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Houston Kidney Specialists Center -  - Nephrology

Houston Kidney Specialists Center

Nephrology & Internal Medicine located in Cypress and North Houston Area, TX

Edema is a type of swelling caused by fluid retention in your soft tissue. It has many potential causes, including kidney disease. The skilled team at Houston Kidney Specialists Center offers expert treatments to relieve kidney disease-related edema at their four locations in Houston and Cypress, Texas. If you have painful swelling in your legs or elsewhere in your body and concerns about your kidney health, call Houston Kidney Specialists Center, or schedule a consultation online today.

Edema Q & A

What is edema?

Edema occurs when extra fluid gets trapped in the soft tissue of your body. It typically affects your feet, ankles, legs, hand, and arms but can develop anywhere. Some of the common signs of edema include:

  • Puffiness or swelling directly under your skin
  • Your skin looks stretched or shiny
  • Dimples or pits remain on your skin after you press on it
  • Abdominal swelling

You should talk to your doctor about any signs of edema as it can be an indication of a potentially dangerous health condition. 

What causes edema?

Edema is a prevalent symptom of kidney damage and disease. Your kidneys filter waste products, such as sodium, potassium, and calcium, out of your blood. When they don’t function correctly, these substances remain in your blood, which causes fluid retention and swelling. 

Other common causes of edema include:

  • Congestive heart failure
  • Cirrhosis
  • Peripheral vascular disease
  • Inadequate lymphatic system function
  • High blood pressure and diabetes medicines
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs including steroids

Edema might also be due to pregnancy, eating too much salty food, or sitting still for too long. 

How do you know if kidney disease causes my edema?

The team at Houston Kidney Specialists use blood tests to identify signs of kidney dysfunction. These tests also help diagnose the cause of your kidney problems. 

If your blood work indicates a kidney problem, they order additional testing, including CT scans and ultrasounds, to examine your kidneys. Your physician might also request a biopsy to evaluate a small piece of kidney tissue.

How is edema treated?

Your doctor creates a customized treatment plan to address your specific needs. They might prescribe diuretics while also treating the underlying kidney problem causing your symptoms with medications like angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs).

Kidney disease also has many potential causes that your physician can treat. For example, high blood pressure is a common cause of kidney disease. Your physician might recommend diet and exercise adjustments or medication to lower your blood pressure. 

The team at Houston Kidney Specialists Center carefully monitors your health if you have kidney-related edema. They might need to adjust your treatment to achieve the optimum balance to relieve your edema and support healthy kidney function. 

Call Houston Kidney Specialists Center or schedule an appointment online today if you have severe or painful edema or other signs of kidney dysfunction.