What is Dropsy?

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What is Dropsy?
Dropsy is a condition wherein a person’s body or body part has swelling or excessive accumulation of fluid. In medical terms, it is called “edema”. Dropsy isn’t a disease in itself but may be a symptom of various illnesses or diseases.

Swelling may be in different parts of the body depending on the underlying illness. For people with kidney ailments, increased fluid accumulation may be noticed on the face area. Others have swollen legs and on the abdomen area, which may be an indication of liver problems. For heart problem sufferers, the ankles may be the first to have some swelling. But regardless of which body part is swollen, the usual cause is an obstruction to the free flow of blood and lymph in the body.

This obstruction in blood and lymph flow may also be due to several factors. In pregnancy-related dropsy or edema, the hormonal changes in a woman’s body may lead to some swelling in the feet and legs. Others may also have existing anatomic problems with the blood vessels, which may slow down the normal flow of blood and lymph, and thus lead to fluid accumulation.

Treatment depends on the underlying cause of the swelling or edema and should always be coordinated with licensed physicians. For swelling in the lower extremities, one may be advised to do some exercises and/or have a massage to improve blood and lymph circulation. Others are advised to wear tight/support stockings to encourage good lymph flow. Some are prescribed with diuretic drugs to avoid fluid retention. There are also various home remedies available to deal with the swelling. Many consider eating pineapple could help as it will stimulate the kidneys to remove waste from the body. There are also various herbal products that can aid in healing of dropsy. Great care must be taken though to ensure proper treatment and safety.

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