Edema is swelling caused by excess fluid trapped in your body's tissues. Although edema can affect any part of your body, it's most commonly noticed in your hands, arms, feet, ankles and legs.

Edema can be the result of medication, pregnancy or an underlying disease — often heart failure, kidney disease or cirrhosis of the liver.

Taking medication to remove excess fluid and reducing the amount of salt in your food usually relieves edema. When edema is a sign of an underlying disease, the disease itself requires separate treatment.

Oct. 13, 2011

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