Lymphedema is a collection of fluid in the arms, legs, or both which is caused by failures in the lymph node system of the body. Lymph nodes are part of how our body removes foreign bacteria and viruses. It’s part of the immune system. When that system is disrupted, then fluid can accumulate. The #1 reason for lymphedema is lymph node removal from surgery. Other causes of lymphedema can include radiation, medications, liposuction, and allergies. Even puberty or adulthood can cause lymphedema, although researchers don’t understand why this happens.
If left untreated lymphedema can cause skin tightening, skin thickening, or even infection because the skin is deprived of needed oxygen. Applying lotions helps to keep the skin pliable if not the skin can become hard and it can crack. The skin has to exfoliate in order for the skin to breathe. If it doesn’t, all sorts of trouble can happen. If you get a cut, check it often to make sure it is healing properly and putting on antibiotic ointment. If not, an infection can set in. Wear sunscreen and/or insect repellent to help protect your skin when outdoors. Also, make sure that no one does any blood pressures or drawing blood on the affected arm.
Symptoms Of Lymphedema Include:
- Feeling as though your clothes, rings, wristwatches, or bracelets are too tight
- A feeling of fullness in your arms or legs
- Less flexibility in your wrists, hands, and ankles
- There can also be a pain, redness involved with the fluid buildup that occurs
Treatments Available For Lymphedema
- Compression garments
- Light exercise
- Raising the affected limb above the heart
- Homeopathic Drainage
- Botanical Medicine
- Lymphatic Massage
Although many massage therapists that claim to do lymphatic massage, not everyone has training in the proper procedures. Be sure to interview the massage therapist before treatment. It is essential that you find someone trained and certified in lymph massage if you are treating lymphedema.
With homeopathic drainage, we work at the cellular level. Depending on the cause, different types of homeopathic remedies can work on lymphatic drainage.
Plants can be very beneficial for relieving the symptoms of lymphedema and improving overall circulation.