Lifestyle April 23, 2016

Lymphedema Requires Special Treatment

Woman wearing medical stockings

Lymphedema is rapidly becoming more and more known amount people.  Thanks to modern technology and science doctors are more educated and understanding of diseases than they were years before.  We’re now able to have more information than ever about so many diseases and what their causes and care are.  If you’re not familiar with lymphedema it’s a disease that occurs when a person’s lymph vessels aren’t able to drain lymph fluid.  We now know that the lymphatic system is hugely important to a person’s health.  It essentially helps your body flush out harmful substances and bacteria that are in your body.  So naturally, when your lymphatic system isn’t functioning properly it can cause a lot of problems.

Causes of Lymphedema
The following are some of the most common causes of lymphedema.

  • Genetic – While it’s rare, lymphedema can be caused by the body not developing the lymph vessels in your body properly.  They have found that it’s rare for someone to inherit lymphedema , but can be a cause.
  • Cancer + Radiation – They’ve found that those that suffer from cancer can be prone to lymphedema when the cancer cells in their body begin to block the lymph vessels.  Additionally, radiation can cause damage to the lymph vessels and nodes resulting in lymphedema.
  • Removal + Injury – If a person has a surgery to remove their lymph nodes or vessels it can also cause the patient to acquire lymphedema.   This process can also cause injury to those areas of the body also resulting in lymphedema.  Often those that have breast cancer are often advised to have their lymph nodes checked for any spreading of cancer, which can at times cause injury to the nodes or vessels.

Treatment for Lymphedema
While treatment for this disease varies depending on the patient many of the common forms of treatment often include wearing compression garments, cleaning up a person’s diet and skin care routine, along with fluid drainage when necessary.

Swelling is a common factor for those that suffer from lymphedema so keeping the swelling down as much as possible is crucial for patients.  It’s encouraged that patients take their time and don’t put pressure on the infected areas that can cause additional swelling.

Exercise has benefits for everyone, and those that have lymphedema can vastly benefit as well.  The reason exercise can be so beneficial for those with lymphedema are that it increases the blood flow in the areas that are being worked.  In turn, it can boost the lymph fluid in the body.  Win-win!

Understanding the causes of certain diseases is a great way to educate yourself, the more you know the better you can prepare yourself.  Thanks to the internet and our access to so much information and technology we’re able to be better educated and informed of different diseases.  The more we know… the more we know.  It’s refreshing to know that we have this information literally at our fingertips.  If you didn’t know about lymphedema prior to this article, hopefully, it leaves you feeling more informed and knowledgeable for you moving forward.  They say knowledge is power, after all!

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