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Fluid retention, also known as edema, is a problem that affects many diabetics, especially those struggling with Type 2 diabetes.
Water retention can occur in any part of the legs, including the feet, ankles, calves and thighs. There are several reasons why edema can occur, such as fluid buildup or from inflammation in injured or diseased tissue and joints.
There are three types of fluid retention that are associated with diabetes of which people should be aware. The first type is called macular edema. Macular edema is a swelling that occurs in the macular, which is near the center of the retina.
The retina is responsible for a number of duties such as the ability to read, daytime vision and color reception. Macular edema can cause diabetic retinopathy, which starts with the leaking of fluid from blood vessels into the macula. If not treated, this condition can blind a person.
Pulmonary edema is the second type of fluid retention, which occurs if someone is using certain diabetic medications and if the person has cardiovascular problems. This type of edema can be treated inserting a catheter that drains the fluids.
Foot and leg edema is the third type of edema and is also the most commonly discussed. Edema in the legs and feet can cause a high risk of nonhealing wounds in diabetics. This type of edema is usually treated with manual decongestive therapy and diuretics.
People who take Thiazolidinediones medications are known to experience water retention. Thiazolidinediones are commonly used to treat Type 2 diabetes as it helps the body produce more insulin. However, one of the downsides of this medication is that it can lead to weight gain and edema.
Edema can have a lot of harmful effects if not treated like loss of vision. One of the main ways to stop fluid retention is by keeping your diabetes closely in check. Occasionally, if the fluid retention is being caused by medication a change of prescription might be necessary.
Having routine screenings can help detect the problem before it becomes more serious. When the swelling occurs in your ankles or legs, there are many things that you can do to alleviate the symptoms:
Source: MayoClinic.com and DiabeticLive.com
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