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What is Edema and Can Adjustable Beds Really Help?

By: Emmanuel DeFreitas

There have been quite a few articles written about how an adjustable bed can assist with the symptoms of an affliction called edema. I have not seen, in any of these articles, any mention of exactly what edema is and how an adjustable bed can possibly help. Most articles I have researched on the subject only make a general and vague connection between the disease and the bed. This article is intended to clarify both shortcomings and shed a little light on a possible easing of someone’s ailment.

Edema is the medical term used to describe an accumulation of fluid between cells in the soft tissue of the body. Edema can develop in any part of your body. The fundamental cause may be much more serious than the accumulation of fluids. Often times, edema is an early warning sign for a much more intense illness such as: Cirrhosis of the liver – Diabetes - Vena Cava Syndrome – Allergies – Infection – AIDS.

The symptoms of edema include redness, heat and tenderness in the affected area. There may be swelling and fluid in an individual arm, ankle, leg, abdomen or in your fingers. You may have puffiness in your face or around your eyes or notice that your shoes never seem to fit like they used to. If you notice any of these symptoms, consult your physician.

Swelling involves the enlargement of organs, skin, or other body structures. It is caused by excessive buildup of fluid in the tissues. This buildup can lead to a rapid increase in weight over a short period of time. This weight gain can occur within a few days to a few weeks. Swelling can occur throughout the body (generalized) or it may be limited to a specific part of the body (localized).

Localized swelling can include: Ankle, feet, and leg swelling - Swollen gums - Swollen glands - Facial swelling - Swelling in the abdomen - Scrotal swelling - Joint swelling - Breast enlargement. Slight edema of the lower legs is a common occurrence in the warm summer months, especially if a person has been standing or walking more than usual.

Generalized swelling, or massive edema (anasarca), is a common sign in severely ill people. Although slight edema may be difficult to detect, especially in an overweight person, massive edema is very obvious as swelling takes on absurd proportions. Edema can be an indication of a chronic and progressive medical illness.

Edema may be generally described in one of two ways: Pitting edema -- When you press a finger against a swollen area for 5 seconds and then quickly remove it, an indentation is left that fills slowly. Nonpitting edema -- When you press a finger against a swollen area for 5 seconds and then quickly remove it, no indentation is left in the skin.

Common Causes of edema include: Too much salt or sodium intake – Burns – Sunburn – Malnutrition - Too little albumin in the blood (hypoalbuminemia) – Pregnancy - Nephrotic syndrome - Chronic kidney disease - Heart failure - Thyroid disease - Liver failure from cirrhosis - Acute glomerulonephritis - Nephrotic syndrome – Certain Drugs ( Androgenic and anabolic steroids, Antihypertensives, Corticosteroids such as prednisone (causes sodium retention), Estrogens, Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, Calcium channel blockers)

One of the main options recommended by medical experts for easing localized swelling and prevent skin breakdown from chronic edema, is the use of a pressure reducing mattress and to keep your limbs elevated above the level of your heart when you lie down. That is what an adjustable bed is specifically built to do. The link between an adjustable bed and edema is justified due to it’s functionality.

You could try to prop pillows and other soft materials under yourself but with an electric adjustable bed you will be able to effortlessly position your body to attain an optimal comfort and swelling-reducing level. Just pick up your remote control unit and push the buttons! If you or a loved one suffers from edema and are considering the purchase of an adjustable bed, I hope you find this article useful. An old Portuguese saying , roughly translated, says it all "Whomsoever has health, has it all!"

About the Author: Emmanuel DeFreitas is the administrator for Adjustable Bed Center providing detailed information on electric, medical, cheap, and used adjustable beds, as well as adjustable airbeds and adjustable bed reviews.

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