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Suggest treatment for edema in the feet while having a history of anorexia and bulimia

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Posted on Thu, 8 Apr 2021
Question: Female 47 years old with history of anorexia and bulimia for 30 years is having edema in her feet and abdomen. No c/o pain. Over exercises, running, biking, Drinks hard liquier daily
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Answered by Dr. Malik (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
Likely liver or heart problem.

Detailed Answer:
Hello and welcome,

Edema is caused by fluid retention in tissues outside of the blood vessels. Variety of disorders may present with edema in legs and abdomen. Malnutrition, medications, lymph and blood vessel disorders may cause edema but the most common causes are heart (congestive heart failure), liver (cirrhosis) and kidney problems.

Your normal urinalysis likely excludes kidney problems but alcohol abuse increases the risk of developing liver disease. In liver diseases, blood flow through the liver gets diminished causing elevated pressure in the venous system that drains to the liver. This elevated pressure in the venous system causes abdominal and leg swelling.

In heart failure similar mechanism causes edema. When the blood cannot be pumped out of the heart, blood return to the heart increases causing fluid buildup and edema.

Your blood tests can help to differentiate these disorders and identify the root cause of leg and abdominal edema. Treatment is specific to the cause. Generally includes diuretics to reduce extra fluid in the body.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.
Thank you


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Arnab Banerjee
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Answered by
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Dr. Malik

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :2006

Answered : 354 Questions

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Suggest treatment for edema in the feet while having a history of anorexia and bulimia

Brief Answer: Likely liver or heart problem. Detailed Answer: Hello and welcome, Edema is caused by fluid retention in tissues outside of the blood vessels. Variety of disorders may present with edema in legs and abdomen. Malnutrition, medications, lymph and blood vessel disorders may cause edema but the most common causes are heart (congestive heart failure), liver (cirrhosis) and kidney problems. Your normal urinalysis likely excludes kidney problems but alcohol abuse increases the risk of developing liver disease. In liver diseases, blood flow through the liver gets diminished causing elevated pressure in the venous system that drains to the liver. This elevated pressure in the venous system causes abdominal and leg swelling. In heart failure similar mechanism causes edema. When the blood cannot be pumped out of the heart, blood return to the heart increases causing fluid buildup and edema. Your blood tests can help to differentiate these disorders and identify the root cause of leg and abdominal edema. Treatment is specific to the cause. Generally includes diuretics to reduce extra fluid in the body. Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further. Thank you