What is Lymphedema? Do I have it? What can I do about it?
According to the Mayo clinic, “Lymphedema refers to swelling that generally occurs in one of your arms or legs. Although lymphedema tends to affect just one arm or leg, sometimes both arms, or both legs, may be swollen.
Lymphedema is caused by a blockage in your lymphatic system, an important part of your immune and circulatory systems. The blockage prevents lymph fluid from draining naturally, and as the fluid builds up, the swelling continues.
The Mayo Clinic explains, “Lymphedema occurs when your lymph vessels are unable to adequately drain lymph fluid, usually from an arm or leg. Lymphedema can be either primary or secondary. This means it can occur on its own (primary lymphedema) or it can be caused by another disease or condition (secondary lymphedema).”
Primary lymphedema refers to rare inherited conditions where proper development of the nodes or lymphatic vessels does not occur. Primary lymphedema happens mostly in women.
Secondary lymphedema can result from surgery or traumatic injury that damages lymph nodes or the lymphatic vessels. Long term wearing of tight clothing or undergarments that bind and constrict flow, especially if one sits for long periods of time. Tumors can block the normal flow of lymphatic fluid.
“Radiation treatment for cancer can cause scarring and inflammation of your lymph nodes or lymph vessels, restricting flow of lymph fluid,” according to the Mayo Clinic. Also, new research is confirming that radiation from airplane travel compromises the lymphatic system and for some people, severely, according to Dr. Fraser of NES. Infection can invade the lymph nodes and vessels as well as parasites. Infections occur more frequently in tropical and sub-tropical climates, especially in developing countries.
I can help you! The technology we use at Kauai Lymphatic Therapy is very effective in reducing edema or swelling. Call or email today for more information and/or a personal consultation.
You can reach Kimberly at 808.634.1142 or KauaiLymph@gmail.com – to see what you can do about it!