Pleural Effusion is not its own disease, but rather is a complication of an underlying illness the body has already been suffering from. Transudative effusions occur when an excessive amount of fluid that is low in protein accumulates in the pleural cavity. Chemically, a pleural effusion can be identified because it is clear. Some of the most common illnesses and ailments that cause transudative effusions are congestive heart failure, nephritic syndrome or kidney failure, cirrhosis of the liver, pulmonary embolism, and hypothyroidism. Exudative effusions are caused by an excessive amount of fluid in the pleural cavity that is high in protein. The fluid is much cloudier in color than fluid that is low in protein. Exudative effusions are severely more serious and harmful to the body than transudative effusions. They are formed when the pleura itself is inflamed; this often leads to the identification of lung disease. The most prevalent diseases that lead to the development of exudative effusions are pneumonia, lung cancer, connective tissue diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and systematic lupus erythematosus, asbestosis and mesothelioma infections, tuberculosis, and diseases caused by radiotherapy. These diseases and ailments that cause both transudative and exudative effusions are only some of the most common triggers, there are many moor illnesses the body can suffer from that can lead to the inability to effectively balance the production and reabsorption of the fluid.
It is smart to recognize any type of pleural effusion as soon as possible so the underlying cause can be identified and further treated. There are many noticeable symptoms for this condition. These symptoms include dyspnea (shortness of breath), a dry, unneeded cough, sharp chest pains that are usually caused by deep breaths and worsened by coughing, rapid breathing, hiccups, fever, chills, and sweating. Few patients have been known to show no symptoms at all. This is most likely the case when the pleural effusion occurs as a result form cancer, tuberculosis, or recent abdominal surgery. Most commonly, shortness of breath is the first symptom identified by patients suffering from a pleural effusion. This is an easily identifiable symptom that points towards the diagnosis of an effusion because an excessive amount of fluid will hinder the lungs ability to breathe. Without proper ventilation a person will find themselves constantly with a shortness of breath and rapidly breathing to get enough oxygen into his or her lungs.
Including the painful inability to properly breathe, a pleural effusion also identifies the fact that the body is most likely suffering from an illness that has probably not been diagnosed or treated. Taking the time to notice the simple symptoms of a pleural effusion will lead to the professional diagnoses of another bodily ailment that is most likely more harmful and underlying to many issues the body may be suffering from. Quick identification to any of these issues will lead to effective treatment and recovery. Please do not be hesitant to ask questions about these issues as asking early can prevent this condition to worsen.
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