Anasarca

Written by Dr. Mary

A certain condition wherein people are very sick and are characterized by widespread swelling of the skin and some particular areas of the body. These can occur due to a number of conditions.


What is Anasarca?

The enlargement of organs, skin and other body parts is often referred to as “extreme generalized edema” or anasarca; it takes place when there is an increase over a short period of time (days to weeks) of fluid in spaces connecting the cells in the soft tissue of the body. This can happen all throughout the patient’s body or just a portion of the body and is very common in patients with heart and kidney failure.

When deciding on the procedures of treating edema, listed below are the following factors to reduce the risk of potential complications oh having Anasarca including:

  • Time Pattern
  • Edema quality
  • Edema Location
  • Other swelling signs and symptoms

Generally, the affected person looks like bloating every time he/she is pinched. It often occurs as a result of infection or prolonged bed rest and is expressed into two (2) categories based on the quantity of the edema applied to person.

  • Pitting – shows cavity in the skin after you press for about three (3) to five (5) seconds. This will slowly fill back in.
  • Non-pitting – It doesn’t show cavity on the swollen area.

Symptoms

Some of the other possible signs and symptoms of edema may include the following:

  • Swollen arms or legs
  • Pain (in the swollen area)
  • Water retention
  • Difficulty urinating ( if on the male genitals)
  • Ring tightness
  • Increase of the size of the abdomen
  • Insomnia
  • Shortness of breath
  • Body weakness
  • Ring tightness
  • Puffiness
  • Water retention
  • Anemia
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Cramps
  • Bruises
  • Changes in Blood Pressure

Causes

Another term for anasarca is dropsy meaning a severe generalized form of edema which affecting both men and women. There are different causes which can lead to anasarca. Below are some common conditions including:

  • Low Albumin (Hypoalbuminemia)
  • Burns
  • Corticosteroids
  • Clarkson syndrome – It arises to the pores of the capillaries
  • Kidney disease
  • Too much intake of sodium
  • Hookworm (Ancylostomiasis)
  • Congestive Heart Failure – fluids may back up into the system
  • Diabetes
  • Vena Cava Syndrome (narrowing of the vein)
  • Critical Kidney Disease
  • Pre-eclampsia – occurs more in pregnant women
  • Severe malnutrition
  • Protein deficiency
  • Liver Failure
  • Use of certain drugs, including
  1. Diabetes – thiazolidinediones
  2. Estrogen
  3. Androgenic and anabolic steroids, etc.

Below are the most common types of methods / tests that are helpful in diagnosing if a person is already affected by anasarca illness. The examination such as the following may be used for different forms of swelling.

  • Albumin Blood Test – Through this type of blood examination, can spot hypoalbuminemia, wherein low levels of albumin are detected that can lead to an illness called anasarca.
  • Urinalysis – The severity of the disease and the type of disease can be detected through the color of the urine of the person.
  • Blood electrolyte Test
  • X-ray of a person
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)

Treatment

Different selections for treatment may be chosen depending on the severity of the edema present in a person. Listed below are the effective treatments/ remedies for the prevention of anasarca that may help to improve and to reduce swelling of the skin significantly.

1. Avoiding salt, water pills, etc. – It prevent skin breakdown

2. Hemodialysis – Used to eliminate excess fluid in renal and liver failure

3. Surgery (in the form of transplant –if needed)

4. Reducing the dose of Corticosteroid

  • For patient’s who have cardiac, liver/renal problems

5. Special Medication such as Diuretics

  • Helps in eliminating some fluid to the body.

6. Eat high-fiber diet

  • Good sources of soluble fiber and protein foods such as eggs, broiled white fish, and etc. may reduce edema and other health complications.

7. Rose hips is a rich source of bioflavonoid; a cure used in treating edema

8. Exercise Regularly – (sauna, walking, dancing, etc.)

  • Exercise for at least thirty (30) minutes everyday for sweating lessens the edema.

 

9. Avoid taking of alcohol, beefs, chocolates and some dairy products

10. Always lift up the feet in order to increase venous arrival and give assistance for the patients with edema.

11. You may need the help of a pediatrician in case the edema is severe or lasts for about six (6) to eight (8) weeks for he / she may prescribe a medication to treat it and to clear up the affected area and assess the severity of the anasarca of the person.

 

Take the following steps using natural treatments in the prevention of the anasarca before seeing the doctor. These may include:

  • Dandelion Leaf
  • Ginkgo – Enhances the circulatory system and improve blood flow to our body.
  • Horse Chestnut – It helps in reducing outflow of fluids that supports overall circulatory health as well as acting as an anti-inflammatory agent in our body.

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