few things to help their bodies combat this and bring the swelling down. For example:
1- Many people like to use a combination of hot and cold packs in order to bring down the swelling in areas that may be especially tender.
This works great and can be repeated every hour if needed.
2- Other people find that the hot cold therapy is painful, thus they often take a long soak in a tub full of warm water to help with the pain. This could also help with the swelling in some cases.
3- Massage can be a hugely beneficial treatment plan as it can help to remove the excess fluid that is causing the swelling thanks to the strokes that push the fluid out of the area.
4- For those who have entire limbs compressed due to edema, they may find that compression therapy is a huge help.
Many people may wear compression stockings in order to help with the swelling they see in the legs.
Gloves or sleeves are also a great option for compression therapy if you are finding the swelling in these areas.
5- Reducing the amount of salt that you eat can also help reduce edema from the inside to the outside.
This is not always helpful for those who suffering edema due to fibromyalgia, but it can help in some cases.
6- Elevating the area that is swollen can also offer some relief, which is why many fibromyalgia patients rest their legs in the upward position.
7- Exercising can help even though the person may feel as though this will do more harm than good.
When you exercise the muscles that are around the swollen tissue, the water is going to be pushed away.
This can help lower the swelling. However, with any exercise regimen be sure to check with your doctor on whether this could be helpful to you or not.
8- Medications can be given in extreme cases in which home remedies are not helping those who are suffering with edema. In fact, many fibromyalgia medications often include a medication to help combat swelling.
9- Stress can make this swelling worse, thus utilize some tactics to help ease your stress levels to help with the swelling.
One of the interesting things about fibromyalgia and edema is that this can appear one time and never appear again.
Or the person may find that they are swollen one week and do not experience this for another three months.
There are still tons of questions that surround fibromyalgia, and the swelling that these patients have is just one of the answers that medical professionals are searching for.
For those who are suffering with fibromyalgia, the best way they can combat this illness is to stay active.
And if swelling is one of the more common issues they have, combating this swelling the best way they know how and talking with their doctor.
As research continues to progress, fingers are crossed that fibromyalgia can be put to rest in order to give everyone the quality of life that they seek.