Lymphedema is a condition that can cause swelling on the skin and in tissues deep inside the body. It can make it very difficult to move, either by cramping and pain or if you cannot walk because of the swelling. There are many specialized treatments for this condition, but there’s only one way for you to avoid getting it in the first place: prevention. It is essential to learn how to prevent lymphedema from occurring and what you can do if it does.
Signs of Lymphedema Swelling
You Are Unable to Move Your Limbs
When the lymph is blocked, you may not be able to move your limbs. If this happens, you cannot sleep or even get out of bed at night.
Your Weight Grows In Several Areas
When swelling occurs from lymphedema, your weight tends to increase in various areas of your body. Lymph nodes may become more swollen, which can cause them to enlarge, leading to more weight gain elsewhere in the body.
You May Experience Pain
Lymphedema can cause pain in different areas of the body. It is more common in women than men. It is essential to recognize lymphedema swelling symptoms so that you can get treatment before the condition worsens.
Your Skin May Become Swollen
When lymph nodes are swollen due to lymphedema, they can pressure nearby blood vessels and cause the skin to become red, bumpy, and blistered. It is known as Raynaud’s Syndrome and affects many people with lymphedema.
You Have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
People with lymphedema are more likely to suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) because of the symptoms resulting from the condition. Lymphedema is believed to occur due to reduced lymphatic drainage, resulting in an inability to remove waste products from the body. People with lymphedema may also be prone to infections because they cannot fight them off during periods when their condition weakens their immune system.
Your Body Is Susceptible to Infections
Lymphedema makes it difficult for your body to fight germs and bacteria, resulting in infections that occur at an increased rate compared to other people without lymphedema. It is valid for both skin and oral and genital infections.
Causes of Lymphedema Swelling
Lymph Nodes are Damaged
If your lymph nodes have become damaged and swollen, lymphedema will occur. This condition is more likely to happen if you have had radiation therapy or a significant injury has damaged your lymph nodes.
Lymphoma patients with lymphedema had a 70% mortality rate compared to people without lymphedema due to cancer. It is because cancer patients are often unable to get treatment for the condition for several reasons. Lymph nodes are susceptible, and lymphedema swelling can occur if they are damaged.
Degenerative diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, can also cause lymphedema swelling due to inflammation in the body. These diseases make your immune system weak and often lead to other infections. Lymphedema is believed to occur when your immune system is weakened, resulting in more swelling and conditions in the body.
Overweight or An Overweight Person
Going from one extreme to the other, you are likely to suffer from lymphedema if you are overweight. It is because weight adds pressure to the lymph nodes and adds to the swelling that continues to occur in your body. Become overweight and continue to remain that way. It may be possible for you to develop lymphoedema instead of simple lymphedema—this condition with cause more severe swelling and symptoms in your body.
Makeup or Cosmetics
Makeup and cosmetic creams can also cause lymphedema swelling in your body. When you use these products, they get in the way of your lymphatic system and disrupt the body’s ability to channel waste properly. Lymphedema swelling occurs in the body without proper drainage of waste, and it becomes difficult to eliminate waste naturally.
A severe injury to your lymph nodes can lead to lymphedema. This condition is more common in women than men because they are more likely to be involved in sports and physical activities that cause this damage. You must report any injuries to your lymph system right away, no matter how painful the injury may feel. Injuries such as deep cuts or major road rash should be reported immediately.
An autoimmune disease such as hemophilia can cause lymphedema when the lymph system is damaged. It is because the immune systems in people with these diseases often attack the body’s organs. It can lead to lymphedema, swelling in the area of injury, and other body parts due to damaged lymph nodes.
Stages of Lymphedema
Stage 1: This is the initial stage of lymphedema, which occurs when the swelling has just occurred. You may not notice any swelling, although it can happen on your arms, legs, or hands. If you are overweight, you are more likely to experience this stage of lymphedema; even if you are not overweight because of your size, you may still share it.
Stage 2: This is the second and most severe stage of lymphedema that occurs when the lymph nodes have enlarged due to swelling in your body. Other symptoms include pain and itching, which can lead to more swelling. You may also experience a change in the color of your skin and blisters, which can be red or brown.
Stage 3: This is when the condition has gotten worse. You may feel extreme pain in your limbs or significant organs such as your lungs and heart. Your feet or legs may get numb, which is common in the case of severe foot injuries. Blisters may also appear on your neck and chest, which can cause problems when you sleep.
Stage 4: It is the final stage of lymphedema, which occurs after you cannot get rid of the condition using medical treatment. You will require medical attention to prevent further swelling in your body and help moisten the tissues. Your doctor may even place compression garments or bandages around your legs, arms, or hands to help with the condition and prevent complications such as skin breakdown and infections.
Ways to Reduce Swelling caused by Lymphedema
Use compression apparel and bandages
Lymphedema Compression Garments or bandages are one of the best ways in which you can reduce the swelling that is caused by lymphedema. They work by decreasing the amount of fluid that builds up in your body. It helps to eliminate swelling and reduce any pain that you may experience. Compression is also suitable for healing bruises, cuts, and other injuries to your body.
Apply compression therapy
Compression therapy is one of the most effective ways to reduce swelling and pain caused by lymphedema. It is simply a method to compress the area that has become swollen to help eliminate swelling and prevent any pain. Compression therapy can effectively reverse the condition, which can help you stop it. However, all compression garments are not created equal, so you will have to find a way to apply high-quality products if you want optimal results.
Lose weight and exercise regularly
Losing weight and exercising are the best methods to reduce lymphedema. It is because, in these conditions, it is inevitable that you will gain weight as a result of being unable to eat correctly. However, these conditions do not have to prevent you from losing weight or keeping fit. High-intensity cardiovascular exercise can be very effective in improving the situation- especially if you combine it with workouts that target your lymphatic system, such as physical therapy.
Lymphedema is a condition that can occur in both men and women. It is caused by several factors and leads to swelling in your legs, arms, or hands. If you are concerned about this condition, you should consult your doctor as soon as possible to ensure that the situation is not worsening. They will be able to advise you on the best ways to keep your condition in check and reduce your chances of developing any complications.