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Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Idiopathic edema

*

* Not a rare disease

Other Names for this Disease
  • Idiopathic cyclic edema
  • Idiopathic orthostatic edema
  • Fluid retention syndrome
  • Cyclical edema
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Your Question

I was diagnosed with idiopathic cyclic edema one year ago. I'm unable to find any information about this disease. Can you please help me?


Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

What is idiopathic edema?

Idiopathic edema is a common cause of fluid retention and swelling (edema) in women under age 50.[1] "Idiopathic" means that the cause of this condition is unknown. Idiopathic edema occurs in the absence of heart, kidney, or liver disease. It is often associated with diabetes, obesity, and emotional problems. 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. Treatment often includes a low sodium and carbohydrate diet as well as cessation of diuretic therapy (if warranted).[1][2]
Last updated: 6/16/2016

What treatment is available for idiopathic edema?

Most individuals with idiopathic edema experience a decrease in swelling and fluid retention with the introduction of a low sodium, low carbohydrate diet. For individuals already taking diuretics, a brief discontinuation may result in symptom improvement as well. Individuals who do not respond to initial treatment may be difficult to treat; however, other therapies such as use of hypertension medications (ACE inhibitors) have shown success in some cases.[2]
Last updated: 6/16/2016

References
Other Names for this Disease
  • Idiopathic cyclic edema
  • Idiopathic orthostatic edema
  • Fluid retention syndrome
  • Cyclical edema
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.