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Idiopathic edema


* Not a rare disease
Other Names for this Disease
  • Cyclical edema
  • Fluid retention syndrome
  • Idiopathic cyclic edema
  • Idiopathic orthostatic edema
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Idiopathic edema is a common cause of swelling (edema) in women under age 50.[1] "Idiopathic" means that the cause of this condition is unknown. Idiopathic edema is characterized by salt retention in the absence of heart, kidney, or liver disease.[2] The edema may develop periodically or it may persist over time. Swelling of the face, hands, and legs can develop rapidly, and affected individuals typically experience significant changes in their weight over the course of a day. Obesity and depression can be associated with this condition.[1] Spironolactone may be used to treat idiopathic edema.[1]
Last updated: 12/9/2008


  1. Ely JW, Osheroff JA, Chambliss ML, Ebell MH. J Am Board Fam Med. 2006; 19:148-160. Accessed 12/9/2008.
  2. Edema, Idiopathic. National Organization for Rare Disorders Web site. 2000; Accessed 12/9/2008.
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