DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Oedema. Swollen feet and ankles of a woman suffering from oedema. Oedema is an abnormal swelling due to an accumulation of fluid in the body tissues. Gravity makes the swellings appear in the leg and ankle regions. It can be caused by several factors, including heart failure, kidney failure and cirrhosis of the liver. It is also associated with a lack of protein in the diet, or deficiency of vitamin B1 (thiamine). Treatment is generally aimed at healing the cause, but the symptoms can be relieved by increasing fluid output. This can be done by giving diuretic drugs (to increase urine production) and reducing dietary sodium intake.
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