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Edema Specialist

Metro Renal Associates

Nephrologists located in Washington, DC & Capitol Heights, MD

Kidney disease often results in edema, swelling that most commonly affects your hands, arms, feet, ankles, and legs. If you’re experiencing this kind of swelling, the team of board-certified nephrologists at Metro Renal Associates in Washington, DC, is experienced in treating edema as a symptom of kidney disease. To schedule an appointment, call the office or schedule an appointment online today.

Edema Q & A

What is edema?

Edema happens when fluid becomes trapped under the skin in your tissues, causing noticeable swelling, most often in your hands, arms, feet, ankles, and legs. There are many causes of edema, including kidney disease, heart failure, and pregnancy, and the location of the swelling is often a clue to its underlying cause. When edema results from kidney disease, the swelling is usually located around your eyes and in your legs.

Signs and symptoms of edema include:

  • Swollen, stretched, shiny, puffy skin
  • Skin that stays indented after being pressed (known as “pitting”)
  • Aches and joint stiffness

If edema is left untreated the pain often gets worse, and you may find walking difficult because of the swelling and stiffness. The swollen areas can become prone to scarring and infection. Edema can also make your blood vessels stiff and impact your blood’s circulation.

How does edema relate to kidney health?

Edema often results from conditions affecting your kidneys. The excessive fluid in your tissues that causes edema may be a sign that your kidneys aren’t able to perform their usual duties filtering your blood.

Proteinuria, an excess of protein in your urine often resulting from high blood pressure, causes edema swelling in your legs, ankles, and eyes. Healthy kidneys make sure the protein you need stays inside your body. When you have kidney damage, the protein may instead escape through your kidneys into your urine.

At first, you won’t be able to tell if you have excess protein in your urine, and only a urine test can confirm proteinuria. Edema is a sign that the protein levels in your urine have grown higher, which means there’s also likely significant kidney damage. If you have signs of edema, get it checked out at Metro Renal Associates as kidney disease may be the cause.

How is edema treated?

If the team at Metro Renal Associates diagnoses edema as a result of kidney disease, they prescribe medications called diuretics, or water pills. Diuretics help remove excess fluid from your body through your urine, which reduces the swelling of edema. The team also diagnoses and treats the underlying kidney condition causing your edema.

If you’re experiencing swelling around your eyes or in your legs and ankles, you may have edema resulting from kidney damage or disease. To treat the swelling and find out what’s causing it, call the office or schedule an appointment online today.