The word edema means swelling from excessive accumulation of watery fluid in the tissues and cavities of the body. Edema often occurs in the feet, and would make it hard to fit into those petite, 6-inch heels.
First used as a 14th century medical Latin term, the noun edema derives from the Greek word oidein meaning "to swell." It is a swelling that results from an excess of fluid trapped inside the body's tissue. Edema can be caused certain diseases and medications. Pregnant women also often experience edema — during which their feet, ankles, and hands can swell.