WebMD defines edema as simply a medical term used to describe swelling. It is generally a response by the body to injury or inflammation. It can be acute, impacting only a small area of the body, or it can affect the entire body. Treatments include diuretic therapy, altering medications and raising the affected area above the heart in cases where edema is localized in a limb or limbs.
According to MedicineNet, the most powerful type of diuretics are referred to as loop diuretics, which are named after the portion of the kidney tubules they work in, which are known as the loop of Henle. These loops regulate salt and water balances and also serve to transport urine. Some examples of available loop diuretics include furosemide, torsemide and butethamine, with the most common example being furosemide.
MedicineNet states that it is important to maintain potassium levels in the body while taking diuretics, which frequently cause excessive loss of potassium through urine excretion. In these cases, MedicineNet suggests that potassium supplements should be taken, or an increase in dietary intake of potassium-rich foods such as bananas, orange juice and potatoes should be observed. If impaired kidney function is present, additional potassium supplements may not be necessary, as damaged kidneys tend to retain potassium.